Dear Jim: I have fallen and had sex outside of marriage. Can I ever be pure again and forgive myself?
So many emails are received from singles, men and women, sharing that they have fallen into sex in a relationship and now feel unclean and ashamed. They had no intention of doing this, but in a moment of dropping their guard, they quickly fell into the trap.
I do wish to be used by God to speak in an affirming manner. Unlike our human nature, God is perfect. When He says that He forgives, He sees us as pure. “Though my sins be as scarlet, He sees them white as snow” as the old hymn shouts so clearly. 1 John 1:9 says ‘If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’
However, just because He does forgive us of our sin, it does not mean that we can readily accept this – forgive ourselves and move on with life. This is one of the consequences of our sin.
What do you do when this happens to you?
- First, you pray and confess as stated in the scripture above. This must be a truly repentant heart, which means that you do not intend to do it again.
- It may seem strange, but usually our having sex is not caused by our desire for sex. There is some other force at play within us that has caused us to be vulnerable to this act.
- If you find this ‘force’ at play within you, I would strongly encourage you to find a good Christian counsellor to help guide you to finding out what this force is. The freedom you can find will serve you well in future relationships.
- Develop an accountability group of 2 or 3 others of your own gender. This group should develop to the point where you can trust each other and share where you are tempted, etc. The group can serve to encourage you as well as hold you accountable for your actions.
- Stay away from situations where you will be tempted. I often receive a note saying something like ‘I met this person at a hotel in another city’. Use good sense and stay away from situations that create the opportunity to sin.
- If you are in a relationship, do not ‘play’ like you are married by spending time alone where you will be tempted. Plan activities with other couples, etc. that occupy your time in healthy ways.
Ask God for forgiveness and take responsibility
So many of us have fallen in this area of our lives in our past. You need to accept your humanity on one hand and be able to move on, while at the same time accepting that you need accountability so that this does not happen again. Acknowledge that you have sinned, ask God for forgiveness and take the responsibility to be sure that you are not placing yourself in a situation to repeat.
God loves you so very, very, much and cares for you!! His love has not changed one bit. His is the perfect Love and wants your future to be filled with hope and promise. Learn from this, grow through this, and allow yourself to go through a healthy process to the point where you complete the grief for your sin and move on with full hope – and peace!
NOTE: Related article: “God says no to sex outside of marriage.” which can be found HERE on our Christian dating blog.
Satan harassed me with guilt about some of my sins. I found that the Scriptures were an excellent defense as well as filling me with His Spirit. Please check us back next week and find out which verses helped me deal with my guilt.