Question:

I am a 22-year old girl who is just in love with a 26 year old boy. We belong to different casts but the same religion. We share a good emotional connect, and as a person, I know he is a good one. He loves me and wants to marry me. However, in his past life had been involved in casual physical relations with his girlfriends whom he was just not serious about. He says he has changed recently and has stopped flirting. Everything between us is fine except when sex comes up. He insists on it, and when I politely say no, he gets really disturbed. He has a short temper and moody nature.

I am a virgin and will only have sex in wedlock. It's my offering to my husband as a sign of giving myself to him. Whereas he has a sexual past with at least three girls. Our views on sex do not match. We love each other, and this matter never threatens the end of our love, so it hurts me.

How can I cure him of fornication that he has committed? He does have some repentence of his sexual past, but he wants it again with me. How do I explain to him that I want to keep our love pure? Also I should not marry a fornicator being a virgin, unless he repents and pledges a correction. He is not really repentant, nor is he happy that I don't want pre-marital sexual relations. I am also afraid that his past sexual sins might bring problems to our relationship and marriage. How can I cure him of this? How can I save him from that sin? How can I get forgiveness for his past? I really love him.


Answer:

Knowing that God is "not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance" (II Peter 3:9), if there was a way that would make every person repent of their sins, I'm sure God would have done it. You and I can encourage repentance, but we can't make a person repent. You can force a person to change. He has to decide for himself that he wants to change.

When it comes to marriage, you have to look at who a person is, not who you want them to become. So, let's look at what you've told me:

  • He is an angry, short-tempered man.
  • He is moody.

Already I am wondering why you see this man as someone you want to raise children with. "Do not associate with a man given to anger; or go with a hot-tempered man, or you will learn his ways and find a snare for yourself" (Proverbs 22:24-25). A person given to anger will cause you heartache in the future. "An angry man stirs up strife, And a hot-tempered man abounds in transgression" (Proverbs 29:22).

Next, you tell me he claims to repent of his past sexual. He has stopped flirting with other girls but he is pushing hard to get you to have sex with him. That isn't a man who has repented. He is only telling you what you want to hear and behaving himself while you are around. You've excused his past sexual encounters as "not being serious" about these other girls. Is that a reason for a man to bed women? And how is it that he is treating you differently from these casual encounters? Isn't he trying to do the same thing to you that he did to them?

In a sense, your boyfriend is being tested. Is he man enough to make a commitment that he will keep for a lifetime? Can he keep his clothes on until he marries you? If he can't, then he is going to be nothing but problems throughout your marriage. People can change, but he is stating loud and clear by his actions that he has not changed.

So why do you want such a man as your companion? Stop looking at this relationship as what it might possibly turn out to be. Look at it for what it is. How he is, right now, is more likely the way he will remain throughout life.

I had written to you about my boyfriend's past fornication, his lack of repentance and insisting me upon having sex with him, under the pretext of coming closer and as an act of commitment. I told you about his hot-tempered and very moody nature. Upon this you told me, that I could not make him realize or repent. I should not think about raising a family with a hot tempered person.

I have been quite depressed about his past physical flings because it breaks the image of the man I love. It hurts me that he did not respect a girl's dignity, although he did not find her compatible, he went forward with sex, not once but many times. It has lead me to doubt him and wonder if he had also given her the idea that she was the one. Could there be a way of dealing or understanding them in a different way?

Leaving aside his past, I am a little disturbed with the way he treats me. I was quite depressed after he told me about his physical flings and couldn't talk in my normal way for three days. He never tried to support me in those days or console me. We had a conversation after that when he told me he did not really repent as he did what he wanted to do. The conditions were different and some details he can't share with me as of yet.

My mom has met him and knows about our relationship. She does not find him suitable for me, look at his behavior, body language, family, education and past. She says he is deceiving me, and the more I talk to him the more I will be pulled toward him. I do see the points why she feels this match is not the right one for me. And I also accept that he has frequent mood swings, a short temper, tendency to misbehave and a want to show off. However, my feelings for him are not letting me pull away from him. I am not in a state to gather the strength of going on for a single day without listening to his voice.

It's really hard. I love him, and I hoped I might see a change in him over time. It's becoming difficult for me to take a decision right now. I don't know what I should do. Another thing that is bothering me is that when he came to see me, I got very emotional. We hugged, kissed and smooched. I didn't realise in that moment of weakness. I was too spell bound in my emotions when I saw him, I did not stop him. I know since I let it happen it's my fault too. I could have stopped him. I had no sexual intentions in doing it. I can say that, but I do understand my guilt. This is irrespective of what the future holds for us. I am feeling very sorry and very guilty. I really ask forgiveness from God. I feel I have betrayed my parents. Will God forgive me?

