You Are Not Being Punished for Your Past Promiscuity

So you weren’t a virgin when you arrived at the altar? Really. That makes you similar at least in one way to…uhhh…. just about every other Christian (okay, I didn’t do a scientific poll. I’m just going off many conversations I’ve had with many Christians, as well as a tad bit of street sense).

And maybe you weren’t just “not a virgin.” Maybe you were very promiscuous in days gone by. Can’t remember the names of guys you slept with? Can remember a few indiscretions you partook in during a drunken state? Found that your sexual power gave you… well… power?

Maybe you were allured by the promise of romance and “happily ever after” with your (fill in blank…high school boyfriend, college boyfriend, roommate’s handsome older brother). So you gave yourself up to him…and maybe to many more after him when you realized he wasn’t the “one.” Or maybe the promiscuity happened all with the man who eventually became your groom.

Now, here you are… a married woman who possibly is experiencing less-than-fulfilling sexual intimacy with her husband. You wonder — sometimes briefly, sometimes indefinitely — if that disappointing aspect of your marriage is your punishment for your promiscuous past. Do you ever wonder that?

Here is a resounding TRUTH to embrace instead: Your sexual sin is not beyond the reach of Jesus’ blood-stained hands. Wherever we got this idea that sexual sin is unforgiveable or at the minimum is “worse” than other sin, I am not sure. I have some theories, most rooted in the fact that Satan knows that sex is one of God’s most precious gifts. Satan is the ultimate liar and manipulator, so suffice it to say it is in his best interest to do all he can to sabotage our right image of sex. But I digress. You can read my meandering thoughts on that here.

I’m not going to go all Jesus freak on you (even though I do love the Savior. He rocks.) I just am another wife wanting to pour some compassion and truth and hope into your life.

Whatever you did in the past… all the crazy sexual favors you maybe performed or compromising positions (literally and figuratively) that you found yourself in… GOD KNOWS. That is reassuring. Because what He wants you to also know is that He offers His freedom. The weight of those sins no longer has to rob you or fill your head with dilussional tapes that “my sex life sucks because I was a very bad girl long ago.”

God says “come to me” with your repentent heart and I will free you. True repentance is simply acknowledging what I imagine you already acknowledge…that your heart is grieved that you were careless with His precious gift of sex. (1 John 1:9)

I am not saying that fully walking in His gift of forgiveness is a quick fix to all that ails your sexual intimacy. I’m just saying that accepting His forgiveness…especially for what you feel are really nasty sins…helps us gain perspective. We can find comfort where we otherwise had wallowed in condemnation. (Romans 8:1)

Do you believe you are being punished for your past promiscuity? After reading this post, do you have a different take on that false tape? I welcome your comments, your heart and your insights.

Copyright 2010, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog. Links may be monetized.

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41 thoughts on “You Are Not Being Punished for Your Past Promiscuity

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Intimacy in Marriage » Blog Archive » You Are Not Being Punished for Your Past Promiscuity -- Topsy.com

  2. Paul Byerly says:

    Julie,

    I’d like to hear you talk about the ways we punish ourselves, and/or our spouse, for past sexual sins. How do we stop, and how can we help our spouse to stop?

    Paul

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  5. JulieSibert says:

    Paul Byerly…thanks for your question. How do we punish ourselves or punish our spouse for past sexual sin? While each circumstance is different, I think a few things come to mind… punishment may mean we refuse to allow ourselves to enjoy sex; it may look like martyrdom…a woe is me attitude that screams “this is my lot in life;” etc. As for punishing our spouse, the most obvious one would be withholding sex, but there also is… constantly reminding our spouse of their past sexual sin, constantly asking about the circumstances of that sin long after there has been healthy resolution about it, refusing to extend forgiveness, etc. If the past sexual sin involves infidelity, I’m not saying this is an easy path to walk. But there are couples who have done it… it is not impossible. But if we hold on to grudges, we are more apt to punish. Plain and simple, when we are punishing ourselves or our spouse for past sexual sin, we are not on a path toward oneness.

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  11. Chelita says:

    Thank you. I have been in prayer overdrive. I have been parked at your page just reading and feeling a burden lifted. THANK YOU!! I am trying to heal from my husband’s infidelity and I just don’t think I can do it alone. Even if we part at some point, I am giving it my best effort and I know I need God in my corner to be strong.

