Six purposes of dating

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To marry someone with a past is not “settling,” but can be a great gift. What he meant for evil — to harm or demoralize us — God often means for our good (Genesis ). The promiscuous King Solomon knew firsthand: satisfaction is measured, not in terms of what a person can do in fifteen minutes, but what they can do with fifteen years: “Many a man proclaims his own steadfast love, but a faithful man who can find? By trying to measure up to past sexual partners, we give the past power that it neither has, nor should be thought to have.

Search your heart and root out self-righteousness so that you’re not blind to see that God may be giving you marry your partner who has a sexual history, you will not be the best person in their life in every area of life. It is way too easy to become obsessed with a partner’s sexual history.

“The fear of man lays a snare” (Proverbs ): the trap is . Bringing your partner’s sexual past up repeatedly will destroy your relationship quickly: “Whoever covers an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends” (Proverbs 17:9).

Obsessions with your partner’s past likely signals that you have some work to do. Make your close, trusted, selective friend group the place to think openly in confidence, and make your relationship the place where you speak intentionally and thoughtfully.

If they don’t enforce some comparison on you, do your best to accept that and move on.

To linger in paranoid indulgences about one’s shortcomings will corrode your soul and your relationship from the inside out.

Bring in an older compassionate couple in the church, maybe even with the same story, to protect both of you from sinning against one another in the ways we mentioned above. If your partner with a sexual past is already in the company of a church and has been walking in the light of a pastoral team, the resources probably exist there for help.

A dating couple likely will not make sufficient promises or decisions or resolves within the structure of their relationship to fully address a person’s sexual past. Don’t try to resolve the conversation about sexual past in the dating relationship, but have it to the extent that it’s appropriate.

If this topic has been especially painful or difficult for you, it might be helpful to commit to refrain from speaking about it except with an older couple or in premarital counseling.

The conversation should not mainly be about the issue of history, but of maturity.

The twin emotions of judged when you feel the weight of your partner’s regret and struggle to process what their sins mean for you.

Obsession, because you want to let the past be the past, but only after your own morbidly detailed investigation — and because you stubbornly refuse to be rejected and overlooked for the purity which you’ve guarded so diligently.

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