When the Past is Painful
- Thursday, October 11, 2012
EDITOR'S NOTE: He Said-She Said is a biweekly advice column for singles featuring 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 submit it to He Said-She Said (selected questions will be posted anonymously).
QUESTION: I am in a relationship with a Christian girl who wants to put God first and seek His will in our relationship. However, she has a very promiscuous and abusive past, leaving her with a permanent STD. I feel like I should end the relationship, but if she is truly repentant I believe I should be able to get past her issues and love her for the person she has become. Her past grieves me...it's such a burden to me right now. Should I enjoy my time with her and let God do His work in our lives, or reluctantly part ways and search for someone else?
Through the years, we have all acquired “experiences” - some enhance and others diminish who we are, and how we are perceived by others. We can’t dwell too long on what someone else thinks nor expect them to understand what we have gone through, we can only hope other will accept our (repentant) past as that – something in our past.
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past (Isaiah 43:18).
As we all grow (reluctantly) older, many of us will encounter situations we may not have anticipated nor prepared for. It sounds as if you have come upon a huge dilemma which is going on between your heart and your head. You say you “feel like I should end it” but “believe I should be able to look through all these issues.”
If you find yourself really carrying for this person but don’t feel you could ever look beyond her past, there is no reason you “should” stay together. She is probably carrying enough pain, remorse and guilt from her prior decisions, actions and abuse, she doesn’t need someone whom she cares about to have ongoing reservations about who she is or what she has done.
A broken relationship doesn’t mean either person is right, wrong, good or bad, it just means the two weren’t meant to be together at that time and place in their life.
However, if you truly believe over time you are capable of accepting this woman with her past faults and blemishes, and loving her unconditionally, then “let God do his work in your lives.” He is capable of all things, especially changing hearts.
One thing to consider is, we all have some past sin in our lives, but if we seek forgiveness from God and repent, “as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us” (Psalms 103:12).
Successful relationships don’t just happen. They are the result of hard work, understanding, patience and commitment on both sides. As Christians especially we should be more accepting of others and love one another through their transgressions.
Allow God to show you and go with your heart.
What courage it takes to write and ask for help on this very sensitive subject. I appreciate your heart and your desire for counsel. You are right: because of the blood of Jesus Christ she has been forgiven (just like you) of her past mistakes. Unfortunately, our past sin produces consequences which can affect our lives today. In every relationship you will have deal breakers, things that can make or break a relationship. For example, will she be OK if you do not want kids? Will she join your church, your denomination? Does she get along with your family? Is she in debt up to her eyeballs? As you get closer and closer towards a serious relationship (that can lead to marriage), many more things will come up. You will have to decide for each one whether or not you can live with it. Because none of us is guaranteed a perfect relationship or marriage, anything that is great today may not be great tomorrow.
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