How I Overcame My Past So My Marriage Could Flourish
Sometimes we’re held in bondage from our past. Because of this, it’s easy for us to carry the luggage of guilt and shame straight into our marriage. When I was a new bride this was my struggle and it’s the same struggle from a wife who wrote in asking for guidance to overcome her chains of bondage.
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Jolene: I know exactly how you’re feeling because I felt the exact same way when I became my beloved’s bride. The exact same way and it was hard. It was so hard for me to overcome my past choices and I had such regret because God blessed me with a man that I didn’t deserve 15 years ago and even today I still don’t deserve. There’s just this sense of regret and remorse and, as this reader wrote in, she has felt unworthy. I have felt that.
I remember in our early years of marriage just really kind of being in tears and overwhelmed with what God had given me, and I was just this wretched sinner that doesn’t deserve any of this. I had to learn really who Christ was and is because what I was essentially doing was I – Yes, as this reader pointed out, she knows that the Lord has forgiven her and cleansed her and I knew all these things as well, but when I continued to dwell on my past I was essentially putting Christ back up on the cross, to be nailed on the cross over and over for my sins. It’s like it wasn’t good enough that he had already done it once and for all. I kept sticking Him back up there.
I heard a message on that once and that really helped change my perspective. It really helped me get out of that pit of my past. It’s like, wow! My Savior already did this for me and I’m really kind of reducing His crucifixion by kind of being like that dog who returns to his vomit that scriptures talk about. I think it’s in Proverbs that talks about that. And I was like that dog returning back there. Not in the physical sense but in a mental sense that it was just like I didn’t want to grieve my Lord by not taking my thoughts captive and not really embracing what He did on the cross for me.
So you’re wrestling with that and I believe you are also wrestling – You talk about feeling condemned. That’s straight out from the pit of hell. That’s Satan right there. He’s gonna do that as long as you let him. Ok? I no longer feel condemned for my past. I don’t know when that changed. I can’t tell you if it was year one, two, three, four, five, six into my walk with Christ. I don’t know when it was but basically I was like, hey I’m done with this deceiver having a hold over me. I’m not having it.
The Bible talks about having no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
Let me give you a quick study here on condemning and convicting.
Satan condemns. He says, “You’re a loser. You did this. You were wrong, and you made these poor choices. Look at you, you harlot, you whore.” Now I heard all those words. He told me all those words way back when because he was condemning me.
Convicting is coming from the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will say, “Daughter, I want you over here. I want you to give of your heart over here. I want you to pursue this. I want you to watch your tongue, daughter. I want you to be more loving and more gracious to your boys or to your husband.”
The Holy Spirit convicts. He’s gonna draw you towards righteousness. Ok?
Condemnation will draw you to the pit of hell.
So discern the two voices there so when you feel condemned, just know, “Hey! Talk to the hand, Satan. We’re not gonna have any of it!” So put that aside there.
And then the unworthiness you’re feeling… I think every believer should feel that way regardless of their past because every believer is a sinner and we’re not worthy of what Christ has done for us. So if you can kind of line up all your situations to peel back the layers and really discern what is it that’s going on, to really put your emotions in place with what’s going on.
You’re being so governed by your emotions and you’re being tossed to and fro. Some of them are good. Feeling unworthy in a sense of look at what Christ did for me, that’s a great thing and realizing how blessed you are with your husband – that’s a great thing! That’s a great thing that your husband is showing you the love of Christ. Don’t run from that.
When Eric and I were engaged he said to me over and over again, “I love you. I love you. I love you.” So much so that I was so uncomfortable that I looked at him and seriously I said, “Can you please stop saying that, because you make me feel so uncomfortable?” Well what?!?! What engaged woman would say that? I mean, a moron would say that, and that’s just where I was. I was so starved for what true love looked like – what real love looked like that I was like I don’t know what to do with this. And that’s what you’re experiencing from your husband. Because he’s loving you the way Christ commanded, and we don’t understand that love. It’s foreign to us. But God has given him that command and God pours through him with that. So embrace that love. Don’t disregard it because it’s a great love. It’s that agape love that we’re commanded to give to our brothers and sisters in the Lord.
So anyways, I hope that pulling apart your emotions will help in this journey to realize what you’re battling with. There is a spiritual battle there but there is also some good there. I don’t know if you have anything to add, my love?
Eric: Nope. Once again, you got it.
Jolene: OK. Until next time…
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Jolene- I loved and needed to hear this radio podcast. I feel the same way as you and your reader. I am haunted by my past and am now engaged to a man more wonderful than I could have ever imagined. No matter how many time he tells me that he forgives me and the Lord forgives me for my past, I can’t help the guilty feeling. Your podcast today truly put everything in perspective. Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. -Jillie
Awe, I’m so glad it blessed you, Jillie! To God be the glory. 🙂
This was perhaps the hardest lesson I have had to learn in my life! I am so grateful that I no longer carry the chains of my past behind me!
Yep, thankful for our Savior!
This was exactly what I have needed for so long. Thank you for giving me this gift.
I am about to be engaged to the most wonderful man in the whole world. He is hard working, respectful, Christ-loving, affectionate, and enough of a dork to be my soulmate.
He is so much of a blessing, that I feel unworthy. I feel dirty and damaged, and like he will be disappointed in me.
I also did not wait for HIM to give my virginity to, in fact, I have been with several men in my past before I came to Christ. I am from an abusive family, and he has held my hand and CHERISHED me through much of that hurt. He showed me what it is to love like Christ. He has forgiven me for my past, and tells me how much he loves me every day.
Except… when he makes it clear how much he loves me, and assures me that he could NEVER be disappointed with me as his wife, I feel GUILTY. Instead of being grateful and thanking God for the gift of my future husband, I feel awful that someone as beautiful as him could get stuck with the likes of me.
Thank you for this podcast. My guilt, my disgrace, my sin… when I keep revisiting it, I am forcing Jesus’s sacrifice over and over again. And when I discredit myself, I disparage the woman that my man loves so much.
This has been such a wake up call. I have never thought of it from this perspective. And as usual, I see that I have let myself be tricked by Satan. Again.
(That jerk-face!!!! Grr!! =P )
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
So happy to hear it ministered to you, Hillary! To God be the glory. 🙂
This struggle has been coming up for me as my fiance and I try to decide on the readings for our wedding service, where the scripture mentions chaste and modest women. My wonderful fiance tells me my soul is all these good things and that that is what matters, but it is still so hard. Listening to this was very helpful. No surprise there, though, since it was Jolene’s blog that inspired me to seek the Lord, and by extension improved my relationship with my then-boyfriend, and made us both improve as individuals (especially him– he is so wonderful now!), leading us to get engaged! Hard to feel bad anymore when I remember all that. Thank you, Jolene & Eric!
How wonderful to hear that what I shared here blessed you, Lisa. To God be the glory! We’re all a work in progress and we have a wonderful and gracious God who is so patient with us!
Thank you so much for this post. I was feeling exactly the same about my past as you described – so this is very encouraging. I have a question – I am in a courtship with a GREAT Christian guy and we are not engaged yet but are very serious and intentional. He knows my testimony in that I used to live an immoral lifestyle before I came to Christ but I never told him the details of that immoral lifestyle, (sleeping around etc.) is this something you recommend I should bring up with him???
I never shared the details with Eric. He could figure out the sin without me going into all of the specifics. I wasn’t hiding anything, but I also wanted to protect him in a sense from my past. My question to you would be, “do you think if you share all the details that it’ll strengthening your relationship or would it just give the enemy an opportunity to tear your relationship down? And if he had a past, would you want to know all the details?
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