    I am trying to be forgiving and faithful but I am hurt so deeply. I see God’s light at the end of tunnel since I found your site. THANK YOU.

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  14. Tina says:

    I left my minister husband of 24 years because I fell in love with one of our church members who was going through a divorce. My ex told me that my marriage with my new husband could never be blessed because of the foundation we started on.
    We do not struggle in the area of sex, at all. But any time other struggles come our way, his words burn me all over again and I do wonder if I am being punished for the affair I had and if I will be punished for the rest of my life because of it.
    (I realize this is an older post. I have only recently discovered your ministry. And I am reading your previous posts…and am enjoying every one of them!)

  15. JulieSibert says:

    Thank you for your vulnerability Tina. I don’t believe God punishes us, but does give us the opportunity to repent of sins and go forward with a heart bent toward Jesus… that we would seek to follow Him and His ways to the best we can, even though we are imperfect and stumble.

    My encouragement to you is to seek to honor the Lord in your current marriage.

    Thank you for your kind words about my website… you bless me and I am humbled you took the time to write.

    Julie

  16. David says:

    Tina,
    Based on what you are saying, biblically you are committing adultery. Your guilt is well founded, not trying to bash you but that is the truth even though most people select what they want to take from the bible and apply it to their lives, how can God actually bless a union like that. you will have good times and bad times but you will not have Gods blessing on your illegitimate union, you need to get a better understanding of gods word and stop listening to people who are basing their answers to you off of flawed human reasoning.

  17. chelle says:

    I am a 31 year old female. When I was thirteen years old I was a very shy, naive kid. I was very rebellious at this age. I felt like I did not have much of a childhood because I was at home raising my younger siblings when I was just ten years old. So when I turned 13 years old I got into drugs (marijuana), skipped school, and slept around. Not because I wanted too but because I wanted to fit in. When i would refuse to sleep with the boys they would threaten me. So I just did it. One day I skipped school with a friend girl and these boys, I told them that I did not want to sleep with them and they did it anyway. I never told anybody because I knew they wouldn’t believe me. They believed the boys instead. They said that I let them run a train on me but I didn’t. I can not seem to forgive myself for letting this happen. This thing is still ruining my life and it has almost been 20 years now. What am I going to do? I really need help. I am scared of seeing people from my past.

  18. JulieSibert says:

    @chelle… thank you for reaching out… i know that takes courage. I am sorry for what happened to you in the past. My prayer is that you will grasp to the hope and truth that the sexual things of the past do not have to define you or your future.

    The truth is that many people, including many Christians, have a promiscuous past, including things like you have experienced… as well as sexual abuse and rape, which is what happened to you if you told these young men you didn’t want to have sex and they forced you to anyway. You are not alone.

    One ministry I would particularly recommend is Committed To Freedom. Please see their website here: http://www.committedtofreedom.org/

    Also, I encourage you to find at least one or two trusted Christian women who you can confide in and ask them to pray with you and help you find a Christian counselor in your area, particularly someone who is familiar with working with people who have experienced sexual trauma.

    It can take courage inviting someone into your journey of healing, but I think it is so important that you have safe Christian women who will remind you that what happened to you was not your fault and it certainly does not have to imprison you to a life of shame, fear, discouragement.

    I understand you are scared of people seeing your past, but what would be more tragic is that your past would destroy you internally. Through the redemption of the Lord and His steadfast love and compassion, you can heal. You can find hope.

  19. chelle says:

    Thank you so much! I really needed to hear that. It really touched my heart and hopefully this thing I’m going through will pass. I am going to try get some professional help. Thank you so much!

  20. LC says:

    @chelle,

    I am very sorry for what happened to you with those boys. That is disgusting of THEM, and unfortunately I believe it happens far more often than people think.I have a similar past of having sex with people not because I wanted to, but because I wasn’t strong enough to leave. I also have a history of disrespecting my body and self with binge drinking until I black out. I would wake up naked with a naked man and know what happened. Even after I learned that legally this was rape, I would still have sex with them in the morning instead of telling them that it was wrong and leaving, because it was less awkward. I would just hate myself in private instead. I did not grow up really understanding that Jesus died to cover all of our sins, and I hope that as I grow in Him I will be able to accept God’s forgiveness and stop dwelling in shame and disgust. I am really glad that you are going to see a professional. I have in the past and it really helped. I will pray for you, sister.

