Integrating Compassion with the Wisdom of God’s Word


The purpose of Aunt Dara’s Christian Advice Column is to glorify God by addressing human needs with compassion and the wisdom of God’s word.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Difficulty Forgetting Boyfriend’s Past Sexual Behavior

Dear Aunt Dara,  

Let me just start off by explaining that I have a very strong Christian faith and have firm morals that I stick to and always have stuck to.  What I mean by that is I believe in abstinence, and I am pure and intend to stay that way until marriage.  My boyfriend is also a godly man and wants to wait to have sex until marriage.  However, just a few months ago before he and I were together, he lost his virginity to a woman he wasn't even dating, and before that he lived a life full of oral sex and hanging around slutty women.

His past has just come up in our relationship and it really bothers and disturbs me that he lived that type of lifestyle, and especially since it was so recent.  I am so bothered by this that I will cry about it for hours and it breaks my heart to know that if he and I were to get married, he would always be my first and my only, but I would always be the last on the list for him.

His past isn't something that he thinks is not a big deal and just brushes off his shoulder.  He very much regrets losing his virginity and it kills him to see how hurt I am over it all.  It helps me that he at least regrets those decisions and has now developed a good set of morals and a closer relationship with God after going through that and hating himself for it, but it still does not erase his past which is what I wish could happen.  I know that this life of his is in the past and people say to never judge a person based on their past, but it was so recent and I just cannot bring myself to approve of it and overcome it at the moment.  One day I will feel so in love with this man and want to marry him, and then the next day I will think about this and feel that I don't want this in a husband.

What do you suggest I do to try to overcome this?  If it bothers me this badly, do I break up with him although I’m already invested in our relationship?  Or are there steps that I, or we, can take to help me move past this?  Any help would be very much appreciated!

In Love with the Un-pure

Dear In Love with the Un-pure, 

Several things stood out to me as I read your letter multiple times.  You said that your boyfriend is “a godly man who wants to wait to have sex until marriage.”  You said that he “lived a life full of oral sex” and then he “lost his virginity to a woman he wasn’t even dating” and he “very much regrets losing his virginity.”  You said, “It kills him to see how hurt I am over it,” and twice you said, “It was so recent.”  Additionally, you said that you cannot bring yourself to approve of it. 
First of all, one should never approve of sinful behavior!  Furthermore, God does not distinguish which types of sexual activity constitute fornication.  Oral sex is still sex.  He lost his virginity long before his actions led to penetration with the other woman.  You indicate that he regrets the incident involving penetration, but does he regret having lived a life full of oral sex?  Furthermore, does he regret his actions because he knows they were sins against God, or does he regret his actions because it kills him to see how hurt you are over it all?  To put it plainly and simply, godly men do not live a lifestyle full of sinful actions that displease God.  You say that he now has “developed a good set of morals and a closer relationship with God,” and that may be true, but only time can tell.  However, you should not automatically assume that if you marry him you will be his next and his last, no matter what he promises you.   

At the heart of your concerns is not how to put this behind, but rather how you can go forward with this man.  You are correct in being concerned that “it was so recent,” because it was just a few months ago and you have only been together for a short time.  True repentance is evident by consistency over time.  Give this relationship several more months to observe his behavior for evidence that he truly has become a godly man.  Consider, too, that if a man wants to win a woman’s heart, he can say and do anything that he believes she wants to hear.  Then after he thinks that the woman is committed to him, he will stop trying to woo and impress her and will let his true self come out.  (Women can do the same thing when they are trying to win a man’s heart.)  That is why so many new marriages fail because people have rushed into marriage before they have had time to get to know the real person behind the charming persona.  Then they wake up some morning and think, “Where is the person I married?  He changed!”  To prevent that, it’s best not to marry anyone until you have been together for at least a year.  If, after a year, he has demonstrated godly morals and character, if he has become the kind of man that you would feel comfortable having as a husband and father for your children, then it will be much easier to forget his past and to trust him when he promises that he will always be faithful to you.

