So you meet a guy and he seems like a great Christian potential boyfriend, but then you find out something about his past and it scares you. What should you do? Do you date him because it was in his past, or is that enough to move on and stop talking to him? Today, I want to help you answer that question. Of course, every single situation is different, so I can’t firmly answer that question for you, but I want to guide you and help you make a good decision that you feel comfortable with. Let’s get started!
Questions to Ask Yourself
Did he try to hide it?
I think this is a big one. If he was not open about it from the beginning, or at least wasn’t intentional about telling you at some point, this is a huge red flag. Did somebody else have to tell you about what happened in his past? Or did a detail just slip in conversation one day, leading him to tell you about it? If somebody else never told you about it, would you ever have known?
If the guy is intentional about telling you what happened, I think that is a very good sign. He’s being honest and upfront and admits that it is important. He doesn’t just brush it off and act like it’s no big deal.
Is he repentant or remorseful?
Because there is a difference! True repentance is realizing that what you have done is sin against a holy God, and it is turning from that sin to a pursuit of righteousness, or your desire for sin is replaced by a desire for holiness. Remorse is just being sad that you have been found out and realizing you can’t continue in that sin. It’s important that he is truly repentant.
Does he have accountability in his life?
Accountability is so important when you have struggled with habitual sin. If he has been addicted to pornography or drugs or anything else in his past, does he have somebody keeping him accountable? Preferably an older, wiser, Christian man. And can he tell you a specific name of his accountability partner?
Is he involved in a good church and being discipled?
This is also very important. These two things will help him to continue growing in Christ, which is truly the only thing that will prevent him from going back to his old lifestyle. Is he plugged into a church, participating and serving? Going to a small group? Does he have somebody that is personally pouring into him and discipling him? Being discipled is like being mentored and living life with an older, wiser Christian person (a man in this situation), who is teaching them how to live how Jesus lived. It could be the same person as his accountability partner.
Who is he hanging around?
“Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company corrupts good morals.'”1 Corinthians 15:33
Are the people he is hanging out with building him up spiritually? He will become like the people he hangs around the most. Or he will continue being the person he used to be if he is hanging around the people that do those things.
What kind of fruit is he bearing?
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control.”Galatians 5:22-23a
Matthew 7 says that you will know false prophets by their fruit, and I think you can also tell a genuine, growing Christian by their fruit. Here is the opposite of the fruit of the Spirit:
“Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar.”Galatians 5:19-21a
What kind of fruit is this guy producing?
Are there any remaining consequences that could be an issue?
Although Jesus’ blood covers all sin, there are still natural consequences to sin. First, I’m not saying that you can’t work through these consequences, but they are just things to consider. The biggest thing that comes to mind is if a man had a baby with another woman previously. How will that baby be a part of your life? Or what about emotional or physical trauma? Continual temptation? Again, a good mentor and accountability partner, and possibly a counselor, can help work through those things.
Have you prayed about it?
I’ve given you a lot to think about, but have you prayed about it? I know it can be so easy to try to think cerebrally about all of this and forget to pray to the God who controls the whole universe and cares about the details of your life. Talk to Him and ask Him for wisdom.
I know this can be a tough situation to deal with and can include tough decisions to make. Remember, you can decide to date a guy without marrying him. Dating is to decide whether or not you want to marry someone, and while that is a big deal, it’s not the end of the world to decide you don’t want to marry a guy and part ways with him. If you feel peace about getting to know this guy better, give it a try. God’s got you under the shadow of His wings and it’s going to be okay.
With all my love,