Should I Tell A Potential Girlfriend About My Past?

Dear Pastor,

Im in need of some serious advise!! Can u please help?

I’m a single 28 year old man. I’m a recovering alcoholic. I’m a christian man who was brought up in a christian home.

I have committed a sin with guilt and shame that consumes me.

During my drinking days, on four separate occasions, I got very,very drunk, and called an escort service. I would never even think to do this, but for some reason it happened. The thought of it makes me sick to my stomach! I cant look at myself in the mirror. I know I am forgiven by Gods grace, which I am eternally grateful!

I would die if anyone found out my sin!! My question is, do I need to tell a potential girl friend or wife this part of my past? The thought of it kills me!



Dear Anonymous,

From the tone of your email I can tell that you have genuine remorse. This is good. We can thank God for 1 John 1:9! You are right, God forgives when we come to Him in sincere repentance.

When you are first meeting other people you do not need to tell them everything about your past. This is true with first dates, too. It is not good to share everything about ourselves indiscriminately. It is a good “rule of thumb” to only share the intimate details of your life with a very few trusted friends. Most people cannot be trusted with intimacies.

It is a different situation when you find someone you want to marry. At some point as the relationship develops (before you get engaged) you should tell your fiancee the truth without going into all of the ugly details. You might say something like this: “You already know that I am not perfect. I have made some mistakes in my past. I took all of that to God, confessed it, and turned from it. The Lord has forgiven me and I have had to learn how to forgive myself. I want you to know that I love you and that I do not want to hurt you. I do not want you to discover something about my past from someone else. Therefore you need to know that I am a recovering alcoholic. When I was drunk I did some things that go against my Christian values. That is who I was. It is not who I am now. I am learning to walk in the Spirit of Christ. He gives me strength to follow Him and serve Him each day. I pray that you will forgive me for my past sins just as Jesus has forgiven me.”

If the lady cannot forgive you for your past then you do not have a relationship that will go the distance. If she can forgive you then she still needs to know so that she can be aware of those places where the devil will try to trip you up and lead you into sin. She can help be part of God’s defense for you against the enemy and the flesh.

~Pastor Chris