  21. sadies says:

    ok here’s a complex question I married a man a week later I found out he lied to me and I asked him to tell me the truth. I felt I couldn’t trust hi
    m. that same day he burnt our marriage license and our marriage isn’t legal anymore. some people say I’m still married I think I’m not. we are still together and are expecting our second child. In Gods eyes am I still married?

  22. JulieSibert says:

    @sadies… I am not a lawyer, but in all states in the United States, a marriage cannot be dissolved (ended) unless it is done so legally… a legal process of filing for divorce and the divorce being granted has to take place. Burning of a marriage license does not “end” a marriage.

    If you live in another country, you will have to consult a lawyer or the government to determine the actual process that a marriage can be considered ended.

    As to if you are still married in God’s eyes, that is up for interpretation. If you are legally still married in the eyes of the law, then yes I would say you are definitely still married. If your husband, however, has left the marriage… meaning he has physically, emotionally and spiritually left you… then I would encourage you to pray and seek wise Christian counsel as to how you should proceed. Some Christians would interpret scripture and say that you are not legally bound to remain in the marriage and could seek a divorce. Others would say that simply because one partner has “left” the marriage does not immediately mean you should seek divorce.

    Anyway, I know that’s a long answer, but you need to seek the Lord and see how He would have you proceed.

    If you do feel there is hope that reconciliation can happen with your marriage… if you sense that he truly does want to be married and repair the damage done… then I would definitely seek counseling together and aim to restore the marriage.

  23. sadies says:

    to my knowledge he sought leak advice and their is no record of our marriage legally. he isn’t a Christian and has refused to seek counseling. the worst part is I don’t know a spiritual leader that I can ask advice from. I’m really lost depressed and feel completely hopeless. I don’t want to raise my children in a broken home but I feel its the best choice at a shot for happiness. the man has no concept of forgiveness verbally abuses me and has a porn addiction that has wedged a rock between us. and its so hard to try to get him to understand its a sin because he dosnt believe.

  24. JulieSibert says:

    @sadies… you mention that you do not know a spiritual leader you can seek for advice. Do you have a Christian church you attend or one in your community that you can begin attending?

    For your sake and your children’s sake, I encourage you to try to find at least one or two mature Christian women in your community who could give you good support, pray with you and advise you.

    If your husband is not a believer or is claiming to be one but is blind to his sin, then your words alone likely will not change him.

    Obviously I don’t know all the circumstances of your situation, but I think if you could find other Christians to pray and talk with, this would help you sort out what to do next. From what you have shared, your husband has “left” the marriage and you need to know how to navigate such situation.

    My prayers go out to you… I’m so sorry for what you are going through.

  25. Mln says:

    Wife led a sexual life before we were married. I had had sex with one girl and realized I was wrong and then abstained until I fell short again with my fiancé and now wife. My wife and I sought forgiveness from our creator and amongst each other and have worked on leaving the self guilt. This leads me to my current feelings. I have noticed that my wife is still friends with some in her past on Facebook. The other night I saw a message from one of her ex’s an it immediately sent a rush of emotions through me. The message was a very generalized “hey how are things” from this past boyfriend but it still struck me. I would just like to ask for some advice on this. Is it atypical for this to really bother me, am I being overly worried, sensitive? The problem that I have struggled with is intimacy with my wife in bed. I think to myself that our physical intimacy between us is not special bc of past sexual encounters by my wife. We are both sinners in God’s eyes but bc of human nature I equate her several partners to my one partner as being worse and it adversely effects me when engaging sexually with my wife. I know it’s not necessarily right, I am simply staying my thoughts and would like some advice on how to move forward/past/on from it. Thanks to all and may God bless you.

  26. JulieSibert says:

    @Mln… thank you for commenting (sorry it took me awhile to approve it… it got buried in my crazy inbox).

    Thank you too for being real about your struggles. First, let me say that your physical intimacy with your wife is special regardless of past sexual encounters by your wife. Sex within your marriage is pleasing unto the Lord, who forgives us for past sins and poor choices.

