One problem afflicts those who were involved in premarital sex

A healthy sexual relationship is a vital component of a healthy marriage.  But I believe a negative attitude about sex wages war against Christian marriages.  It is a means of dividing couples in the most intimate way possible and is a quiet but deadly attack on Christian marriages. Any woman who has intimacy issues with her husband must know that it is an attack on her most precious earthly relationship.  And Satan attacks this private area because he knows it is such a delicate subject matter—we won’t openly talk about it.

In my book SOS: Sick of Sex, I plead with women to believe God’s truth about sexual intimacy.  One problem afflicts those who were involved in premarital sex with their husbands. Even after years of marriage, and even after understanding God’s forgiveness, they still feel a great deal of guilt and shame when it comes to sexual intimacy.

I’ve learned that this unresolved issue regarding premarital sex is penetrating the hearts of many husbands as well.  For example, recently I traveled to FamilyLife’s headquarters in Little Rock, Arkansas, for an interview on the FamilyLife Today® radio program.  After we were finished, a FamilyLife staff member who had listened to the interview approached me and said one of the subjects we had discussed during the interview had struck a chord with him.  “My wife and I were sexually active prior to marriage,” he told me.  “We have talked about it before, and I even asked her for forgiveness.  But now I know why I need her forgiveness.”

His statement reminded me of a story from my book.  A woman who was sexually active with her husband before marriage told me, “He was the leader in the relationship before we got married, and he knew sex was wrong. Yet he continued to have sex with me.”  Now that they were married, she could not overcome the switch—that sex was wrong before, but now it was right in the context of marriage—and she was surprised at how her husband made the change so quickly. She still lives with the sin of that premature, inappropriate relationship every time he touches her.

I talk about sexual intimacy with a lot of women and they are still wondering, Did my husband marry me because we were sexually involved? or, How can we say anything to our own children about premarital sex without feeling like hypocrites? and My husband has continued on like this does not affect him.  But it surely does affect me.

Men, this is what wives are saying.  And I’ve discovered that they are hanging on to this issue because there has been no repentance or resolution.  If you have not apologized for being a self-centered leader in the relationship prior to marriage, and as a result you were involved sexually, it is time to get it resolved.

Recently I talked with another friend about this same issue and she told me, “My husband and I were talking about this last night!”  They had been sexually involved before marriage, and she had felt guilty ever since—for 28 years.  In their discussion, they finally talked about their sin and their need to repent before God.   And now she felt free of a burden that had weighed on her for decades.

Your wife needs to know that you understand that your physical involvement with her, prior to marriage was a breach of trust.  She needs to understand that you are sorry for putting her in that position and that, with God’s help, she can trust that you will be the spiritual leader God has called you to be in your life and hers.

Mostly, she needs you to apply the words of James 5:16 in your life: “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” She needs to hear that you also have strong feelings of regret and remorse.  Then she can move, with you, past the guilt and shame.

Copyright © 2013 by Robyn McKelvy. Used with permission.