Is there a chance that my boyfriend might turn out to be the right person? Can my love change him?

I really feel sorry for you. You hear from me, based on your own description, that this boy is not a good man. You hear the same from your mother, who did not give you a gut feeling, but based it on her observations. You also hear your boy friend tell you that he doesn't regret his having sex in the past and that he insists on committing fornication with you. You are able to write all of this down for me, and then you claim that you don't know what you should do?

You've already proven your mother to be correct. You went further sexually with this boy than you intended because of your feelings for him. That it will progress is a given because he won't stop until he has taken your virginity away. He stated that this is his goal. The only person who doesn't believe it is you and that is only because you don't want to listen.

Can a person change from his past sins? Yes. Will he change? He told you he has no intentions of changing right now. Can your love change him? It hasn't yet and isn't likely to in the future either. If all it took was love to change a person, God is love (I John 4:8) and that supreme love doesn't change people who don't want to leave their sins.

He tells you that sex is an act of commitment, yet he repeatedly had sex with a girl that he claims he was never interested in. Where is the commitment? He wants to get his penis in you without being married. Where is his commitment? He can get you pregnant and then walk away. He wants others to commit while he makes none. That is called selfishness. And, yes, most likely he told the other girl that she was the one for him as well, if that is what she wanted to hear before taking her clothes off.

What you are hanging on to isn't love. You said you are upset by all these revelations because it breaks the image of the man. That is more accurate than you realize. You are infatuated. You are in love with how you imagine this man ought to be. Truth is revealing that your imagination was wrong. "But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore He says: "Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light." See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil" (Ephesians 5:13-16). Rather than being thankful to have the truth shown before you made a major mistake, you are hanging on to your imagined man and denying the truth.

Never give yourself to a guy because of who you think he might become. Marry a guy because you love who he is right now, entirely and completely. That isn't true with this boy, so quit deceiving yourself. If you don't, the hurt you feel now will be nothing compared with the hurt you will have in the future from this boy. Insist that he change first before you go any further in this relationship. My guess is that he will leave because he won't change.

You wrote to me about my boyfriend who has fornicated without repentance and wants to do it with me too. There are other things that indicate to me that this not a partnership that is meant to be. I have decided to tell him about this and end my relationship. However, it seems hard because a light loving gesture from him softens me. I really thank you from the depth of my heart, that you gave me the insight and much needed support. And I am very thankful to the Lord that he has shown me the truth.

Irrespective of how our relationship was or is or will be, I really regret that I did not push him back or stop him from smooching me, or kissing me in places. I am feeling really bad about it. I am not being able to sleep because of it. I confessed everything that happened between us to my mother also. But nothing is calming me down. I can't contain the amount of repentance I feel in my heart and mind. I am really sorry, and I beg forgiveness from the Lord.

I have been a girl who was never involved in any such relationships or affairs. I was really looked upon by my family, co-leagues and friends for my character and decency. I had always kept my body language straight. I still do not believe in flirting, and I could very well keep my rapport clear with males that I am not interested in such things. I had confidence in me, and so did my parents.

I fell for my boyfriend. We were friends wherein I really started becoming too concerned about him, and I did not realize how I went with the current. None of my ethics, morals, discipline worked when he came to see me. I have lost confidence in myself the way I was. I have lost confidence in my character and morals. I should not have lost my senses then. I feel very very impure. Yes, impure is the word. I have not been able to stop my tears, even though my Mom forgave me and consoled me. I can't forgive myself. I am not sure if I should even ask for the comfort of forgiveness, or if it my punishment to burn in repentance all my life.

I did not realize at that moment, what was happening. I had never wished to kiss or be kissed by someone. I am someone who does not quite like touching. I am not casual about giving hugs to my male friends, too. And this kind of physical contact has left me disturbed. It felt like attraction with some regret in the corner initially but as it faded. Repentance is only what I feel. I should not have done it. Should I go to the church and confess it? Would that help? I am really really sorry for what I did. I really ask for forgiveness. And I promise I will never betray the trust of my parents and the trust with which the Lord would give me. I am feeling really very sorry. Will the Lord forgive me?

My mom says I deserve someone better, and I deserve someone who loves, respects and cares for me. But after what happened between us, am I good enough to get a good life partner? I have practically sinned against him. Am I still as good and pure as before that I could get an able man as my mate who would actually love me, even after knowing about my past? Will I be able restore my parent's confidence in me? Am I good enough for that? Can I be respected by males, friends and family like before? Do I deserve it anymore? I really beg for forgiveness.

