“Some people’s temperaments do not allow them to be emotional while talking?” “People communicate guilt differently.” These are some of the reactions I received since we published the first part of this talk last week. (If you missed it, use the search engine on the home page and you’ll get it).
I already admitted last week that an accountability session doesn’t have to be as emotional as the case of Joshua and Shannon. What matters is to find your own way of communicating the fact that you place a value on sexual purity and the need for couples to present each other to one another with all the freshness and newness that God had originally packaged into that body as much as possible.
If you’re not the emotional type, you can communicate your value in direct affirmative words.
“Sweet heart, I appreciate the fact that since I’ve confirmed that you’re in God’s will for my life, my body had always belonged to you. Unfortunately, I have had a very rough and disobedient past and looking back, I feel very sad about it. I would have loved to present my body to you as it’s first and last explorer.
But since 2015 when I finally rededicated my life to the Lord, I have by grace maintained a secondary virginity which has remained unbroken till today. In this secondary state, my body will be yours and yours alone as long as we both shall live. And no one else would have enjoyed unfettered access and permanent ownership of it as you will.
Just as the Lord has forgiven me, I ask for your forgiveness also.”
(If you can’t say this sitting face to face with your partner, send it as a text. And please note that virginity/sexual purity is an issue that affects both man and woman and so a man who hasn’t kept himself ought to say that to his woman also).
In the case in focus, there was no readiness for even such assurance with words. I suspect that the issue was that she really didn’t take it as a big deal and felt, “why should I be sorry about that.”
The implication is that the values of the sister do not match that of the brother.
And maybe that was a good sign that they couldn’t walk together.
And that takes me to addressing the second possible reason (which I actually believe was particularly responsible in their case since I knew the sister closely for about a year) why the sister rebuffed the entire thing.
There is a general assault of the devil on our minds in our days that sin (sexual sin in this case) is something trivial.
Every agent of acculturation that we interact with every day tells you, “this thing doesn’t matter and besides everyone is doing it.” Some people simply silence their conscience by saying, “no one can really keep up with some of these God’s standard on sexual abstinence and purity joor. We are all sinners.”
You can’t interact with our entertainment industry for instance and imagine that sexual purity is such an important thing or an achievable feat. Sexual and other decadence have become the norm of society and sadly also, a large portion of Jesus’s church.
More and more, it is becoming out of date to even encourage young people to keep themselves solely for their future partners. Some portions of the church even find it offensive to even talk about virginity (which often simply symbolises sexual purity) on their pulpit. “That’s out of fashion brother, my church is just growing. I don’t want anyone to feel offended. Let’s just talk about God’s love and grace.” Whereas, this love and grace of God itself ought to lead us to repentance. Romans 2:4.
But despite society’s attempt to trivialise sexual sin, the more we return to the scriptures, the more we find that God doesn’t trivialise it at all. It is a serious issue. In virtually all the lists in different portions of scripture of those things God hates passionately, they always list sexual related sins first.
They are actually capital offenses in God’s criminal code because they attract the death penalty. They are capable of damning the soul in hell forever except they are remitted by the precious blood of Jesus. And shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? God forbid.
If a man defiantly continues in sin under the guise of grace, one day he will find himself before the throne of judgment and grace will appear to tell him, “I was sent to actually empower you to overcome sin and not to excuse it. You can’t use me as a defence here.” See Romans 6:14, Titus 2:11-14.
The right way to respond to the guilt of your past sexual life is not by trivialising what you have done in your mind or by deceiving yourself that God understands but by an understanding of the work that the cross of Jesus Christ accomplished on your behalf and keying into its remitting and transforming power. See Romans 6:6-7, Galatians 5:24, Titus 2:14.
So when you get to the table of accountability with this your partner who is showing a clear intention to spend the rest of their lives with you, demonstrate by your attitude that you recognise the weight of sin both to God and to them.
We have stated before now that full disclosures are important. But full disclosure does not mean painting graphic pictures of every detail and every step of the sexual act you’ve had with others. The summaries are more important. The reason this is recommended is not even because you are trying to cover up stuffs but because you’re trying to protect the imaginations of your partner from undue torment out of your love and respect for them.
If they press for explicit details, humbly and lovingly encourage them not to so that they won’t have to struggle with their imagination much later.
After this honest conversation, allow each other time to process the reality and experience the grace of God that can heal and assure your hearts. If you need to seek counsel from your disciplers, please do.
If the other person is not able to continue the relationship because of the revelations, understand with them and don’t get bitter. Some people are just not able to bear the thought that their partners have had sexual relations with other people and we can’t condemn them for it.
This will further make you to appreciate the superiority of God’s forgiveness – how that unlike man, despite your past, He has promised to never leave nor forsake you.
And you know, God has countless children. There are a thousand and one others that it is because of that rough past that they will stick with you. They just want to be a vivid demonstration of God’s forgiveness to you. They choose to be a channel through whom God can continue to flow His love towards you.
Allow God to work everything out in His own wisdom and After the counsel of His own will. I can assure you that you’ll be fine as long as you stay in touch with Him.
This brings us to the end of the sub-series, “addressing the past” and also our bigger series which we have been treating for the past 15 months: “MAKING COURTSHIP COUNT.”
We hope the series blessed you in some ways? Let’s get your feedback.
Peniela Eniayo Akintujoye.
©Peniela Eniayo, Akintujoye| firstname.lastname@example.org