Monday, March 1, 2010

Infant Steps: What do I do now with this relationship?

Beloved EROLyrics Readers,

Welcome to a new and blessed month. Covenant grace and peace be to you in the name of Jesus our Lord and Savior, who reigns forevermore.

Today’s question on the Infant Steps Series comes from a lady who needs your candid advice as to what to do now with her relationship with her fiance. Please read her question below to get the details. I trust you will also share encouraging word where applicable. It is long but worth reading. Thank you.



Dear Rita,



I grew up in a Christian home and considered myself a born-again. I got into a relationship April 09 here in the states. The guy introduced me to a great church around his neighbourhood and through that church I was convicted by the Holy Spirit of my sins.


I lost my virginity 3yrs ago (now I'm 29yrs) because I was waiting for Mr. Right and was well grounded in God and focused on my studies and career. But I went back to celibacy. I was celibate for almost a yr and half before I met this current guy. Before we started we talked about our past relationship just to let everything out in the open and start on a clean slate. He told me about his relationships (even the ones in Nigeria since he's been here just 2yrs) and also his American ex girlfriend which he told me all ties were broken.


One day he approached me sexually and I was so unwilling and told him that I do not want to engage myself in such behaviour because it separates me from approaching God, it made me lose confidence to do my type of job and its only through the power of the Holy spirit that I can stand/talk with boldness. He assured me that he really want to be serious with me. I was so naïve and so gave in on the next pressure saying to myself that he would be my future husband.


After 3 to 4 months into our relationship calls were coming into his phone which he never picks up when I’m around. One evening I picked up his call in his presence and gave it to him innocently. Seeing how reluctant he was I became afraid later realized it was his America Ex. I was completely mad. He assured me that all was over between them though I saw some deceit in his eyes and his discomfort. Three months went by, our bond got stronger.


Then one morning, I decided to pay him a surprise visit (after I left his place 2 nights before). To my surprise I caught his Ex naked on his bed! I was very hurt and disappointed. I tried to leave but he fought me so very hard until his Ex was ready to leave. I was sympathizing with her because I saw the brokenness in her eyes. I felt so betrayed and wondered how a man I attend church with, pray every other night with and preparing for the future with could do such a thing to me. I thought he wanted a serious committed relationship that would lead to marriage. I cried when I get out of bed and cried to sleep. I finally accepted that this is the punishment from God for my disobedience/sins.


Every evening when he gets off work he would stay downstairs and bang on my door for hours (most night it was snowing & freezing outside.) After about 2wks I let him up because I was ashamed of what my neighbours would think of me and mostly because I had pity on him and still love him. From then on, I gradually opened my heart back to him and FORGAVE him. Forgiveness I believe that God's hands was involved because He took all the bitterness & angry thoughts I cook up every day in my heart and re-instated love. I showed him pepper but stopped the instant I was convicted in my heart, which also changed the way I talk to him.


We later prayed intensely and we agreed that we can never sleep with each other again (but we failed). The following month, (i.e. one month after the incident) he proposed and I rejected because I felt it was too early to jump into marriage with him after the incident. I needed to go back to the Lord and seek His face. After another 2 weeks to a month of pressure from him, I accepted after soliciting the advice of my siblings/few others (although one of my sisters was strongly against him) and prayers (of which I'm not sure I prayed enough) however NOW WE ARE ENGAGED!


Most times I wonder if he proposed because of what happened or the fear of losing me or the shame he would bear if his family asked him what happened between us. I wonder if God can transform him. I wonder if he is being completely honest with me. I'm seeking God's face through serious fasting NOW. Fasting has enabled me to see how I have allowed my flesh to reign. The Holy Spirit is dealing with me with love and pruning. Now I know that God mercy is truly GREAT!!


Since we've been engaged we have had two episodes of drama and argument surrounding the incident. The recent incident he asked if I was fed up with him and I answered YES. Deep in my heart I still love him and am asking God to please take away this love if He does not want me to be with this guy. I do not want to live an eternity in tears and heartache nor do I want to walk away from him if God has destined us to be together.


I need so much help and advice,

Princess.


If you have any questions you would like to discuss on the Infant Steps Series, please drop me an email at esurunma@gmail.com or leave the question as a comment in any of my blog posts.

If you want to view past questions and answers on the Infant Steps Series, please check the list on the sidebar right of the blog.
 
All posts on the Infant Steps Series will be posted on Tuesdays, 9 AM West Africa Time. I had to put this up before Tuesday because the question went unattended for quite a while.

20 comments:

Philip said...

