It would be a terrible violence to give someone’s past sins power over them that they didn’t previously have.

Give them the grace of knowing that their past doesn’t define them.

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We all have remorse-tailored monsters hiding in our closets. But there is still hard work to do — understanding, forgiving, crying, forgetting, maturing, resolving work — and there are some concrete ways that Christ enters into the conversation about sexual past in a dating relationship.

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.

The sustaining benefit of sex in marriage is not the orgasm, but the committed intimate relationship.

Don’t buy into the temptation to dwell on the ways you are deficient — the temptation to self-destruct.

Jesus says, “Her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little” (Luke ). If dating is moving towards marriage, and you learn of a sexual history, recognize that you were never pursuing this person so that you could be the — for as long as they both shall live.

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.

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

“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).

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.