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    If you read the article carefully, what ruined their wedding night, according to him, was HIS sin and his preoccupation with what HE had done. While he seemed angry about her not being a virgin (slamming his fist into a metal filing cabinet), I think he was more upset with himself and the shame of having to admit he used a prostitute. That was the “past sin that stole the present pleasure.”

    As far as her lying, she told him after a few days of their conversation. We are not privy to how the whole thing went down, but if my boyfriend or fiance had just admitted to going to a prostitute, I’m not sure I would be comfortable sharing much until I had time to digest that.

    On the floor Answered on January 10, 2020.

    Thank you for your clarification. I was doing a terrible job of explaining all that.

    on January 10, 2020.

    I think they should have had that conversation way before engagement.

    I think him telling her this would have been the perfect time for her to be honest with him, but if she wasn’t comfortable to share she should have stated that.  Lying was a huge mistake and it caused them both great hardship.

    on January 10, 2020.

    The article does not state when the conversation happened. It could have taken place a month after they started dating. Obviously, they both gave each other enough grace to continue the relationship.

    I have no clue why you are focusing on her lie. She didn’t wait a month or until they were married to tell him. It was a few days. And it’s not like she initially acted as though she was white as snow. The purpose of the article is that if you focus on past sins, you are cheating yourself and your spouse out of happiness. His own headspace caused the hardship!

    on January 11, 2020.

    Exactly. Focusing on that lie is ignoring the author’s purpose and missing the lesson of the text.

    Even if the lie had been the focus, they both lied through omission. Placing a larger share of blame on her seems a bit one-sided.

    Also, the purpose of engagement is to have these kinds of discussions. If engagement were legally binding, then absolutely you should have the sex discussion before making that commitment. But I know married couples who didn’t discuss sex prior to engagement because they didn’t want the temptation. It worked for them, in their situation. Even the couple who both had a past. What’s important is that it was brought up before either became trapped.

    on January 11, 2020.

    I agree that there are other messages in the article that are important.  I’m surprised no one thinks a lie about this is a big deal.  She did the right thing by coming clean about it before the marriage, no doubt, but it is a big deal.

    Look at the punishment in the OT for the difference between a man taking an engaged woman or not.  Clearly God thinks engagement is a big deal.  I’m not saying there aren’t reasons to break an engagement, but it is a big deal.  These types of things should be discussed well before engagement.

    Would you all feel the same if the roles were reversed and he lied about his history?  Is it a big deal then?  What if it was important to her?

    on January 11, 2020.

    At this point, we are going around in circles. AGAIN, I don’t see where they were engaged when any of this happened, which is actually beside the point of the whole article! First date, BF/GF, engaged . . . It doesn’t matter!

    What if she admitted her lie within an hour of telling him? Then would you be so upset about it? Like I’ve said, she told him the truth a few days later, according to the story. When I read, I always put myself in the other person’s shoes. I think the shock of having the person I’m in an emotional relationship tell me he went to a hooker in Mexico to lose his virginity would knock me off the ledge, esp if we are both Christians. Based on those circumstances alone, I give her leeway about her reaction and anything she might have said in that moment.

    It’s possible she didn’t know if she could trust him or if she even wanted to continue the relationship. If that was the case, her virginity or lack thereof would no longer be his business.

    If the roles were reversed and she said she lost her virginity to a male escort and then he said he came close to going all the way with a previous gf, but then came back a few days later and admitted he had sex, then yes, I’d feel the same way.

    I’m out!

    on January 11, 2020.

    Something I’m going to share about my perspective on the role reversal issue. I have no expectation that the woman should receive treatment any different than the man. This platform is tough because of anonymity, but please know that I am not the kind of woman who expects different treatment for the female. I am happy to allow certain men to treat me like a lady if they so choose because I know it matters to them. I am 100% feminine, but I’m also the one you want with you if you’re in a crisis or you’re stuck out in the wilderness overnight. I’ve heard that time and again from some pretty socially conservative, tough men in my real life. The idea that I would feel differently if the roles were reversed would cause at least one of them to laugh out loud. I can’t prove any of this here the way I have to them, but I’ve worked hard to see both male and female roles as different, but equal in consideration.

    Therefore, the roles don’t matter to me. However, kindness and love do.

