(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.
4 thoughts on “Question: Just Found Out My Crush Has …”
As a woman whose experience and physical circumstances are somewhat similar to those of the “crush,” mentioned here, I would like to say that I appreciate your response to the inquirer. One thing I might have mentioned is the fact that in order for him to have “found out” this information, she had to have trusted him, immensely, in order to share that information with him.
Women who have experienced these kinds of things, even those of us who are sold out to Jesus or trying to be, often are carrying not just skewed ideas of sex, but also of ourselves and there is a very strong tendency, especially as we are growing in Christ, to still look toward the man in the relationship, to define our worth and value, validating us and who we are now. Because of the nature of sexual abuse, or any kind of abuse for that matter, even having the knowledge that we should seek to understand our value through God’s eyes and from God’s viewpoint, is not necessarily all we need in order to actually be able to shift our self-identity and self-perception to God’s view of us from man’s view of us.
If the gentleman who made this inquiry is able to resolve his own internal conflict and work to overcome the human reaction to reject and withdraw from this woman, I would suggest that the two of them seek out professional counseling, not just from pastoral leadership, but from a trained therapist with a spiritual grounding in Christ.
Thank you so much for sharing. I definitely felt inadequate in fully responding to the question, and I knew I couldn’t possibly cover everything for both sides. You’ve rounded out where I fell short. I think counseling is an excellent idea.
I’m glad to help.
Thank you to the gentleman who asks this question, to JS, and to Kina below for this conversation. I would also like to add one point more along the healthcare perspective. Hopefully more information will not confuse the matter but help show god’s intricate relationships.
The life and health of those with an STD, who are managing their condition, are undoubtably different than those without, but whether those differences are a priority to you depends on each individual. Seeking medical advice may also help people understand these conditions more. Uncurable STDs can be managed with medication and medical attention, and having biological children is possible, if that is a concern.
I think this lady, who has opened to the questioner, has a perspective of how her past has shaped her current living, and possibly has already shared some of it. If she is ready to share more, listening to how it affects her daily walk and living, as well as her thoughts to how it will affect her dating relationships and marriage, may help the one questioning understand how her health could affect his life.