Letting Go of Your Past

It may not surprise you to hear that we have had a high number of people over the years write us asking about how they can let go of the sexual sins of their past. We all have regrets over things we have done and when it comes to sex, it has a lot of potential to wreck havoc in married sexuality. What often happens is we become deceived when we are single into believing lies about sex and then the enemy turns it all on it’s head and comes at us from the other side to guilt us into living in bondage. In both cases we aren’t living out of the identity that God has spoken over us.

So if you have regrets about your sexual past, where do you start? As always, I encourage you to start by connecting to God. To begin with, if you have not repented and broken the soul tie to your previous sex partners that is your first step. This would include premarital sex that you had with your husband prior to marriage. Draw close to the Lord and stay in that place with Him. The Lord does not require a perfect heart, but a contrite one. Bring your regret and repentance to Him and then ask Him to restore you to a right relationship with Him. Ask Him to break off of you every attachment that you have in your soul to people whom you were intimate with. Certainly intercourse would apply here, but so would oral and manual sex. Remember that our Saviour Jesus died for those sins and then was raised to life so that your inheritance in the kingdom of God could be restored to you. So leave those things at the cross and let Him raise you to stand in the identity that He has established you in. Claim your forgiveness with determination and boldness.

Once you have received forgiveness from the Lord, it’s time to move onto something that can be much harder for some of us. Forgiving yourself. This is the aspect where a lot of women find the greatest point of struggle. A “good Christian woman” can learn to receive the forgiveness of God, but forgiving themselves can feel inappropriate. That somehow they are not serious about their repentance if they don’t hang onto a little bit of what they did, even if it’s subconscious. Many women carry their regret into marriage and have a hard time learning to embrace their sexuality in a godly way when they have misused it in the past. It can take years, but once a woman forgives herself the process is much easier.

I would encourage you to ask the Lord to wash your mind of the sin as well. There is no reason to hang onto the memories of your mistakes. They will not benefit you now and they are a distraction to the intimacy you can have with your husband. Invite the Lord to cleanse your mind and release His thoughts over you in replace of those memories.

There is nothing we can do to change the mistakes of our past, but we sure can give it way more authority than it ought to have. We can let it have more control over us than it needs to and can remain bonded to our sin even while the Lord has forgiven us. So often the truth evades us that while we continue living in a cage, the doors have been opened. All we need to do is walk out and embrace our freedom.

Sometimes, however, the struggle is that while you remain convicted and focused on saving your sexuality for your spouse, they did not? This is an important discussion to have as well, one we will talk about further in an upcoming article.

I would encourage our readers to share their stories of how they let go of any sexual mistakes of their past. It’s very helpful to hear from others who are living in freedom after having regrets about how they managed their purity.

12 Comments

  1. 2 Corinthians 5:16-18 (Amplified Bible)
    16Consequently, from now on we estimate and regard no one from a [purely] human point of view [in terms of natural standards of value]. [No] even though we once did estimate Christ from a human viewpoint and as a man, yet now [we have such knowledge of Him that] we know Him no longer [in terms of the flesh].

    17Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!

    18But all things are from God, Who through Jesus Christ reconciled us to Himself [received us into favor, brought us into harmony with Himself] and gave to us the ministry of reconciliation [that by word and deed we might aim to bring others into harmony with Him].

  2. While I am still struggling with the memories, and still prayerfully asking the Lord to wipe those memories and replace them with thoughts of Him and thoughts of my DH, I can happily say that I am FREE! Free from the weight of sexual sins.
    I struggled for years with the burden of my past sins. I “knew” that I was forgiven by God, but I never ever embraced that forgiveness.
    Very recently I began the process of truly truly repenting and actually talking to God about everything I had done. It was as if I was afraid of talking to God about it (even though he already knows my heart).
    When the moment came that I truly accepted His forgiveness, fully let it in, it was like this giant wave washed over me, taking with it every burden, every sin, every time I shut God out of my life, out of my heart. It was all GONE. I can truly say that I have never felt before in my life the way I did in that moment. I felt the most incredible total PEACE and JOY!!! Almost like I was flying for the first time, totally weightless and totally calm.
    Since then I have a peace and a joy with me each and every day that I have never had before. I am not constantly anxious and worried, I am free! And I am free to love my husband in a new and exciting way. It’s like I have a fresh start, a new begging, and I am going to spend every moment I can living fully in my new found freedom in God and with this man He gave me! Thank God for sacrificing His only Son so that I could be free!

    “1 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. 2 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does no impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. 3 When I kept silent, My bones grew old through my groaning all the day long. 4 For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was turned into the drought of summer. 5 I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” And You forgave the iniquity of my sin.” Psalm 32:1-5
    “1 Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name! 2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: 3 Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, 4 Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies, 5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” Psalm 103:1-5

  3. As a result of my abuse and the fact that my parents never told me to wait until marriage I was very sexually active before marriage. In fact my mom told me when I was going off to college that if I met someone special she would take me to get birth control. Unfortunately by that time I was already sexually active and pregnant just didn’t know it. This made a serious impact on my marriage, as I didn’t want to do the things I did with them with mt DH. I carried around a lot of guilt for a long time. But God showed me these were lies that Satan had told me and I had believed. As a result I read a wonderful book, Decied By Shame Desired By God By Cynthia Spell Humbert.
    She deals with different guilt issues women face. It may not apply to everyone, but it might be a place to start. It really help me let go of the self-guilt I was carrying around with me and see that I was truly desired by God which I had never really felt before.

