I am not a virgin anymore and I’m not married. I have been celibate for the last 6 years. Does God look down upon me? Is it possible for me to still have a good relationship with a man in marriage or did I mess up everything because of my past?
– SE from Jamaica, New York
Part 1: God’s heart toward sin
Part 2: Natural effects
God’s heart toward sin (Part 1)
Does God look down on you? Let’s be very definite right up front: he does NOT. I want to answer that first of all because I sense that your question is rooted in shame for those choices you made all those years ago. If you have sincerely repented of your sexual sins (sounds like you have) then you are forgiven and all the many scriptures of assurance apply to you.
For instance: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) Or, “Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool.” (Isaiah 1:18) Let God’s Word on this subject penetrate the deepest places in your soul. Repeat as often as necessary until all the shame and self-recrimination lifts away.
Truthfully, even if you never were sorry for your sins God would not look down on you. Rather, he would grieve over you and continue to try to woo you into repentance so that he could scoop you back up and draw you near to heal you. He sees what sin of any kind does to us (“The wages of sin is death…” Romans 6:23) and he wants us to avoid awful consequences.
Like…you are having a hard time putting your old life behind you and you are worried that it will affect your future. You may even wonder if the reason a husband has not come into your life yet is because God’s punishing you. He is not. You wonder if you can have a good relationship in the future. All the second-guessing can erode peace and joy. Now that we have settled that, let’s talk about future relationships.
Natural effects (Part 2)
I believe you can have a deep and satisfying marriage in the future. The current commitment that you have to celibacy until the right one comes along bodes well for you and prepares you to be a beautiful and pure bride. When God plays matchmaker for you, you may even find that your heart will feel as if you are a virgin again.
I have only one caution for you. You should be free and clear going forward as long as there are no soul ties still operating from past relationships. Those are spiritual bonds created through a physical/sexual union. “And the two shall become one flesh; so they are no longer two, but one flesh.” (Mark 10:8) Please see SOUL TIES for additional important information and help.
As you review your past and pray for guidance from the Holy Spirit, you may want to formally renounce those previous relationships where you suspect they still have an effect on you. It is a simple procedure whereby you declare out loud the breaking of any unhealthy soul ties that may exist. Once done you are free of emotional baggage just as your repentance made you free from spiritual baggage.
I give you this final encouragement. “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36) What could be any better than that?