    If I decided to spring some equally shocking story on my fiance (or boyfriend, or casual friend whom I was considering dating and might therefore someday welcome into my bed), I would certainly respect his decision to maybe back off a bit and only share part of his story with me. I would respect that he was protecting himself while he went home and decided whether or not he could even be with me anymore. LuckyinLove is right. If he were to decide he had to break it off, then his sexual past is no longer my business.

    Then he comes to me and says, “I’ve thought about what you said. It shocked me, but I can move on from it. And now I want to be honest with you as we move forward.”

    Then yes, I have a decision to make. Can I move past what he did? But kindness and love mean that I cannot fault him for keeping his cards close to his chest when I was the one who put him in a situation where he had to decide if he could handle my past sin. Out of love for him, I have to respect that he needed distance from me before he felt safe sharing the whole truth. How do I know he needed distance? Because he took it. To me, that’s a lie that I can easily forgive out of empathy and love.

    As to when they should have shared it, that’s completely up to them. What works for one couple might not work for another. We’ve all made mistakes in our relationships. I can’t fault them for theirs. I can only learn from the author’s point: don’t allow the guilt of your past forgiven sin to prevent you from living a Godly life in the present

    on January 11, 2020.

    It would be fine if someone said – this is a lot to process for me right now and I’m not ready to share my past at this time.  Lying is different entirely.  Could it be gotten past?  Yes, but lying is a big deal and lying about something like this is a huge deal.  It certainly did damage and caused hardship.  What I can’t believe is that everyone wants to give a pass for it.

    Both of them had sexual sin in their past, and I agree that his was worse.  Still, being Christians, both of them presumably repented of their sin and received forgiveness for it.  Letting each other know about it is just informing them – no new sin has been committed, it is just the history.  When she lied though, this was a new sin against her fiance.

    Even if she had much worse history such as she was a prostitute, had she repented of it, received forgiveness, and was honest with her fiance about it, it would have been right.  Had he then lied to her about his history (for any reason), he would be sinning against her and misrepresenting himself before the choice of marriage, which again is a huge thing.  Who would be in the wrong then?  Him (for lying).

    I agree that love and kindness should be on the forefront of both of their minds, but being lied to is a serious thing.

    on January 11, 2020.

    Also Dovegray, I think men should step up and treat women with softness and kindness, more so than they would with men.  At the same time, I don’t think that extends to giving them a pass to do wrong.  Patience when wrong is done, but not a pass that says it was okay.

    on January 11, 2020.

    You are reading into it that he gave her a pass. No one here is giving her a pass. That’s not what real forgiveness is, and it’s dangerous to think that way. The people here are merely trying to point out that her lie… and remember that they both lied by keeping it quiet beyond their engagement since you think they should have shared before… that her lie was irrelevant to what the author says was the message of the story.

    I and others here are more concerned that you seem to be fixated on her lie when there was another issue at hand. Also, you completely misunderstand me if you think that I’m asking that men give women so much kindness that we get a pass to do wrong. That is the polar opposite of what I have said. We are not weak willed, and we do not need to be given a pass.
    Again, you are unable to understand a view other than your own, even from men on this board who have shown themselves to be spiritually strong, leading to these circular conversations. And like others before me have said, it might be time for you to ask yourself why. I am praying that you can find what it is that God wants you to learn. I truly am.

    on January 12, 2020.

    I wasn’t saying that you are like that Dovegray.  I think what you said was very spot on and fair about your expectations from men, and I go further to say that I think men should be go that extra mile to be gentlemen.

    I agree with you completely about this:

    We are not weak willed, and we do not need to be given a pass.

    Ironically, I am not the one doing this, but the one getting called out for it!  Who is giving the pass?  Not me.  I’m going with what is RIGHT or WRONG by the Lord.  I think honestly is the best policy and women deserve this and can handle it, even if it is tough or not what they want to hear.  Who is treating women like they can handle it?