  4. This topic came at such an appropriate time in my marriage. My husband and I have most recently shared our past sins with each other. I had to share some painful points with him and he with me. These are things we did when we were dating and did not tell each other about. How painful this has been. But how freeing, too! I cannot put into words the feeling of the lifted burden of confession. Of course, before I felt free, I needed to (and did) provide compassion and comfort to my husband. But it was the last thing that I needed to do before being free from my sexual past. I had confessed to God and forgave myself to a point…but when I confessed to my husband, I could honestly say “it was finished.” I have learned so much but mostly what I have walked away with is knowledge of spiritual warfare. This article that Cinnamon posted today is so true. satan is the great deceiver and we must have nothing to do with him including believing that we have to hold on to a piece of our past. We don’t need that bondage! God has set us free!

    While my husband and I are still “recovering” from the pain we have brought upon ourselves and each other, I find that it is a beautiful process and it is bringing us closer together.

  5. What about past sexual abuse?

  6. Those are unique circumstances. Please refer to this article:
    https://christiannymphos.org/2010/01/22/qa-sexual-assault-and-abuse/

  7. read the book: the sexually confident wife!!

  8. “17Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!”

    I like that. That has happened to me. But I didn’t realize that I should go over it all with God. Thinking about it I realize that I am still ashamed. It’s painful to think of the things I have committed with my body. I am ashamed to bring that to God. I am also scared to open that door. When I was saved I felt an overwhelming feeling (among many others) that I had a new beginning. I felt no reason to delve into the past. I closed the door.

    But, without realizing it, it has carried into my marriage in subtle ways. I don’t feel ‘clean’. It’s a hard feeling to describe, but I didn’t realize I had it until just now.

    I’m also going to discuss my feelings with my husband. I have faith that will be a starting point for me.

    After reading your article I am now praying that God will help me in the process.

  9. I just recently let go of the things in my past. My husband and I have been happily married for about two years now, but until recently our intimacy in the bedroom has been seriously lacking. I usually felt like sex was a chore, and I gave myself to my husband out of guilt, not wanting him to be dissatisfied. Before I was married I was pretty promiscuous, even after I was saved. But, even in my b.c. days, I knew that sex was meant for marriage. And that was the root of my problem. I had been feeling guilty about having sex for so long, and it was something that was “bad” for so long, that even after it was perfectly permissible, I felt bad. Only, after I was married, I didn’t even realize that I was treating sex like it was a bad thing! So, now that my husband and I have worked through all this together, our intimacy has grown and grown!

    I am truly a new creation in Christ! And I find new examples of this all the time 🙂 God doesn’t look at our past and uses our mistakes for His glory!

  10. Letting go was more of a process over time than a quick renewal. Late in my teens I experimented in a same sex relationship. The shame I felt over that followed me well into my twenties. I also had premarital sex and was physical with other men before my husband. By talkign to my husband about my past and continuous prayers to God, I’m no longer a prisoner of my feelings of shame and guilt. In fact, rarely does my past even surface in my thoughts. No matter what your past may hold, nothing is too great that God can’t release you from it!

    Since marrying a little over a year and a half ago, my sex drive has been sooo low. I discovered by accident really that my birth control was probably to blame. Now that we’ve chosen to use condoms and i’m not using anything hormonal, my sex drive is soooo much higher. I’m sooo excited! unfortunately, my husband has been travelling a lot with work. after this week he will be home and i’m sooo thrilled to experience my husband fully. 🙂

  11. I am a newly wed and I love my husband. Prior to getting married I was involved in the swinger lifestyle with an ex. I was also very promiscious and had casual sex regularly. I rededicated my life back to the Lord, broke up with the ex and took a year long sabbatical to fully grow, heal and fall in love with Christ. After that time I met my husband. We are nearly two years into our married and we have had some struggles because I dont always want sex. Part of it has to do with me taking birth control and it has lowered my sex drive. The other part is that I feel kinda shamed. I cringe at the thought of him going down on me and I feel shamed at times a little degraded when he asks me to perform oral sex on him and I know in my heart that I am free because we are married and i shouldn’t feel this way. It was the biggest freak ever when i was single and sinning. Now that i am married i want that freakiness to come alive but there is a barrier in my mind and I need help. I’ve been praying… I also thank God for this forum because while i read, everyone is so open and blunt… it gives me a sense of liberation. All of yall reading this… pray for me!

  12. remind yourself that you cant force yourself to heal faster, just like any wound that’s being an inconvienence and a struggle to deal with in one’s life. relax in letting God heal you; you know you’re free, but dont pressure yourself to put your mind in a more healed place than it is right now, you’ll risk doing other damage to yourself or prevent your own healing in Christ and in your marriage.

    praying for you 🙂


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