Dear Princess,

Your story sounds so familiar to me and it's because I have counseled a few friends here in the US who have walked that same road. I sincerely believe that you have a heart for God and you want to please him and do His will. God sees your heart. In our walk with God, there are times when we stumble and we fall down – but we get up. (Micah 7:8). Certainly you have made mistakes in the past based on your narrative. Fornication is sin, even if you commit it with the person you will get married to tomorrow morning. The truth is that, all that Is past now, and the first thing I really want you to realize is that as long as you have genuinely repented before God, he does not seek to punish you for your past. When God forgives, he thrashes our sins in the sea of forgetfulness – gone forever. His anger endures but for a moment (Ps 30:5).

I truly believe that this guy really wants to settle down with you whatever the motivation – love, guilt, family etc. It’s a common occurrence with many Nigerian guys in the US as they try to hold on to their morality but find the temptations of the ready females (especially African American) difficult to overcome. The desperation of these ladies have also put a lot of men in their net, Christian and non-Christian alike. That’s a sad situation of the church today that we will not delve into here.


Fact is, you are in love with this guy and in need of reassurance. You did well to forgive him and allow him back but you will do well to give your relationship some time…and I mean some quality time not necessary quantity. Sex overshadows the vision and judgment aside being sin just now. It will either draw you closer to him blindly or lead you away from him ignorantly. So stay away from sex. Part of the quality of time should be with getting to know God and each other better. Counseling is also a good take and I hope your church offers something. Love believes all things and if you have chosen to love, then you have to believe. You have to also try to trust and believe him again, even though he will have to earn it now. That other girl(s) will still be around and looking for the opportunity but he will need to show you in ACTS not just in WORDS that he has changed and that he truly loves you.

Finally, please keep praying. YES God can transform him. Sometimes it takes an event like what happened (getting him red-handed) for him to realize and turnaround. Please don’t rest just yet. Keep praying for him and with him and seek counseling. We never outgrow counsel. May I also remind you that you kept yourself for the Lord and not for any man. SO your focus in all these must continue to be on the Lord and how you can build a better relationship with God even as the day draws near.

We love you dear and we are praying for you!


philmoen247@yahoo.com

Debbie said...

I agree with Phillip/

If you've truely repented of your sins, you are forgiven.

forget the past and walk closely with God.

I will suggest that to avoid fonication again, be accountable to older couples in your church, maybe your youth leader or someone elderly. avoid being in situations which will likely lead to fornication, and Don't have a long engagement. As long as you've both had confirmation from the Lord, get married, Paul said it is better to marry than to burn.

Miss FlyHigh said...

This is a difficult situation.

I'm not saying once a cheat always a cheat. Did U ask him why he did it?

Christian or not everyone is capable of cheating. The only difference is the Christians should be more sensitive to sin.

I really think you should have given yourself sometime.

Yes Pray and fast. nothing wrong with that but please use your initiative. It seems like your a bit naive from when your sayin that thing is a punishment as a result of your past sins. My dear God loves everyone and it is not his plan to hurt us. What would you gain from your boyfriend cheating on you?

It's never to late to come out of this relationship if you feel you need to.

Most guys want a good women because they know she will not cheat etc etc and they try to lock her down immediately either by getting her pregnant or getting engaged.

be very careful.

You will be fine.

2cute4u said...

Hmmm, I'd not say much but I think Those are the questions you'd have to live with for a very long time, If you are this full with questions you shouldn't have gotten engaged.I think you need to find what you reall waant.. Advice from people only steer you in the right direction, but only you has to make the mighty decision.. Best of luck
Please visit http://helpnigeria.blogspot.com
Thank you so very much
www.askchacha4free.blogspot.com

Scarlet said...

You need to look past the mistakes that you have made. Psalm 103: 12 tells us that he has removed our sins as far as the east if from the west. You do not need to dwell in it cuz u have been forgiven.

Prayer and fasting is God but you also need to address these concerns and thoughts you are having. I personally believe that just because you love someone does not necessarily mean that they are the right one for you. Marriage is a two way thing.

Yes God can change him, no question about that but does he want to change? Do you want to take that chance? If you cannot accept him the way he is now then do not get married to him. ask your self, what if he doesn't change?

Please keep praying and seeking God's face, also seek advice from people that you can trust in your church.But above all listen to the voice in you.

Blowing Blessings Your Way said...

Hey Princess,

By reading this I see a lot of red flags...but there's nothing that prayer can't solve and I would suggest that you go to a Pastor at church and tell the whole story and have him/her pray with you and continue to pray and fast and seek God's face...let him tell you that your finance is the right one for you...try to put your strong feelings for him aside. I wish you all the best!