Finally, you are crying a lot because you are grieving the loss of your dream to have a husband who is sexually pure.  Remember that the Bible says, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new”
(II Corinthians 5:17).  The blood of Christ cleanses us from all sin, just as if it never happened.  It is possible to have a good marriage with someone who has an impure past, but has repented of his sin and is living a life pleasing to God.  However, don’t rush into anything until your boyfriend has proved the sincerity of his repentance and has earned your trust. 

God bless,
Aunt Dara

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Sexual Temptation is Becoming Too Great

Dear Aunt Dara,  

Short story: How do my boyfriend/soon-to-be fiancé and I quell our increasing desire for each other, at least until we're married?

Long story: I am 18.  I have been with my boyfriend since junior high, we are both Christians, and we really strive to have a God-centered relationship.  We occasionally study the Bible together or pray together when life problems arise, and we're very open about our faith between the two of us.  We're so lucky to have each other.  We met at church, though we're in the middle of church switching right now so we don't have anyone to talk to about this.  After our freshman year of college is over, we're getting married (and continuing college of course—we both want a Ph.D.).  It's pretty much agreed upon among the family, and all we have to do is stage a proposal (of course it's no surprise, after pretty much growing up together all these years).  But that is a little over a year away, and our desire for intimacy with each other is getting a bit out of hand.  Of course, we would never even consider premarital sex, but the wait is about to kill us.  It really just intensified this last year, and we seriously have no idea what to do about it.  Every time we are together it's a struggle to keep our boundaries, which we've even relaxed over the years.  (At this point, we're not going to freak out if we're too close to each other or if kissing might involve a little tongue. Seriously.)  We just really want to be close to each other, but we can't.  We find ourselves thinking about sex with the other person WAY MORE THAN WE SHOULD, and way more than we ever have.  At one time or another we've even both tried porn (and left very disturbed, guilty, and disappointed, because obviously simple sexual gratification isn't what we're looking for).  It's like the years have worn on our will and the threads are slowly snapping one by one.  We've already had two or three "incidents,” and neither of us have ever considered ourselves lusty or sexually charged people, even him (and he's a guy)!  We're both miserable about it all.  I really love him and he really loves me, so we really want to respect each other.  We both really love God, so we really want to do what is right, but it's getting to the point that sitting in the same room with him is like sitting in the same room with a giant plate of spaghetti after having not eaten for two days, and I imagine he would describe similar or worse feelings.  Help! 

High School Sweetheart 

Dear High School Sweetheart,

I wish I had the answer for taking away the sexual desire that you and your boyfriend have for each other, but I do not.  God created us as humans and sexual desires are a part of His plan for us as humans.  However, we need to control our sexual desires and use them as God intended.  I know that you are aware of God's will in this regard and want to remain pure until marriage.  The temptations must be hard to bear, and there are no easy solutions. 

  1. You could move up the wedding date, but that is not a recommended solution.  You are young and have several years of college ahead of you.
  2. You could avoid seeing each other, but that might not be desirable or practical. 
  3. You could avoid being alone with him, but that is probably not what either of you would want.
It appears as if your desire for each other has surpassed your desire for God.  The closer you are to God, the easier it will be to manage temptations.  Jesus is the best example for handling temptation.  He knew the scriptures, He had a close relationship with God, and He spent a great amount of time in prayer.  All those things together helped Him to resist Satan’s temptations (Matthew 4: 1-11).  Therefore, here are my best suggestions: 

  1. Increase your Bible study time together (you might consider studying 1 Corinthians 6: 9-20).
  2. Pray together more often than just when life’s problems arise.  Make joint prayer a common thing.  Pray individually before you see each other.  If sexual desires begin flooding your mind when you are together, pray some more.
  3. If temptations begin to take over and you are afraid that you might go too far, you may have to physically separate yourselves until your passions cool.  
I hope these suggestions are helpful, and I will continue to keep you in my prayers.

God bless,
Aunt Dara