Question:

I have participated in the act of fornication with my ex-boyfriend. I allowed myself to blindly believe that this guy was serious about marriage and wanted me as his partner for the rest of his life.

Initially, we were both seeking Christ together by attending church, fellowship, and tithing; however, he eventually moved several hours away for a job in a different area and obviously we could no longer attend church together. I was aware the distance would be difficult to handle and was under the impression that he too realized it would be difficult for us to keep the relationship going. We had never participated in the actual act of intercourse prior to him moving away, but it seemed close enough. Again, I allowed it to happen because somehow I believed he was the one God had chosen for me.

A few weeks later, I went up to visit and it is then that I let my emotions and sexual tension give in to participating in the actual act. I was told that perhaps it would be good to try since I had never done so before, and he was nervous of my experiencing pain on our wedding night. We both were aware of my wanting to wait, but somehow I believed it would be OK since he claimed he wanted to marry me. In consenting to intercourse, I did not enjoy it was much as I thought I should, and after doing so, in my mind, I felt he and I were married. Because of that mentality, every month from that point after I submitted myself to him. Needless to say, this relationship did not last but a few months.

I realize now, that I should have known since the very beginning that I was allowing myself to be deceived. I had become a different person and strayed from the values and morals that had been instilled in me at a young age. I allowed myself to participate in actions that I knew to be wrong through sermons and the scripture because I allowed myself to believe it was OK to be with this man since he and I were planning on marriage.

I have realized my error in this matter and have since then begun seeking Christ once again. I have been praying and reading his word and know that I am forgiven through the blood of Christ; however, I am having a difficult time forgetting it all. I still feel as though this guy is mine because of what we did and hoped he would feel the same conviction I did and come back to Christ. I felt he and I would still have been able to work everything out as long as God was back in the center of our lives. He stated the same, but his actions simply proved otherwise. I pray for him and know I am still holding on to small bit of hope that he will surprise me, but through his history, I realize such is probably not the case and realize I do need to let go. I still have flashbacks. I don't want to remember what happened. I accept I made a major mistake, but I don't want to be constantly reminded of what happened. I realize this is a mistake that may be something to haunt me for the rest my life and only pray that my future husband be a God-fearing individual who is strong in the word and a forgiving individual. How can I go about moving forward if I am suddenly being bombarded with images of these past actions?


Answer:

Sex does not make a couple married. If it did, there would be no such thing as fornication because the first act of sex would create a married couple. Marriage is created by a covenant vow. "Yet she is your companion And your wife by covenant" (Malachi 2:14). Nor does sex even create a commitment. That is a common error made by young women because they see sex as a commitment due to the fact that they are risking the possibility of pregnancy. They don't realize that men don't see it the same way. See: Marriage's Glue for more on this topic.

Another mistake is thinking that words and intentions create a reality. Jesus warned about this when he said, "You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them" (Matthew 7:16-20). The reality is that he was offered sex for free and he took it. Claiming to be concerned about your comfort on your wedding night was clearly false. You would have been uncomfortable the first time anyway. You didn't even have a planned wedding. He was just in a rush to have intercourse. His claims that he was trying to live a Christian life are denied by his actions (I Corinthians 6:9-10).

The flashbacks and other reminders will fade when you replace what you did wrong with doing the right thing. Hard as it might be, you don't want them to completely disappear because you don't want to repeat the same mistakes.

I know you are still hoping that he'll change his mind, but it sounds to me that it is more of your continued flights of fancy and not reality. You have a life to straighten out and then live. Focus on that for now. "Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:13-14).