You are making it very clear that you had an unrealistic expectation about yourself. By not forgiving yourself, you are saying that you ought to have been perfect and sinless. Such can never be, "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). You found out that you are just as human as the rest of mankind.

Satan caught you in a moment of weakness. He took advantage of your overconfidence in your abilities. "Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall" (I Corinthians 10:12). None of us are immune to sins, even sins that we generally are not interested in committing. You are not worse than you were before, you are better because you know from experience that you can be lead astray if you are not careful.

God looks at people for who they are, not who they had been.

"The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.

But if a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; because of the righteousness which he has done, he shall live. "Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?" says the Lord GOD, "and not that he should turn from his ways and live?"

But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked man does, shall he live? All the righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; because of the unfaithfulness of which he is guilty and the sin which he has committed, because of them he shall die" (Ezekiel 18:20-24).

Whether you are good enough for a future mate or for God depends solely on who you decide to be. Your past doesn't matter. It is who you are that matters.

That is why I was saying this boy wasn't good for you. It wasn't his past, other than it showed a pattern that he was continuing to follow. It was his statements that he didn't regret his past and that he was insisting on having sex with you. That told me who he is -- that he had not changed.

In a sense, you haven't changed either. You wanted, in the past, to save sex for marriage, and that continues to be true. You had a major slip-up, you found out that you have to be more careful, but you remain committed to the same ideal.

God forgives when people follow His will. There is nothing He can't or won't forgive if a person repents.

"Seek the LORD while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways," says the LORD. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts"" (Isaiah 55:6-9).

It is people who have trouble letting go of the past, not God.

Now, one more thing before I let you go. You are confusing the idea of repentance and grief. What you are feeling is grief over what happened. Repentance is not a feeling, it is what you do to change.

"Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter" (II Corinthians 7:9-11).

So go out and prove that you are not one of those foolish girls who will bed the first handsome boy who notices them. You're a woman who wants a man who proves himself to be a honorable man because you are an honorable woman.

I had written to you about my boyfriend who has had physical flings. He does want to leave his past behind, but does show intentions to have pre-marital sex with me, which I don't want at all. My mom does not approve of him at all and wants me to cut off from him immediately.

He has been moody and very short tempered, but since we have started talking less, and he has come to know about my mom, he has mellowed. He says I should study well now and be in touch with them. He says we should solve this situation of my mom not approving of our relationship together, no matter what it takes.

When I gave him a hint that I need time to know him better before marriage, or that this is not the right time to commit, he almost broke down and started crying. Since then he has been taking a lot of care in his dealings and supporting me morally.

About his past, he does count them as lessons, but there is no real repentance as he said he is a good looking boy who was a flirt.

I do see the difference in our beliefs and conviction, and I do get a feeling that in a long run, this partnership would turn into a painful one, if he continues this way.

However, his emotions and my feelings for him are holding me back. My world is very disturbed since we are not talking often, as my mom does not want us to.

The promise that I had given to him that I won't leave him alone, the number of times he said he loves me and that I am God's greatest gift to him, our memories together, and my feelings for him are holding me back. I cannot take him being disturbed or sad because of me. At the same time, I do have a feeling that this partnership won't be a fulfilling one. Somewhere in the corner of my heart is a hope that he might change, repent, respect women more, study further and become a successful man. I really wish that for him. But I know, I cannot base my relationship on this hope.

I am caught up between my mind and heart. I have a lot of love for him. I pray for him all day; yet, I know we don't belong together. My parents are not happy with us.

I am restless and distressed. I am not being able to think how to break off. Please help.

I strongly believe people can change, but you tell me repeatedly that he hasn't changed. If he doesn't change knowing your commitment to living righteously, why do you think he will change in the future once he has you in his bed? If you are interested in this man, then be clear that to win you he has to first marry you, but to marry you he must wait until you have finished your schooling. If that is too much for him, then tell him that you won't insist that he stay with you -- you have your answer. But if he is going to pressure you to sin, then you don't want him in your life.

It is your own indecisiveness that is leading him on. Because you won't absolutely tell him "no" regarding sex, he continues to think you mean later. Boys have an easier time dealing with plain spoken direction.

I've been going by what you have said. You've listed all sorts of reasons why the relationship will not work. The only reason you give for staying is that you find him physcially appealing. Whether you go or stay with him is your choice. I can't make it for you. But if you let your heart make the decision against what your reason says, your heart will be broken anyway.