Christians: Perfect? or Forgiven?

I have heard questions from several people and we even received an email from a husband who is hurt by his spouse’s sexual past. Spouses are being forgiven for their past before they were saved, but not for sexual mistakes made after they are saved. How could they do this if they are a Christian? How do you get past this? After she became a Christian, why didn’t she wait for me?

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Just for a second, let me address this first. My DH and I were talking about this before I started writing this blog entry, and he said, “Being a Christian means you are forgiven, not perfect.” He hit the nail on the head right there. Non-Christians like to nail Christians on the head right there and expect that because you call yourself a Christian, that you should do things perfectly. This assumption is not true. We are still sinners, still sin on a daily basis, but our focus from Day 1 of becoming saved is to strive to be more like Christ. Don’t believe for a second that ANYONE who is a Christian has attained that goal. The Reverend Billy Graham, Focus on the Famly’s Dr. James Dobson, our own President….all Christians, but all are not perfect and they WILL tell you that. I will tell you that as well. In my “Baptism v. Salvation” article, I asked this question …” Do you have to get your life in order before you can be saved or baptized?” and the answer was no. I know that when I got saved, I was far from being “perfect”. I had a very black past that I was very ashamed of, that embarrassed me and so I thought “How would God even stand to see my face on a daily basis? How could he love me?” He DID and he still does today. I didn’t stop those sins that I was embarrassed of right away. Twenty two months after I was saved, I met my husband….I had been tempted by other men in that time, and I personally didn’t follow through on the temptations, but I know those temptations were very strong. Someone who doesn’t recognize the voice of the Holy Spirit could very easily still fall after being saved. How did I recognize the Holy Spirit’s voice? Growing up, I was a people pleaser. Just *thinking* about doing something wrong made me feel guilty, so after I was saved by Christ, anytime I felt that guilt…and trust me it was MUCH stronger after I was saved, I knew that I should not follow through on what I was doing at that time. But some people aren’t able to recognize it right away, so the addiction to that sin is so strong, they cannot resist it.

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Satan knows us quite well and he uses that knowledge quite well. Remember in Matthew 4, after Jesus was baptized, he was led by the Spirit and spent 40 days fasting in the desert. During that time, Satan tempted Him, too! Satan came to Jesus when he was hungry and tempted Him to take matters into His own hands…” If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread!” Brothers and sisters, after your salvation, Satan will do all he can to try to make you fall as well. He’ll throw all kinds of hard fastballs at you to make you doubt yourself and your salvation, but once saved always saved. Some newbie Christians do not yet know or understand that.

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So what do you do now? You are now married to this person, you know about their sexual past (before and after salvation), so how do you forgive them? As hard as it might sound, they need your forgiveness. I know from my own experience, that I was SO glad to know that my Father in heaven and my husband forgave me for my past indiscretions. The hardest thing for me was forgiving myself. Satan used that with me. I cannot tell you how many times I cried out to God every time I would think about how I didn’t save myself for my DH and ask for forgiveness. Do you know what God said to me each time? “My child, what sin? ” He had already forgiven me, and it was in the Sea of Forgetfulness. “Neither do I condemn you; go. From now on sin no more.” (John 8: 11 Maybe you saved yourself for marriage, and the visions of what your spouse has done with other men (or women, if you are the wife) really haunts you to the point you are just tormented by it. It is so important to your marriage and your marriage bed that you ban Satan from your mind. Bind him in Jesus’s name so that your marriage can start healing. Yes, some of you don’t want to be told to pray, but that is exactly what needs to happen. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but last night, I just finished reading the book “Fireproof”. That is such a powerful novel, that I cannot WAIT to see the movie. The premise of it, if you haven’t seen it or read the book is this…. A 7 year marriage is in shambles. The couple cannot even be civil to each other and divorce is eminent… until his Dad passes on a handwritten manual called “The Love Dare”. Inside it, are things that the reader is supposed to do for 40 days, one day at a time. Sometimes there were things written in there that the DH did not want to do, but he did it anyway. When I was a refuser, there were things that I didn’t want to do, but when God gave me that manual, in order to save my marriage bed, I did them anyway. A quote from that book… “Never leave your partner”

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Dear ones, the biggest thing that you need to remember is that your spouse married YOU and wants to be with YOU. Bind Satan from your mind and your marriage bed. Love your spouse with all your heart and soul and mind as you love the Lord. Ask your spouse to forgive you for not completely forgiving him/her. The past that used to haunt me so vividly? I can’t remember it. I bound Satan from that two years ago and God has erased it from my mind. It’s gone because God forgave me. It’s gone because my husband doesn’t remind me of it. He trusts me explicitly and knows that he is the one that I want to be with, mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. (I’m working on it, honey!) My sister in Christ, Peppermint Girl, also has a wonderful article on past partners here and I would recommend reading it if you haven’t already.

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Let me leave you with this.

Ephesians 5:22-33

“Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church- for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery-but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”

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God loves all of you. May God bless your marriages and marriage beds abundantly.

8 Comments

  1. Wow, I had never noticed before that God says He will forgive us for His sake.

    That gets me pondering about the nature of God in a new way. Just shows again, how deeply God loves us, and how much He does for us.

  2. Hi Spicynutmeg,

    Trying again with a post on your message 😉

    Because I am such a newly reawakened woman, I would like to know how you Spicegirls have dealt with unforgiveness towards yourselves for being asexual before you saw the light?

    I know God has forgiven me and my darling man is THE most wonderfully sweet lover in the world. What I am dealing with is forgiving myself!

    This sounds so lame but I really do want to know if any of you have dealt with this issue.