Anoda Phase said...

hmmmmmmmmmmmmm...I'm actually scratching my head over this one...I mean, we are all human and therefore succeptible to sin, so I have no right to judge you, and I am not, but you say that you are both Church-going, born-again Christians, right?

You should have mentors/pastors/senior friends, etc. that you are accountable to, and who r role models in their own relationships...

You also need to stop spending so much time together, especially in lonely/secluded places such as ur homes...spend more time in public places; the cinema, coffee shop, the mall, THE CHURCH, anywhere that u 2 are not alone and able to tear into each other...

Finally, you 2 need to have a long, soul-searching talk, the main point of which should be to find out if you guys are REALLY meant to be together (or if he still wants his ex)...

All the best...

~Sirius~ said...

Honesty rules!

POST ALERT!!!!

Listen to that inner voice.

And I know you can hear it.

If you have well and truly forgiven him, let it go....having 2 heated arguments about the incident (I'm guessing the ex) means you haven't let it go.

No matter how much you think, imagine or wonder why, what and how it all happened, it won't changed the fact that it happened.

Everything works together for good.....

You sound like you accepted the engagement out of pity......you shouldn't. Accept because you love him and want to spend the rest of your life with him

A broken engagement is better than A broken marriage.

Matters of the heart take time to heal.....but with time, they will heal.

You are only losing out by wondering.....

"I do not want to live an eternity in tears and heartache nor do I want to walk away from him if God has destined us to be together. "

How about you talking to God and telling him to take away the pain, hurt and renew your relationship with love and trust.
AND
Pray harder for the same thing or anything like that never to happen again.

If there's anything I'm so sure about, it's the power of prayers...they really move mountains. You have to believe strongly in what you pray for.

You can't pray, yet doubt in you heart...how would you expect God to act on your prayers.

Life is about choices.

You can choose to forgive and forget (Truth be told, this how we treat God, we sin, it hurts Him, we beg He forgives and yet we sin again :-) BUT He never holds it against us)
SO
If your little voice says, yes you can stay, then sweetheart- forgive and forget, start on a new slate....and put your emotions and energy in moving forward....no 'what ifs'; don't make reference to it, just LET IT GO

Imagine if you spent all the time you "wasted" on "what ifs" loving praying and acting right? you would hate your self for not starting earlier than you did.


On the other hand.....the doors are wide open for you to walk right now.

it's your sanity and happiness at the end of the day.

Personally....I believe in 2nd chances. God does. He did by dying on the cross.

And a 2nd chance with no what if's.....I will state it out to you CLEARLY! I will love, respect and trust you.

BUT if anything happens after that.....that's where it ends o!

Marriage/ no Marriage; baby/no baby; Love, family et all will be out the window!

After all there is so much one can take. And you had better know where to draw your line.

I can't shout.


Jesus died for my sins already so I can have peace.
A man can't come and take that away from me.


Candid ~Sirius~

bob-ij said...

This is a very touching story. A relationship that seeks God is a solid foundation. Congrats and God does have the power to transform him. Keep it in your prayers.

~x~

Patrina said...

WOW! There is a lot of wisdom in these comments. Everyone speaks truth - but I'm concerned about your truth.

I love Philip's take on it! Very biblical and wise. God is not punishing you - He does forgive and forgive and forgive. But what I hear is the fact that this guy has pressured you into having sex -until you willingly gave into him! BIG RED FLAG.

SEX is designed for marriage for a reason. With sex comes "soul ties" - in fact, everyone that you or he has had sex with before you had sex with each other, has an UN-GODLY soul tie with you also. Now - you have not only an un-Godly soul tie with your fiancé - because of premarital sex - you also have an unGodly soul tie with his EX's - and like wise for him with you and your previous partners.

It becomes a viscous cycle! God intended sex with in the bonded ness of marriage - period. The two shall become one - means that their souls are 'tied' to each other - as God designed. Outside of this God-designed order - is simply an un-Godly soul tie.

Take the other suggestions here, and ask your pastor for counsel - Ask him to suggest other counsel if he doesn't feel like he can address the issue properly. Some pastors make matters worse - believe me.

What I SEE here is a need to renounce ALL unGodly soul ties with your previous and current sexual partners - even a one time thing creates a soul-tie. And any soul -tie outside of God's order is unGodly. Your fiancé needs to do the same.

