Question:

Hi,

I've been reading the questions and answers on your site recently. My problem, like a lot of other people, is about fornication and forgiveness. I'm in my mid twenties, and every time I was involved in a relationship, I found myself become so dependent on the guy that I turned away from God and all His words. I know I shouldn't have sex before marriage, but I did it anyway.

After the break-up with my first boyfriend, I repented before God. I confessed I was so wrong and sinned against God, and promised I would never do it again. But then when I met my second boyfriend, I thought it was a blessing from God because we were so happy together. And I just forgot everything I prayed and promised with God. Couple month after I had sex and moved in with my second boyfriend, I started to feel so bad and sorry for what I did. I prayed to God that He would forgive me. I knew what I did was very wrong, so I stopped having sex with my boyfriend, but we still lived together.

Recently, my boyfriend broke up with me for other reasons, and I got into a very depressed situation. On the one hand, I know I sinned against God, and all the consequences and sadness I'm having now are God's hand on me to make me turn around to Him. On the other hand, I am wondering if I could ever enter another relationship, if I deserve the happiness in the future marriage. I am so scared that I would leave God again once I was in a relationship. In fact, I barely attended church and met with my church friends in the last year, when I lived with my second boyfriend.

In the last three months after the break-up, I've been praying, reading the Bible, staying with church friends every day. I think about what I did, what God wants His children to be like, and what God wants me to do with my like. I am so ashamed for what I did, and I want to turn my life away from all the sins that God hates, especially fornication and pride.

I would appreciate for any advice on how should I deal with my past sins. For future relationships, should I involve myself in any relationship?

Forgot to mention, neither of the two boyfriends I had before were Christians. I know from the Bible I ought to marry a Christian. But isn't it even harder for a Christian guy to accept a girl who had sex and have had lived with an ex-boyfriend before? I really don't know what should I do with my future relationships.

Thanks,


Answer:

First, there seems to be some confusion over what is repentance. Repentance is not being sorry. Sorrow is a motivator to repent, but it isn't repentance. "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" (II Corinthians 7:9-10).

Repentance is when you change your mind about the acceptableness of sin and, thus, you change your behavior as well. You've been very sorry about your sins, but in some ways it hasn't driven you to make many changes. Notice that you chose to date similar guys, who had similar behaviors, and to whom you acted in a similar fashion.

What you need to do is stop letting your feelings control your life. You have to first determine that you are going to live by God's rules because they are the best for your life and then fit everything else around that decision.

People rightly look at your past behaviors to gauge your future behaviors. If you have a habit of jumping from boy to boy, then it would tell a guy that you wouldn't likely make a stable wife. What I see is that you have a bad habit of trying to rush relationships -- to try to force them to be more permanent than they really are. But as you learned, living with a guy and having sex with him doesn't make the relationship stable. "I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or by the does of the field, do not stir up nor awaken love until it pleases" (Song of Solomon 2:7).

If you show yourself to be a devote and strong Christian now, people will understand when you mention that you made mistakes in the past. But if you are a lukewarm Christian, who compromises or abandons her faith when it suits her, of course you'll find Christian men wondering if you are for real or only acting.

Thanks for your quick response. You're so right about my letting feelings control my life. I sometimes hate myself being like this. I think I also have the problem of low self esteem because I always became reliant on guys once in a relationship and being influenced by guys so much that I don't have any rules. But inside I know that it is me who choses to sin.

I've been reading a lot testimony about how people's lives can be changed by God, and it's just amazing to me. Although I was raised up in a Christian family, and lots of Bible stories and terms were familiar to me from an early age, I've never seen a life-changed person in my family or in the church because of Christianity. But now after the heartbroken experience in my life, I want to be changed. And since God can change other people's life, I am thinking there must be a way He can change mine as well, it's just I don't know how. When I look into myself, I see pride, judging other people, lying, stealing by not giving tithes. So many sins that I want to get rid of and regain the innocence I once had. I hate the fact that I let myself become who I am today by not obeying God's rules. But I cannot redo the past.

Any suggestions on how should I let God change my life, apart from praying and continuously reading Bible?

Reading is not enough. "Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does" (James 1:21-25).

The difference between the wise man and the foolish man, is that the wise man put his knowledge to use. "Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall" (Matthew 7:24-27).