(Warning: Slightly graphic content)
Brother, I just found out that the woman I want to date was sexually abused & thus had a skewed image of sex. In college she was promiscuous & had an abortion. Also, as a result of her life style she got hsv (herpes) and hpv, two std’s that are incurable. This was 6 years ago, she now vibrantly follows King JC. My dilemma is that given this information, I lost the value that I once had towards her & makes me question if I am ready for this. If married, I would likely contract it/them. Thoughts?
My dear friend,
This is a really difficult situation in which I have no clear answer.
On one hand, you want to be a good guy and base your feelings on this woman’s inner-beauty — and for this, I highly commend you. You are looking past her past, as every good man does, and you are interested in a woman who is pursuing God. You are trying to display all the right grace for her history, her abuse, her choices, her former life. All good steps.
However, you’re also physically looking out for yourself and I don’t think anyone would blame you if you decided to consider your options.
I want to be very clear in how we’re separating both sides of this question. No woman’s history can ever define who she is as a dignified human being. She is worthy of respect simply because she exists and even if she only existed. So if you have lost “value” for her, that’s on you to repent and fix. I’m not saying that a dude can instantly have grace for all kinds of craziness (so don’t beat yourself up about that) — but every woman regardless of what happened before is still capable of the same love, laughter, and ambition as we all are. There is no past that is too big for God’s grace to cover.
So really the only complication we’re viewing is a physical hazard, and we must take this very seriously. Someone might say, “If you really loved her, then STDs wouldn’t be a dealbreaker!” Which is true in itself. It would be ugly to say that she is any less than a human being for that.
What I don’t want is that you base your decision off any kind of misguided neo-feminism, charity, pity, or guilt. The lady doesn’t want that, either.
I want to offer the sensitive, nuanced, balanced perspective. So can we be real too? Can we for a moment say what’s really on your mind?
If I had contracted any kind of condition in which I could potentially harm the lives of others, particularly from a former self-destructive lifestyle — I would do everything it takes to protect every new person I met. This also means that certain decisions for me would be limited because I must face up to the reality of my situation. It would mean that if I had an STD, then my sexual life would be over from that point on: and while I could still date, it would be most reasonable that I consider my season of sexual “fun” to be done.
Of course, God always offers second chances. But if you cuss out your boss, you would be fired. If you hit someone drunk-driving, you’d go to jail. If you do crack, you will lose your teeth and your sanity. God can offer a second chance to all those involved: but our time on this earth is not always so fair, and God designed consequences to keep us accountable. As cruel as this sounds, our actions have a way of catching up to us that are not always reversible. Spiritually, yes. Physically? Not always.
Maybe I sound terrible right now because I’m not saying the polite thing. If so, then I’m very sorry to have misspoken out of ignorance. This is such a tough question that I’m afraid I will miss an angle or two, and again, I don’t claim to know the solution here.
But pray for her, for yourself, and consider all your options. There are couples who date (and even get married) in which one has an STD and the other does not. They use heavy protection and take all the medical precautions possible. Sometimes love takes those sorts of risks and it works. In the end, your decision is between you and God, and not between you and any other voice.
Regardless of what you choose, I pray you would continue to pursue Christ. May God bless you in all your future pursuits and relationships, my friend.