    I am really surprised this went the way it did, very surprised that so many would essentially say it is no big deal for someone to lie about their sexual history to their fiancee before marriage.  They somehow see the story about their past to be an excuse to justify the lie.  See the OT, it is a BIG deal.  There may be other themes going on in the article and I don’t dispute that, but it was completely relevant as it was the first sin between the two of them and likely caused other sins afterwards.  Their previous histories were not a sin to each other and occurred before they even met.  If they hadn’t discussed it previously, that was not lying.  When others discount what was essentially the only sin between them, that is doing exactly what your statement (and I) am against.

    on January 12, 2020.
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      The first and second read through, I read it as it is, another person’s experience. Today, after reading comments, it hit me more personally and I see how I have let accusation and condemnation affect me.

      For me lying/truth is a big deal. And yet, I got to a point I did it. And guess who is the one who can’t get past it, and who sees “accusation and condemnation” in places that it isn’t there? (Me.) I end up projecting my own thoughts and feelings onto my husband, which then affects how I relate to him. G.T. says, “whenever you hear the whispers that you are condemned, and must accept “punishment” for your disobedience…”, I face this often. When I feel that attack, I just shut up, take it, because I know I deserve it. He also said to combat it, “…remind yourself of Romans 8:1: “There is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” Jesus paid the price so we don’t have to.” I can stand freely in God’s grace. I can believe it for myself, which I do. But, just because God shows us grace, doesn’t mean God’s people will (as we can see in the comments.) I have to say my husband has shown grace, but in those times it felt as he wasn’t, is there any other way to respond but to show him grace in his own weakness, knowing he’s wrestling with his own feelings, his own flesh around the situation?

      One thing that has helped in this particular incident, is the forgiveness and grace I have shown him in his own past, with his own lies and deception, has been that constant reminder and spur to him, because he hears, “Can I do any less than what she did for me?”

      It takes time for a wound to heal. And even after there is healing and a scar, it takes time for the tenderness around it to disappear. Getting to the place where there is no more pain but only a memory, is a process. Learning to not let our forgiven sins negatively effect us, is a process. We need to rest in God’s grace in that process, and be okay with it.

      Under the stars Answered on January 12, 2020.

      Beautifully said. We can extend grace, particularly if we can show empathy. Sanctification is a journey, and if we can lovingly help each other work through our mistakes and the guilt that often accompanies them, then we are so much the better for it. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

      on January 12, 2020.
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        That’s good.  Accusation and condemnation does, hands down, more damage to an individual in the long run, than any temptation.

        Under the stars Answered on January 10, 2020.
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          Thanks for sharing this article. I have a lot of respect for Gary Thomas. Nonetheless, I’m pondering some of his presuppositions.

          Under the stars Answered on January 10, 2020.
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            Would either of you please give an example of what you are disagreeing with.   Nothing jumps out at me as out of line with scripture.

            On the floor Answered on January 10, 2020.
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              I still haven’t had time to do a biblical review on this, but I question the point that Thomas makes about satan being the one who condemns us. Is he a deceiver who tempts and accuses us? Yes. I think the Bible makes that clear. But, is it really satan who condemns us?

              Now, I would suggest that there is warranted condemnation and unwarranted.

              It seems to me Thomas is speaking mostly of unwarranted condemnation – of believers who have repented of their sins and received forgiveness. Feeling condemned when actually forgiven and made right with God, is unwarranted. Does satan seek to condemn us when we are already forgiven? Thomas says so. I’d like to see some verses that teach that – aside from the one that he refers to regarding satan’s schemes. (2 Cor. 2:11).

              I don’t think satan condemns us for warranted condemnation – what we rightfully deserve for the wrong we have done or the good we have failed to do. I can think of verses that would say that it is the evil that we do that condemns us, or our words, or our hypocrisy. We know that satan stands condemned. Also that condemnation happens on the last day. Also that Jesus didn’t come into the world to condemn the world. Rather it is those who put their faith/trust in Jesus who are not condemned. But whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. (John 3:17-18)

              The reason Paul declares in Romans 8:1 that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ is that according to verse 3 God condemned sin in the flesh (Jesus’ body, I would believe).  That is a wonderful truth! More so than the idea that satan condemns us.

              It seems to me that satan seeks to downplay our sins when we sin (or are tempted to) and also wants to downplay God’s forgiveness after we have sinned and have been forgiven.

              Under the stars Answered on January 10, 2020.

              I’m not sure if you mean the enemy can actually condemn us, or he deceives us into thinking we are condemned.  It may be a fine line.

