Question

I am 19 years old. Sex is hyped up in our culture, so I eventually caved in and lost my virginity to some random guy at 17. It was a bad experience, and I did not enjoy it.

My parents found out and were angry and devastated. I felt extremely resentful to my parents because they themselves have not remained pure, especially my father, who actually contracted an STD. Unlike him, I am not so stupid. I feel that he's lucky that my mom married him despite his baggage, as he was the only person she has ever been with. I got tested and it turned out to be negative -- no pregnancy. They took me to a Christian counselor, but she did not really help me with my depression and poor self-esteem.

I reconnected with the guy I lost it to, and I started having sex again, only because I felt that I didn't want to sleep around so much so I could enjoy it. I had nothing to compare it to, so I could not say for sure that it was supposed to be amazing. I also found out that he had a girlfriend and being the terrible person that I am, I just dealt with it. I eventually got fed up and dropped him.

Then comes another guy. I have no problem with temptation if I have not done anything with the person, so it was easy for me to reject him. He never pushed me to kiss him if I said no, so i assumed that he respected me and became comfortable. One day I was in his dorm in college and he came onto me. I was not expecting it, but he got on top of me, and I could not push him away as he was too strong. I said no as seriously as I could, and I tried pushing him away, but he pinned me down. I am also into this "domination," and I got increasingly turned on. I still tried to fight it, but I eventually caved in, and we had sex. It was a lot better for me than before. We got along well before this incidence, and I decided to give it a shot because I knew I was attached now. I enjoyed sex like I never had before.

I also resented what he did to me a lot because I felt that what he did to me was not only disrespectful but unfair. I was finally OK with being alone, and now I am here again. My parents found out about this again and were extremely angry at him and wanted me to end things. I haven't been able to. He is the first person I have genuinely liked, and it's hard for me to let go.

I feel like I'm settling. Often times I am told how beautiful I am, etc. As a result I have always wanted someone I find attractive. However, I am frustrated. No guys that I find attractive talk to me, and people who I have no interest in are attracted to me. I was not attracted to any of those men. I put a lot of effort into my appearance and keep myself fit. I know I am shallow, but I am not unrealistic about what I can get. I find it increasingly disheartening when I have all of these men coming after me, and I am not attracted to one of them. I feel like I deserve someone attractive, kind,and someone who treats me well. I also am being a bit rude to the guy I am seeing. For example, I am trying to "fix" his appearance. I have given him things to deal with his acne, so that he can look more attractive for me.

I am assuming that you are making assumptions about me. No, I am not a flirt. No, I do not seek attention or act promiscuous. The guys that I attract are not mean in any way. I am just not interested in how they look or some carry too much baggage for me. And no, I do not only care for looks. It is just that if I am considered beautiful and in shape, shouldn't I also have someone who is like me? I do not seek validation from other men. I really don't know how to stop seeing this guy or find someone who actually respects me who I like.


Answer

"You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits" (Matthew 7:16-20).

I started with this quote from Jesus because it appears to me that you are lying to yourself. The results of what you say and do speak more clearly about who you are than you might think.

Let's take the claim that you are not promiscuous. "Promiscuous" means "demonstrating or implying an undiscriminating or unselective approach; indiscriminate or casual." Generally when applied to sexual situations it refers to a person who has many partners. That aspect doesn't apply to you, but the deeper meaning of the word does. You had sex with a random guy. When your parents objected you kept having sex with him, even after you learned that he was just using you and had a girlfriend. You started having sex with the second guy because he forced you. You found it both stimulating and disrespectful at the same time. In both cases, you did not make discriminating choices.

You want a good relationship, but you do nothing toward selecting a good man. You use a shallow approach of looking at a guy's appearance. You never consider a man's character. But then you are annoyed that you attract guys who are mostly interested in your looks and whether you'll have sex with them. "Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things" (Romans 2:1).

In both relationships you continue seeing the guys and having sex with them even though you are not strongly interested in them. You are approaching relationship from a selfish viewpoint. In particular, as long as you enjoy the sex, you don't seem to care all that much about your bed partner. You deceive yourself, telling yourself that you are a better person than your father, simply because you limit the number of people with whom you have sex, and you've managed not to get a disease or get pregnant.

Saddest of all, throughout your note there is no consideration of what is morally right. You don't take into account that what you have been doing is sinful. "Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge" (Hebrews 13:4). You cannot find a better life by walking according to the course of this world.

Dear Jeffrey,

I understood immediately that the way I worded my message made me sound "shallow". I will apologize and clarify that I am not having sex with both guys at the same time. I ended things as soon as i had the strength to end it. However, it seemed as soon as I made a small victory, I fell into it again. Secondly, I care greatly for a man's character. I just feel like I have tried very hard to find someone that I am both attracted to physically and mentally with no luck. You made the grave assumption that I never considered what was morally right. If that were the case, I would not take the time to even message you to ask for help. I am completely aware that fornication is wrong according to the Bible, which is why i did not take the time to mention it again. With the second guy, before the incident, I thought we got along well, but I did not want to pursue a relationship with him. I have grown to like him immensely which makes it all the more difficult to end things. I am simply asking for tips on how to gain good self esteem. Maybe then will I be able to end things.

This is not a "self-esteem" issue. How good you feel about yourself has nothing to do with these problems. You have an obedience problem. You don't put God and His Laws above your own desires. "You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: "He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us"? But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, "God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble." Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you" (James 4:4-10).