I am one of those Christians who grew up in the church, but strayed away at an early age. Before I decided to really accept Christ in my heart and make Christianity my own, I made a lot of mistakes…mainly sexual ones. Now it’s been two years since I’ve come to Christ and I am dating an incredible, devoted Christian. I’ve heard some people say that it’s better to keep the past from your significant other and others say that it is better to be completely open and honest about where you have been. I believe that my past is a part of my testimony and I have seen how God has used it before, but when it comes to my boyfriend, I really don’t know whether or not I should open up [about] what I’ve been through to him. A part of me feels like it’s the right thing to do, but another part of me is still holding on to all of the insecurities and pain caused by past relationships and is afraid of losing him. I don’t want to have to hold back my testimony from someone if it’ll help them for fear of [my boyfriend] hearing it from a third person, but I also don’t want to hurt him. What should I do?
Hey, girl! Thanks for the question.
Obviously, honesty is always the best policy in any relationship, but when it comes to discussing a sexual past, it can be a daunting task. The other question is if it’s even necessary.
I don’t know how long you’ve been in your relationship. And what you reveal to this guy is really dependent on this. If it’s a fairly new relationship, your past is not his business. It’s not until you’re clearly devoted to a person to a point of knowing that he is the right one that you can consider sharing past sins…and that’s only if you think it’s necessary. And here’s why:
- You really don’t want to share your most intimate secrets with just anyone. If this man turns out not to be the man you marry, then you just opened up your heart and shared your past sins with a man other than your husband.
- You want this man to know you for who you are now. You are not defined by your sins. Once he recognizes you for who you are, he will see and trust the change in you, and your past won’t bother him.
If you’ve been with this man for a while, and you are considering marriage, then sure, you can speak about your past with him if you want to. But I urge you not to go into detail. It’s not necessary and it may only make him uncomfortable or insecure. Think about it from your perspective. Would you want to hear a brief explanation such as what you explained to me, or would you rather hear a full description of past sexual escapades between your future husband and random women? You need to be sensitive to his feelings and not create visuals in this man’s head. I hope this makes sense.
So, here’s what I think you should do:
- Determine if you two are in a serious enough relationship that looks like it’s leading to marriage.
- Decide if you really want to share your past sins with him and whether it’s necessary in building a stronger marriage. If you feel that you want him to know because you plan on sharing your testimony with others, then think about your testimony and how much you need to reveal in order to get your message across.
- If you see marriage in the future, then take the time to think about what you will say. Remember that details are neither necessary nor his business. Only the past and future with him are his business.
- If he asks for details, tell him that they’re between you and God, and that you’ve let that go, it’s over, you’ve repented and so on. If he trusts you, he’ll leave it at that.
- Pray that God gives you the words to speak the truth that your boyfriend needs to hear.
Good luck and God bless!
Need some advice? Ask your questions in the Ask Olivia Girl Talk forum or in the comments below and I might answer them in a future article!