              I do think that the enemy LIES by:

              (1) Saying go ahead and sin, everyone is doing it, it doesn’t matter, God doesn’t mind, are you sure it is a sin anyway?  Really sure?  Justify it…

              (2) You are terrible for doing that.  I can’t believe you did that.  You are low.  You are disgusting.  God knows what you are.  He doesn’t love you.

              (3) Even when you repent and ARE forgiven, the enemy continues to lie by trying to take you back to #2 and trying to deceive you into thinking you are not forgiven.

              on January 10, 2020.

              I was going to respond, but sd595 did a very good job of saying what I was thinking.

              I think there are different levels of condemnation. For the purpose of clarity, I would say that on Judgement day, for those whose names are not in the book of life, God CONDEMNS them.
              i believe that thru accusation, Satan Condemns us not of our sins, but in our hearts like sd595 describes.

              Then there is the small c condemnation that we inflict on each other, often feeding into Satans attmpts to accuse/Condemn us.

              on January 10, 2020.
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                I would agree that temptation accusation and condemnation are extremely destructive to a marriage.  But, as OWman points out the presumptions are not solid.

                Blanket on a secluded beach! Answered on January 10, 2020.
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                  Thanks for sharing that, Doug. It’s a good reminder of what happens when we let our past, forgiven sin get in the way of our current witness. God forgives us not only from the sin, but from the guilt of the sin.

                  It really did seem to me that the article shows that he turned their wedding into something that wasn’t as meaningful as it should have been. It was strange to read. I was expecting that his issue was going to be with her. But while he was initially upset by her confession, he was clearly more concerned with his own past by the time of the wedding. His own guilt is what marred their wedding night, not any of the sins that had already been forgiven. It’s a good lesson to learn.

                  As far as the lie goes, they were both lying through omission if you operate under the assumption that they should have discussed it earlier. So they were both at fault there. Although I don’t necessarily feel that they waited too long. If you’re trying to refrain from sex, especially if you have a past, bringing it up in a dating situation might bring too much temptation. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned from this board, it’s that sex is difficult to discuss even among married couples.

                  Blanket on a secluded beach! Answered on January 11, 2020.
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                    It’s late and I admit I did not read the article and skimmed some of the comments, BUT:  I am surprised by how much of the discussion centered on which of the various sins were worse than others. Sin is sin. All sin is separation from God and prevents us from being able to be in the presence of his holiness without the blood of Christ to cover us. Romans 1:29-30 puts a whole bunch of “different” sins in the exact same plane:  Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents.  According to Romans 1:29-30, my daughter disobeying me is the same as MURDER. My giving in to gossiping with my friend about people we used to know is the same as HATING GOD. Why would anyone want to focus on anything BUT the fact that we have forgiveness of sin through faith in Christ? Maybe the wife’s lie doesn’t concern some folks because they are conscious of how much they have been forgiven and are therefore ready to forgive much.

                    I do know this, without reading the article:  dwelling on my past sins that have been forgiven has never brought me peace. The past cannot be changed, only what I do now. If God has forgiven me (and he has), the only thing useful about my past mistakes is what I can learn from them.

                    Under the stars Answered on January 15, 2020.
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                      It’s late and I admit I did not read the article and skimmed some of the comments, BUT:  I am surprised by how much of the discussion centered on which of the various sins were worse than others. Sin is sin. All sin is separation from God and prevents us from being able to be in the presence of his holiness without the blood of Christ to cover us. Romans 1:29-30 puts a whole bunch of “different” sins in the exact same plane:  Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents.  According to Romans 1:29-30, my daughter disobeying me is the same as MURDER. My giving in to gossiping with my friend about people we used to know is the same as HATING GOD. Why would anyone want to focus on anything BUT the fact that we have forgiveness of sin through faith in Christ? Maybe the wife’s lie doesn’t concern some folks because they are conscious of how much they have been forgiven and are therefore ready to forgive much.

                      I do know this, without reading the article:  dwelling on my past sins that have been forgiven has never brought me peace. The past cannot be changed, only what I do now. If God has forgiven me (and he has), the only thing useful about my past mistakes is what I can learn from them.

                      Under the stars Answered on January 15, 2020.
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