    As for the messages from ex-boyfriends, I encourage you to talk to your wife about this. Just be honest about how it makes you feel. Together, try to establish acceptable boundaries. I don’t think it’s unusual for the messages to bother you, but you want to err on the side of trusting your wife unless she gives you reason that you can’t trust her. But it is good for the two of you to be able to be honest with each other about feelings, struggles, etc.

    Also, I wouldn’t rule out visiting a marriage counselor. Oftentimes, a counselor can help a couple move past stumbling blocks and heal areas of their marriage that are struggling. Even if your wife won’t go to counseling, consider it for yourself… not only would be great to get someone else’s insights, but also demonstrates to your wife your commitment to healthiness, etc.

  27. JesusLover123 says:

    I really needed this, thank you. However, am searching for answers on what to do. I have been spiritual my entire life. My family is big about religion and loving God and for that I am truly blessed. I went through depression for several years starting from age 13 and am now 20. the “love of my life” or so i had thought, rescued me and at age 17, after being together for a year, I engaged in foreplay (passionate kissing, touching, and pretty much everything besides the “big one.”) I never thought I would ever lose my way and fall and I have not been able to forgive myself since it happened 3 years ago. Praise God that I didn’t lose my virginity. After being in the relationship and giving my EVERYTHING to this person, he had cheated on me. I felt used abused unwanted and unimportant. I was too ashamed to pray but still pushed myself to every day. He took apart of me that I will always wish back for. After he left me I turned to alcohol and partying and would engage in kissing with people whom I wasn’t even in relationships with. There were SEVERAL times it happened and mainly when I would drink or go to parties. I have given so many people parts of me and I have made a promise to try and be pure from now on, but I am now feeling a burden on how I am going to tell my future spouse without feeling judged or rejected. I have probably kissed 20 people in my life and involved in sexual petting or touching with 10. Almost every time it happened I was intoxicated and would regret it sobbing the next day but now I feel unworthy and I met a really spiritual man at church and do not know how to tell him. I’m scared. Please help me. Please pray for me…

  28. TheHonestTruth says:

    many of times i do feel as if God is really very much punishing me from having a love life, especially after seeing so many VERY BLESSED men and women that have met one another and have a family that i certainly would have wanted as well. why is that?, and i certainly will never understand that at all. they must have the word SPECIAL on their forehead, that might have something to do with it. since i am a straight man looking for a good woman to meet to share my life with, which it is very normal by the way. why would many of us men want to live our life alone anyway?, and that is no fun at all. it is very bad enough going to work as it is, and then to come home to an empty apartment with no one there really does make it worse. it is just so very sad that there are so very mean and nasty women nowadays that like to CURSE at us men when we will try to start a conversation with the one that we would really like to meet, and that doesn’t really make any sense at all. i know other men that had this happened to them as well, and since there are much more GAY WOMEN nowadays boy that certainly makes it much worse.

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  30. Abigail says:

    TheHonestTruth

    that’s not necessarily true that there are more homosexual women in the world today. Homosexuality is just more socially acceptable than it ever was in the past. I’m sorry you’ve gone through the experience of feeling rejected or ignored by God in your search for a mate for life. I know that for most people, God does intend for them to get married, or at least blesses their search to please Him through the ministry of marriage. I don’t know if things have changed for you at all in the last two years, but I pray that God has blessed you in the way that He sees as being most valuable for you. (I cannot say whether or not that has included a spouse).

  31. Ron says:

    The prophet Nathan told king David “…the Lord has taken away your sin…” and essentially, “but because you have done this, there will be consequences.” The sin was forgiven, “taken away,” but the consequences were for life. And they were very relevant to the crime(s). I’m not saying that the sexual problems in my marriage or in others’ are likewise, we being forgiven but suffering life-long consequences, just that they might be. A man committed adultery with a woman and contracted aids, though as a carrier and not dying from the disease. However, his wife caught it from him and she died, forgiving him and his lover before she did. The man now gives this as part of his testimony; he knows he has been forgiven, but the consequences were still that his wife died. Other consequences might not be so obviously related to the sin. I’m not saying God still operates this way (as with David) today, only that he might.

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