Christianity -- Christian Living/Is he still a good Godly man for a Christian woman?
Dear Mr. Parish,
Thank you so much for offering your free and wise advice here on AllExperts.
My name is Nina, I'm 22 years old, and my walk in Christ is still new, only a bit more than a year. It's safe to say that it's not easy to find good Christian young men in this age group. It's easy to find ones who identify as Christian, but actually living out the principles contained within the scripture? They're more rare.
I've spent a lot of time in prayer, telling God that I trust his timing for when he wants to send me a good Godly man because I know that the love story he writes for me will be so much more beautiful than I can imagine.
About four months ago I met a man named Ryan completely by coincidence and I had lots of hope because he seemed like a rare true blue Godly man, going to church faithfully on his own (he has no family in the area) or with friends at least once a week, being an active member and volunteer there, going to bible study twice a week, and taking on charity projects. He reads the scripture daily and it seems like he's the true Godly man I'm looking for.
However, I recently discovered something about him that's been on my mind.
He told me that two years ago, he became sexually intimate with his then-girlfriend. He told me because he said I had a right to know and he also told me that he took full responsibility because even though he felt like it was a mistake to date her when her walk wasn't as strong, he recognizes that she didn't force him to do anything. He says that it was his fault, he got carried away, and he regrets not sticking to his Christian values instilled in him as a child.
He has confessed and sought repentance at church, taken on more volunteering, has spent lots of time in prayer, and says that the next time he is sexually intimate with a woman it'll be with his wife.
My question is, can he still be the truly Godly man I thought he might be at first if he's filled with regret for his actions, seeks help from his pastor, and has recommitted to His word?
With me he has been honest, respectful, taking full responsibility, and all of our dates are either in group settings (such as going out to eat in a public place with other Christian friends, many of them married young, or taking fitness or craft classes together) or one-on-one, but public such as a picnic in a crowded park or a coffee date in a crowded Starbucks.
However, of course his past bothers me. I can see myself falling in love with this man and he has brought me closer to Christ each time we spend together which is usually a sign of a good potential Christian husband. But I guess I can't help that voice in my head that goes:
"I'm saving my body and my purity for my future husband. So why didn't you save it for me?" (And I guess I have to remember here that it's he who is without sin who casts the first stone, and we are all sinners so perhaps it's not my place to judge this man, as only God can be the judge.)
and I also would like to ask you to advise me on whether or not this man can still be a Godly husband and leader of a pure Christ-centered home and marriage when he's made such a significant mistake in his past, even though he's learned from his actions and sought repentance.
Does he still have the ability to be a Godly husband for me? Should I continue to get to know him because he deserves a fair chance and fresh start after working with his pastor and reaffirming his values?
Or do you think that he's now no longer suitable for a Christ-centered girl?
Hello, Nina. Thank you for your questions, and I do hope that I can be of some help to you in making a choice that honors our Master Jesus.
From what you've shared here, I have a very firm conviction that this man is truly a great candidate for being a godly husband. His past is not irrelevant to your choice about pursuing a relationship with him toward marriage; in fact, it's a major consideration! But as I read your posting, I was struck by the weight of the evidence that his recent past is clear evidence that He has truly turned away from the sins and mistakes of his more distant past. It sounds as if Jesus has truly made a new creation in him and that is wonderful! His openness and honesty with you about this issue is fruit of his repentance, as is his choice to date you in group settings. I don't think he desires to do what he did before. By faith, you can begin to see him as a new man who is pure before God and, therefore, before you.
You know better how deeply his past sin affects you, and it wouldn't be right of me to pretend that it doesn't. However, to answer your primary question about his ability and suitability, I would say (based on what you've written) that he is absolutely able and suitable. As you talk with others that know him, try to get a sense from them about who he is now (don't bring up his past with them), and see if they agree with your assessment. If they can confirm that they see true Christlikeness and love for God in him, that will be a tremendous evidence that he is suitable and able to lead you lovingly toward maturity as a disciple.
I would urge you to see this man as he is now, not who he was then. The terrible thing about sin is that, even when forgiven, they can have lasting consequences. One of the lasting consequences of his past sin is that he has hurt you. Unfortunately, that deed is done and there is nothing left for him to do to make it right. I believe he has done the greatest good he can, which is being honest about it with you. This puts you in the position, whether fair or not, of responding to it. I sense that you want to embrace this man despite what he did, and I would confirm that you ought to.
Is he the only man who could lead you well and make you happy? I don't think so. Is he a man who will lead you well and make you happy if you embrace him as he is now? It sounds like he is. I trust the Spirit of God will lead you to a firm conviction about what is best. May you clearly hear Him so you can confidently obey Him!
As always, please feel free to continue the conversation with any follow-up questions or comments.