I suggest that You speak with your fiancé about these soul-ties and ask if he is willing to denounce them before God and ask for God's restoration over your relationship with each other. His answer will tell a vital story. If he agrees without argument or excuse or fear or manipulation - then go for it!! That's a good sign - but if he gives you ANY lip service - I say RUN and don't look back.

If he doesn’t agree, YOU must still denounce your ungodly soul-ties with him and all others. It not the same as asking forgiveness from a forgiving God. God forgives - but the enemy rules this earth realm by attacking our FLESH!! Our Flesh is still under enemy rule - therefore the need for the renewed mind - to fight the entanglement of the FLESH.

God forgives our spirit - the one thing that the enemy cannot touch. Thus the reason that the enemy attacks us on the flesh level. You sinned against God when you went outside of His order. But the enemy still has homestead rights to your flesh! Because our flesh belongs to the earth realm – it will remain in the earth realm when we die.

WE still live in a fallen world. The enemy is alive and well on planet earth!! He will use your fallen flesh to trip you up - everyway that he can - because that's his only avenue to get to us! Our flesh is weak but our sprits are strong in our position in Christ. The spirit of God in you must be allowed to rule over the flesh! It is a CHOICE and one that is not made with just 'feelings'.

It must be a choice decision made between your body-mind and soul. The three dimensions of the human being that cannot be separated. Bring them all three under submission to the Holy God that created us and we can live victorious over the 'killer' flesh. It must be a daily mindful choice or the enemy WILL slip from behind a dark alley and overtake you!


OK...I have to make this in 2 comments as I long-winded so hang for a minute... I 'll be back :)

Patrina <")>><

Patrina said...

I have worked 17 years with battered women. (Not saying that this is your situation) I have heard story after story of where good intentions and loving tender care -turn sour in a heart-beat! I don't need to go into that any further. But I know manipulation when I see it and from what I hear you say - and how he pressures you – and how it makes you feel -I see huge red flags for manipulation on his part - to keep you where he needs you!

You are not settled in who you are and what you want to be - for yourself - your mate - let alone God. You are in no way ready to make this 'lifelong' decision based on what you've shared here. Truthfully, I'm not sure any of us ever are. I married the only man I ever dated - and I was a virgin when I married - not certain if he was. We were married for 26 years and finally divorced! I was not ready at 19 to make that decision! I did not know him - He kept many things from me. ANGER was #1. I never saw any clue of it until we were married 1 year! I was a battered Woman - but told myself for 26 years that I was not!!

The fact that your fiancé pressured you to have sex - speaks volumes to me!! He lacks respect for you NOW - and you do not want to marry anyone that raises even 1 red flag - because if there is 1 -there are many more in hiding! NEVER marry with the HOPE that he/she will change. Marry because they have already become the complement to your heart and soul’s desire. No one should have to change for anyone else – they should already be who the other desires before they marry.

Any counselor that has his/her head on straight will tell you that a red flag is worthy of much thot and process. He must prove to you that he is willing to wait for sex until after marriage - ask each other's forgiveness for going outside of God's order and engaging in pre-marital sex. Because you sinned against each other as well.

He can prove his heart-felt Godly desires to you by willingly addressing the unGodly soul ties with you before the Lord. That the Lord may restore the broken soul-tie - to His created design.

I've said way too much. I've never had to put any of this in writing -just off the cuff so forgive me if I sounded too harsh or came on too strong. I do care about what I hear you saying! It pains me deeply that you do not feel settled in this relationship - and yet you intend to marry him anyway???

I protect my e-mail but if you want to stay in touch - if I can be of any more help - please leave your e-mail over at my place and I'll mail you. I do wish you God's best and I will pray for the Holy Spirit's direction for you - but dear soul, you must also pray for God's will in this matter and do not marry anyone until He says it's the real deal!

I love you with the love of the Lord

Patrina <")>><
His watchman on the wall

Enkay said...

So much has already been said.

The first step is to take a decision to not have sex with your fiance again until you both get married.

Yes we are human, yes we make mistakes but there are specific steps you can take so that the cheese is kept far away from the reach of the mice.

Take sound advice and you'll be fine.

Amaka said...

Dear Princess,

I have a few things to point out:

1. You haven't truly forgiven this guy. Forgiveness is not forgetting definitely but ability to drop all grieviances and past hurt and still love the person and understand that he is human and prone to make mistakes.

If you are still quarelling with this guy several weeks after this incident (after you had accepted his proposal and prayed abt the incident) and telling him you are fed up, then I don't think you have truly forgiven him. You are still not able to picture him without allowing that incident and the sight of the lady on his bed get to you.

You have to work on yourself in this area and pray intensely if you want to move on.


