Man and woman walking into the sunset

Timeless Truths: A Changed Heart will Bear Obvious Fruit

In this "Timeless Truths" segment from our archives, counselor Judy Lucas gives some guidance to a woman who wants to know if her fiancé has truly repented of sexual sin.

Host: Judy, we want to tackle a question here from a woman that is considering marrying a man. He has confided in her letting her know that he spent five years addicted to pornography, but he does not currently have any desire to go back to sexual sin. He apparently has had some period of freedom. He did acknowledge to her that he only struggles with images when he brings them up in his mind. She wants to marry him, but she doesn't want to marry someone involved in pornography. How should she be looking at the situation?

Judy: Well, one thing I would definitely tell her is that it’s a really good thing that she can thank the Lord for that he is willing to be honest and walk in the light about his past involvement in sexual sin and that he is honest about his current struggles. There are too many men on the other side of the fence where they are hiding and lying. So, it is a very good thing that he is willing to tell on himself. Another question that we hear all the time from women who are either dating or married to guys that have a past of viewing pornography is, “How do I know that he's not going to do this again?” And the honest truth is that it is hard to know. I can't give them full assurance that the man will never go back to his sin.
        There are many things we don't know about this relationship. How long have they been seeing each other? How long has she known him? What's been his track record? One thing I do want to encourage any woman to do when dating is to not be in a hurry to get married. Instead, she should begin to pay attention to his lifestyle a bit. What is some of the fruit he displays in his life? What do his daily activities look like? Does he seem to have a strong relationship with the Lord? Is he in the word? Is he in prayer? Does he spend time at church? Is he serving others in a selfless manner? Or is he in to things that would raise up red flags? I would even ask her about what her relationship with this guy looks like. Are they walking in purity, or is he making suggestions to cross lines into sexual intimacy? There are a lot of things to process and think about.
        The main thing she should be doing is praying and seeking the Lord for direction. She should maybe even be talking with her pastor to get some wise counsel along the way too.

Host: We do need to add as an encouragement that God can keep a man that is truly repentant and who’s desire truly is to not to go back to his sin safe in His hand.

Judy: Yes, He can. There's a lot of wonderful Scripture that talks about how the Lord will keep you. He gives us the Holy Spirit to bring the conviction that keeps us on the narrow way. The other thing is that when a guy looks at pornography, those images are imprinted in his brain and it's a continual battle for that man. So, I'm sure that the enemy does come to bring those images back to mind. But also, there is the reality of the power of God to transform the human mind.
        That transforming power comes slowly over time as he spends time in the Word. The Holy Spirit begins to renew the mind and wash out those images. He begins to replace those images with who God is and the things of God. It's like the washing out of the old junk and bringing something brand new and beautiful to think about. One last thing I would encourage this woman to do as she's thinking about marriage is to make sure her relationship with God is where it needs to be. She needs to make sure that God is her first love. He needs to be her heavenly husband. Her walk with God should be strong. It is also crucial that they are both walking with the Lord and making Him the first priority in their lives.

Host: Yes. And that's so important particularly when looking at a suitor who has a background of sexual sin. Our prayer of course is that they will continue to walk in victory. But if something happens where he falls into sin or the enemy sets a trap that he steps into, a woman is going to need a solid relationship with the Lord to be able to respond to that appropriately in the marriage or the dating relationship.

Judy: Absolutely. And again, that's why it's so important for him not to just be honest with her but to have another godly man in his life that can come alongside him and help him walk through his struggles with temptation. We always tell women that they are not to be the main accountability person for their spouse or someone they are dating. So, it is important for him to have a godly male figure that he can be open and honest with.

Host: Yeah. Well, as a guy, I'll just second that and say we need that. So, I appreciate you underscoring the need for accountability as well. Thanks so much for your counsel on this issue.

Judy: Thank you. It was great to be here.

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