I'm 28 and single. I recently got out of a relationship with an unbeliever, and I'm really struggling. I've been saved for a while, and I thought that I could "help" him get himself together, but I guess I was fooling myself. My family didn't approve of him, but I was smitten and didn't listen to them. I just figured they didn't understand him.
Although I'm a Christian girl, our relationship led me to partake in sexual behaviors I wasn't comfortable with and left me feeling empty, but I figured I would do it anyway.
Things started to go sour, and he stood me up on Valentine's Day. I was so hurt, but he didn't seemed fazed.
The other day I found out he has been cheating on me for five months, so I broke it off with him, and he didn't say anything. I was trying to ask him the typical girl question "why," but he won't return my calls. I'm super sad and heartbroken. I want him back, although that sounds completely ridiculous. I miss him!
What should I do?
Thank you for trusting us enough to write with your question. You are in an understandably painful situation. I'm not at all surprised that you miss your boyfriend or that you want him back, even given the fact that you knew all along that you shouldn't be dating him. The bonding that God designed sex to produce within marriage takes place whether the couple is husband and wife or not. And when a sexually united couple is split, whether by divorce or by breakup, it's like tearing a person in half. Sex is that powerful. That's precisely why it's so important to reserve it for marriage.
I say all this not to be redundant (I've talked about this before on Boundless) but to help you see that you must do exactly what you don't want to: You must turn and run from this relationship. That means no more calls and no more questions about why. Think of your pain like what you feel when you touch a hot stove. A dating relationship with a non-believer, especially one that involves sex, is a red hot burner. Let the pain from your burns empower you to never touch the stove again.
I think it's a mercy that your boyfriend was cheating if only because it means he's likely already moved on to one or more women, and you won't be able to get back together with him. I hope that is the case because it will make it a bit easier for you to close the door on this relationship. A door that must be closed. Your future happiness as well as the state of your soul depend on it. Why? Because you, a Christ-follower, could never be happily married to a man who does not share your faith, and the chances are great that he would pull you away from your faith, rather than you pulling him toward yours.
How can you move on? You must start by going to the foot of the cross, acknowledging your sin and the way you "fooled" yourself, and asking for Christ's forgiveness. This requires not just repenting for the things you did about which you feel bad, but also those you may not yet regret. Anything you've done against God's law is sin. But it's not enough to say you're sorry; you must also turn away. That is true repentance. And it's the essence of why Christ came to die for us.
But He didn't just die. He rose victorious. And in His resurrection lies the power to help you turn from your sin and begin the work of becoming more like Him. If you've received Christ's gift of salvation, acknowledging Him as your Lord and Savior, then you may ask the Helper, the Holy Spirit, to give you the courage and ability to walk in righteousness in this area. Not only will He empower you to resist these sins in the future, He can heal the pain you're feeling.
But don't stop there. After you've gotten right with the Lord, ask for your family's forgiveness. They were likely trying to help you avoid making these very mistakes. Thank them for that and ask them to help you move on and do better next time. Receiving their forgiveness will go a long way to restoring those familial relationships that matter so much. And let them know that you do want their input and help in the future, when other potential dates enter your life. Getting feedback about potential mates from the people who know us best and love us most (whether that's your parents, pastors or mentors) is an invaluable part of marrying well.
I pray you'll follow through on your hunch that this whole mess began with some wrong decisions, seek forgiveness and turn away from your sin and toward healing and restoration.
Copyright 2008 Candice Watters. All rights reserved.