No 2: Try to imagine yourself 24, and with no pressures from family and friends, would you still want to be with this guy? What i mean here is, are you sure you are not marrying this guy because of friends, family and people advicing you?

No 3: You said he pressured you into sex and you fell for it. are you sure you did not contribute to this in some way? Why I ask is that there may have been times when you subconsciously lured him to it. Is it possible that you might have initiated it either by what you wear around him, having discussions leading to or watching movies related to sex constantly?

It takes two to tango. The times that you two have failed in keeping your resolve to have a sex-free relationship, please check and see what was the root cause?

where you in the wrong place at that time? wearing the wrong thing? being in the wrong crowd that actually promotes such? etc


My advice: you have to learn to forgive completely and to forgive yourself as well. Stop holding your sins against yourself as God is not doing that and you can't be more hurt than Him.

When you make resolutions not to fall into sexual temptation and you don't back it up with appropriate actions, then its only a matter of time before you fall into it again.

Also, a man who sincerely loves you has to respect your views about waiting and you have to be firm about it.

I cannot say more than what others have said about running to God. There have been times when i thought i was definitely going to break my vow and fall into sin and that there was no escaping the temptation.

I would even be excited at the thoughts of comitting the action but just one minute of saying "God, Please get this out of my way cos as much as my flesh wants it, i know i'd never be same with you if I do it" and just saying prayer alone saves me from such situations.

It could come as just one sentence from someone, or some event coming up to disrupt the clandestine appointment. Please never relent in praying. I might sound like a broken record but i can never say it enough. It works when every other method has failed.


Finally, if this is the guy for you, you shouldn't be having these doubts and fears. I don't mean the right man has to be a perfect man but I believe that when you meet your man, you would be able to accept him whole-heartedly regardless of his shortcomings. when you have a lot of doubts about him and still want to "manage", i dont think its the best.

Try and picture him 60 years down in your life with you, if you see a content and happy YOU and HIM, then go for it.

Please remember that family and friends will only visit once in a while, you would be the one to sleep and wake with this man by your side everyday of your life.

Pray, think well and Act.

All the very best.

Patrina said...

Amen! to Amaka's comment

Patrina <"))>><

2cute4u said...

This is the testimony I'm looking for now..i HAVE CHALLENGES, ALL HAVE..but not as I'm undergoing now, it just takes the special grace of God that I'm standing and with each step I take, I know I've overcome it already..May God's blessings continue to shower on you.
please y visithttp://helpnigeria.blogspot.com
Thank you so very much
www.askchacha4free.blogspot.com

jhazmyn said...

I'm just not exactly comfortable with the fact that you are engaged to him and yet you don't feel so much at peace with it Princess, you have so many questions yet you want to push these questions aside?

i think your relationship needs to heal, Love casts out fear, but there seems to be fears being nursed in your heart, for one, you're not even sure of his motives for proposing.

I just think you both still need sometime to grow as a couple before you actually go on with being engaged

Patrina said...

Amen! Jhazmyn! great point!

Patrina <")>><

David C Brown said...

The Scriptures speak about being married "in the Lord". Would you be married "in the Lord"? 1 Cor 7: 39

idomagirl said...

Okay first of all, the Bible says 'a broken and contrite heart He does not ignore', you are clearly sorry, so accept and believe in your heart that God has forgiven you & don't let the devil use guilt hold you down.

Now to the main issue. There are clearly a lot of red flags here which you should not ignore.

why did he lie and cheat on you in the first place? because he felt he could get away with it?

is he truly repentant & ready to change? its one thing for someone to be sorry for their actions, its another thing for them to really want to change.

lastly, have you heard from God?
just because he is a christian, doesn't mean he is the one God has ordained for you.

yes, we are God's children and when we pray with faith, we can move mountains, but God still tells us to be 'as gentle as doves, but as WISE as serpents'.

I hope I didn't come off as harsh or something like that, but I am a bit upset bcos he clearly took advantage of you...

no one wants a broken marriage , so its always best to have God's approval before getting into it. all the best! Shalom!

Anonymous said...

Wow! I agree with a lot of the comments especially the first poster.

However, you need to take a break. As someone said, too many red flags. The engagement was too swift, in my opinion . You need a decent break from him and the relationship to clear your head and associated menacing thoughts so that you can re-focus on God wholly again.

Do not let the quest for love and the need to settle down let you make/take lifelong decisions that would bring sadness (if that is the case).

People like you are obviously special people to have as partners because you have a heart of flesh that wants to know and love God.

It is well.