Q: I had sex with my boyfriend (now ex-boyfriend, because we’ve broken up since then). Now I feel horrible about what I’ve done. I don’t want guys to think I’m trashy or easy. Is it possible for a “good guy” to love me, knowing what I’ve done?
A: I have great news for you: a good guy already loves you! Your value and your dignity, on your best day or after your worst decision, can be found in looking at a crucifix. Jesus didn’t lay down His life just hoping that humanity would be nicer and more deserving of Him. He loved us, and still loves us, in the middle of our shady pasts and our messy presents.
I know what it’s like to have made mistakes in relationships that I later regretted. Like you, I feared that future boyfriends and my husband would view me differently or hold my past against me. In a way, I felt like I had become damaged goods. But since then, I’ve learned that those thoughts are a LIE. Those are the accusations that the devil whispers to us (Revelation 12:10).
The truth is that with your relationship in Christ you can be made into a new creation. Second Corinthians 5:17 tells us, “Whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.”
Do not let your past weigh you down. Knowingly participating in sexual activity before marriage is a mortal sin, which severs your relationship with God. But through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, our sins are washed away and we are given strength to avoid sin going forward. I highly recommend going to Confession and letting the graces of Reconciliation fill you with peace and joy. If Jesus isn’t holding onto your past, why should you?
Before you get into another romantic relationship, make sure you know your boundaries before you’re tempted, and make sure your date knows them even before you go out. It’s also helpful to have friends who help you grow in purity and who have high standards. Guys will rise up to your standards and treat you how you demand to be treated. Don’t put up with any comments or relationships that don’t respect your purity, beauty, holiness, and happiness. Continue to build up the qualities and characteristics in yourself that you hope to find in a “good guy” you’d like to date.
Although I had made mistakes with guys in the past, by the time I met Brian (a youth minister, who is now my husband) I was focused on loving the Lord and striving for purity. Brian saw – and was attracted – to those qualities in me. As our relationship deepened, I shared with him some of the regrets of my past. He never held those things against me. Instead, he told me how sorry he was I had to go through those times. He also expressed how happy he was that I had chosen a different path; a path that led us to one another.
Jesus offers us a great standard to evaluate love: He sacrificed everything though we had done nothing to earn His love (see Romans 5:6-10). Do the guys you date seek to sacrifice for you or expect you to “prove your love” to them?
When we look at a crucifix, we can see the image of what love really is and you will see our worth in God’s eyes. No matter where you’ve been or what you’ve been through, you are still deserving of a love like this. Don’t settle for anything less.
Do you have a question about dating and relationships you’d like to ask Brian and Courtney Kissinger? Email them at [email protected] and your question could be the next blog post!