EDITOR'S NOTE:  Each He Said-She Said column features a question from a Crosswalk.com reader with responses from a male and female point of view.  If you've got a question about anything related to singleness or living the single life, please click here to submit (selected questions will be posted anonymously).

QUESTION:  I am a Christian woman in my mid-40s dating a pastor who is seven years younger than me.  We have been dating for five years.  Two years ago he revealed to me that he has a past history of homosexuality (after hinting at it a year before the revelation).  He says that it was a long time ago and during that period in his life he was confused and had many issues he was dealing with due to being sexually molested as a child.  He says that he is fully delivered from his homosexuality.  (We have not had any sexual relations as we both entered the relationship with a desire to honor God.)  I want to believe him and he has not given me any indication that I shouldn't believe him.  However, I remain skeptical—even fearful—that this will crop up as a problem somewhere down the road.  This relationship is leading to marriage, and I feel like I've been frozen in my tracks.  Do I continue in the relationship or do I avoid the risk?


HE SAID:  With every relationship we enter into there are many issues inherently related to dating, a number of "societal" concerns we must contend with and things we naturally bring from our past experiences.  From what you have shared, yours is no exception and carries with it many unique obstacles of its own.

Dating a pastor, a man who is seven years your junior and one who has professed to have had struggled with homosexuality are not insurmountable challenges, however since you remain skeptical if he has fully overcome his past struggle, it is an area that needs to be addressed before moving on in the relationship.

Apart from how the media often portrays homosexuals, many of those who engaged in the activity in the past can be and have been successfully delivered and go on to lead a complete heterosexual life. 

Since your relationship of five years is leading to marriage, communications with your boyfriend must be fairly substantial.  If you haven't shared your concerns with him, he needs to hear your heart and understand your reservation.  Approach it as your issue, not his.  It is something you need to find peace in before taking the next step.

Since he was forthright to share this with you, ask him for help in trying to understand what happened and how he was able overcome this problem.  Try to have him enlighten you in order to put your mind at ease.

If you haven't done so already, research and educate yourself on child abuse and homosexuality in order to try to understand how each relates to one another.  Learn the most you can by speaking to others who have battled with it and find out ways a person can help to encourage those who do.

Given his struggle took place a long time ago and has since become a pastor, I would guess he has been through a scrutiny of interviews and questions from a number of people associated with his church.  He must have had to disclose and discuss this to the pastoral selection board and or the elders at his church.  Ask if he would have any hesitation if you, in able to get some clarity and closure on the issue, were to discuss your feelings with any of them.

If your boyfriend has received help in coping with his childhood abuse, if he has asked God for forgiveness of his transgressions as a youth, if he has accepted the grace God offers all of us for our mistakes and sins, if he has made amends and has been living a righteous life from then on out, he has done all he can.

Oftentimes we look for a quick answer or want someone to tell us what to do in a difficult dilemma, but you need to pray and ask God for the direction you need to go.  Search your own heart for the answer.