Relationship advice: When to share your past.

Relationship and past

When is the best time for singles to let a potential date know details from their past?  This relationship advice is for Christians who are afraid to share their past for fear of losing someone they’ve met.

Dear Jim: I have a past that I am not proud of and wonder when I should share it with a potential mate?

I had been single for almost 8 years when I met Pam at a singles activity in our church. I walked up to her and asked if we could have dinner sometime. She agreed and we set a date for the following week.

One Problem! The next day I was to speak to the same singles group in which I knew I would be sharing my past. As the group gathered for this meeting, there was Pam big as life ready to hear me share some things that I was not proud of in my past. I vividly recall speaking with God with words something like ‘God, I am going to share because of the honor it brings to you in what you have done in my life. I ask you to speak to Pam’s heart and if there is to be anything to develop in our relationship, may it also honor you’. My focus was on God and what He was asking me to do, but I was praying that Pam would accept what I was about to share. Yes, she did and it served as a foundation to the relationship that developed between us. Pam and I now enjoy a wonderful married life.

Who should you share with

Our past sins are not something that we should share with everyone!! We should be led by His Spirit when and how to share this part of us. We should be ready to share with a broken heart and accept our responsibility for past choices. However, this sharing should also be filled with the resounding fact that if it were not for God’s grace we could not find closure and health again.

When should you share?

With this in mind, I do not believe that there is a specific time when our past should be shared – especially when it is with someone that we have just met and MAY prove to be a potential mate. The sharing could be a temptation for another and not achieve the desired rapport. While in another circumstance (such as what I shared between Pam and I) it could be the foundation of a great thing.

So what should you do?

I would suggest that you live your life in the ‘sunshine’ all the time. By this I mean that you should embrace all of whom you are – the past, present and your future. Live your life in such a manner that Satan has no opportunity to snare you back to previous temptations. This living should also be in such a manner that those who meet you KNOW that you are a changed person.

Previous blog about: Let Go Of The Past

Next I would be in a constant attitude of prayer. Paul writes in Ephesians 6:18 (and other places in the New Testament) that we are to be constantly in prayer. You should be asking God to guide you as you relate to others and reveal the timing as well as how to share your past with others.

How much detail should you give?

When you do share, I would NOT share every detail. This is not necessary and accomplishes nothing. The point I suggest is to accept your sins/past as well as God’s forgiveness. Demonstrate how you have been changed and where you have built accountability into your life so that this does not happen again.

There are so many times in life when we do not have black and white answers to our questions. This is one of those times and you need to depend upon God to guide you AS well as be responsible for the outcome. He is the best counsellor and guide for ALL our choices.

Dr. Jim

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