Category: Purity

Q&A: Still Attracted to Other Women

Q: I’m newly married but I’m still attracted to other women. How do I turn these feelings off?

Gary: I’m wondering if you were involved with women before you got married. I’m also wondering if you had a pornography addiction. Often, either of these two things make marriage difficult because they pattern your mind for changing persons. I think you have to turn to God and ask him to deliver you from your past and give you a biblical commitment to your wife. Don’t allow the enemy to keep you in bondage to past experiences.

Q&A: A Flirtatious Co-Worker

Q: A co-worker is flirting with me. I’m married, but I don’t want to jeopardize my job. How do I deal with this?

Gary: Draw back, and if they continue to press, verbally express to them that you are happily married and would do nothing to destroy that. If the person’s not gone too far, then you may not want to say something of that nature. However, you still must ignore their flirting and spend as little time as possible with that person. Definitely don’t eat with them. And again, if the person continues to go further, verbally expressing your commitment to your marriage should end the flirting.

Q&A: Memories of Past Sexual Experiences

Q: Will having a sexual past affect my upcoming marriage now that I am a believer? 

Gary: The short answer is yes. All of our past failures will have an effect on our future. I was recently talking with a man who had been married for twenty years and he said to me, “Gary, the fact that my wife had sexual relationships with two other men when she was in college still comes to mind when we are intimate.” Either spouse having a sexual past will affect the marriage, but there can be healing. I suggested to the man that he ask God to let the blood of Christ cover his knowledge of his wife’s sexual past so that it becomes a blur. For you, I would ask God to have the blood of Christ cover the memories of your past sexual experiences. Healing is always possible.

Q&A: Memories of Sin

Q: I was exposed to pornography at a young age, and though I’m married now I can’t seem to erase the images. What should I do?

Dr. Gary Chapman: The Scriptures say that the blood of Christ covers our sins. I would encourage you to pray that God would cover the images of the past in your mind with the blood of Christ. Visualize the blood of Christ flowing over the images and I think you will find that God will blur those images for you. This may take a while, but in time you will deeply recognize that God has forgiven you for those things; he no longer sees them, and neither will you.

Negative Attitudes Toward Sex

Some Christians have a negative attitude towards sex. It may have come from a distorted education about sex, an unfortunate sexual experience as a child, or sexual involvement as a teenager that brought disappointment and guilt. What is important is to understand that we choose our attitudes. The first step in overcoming a negative attitude is exposure to the truth. The truth about sex is that within marriage it is God-ordained and designed to bring mutual pleasure. As in all of live we are called to live by the truth. We admit our negative attitudes and feelings but we don’t serve them. With the help of God we live according to his revealed truth.

Q&A: A Husband’s Lack of Sexual Interest

Q: How much pressure should I put on my husband to be more intimate with me? It seems that I’m the only one interested in this aspect of our marriage

Dr. Gary Chapman: If by intimacy you mean sex and your husband isn’t interested, there’s definitely a reason. There are numerous possibilities as to why, and you should find out. Perhaps he has homosexual tendencies, perhaps he has a pornography addiction, or he may even be involved with someone else. There could also be a physical reason, and if so you need to encourage him to see a doctor because there’s medication that can help with that. It’s a matter of figuring out the reason for his lack of interesting and then taking positive steps to correct it.

Q&A: Past Physical Relationships

Q: Should I be concerned about my fiancé’s past physical relationships with other women?

Gary Chapman: I think you should be concerned because it’s a matter of reality. It’s not a part of his life that he can erase. That’s why I encourage couples to share with each other their past sexual experience. Because if he’s been involved with other women before marriage, and particularly multiple women it’s going to be far more difficult for him emotionally to be committed to one person after marriage. Let’s look to God for deliverance from that pattern so that he can indeed be committed to you. I think also, you have some things to work through in terms of your feelings about what he has done in the past and we have to learn how to experience and express genuine forgiveness if we’re going to have a healthy marriage.

Q&A: Being Pure Before Marriage

Q: My fiancé and I are finding it difficult to stay pure before marriage.  Do you have any suggestions?

Gary Chapman: It is difficult. When we deeply love each other, we have warm emotional feelings for each other and the natural thing is to get physically involved. But when we do the physical part of the relationship becomes the predominant part of the relationship. We cease to get to know each other from that point and it simply becomes a physical thrill. That’s not the foundation on which to build a marriage. So I think you have to set boundaries. The two of you have to agree to not have sexual intercourse before you get married (or to stop if you already have). Figure out some guidelines that you can follow to keep you from falling into that trap. As you set boundaries and ask God to give you the power to follow his teachings, you will be successful.

Q&A: Living Together Before Marriage

Q: Is living together before marriage a good idea?

Gary Chapman: It sounds like it, doesn’t it? That’s what many young people think. That’s also what many older people think. The reality is research indicates it’s not true. I think the reason is that you cannot simulate marriage. We think we’ll give it a trial run, but you can’t try marriage. Marriage has to do with commitment, and when you’re living together without commitment you both know that any day of any week, one of you could walk away. So even though it seems like it would be a good idea, all research and certainly scripture indicate that it’s not a good idea. So I would challenge you to seek to live a life of purity before you come to marriage. I believe that God’s way is still the best way.