The honeymoon is an exciting time in a couple’s life. They have made it through the wedding; they are officially married; and now before the challenges and responsibilities of married life take hold, they get to enjoy some time alone in an enchanting location.
Honeymoons are considered “good” by most people. But for some, the impending honeymoon evokes feelings of sadness. “Why didn’t I wait?” “I wish I could take my virginity back.” “I wish I could look forward to being with my future spouse without these feelings of shame and regret.”
The Past Talk
Eric and I are firm believers in starting out, and continuing, marriage with no secrets. We don’t recommend going into vivid detail, but we do believe the bride and groom both have a right to know what has generally happened in their future spouse’s past. It may not be the most comfortable talk you’ve ever had, but it is important – and you will get through it. ~smile~
Eric and I had a “past talk” before we were married. As uncomfortable as certain aspects of it were, it was so freeing to have everything out in the open. I knew he was not marrying me under false pretenses. He (and I) weighed what we heard, chose to forgive what we needed to forgive, and moved toward marriage with a greater bond, a clean slate, a clear conscience, and a connected heart.
We all need God’s forgiveness. All of our sins are committed against Him. And, though our fiancé/fiancée or spouse’s forgiveness cannot save us eternally, we still benefit greatly from receiving it. A relationship cannot thrive and grow where there is no forgiveness.
If you share your past with your sweetie and he or she cannot or will not forgive you, you do not want to continue in the relationship (as painful as that may be). He or she may need some time to forgive. He or she may want to seek out counseling before continuing towards marriage. But, if he or she flat out refuses to forgive you, then this person is not right one for you.
I am not trying to make light of the shock some people go through when they hear about their sweetheart’s past. I can certainly understand needing some time to let it sink in and to grieve. Once, I got out of the car and ran after hearing about my ex-boyfriend’s past. I just had to get away from him for a while to clear my head.
However, if you humbly share your past (and make sure the behaviors truly are in your past), ask for your sweetie or fiancé’s/fiancée’s forgiveness and he or she simply cannot extend it, then it is not time for marriage between you two. Ruth Bell Graham said “Marriage is the union of two good forgivers.” There will be a lot, and I mean a whole lot, of forgiveness needed in marriage. We all hurt and disregard our spouses and need their forgiveness. If the one you are hoping to marry cannot forgive you before the wedding, there is no proof that he or she will forgive your future failures. Plus, you do not want to get married and have him or her hold your past over your head as a means of manipulation.
If God has forgiven you and cleansed you of your sins, then you need a spouse who is also willing to forgive.
However, people are often quick to vilify those who would dissolve a premarital relationship when finding out that the other person is no longer a virgin; however, what does the Bible say? Check out what Eric wrote about that in the post, Three Reasons Why Pre-Engagement Counseling Could Destroy Your Relationship.
After our past talk, Eric said something unexpected to me. He said, “I’m not going to just say that I forgive you. But, I will forgive you. And I will never bring up what you said again.” And he has not. The word “forgiveness” is thrown around in such a way that we are led to believe forgiveness should come automatically. While I do believe the decision to forgive can come immediately, the act of forgiveness sometimes takes a while. I can say, “God, I want to forgive him,” but forgiving is a both a decision at a point in time and also a process. I think God gives us the ability to forgive. Eric must have understood that, so he did not want to flippantly say, “I forgive you. Let’s grab some burgers.” He knew he would forgive me and wanted me to rest in that knowledge.
After having the past talk, and knowing that our sweetie is forgiving us, we have to let go of our own shame. We can continue punishing ourselves long after God has washed us clean. The reality is this: the debt for our sins has been paid in full. Christ’s death on the cross was sufficient. God gives us the ability to repent, and then He cleanses us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). Many of us seem to think that we need to continue punishing ourselves, but if you have repented (turned from your sin), and the creator of Heaven and Earth has declared you “clean,” there is no reason to continue in your sorrow. Rejoice! You are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)!
When you have confessed with your mouth that “Jesus is Lord” (Romans 10:9), repented of your sins, and put your trust in Christ, there is no more condemnation (Romans 8). Though your sins are as scarlet, Christ’s blood washes you white as snow (Isaiah 1:18).
If you have been forgiven, it is time to let go of the old you. Write down the regrets that plague you, build a fire with your sweetie, pray and thank God for His forgiveness, and then throw those regrets into the fire. And when memories creep in and try to torment you, declare that you have been forgiven, and that you are a child of the one true King.
Regardless of what happened before, you and your sweetie can get married and go to your honeymoon with joy in your heart knowing that the old is gone and you are pure before God (Psalm 103:12). Let the games begin! ~smile~
Have you repented and been set free from your past? If so, believe His Word is true and look forward to beginning a new life with your future spouse!