Question

Hello.

I should just get straight to the point. I have committed sexual sin. Touching (a few times) and oral sex (only once) with the same person. I do realize that although I have not done intercourse I am no longer a virgin. I am angry because I let myself fall into sin, and I am disgusted by the fact that I gave into temptation. This happened a year ago and I also already broke the relationship off because I realized that I loved God and needed to change my ways. I have repented.

Now a year later, the shame and guilt of what I did still haunts me until this day. What happened to me after I did that sin made me closer to God than ever, made me believe in Him and have faith in Him a lot more. I do know that God has forgiven me. But I can't seem to let the guilt go. I am so scared that I will not be accepted to His Kingdom. I am devastated that I am not a virgin anymore.

I am young girl (I do not feel the need of stating my age here), and I am worried of what is to come in the future. How will I tell my future husband about this? Is it right for me to keep the truth away from the people who love me, who trust me? Is it okay for them to think I am someone I'm not? Where do I go from here? I am even thinking of not having relationships ever again. Or if I'm ever going to get married altogether, because I am ashamed of what I did and do not feel that I deserve love anymore. How will people react if they know what I did? Will I not be accepted? This is my past, and I do not deny it. But the guilt and shame is eating my up inside. I am so confused of how I should move forward.

Please help me. Thank you so much!


Answer

There are two aspects missing. First, you need to fully believe that God forgives. "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (I John 1:9). "Faithful" means that God can be completely and fully trusted to keep His word. It is a part of the faith that all Christians must have in God. "But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him" (Hebrews 11:6). I would invite you to work through the study: The Lord Your God is an Awesome God! It will build your confidence in the God whom you serve. "Nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day" (II Timothy 1:12).

Second, much as we would like, the past cannot be changed. Only the future can be altered by our choices. All of us have sinned. Many of us wish we could undo our past mistakes, but it isn't possible. Rather than focus on our mistakes, we need to learn as Paul did, to be grateful that we were saved from our sins. "And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life" (I Timothy 1:12-16).

Your past sins do not define who you are. The sins of the past need to be buried because they no longer matter. "Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins" (James 5:19-20). We don't hide our current sins, but the forgiven ones are put aside because they are no longer a part of our lives.

Yes, you are not a virgin, but you are against premarital sex. Which is more important? Because I know virgins who are wanting to have sex even though they know it is wrong (Mark 7:21-23). If someone ever asks about your past, you should be fully honest and not partly: "Unfortunately I had a sexual encounter when I was young and naive. I've regretted that choice and completely changed my life." There is no reason to tell anyone the details: how often, with whom, or what was done. None of these things matter because they are in the past. Bringing them up can only cause harm, so they are better left buried.

But the likelihood is that almost no one will ask about your past because they will see the solid, strong young Christian you have become. People meeting you would not be able to imagine you were different from the person you are -- and that is perfectly fine. "For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter" (II Corinthians 7:10-11).

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new" (II Corinthians 5:17).

Jeffrey,

Thank you so, so much for your kind words and piece of advice. I am very grateful that I am able to seek help from you. Those points you pointed out has really helped me realize the more important things in my life.

If I may ask a few more questions to be clear: I know what I did was wrong, but I have become wiser and a stronger Christian because of it. I now know what I want in life -- what I should do and what I should not do. But will the shame and anger I feel because of what I did a year ago always going to stay there forever? Is that a feeling from God to remind us to not do our wrongs again or the devil trying to hurt us? And by not being a virgin anymore, will it ruin my chances of finding a person who would still want to be with me in the future (a future husband maybe)?

Every human has their own past and sins they may or may not be proud of. But once they have committed to being a better person and have confessed their sin in the face of God, He will still see us as a sinless person. Correct? Therefore, I should not have to feel so hard on myself if I have truly repented and promised not to do that again, even if what I did was an awful thing?

Thank you so much. You have been a very big help!

The memories remain, but the most important thing is knowing that you are no longer the person you once were. It is sad to realize how badly you behaved, but your focus should be on where you are going and not on where you came from. When you change your focus, your feelings will also change.

Guilt over past sins serves a useful purpose. It reminds us to to repeat our mistakes. It also keeps us humble and alert. We know that we can fail, so we must always be on guard. "Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall" (I Corinthians 10:12).

When God forgives, ours sins no longer exist in His sight. "For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more" (Hebrews 8:12). We rate sins, God basically sees all sins as equally wrong.