Last updated on October 31, 2020
I am 16 years old, and I have decided to take steps in regaining my virginity in God’s eyes. But the problem is, I recently found out I have genital herpes due to my promiscuity from before. Can I ever truly be seen as a virgin in God’s eyes with this horrible, lifelong illness? Is there any way God will forgive me?
You are using the word “virgin,” but what you really should be talking about is forgiveness. Virginity means you have had no experience with sex. Thus, technically you are no longer a virgin. But what God is looking for is not virginity but living without sin. Ideally, a young woman goes up and marries as a virgin because that means she did not yield to the temptation of sexual sin. But people do sin. While virginity cannot be restored, forgiveness can be granted.
Change is what Christianity is about. Listen to what Paul told the Corinthians and realize as you read through this that some at Corinth were guilty of the same sin you committed (fornication). “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God” (I Corinthians 6:9-11). If we leave our past sins behind, having repented of them, asking God’s forgiveness (assuming that you have already become a Christian through baptism — Galatians 3:26-29), then we forget about them and press on to the goal.
“Yes most certainly, and I count all things to be loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord, for whom I suffered the loss of all things, and count them nothing but refuse, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own, that which is of the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, becoming conformed to his death; if by any means I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained, or am already made perfect; but I press on, if it is so that I may take hold of that for which also I was taken hold of by Christ Jesus. Brothers, I don’t regard myself as yet having taken hold, but one thing I do. Forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are before, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:8-14).
One reason certain actions are called sins is that they carry dangerous consequences. I’m so sorry that you contracted herpes, but what is done is done. We have no way of reversing the consequences. But the physical disease does not prevent your forgiveness. The disease of the soul can be cleansed.