    I have struggled with semi-saboutaging my sex life already e.g. if my man is a bit tired and does not desire me for a day or two….oh gosh, I knew I waited for too long, he’s older. I’ve found myself orally blessing him and not looking to receive from him as I am so used to doing without….wrong habits and hard to break.

    Poor guy, he is so patient but this is a woman thing and I need to read about women who have dealt with this situation. I know myself really well and I see danger signs in my acceptance of less for myself. Thanx for your time on this request.

  3. Forgiving yourself is the hardest thing to do because we are already so hard on ourselves. I don’t know about you, but for the longest time I KNEW what I was doing to my DH was wrong. I knew it. The Holy Spirit was working in overdrive in me; I realize that now, but God gave us free will, so he waited patiently until the day that I decided I was finally going to listen to Him. Praise God for his patience. He knows me too well. Too often I decided I didn’t need help, I was a smart woman, I could figure it out for myself. Nope. I realized the hard way that it was a problem too big for me that I needed God’s help on. When I finally turned it over to God, really gave it up to Him, he reminded me that He had forgiven me, and that now I needed to forgive myself, thus banning Satan’s lies from my mind and heart. I felt how easy God’s yoke was when I did that too….oh…that’s for another article… Sister in Christ, I have really only desperately gone to God three times in my life that I can truly remember. Those times, when I completely gave my burden to God, I was renewed. You’re gonna have to give your burden to Him completely. Your burden then becomes a load you can bear with God as your lead. Matthew 11:29-30 “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

  4. Thanks for your reply, Spicynutmeg,

    I too can recall a few vivid times of really placing a burden before the Lord.

    Yes, I jolly well did know that I was hurting my man and was also convicted many times but simply was blinded by my daily life and duties as a mother to see the seriousness of my husband’s pain at my sexual coldness towards both him and myself.

    Until I read here, I did not think of my carrying this grief about my past as a burden I needed to lay down before my Lord. I am terrible at doing everything for everyone and nothing for me. Working on changing that.

    Off to read other posts later today. Thanks for all your replies to the many diverse topics here. Always makes for enlightenment and encouragement towards more loving.

  5. Hi spicynutmeg:

    How much should we tell about our forgiven past to your new husband?

    When we were dating, I let him know I had past sexual partners but after meeting Christ, I changed, He forgave me and I don’t want to remember no more. Now, he is intrigued to know more: details or who (with names), when, how many, dates… I have told him some information, but it has been very very painful and shameful to remember and tell… he finally decided to ask no more since he new it hurted me.

    However, I haven’t told everything and I’m wondering if the right thing to do is to “spill the beans”.

    I know he loves me alot, I don’t know if he could handle so much information, or even if it is healthy for either of us. It greatly shames me to talk about it to the point that I feel like vomiting when I do; it brings images to his mind when I tell him about an “incident” or past sexual relationship. It doesn’t seems healthy for either of us to continue on this conversations; but I am ware that I haven’t told him many specific things he wanted to know.

    Please, give me some advise, is the feeling to give more information regardless of how bad it feels and the consequences, what God wants or what Satan wants?

  6. Sweetnsourgirl, you do whatever God prompts you to do. You say you are forgiven. Have you repented from your sin with God? I noticed that you said your DH forgave you, and I am going to assume that you have repented to God and he has forgiven you. If so, you must be certain that you have forgiven yourself, too. Some of the decisions I made in the past were just downright stupid choices. I knew better! Satan used the knowledge that I hadn’t forgiven myself and threw it at me hard.

    You’ve told me two things….1) you have an awesome husband who realizes how much pain it causes you, so he doesn’t ask you anymore and 2) you are wise to realize that there might be more information about your past that he couldn’t handle.

    Me, myself, I would leave it be where it is. There is no reason to dredge up the past and hurt yourself or your husband. I would work very hard on putting the past behind you. I have an awful past. When I finally gave it up to God, I can’t remember it anymore. I can’t remember names, dates, all the who, what where, when and whys….they are all gone. It’s like my memory has been erased. Satan can’t use what is not there anymore.

    It’s not easy. Satan will attack you during this process and continue to throw sludge at you from your past. Ask God to take this burden from you. When he takes it away, there will be no muck for Satan to sling anymore. I promise you. Forgive yourself and give your past up to God. When he forgives you, he remembers it no more. He will take your burden and carry it for you. Satan knows better than to mess with God! I will say a prayer for you now that God would give you the strength to overcome and bind Satan from your life and your marriage. From this point on, you will be able to look forward towards the future you have with your husband because there will be nothing to look back at.

    God bless you!

  7. This is so true. When we ask God to forgive us he does. “As far as the east is from the west”. My pastor just mentioned this in a recent sermon. When we try to hide our sin from God, eventually it will be exposed. “Be sure your sin will find you out”, but when we confess our sins to God he forgives us of them and he hides them from us and everyone else.
    I was saved at a very young age, 6 which has kept me from doing alot of things-but not always. I still have a free will and sinful nature (not a good mix). I made a some bad choices as a young adult. Although I know I did these things, the details of them have been covered by the blood of Jesus and I can’t remember them. Thank you Lord.
    Sweetandsourgirl,
    I believe honesty is always the best policy. Telling your DH about your past is being honest. I don’t think however drudging up every detail is beneficial to either you or him. Some things might be hurtful to him and are better left alone. If you are still struggling with forgetting your past, maybe if you and your DH prayed together and gave it over to the Lord as one, it would help you to forget about every detail. I think this is a big step in building a strong marriage. Kudos to you for taking it!

  8. Hi spicynutmeg:

    Thank you so much for your advise… I prayed God and a calmness have overcome me, it is wonderful!.


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