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Who Will Forgive My Past?

a woman and a man talking about their past


I am a woman in my late-20s who is hoping to be married someday. I love and follow God to the best of my ability. I grew up in a Christian home; however, during high school and college I backslid: partying, drinking and having sex.

After college, I rededicated my life to God, stopped partying, drinking, having sex, and became abstinent until marriage. Since then, I’ve dated Christian guys, some of whom still think premarital sex is OK and then try to guilt trip me into it, saying it’s not fair because I’ve already lost my virginity. We break up.

I’ve read all the Boundless articles dealing with sexual pasts, and I believe purity is not about virginity, but about the heart, through which all things flow. Honestly, after my sexual mistakes, I feel I’ve been taken through the heart of the Gospel and am more pure now than ever. Where can I find a man who is like me or who is forgiving? Others think it’s not OK to have sex, but see my past and don’t like it. Sometimes when the past comes up and I tell them my history, they break up with me, too. Do you think there are any single men who will forgive my past and look at me through new eyes in Christ?


Thank you for this question. It’s a joy to hear that you are trusting Christ for the forgiveness of your sins and are living for Him. I’m sorry to hear how dating has been going and want to encourage you that, yes, there is hope.

The problem with the guys who break up with you when they find out about your past is that they don’t understand the seriousness of sin. Not really. They would say they do and that’s why they can’t date you. But Scripture says they don’t, or they’d be humbled by the knowledge of how much they’ve been forgiven (Luke 7:47).

We all have pasts to be forgiven. Before trusting Jesus’ finished work on the cross, we all stand condemned before God (Romans 3:10). If you have truly repented and turned from your former sins; if you are “flee[ing] youthful passions and pursu[ing] righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart” (2 Timothy 2:22); if you are abiding in Christ and striving to be like Him in the power of the Holy Spirit (1 Peter 1:161:22), then a man who understands the Gospel will know that you are a sinner like himself, mercifully saved by grace to the praise of God’s glory. Though your past will undoubtedly be a grief to him and the specifics will be painful to hear, for a man who truly understands the Gospel, that you sinned when you were not faithfully following Christ will not be a surprise.

I have a friend who lived a life like yours, whose husband is a man like this. He wrote about their relationship on the eve of their wedding. He was a good, homeschool kid who would never have dared date a party girl with tats. He wouldn’t date her. But he married her. He wrote,

If you would have told me when I was a teenager that my wife would have seven tattoos, a history in drugs, alcohol, and attending heavy metal concerts, I would have laughed at you, given you one of my courtship books, and told you to take a hike. My plans were much different, much more nuanced with careful planning, much more clean-cut, and much more, well, about me.

He’s the sort of man you want to marry — one who knows that Jesus changes everything. Read more

Copyright 2014 Focus on the Family. All rights reserved. 

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