I am a single mother with a career…. I have been in a romantic relationship for about two years. My boyfriend is good to me and to my son. He asked me to be honest with him and to tell him everything from my past…. I feel that he is a demanding person. I haven’t told him everything for fear that he will treat me badly in the future because of the mistakes that I have made. [But if I don’t tell him] he might find out from someone else. I have asked God to forgive me and to let me start over. What should I do?

Dear Friend,

Your words imply that you are considering marrying this man, though you don’t say so. Therefore the advice we are giving you takes for granted that you hope to be his wife someday.

As a general rule, you should have no secrets from the person that you marry. Secrets are like a barrier that can easily come between a husband and wife. A person who goes into a marriage with secrets is condemned to a lifetime of anxiety, constantly afraid that the secret will be exposed. Sometimes lies are told to cover up the secret, bringing the problem out of just the past and into the present. Instead of sabotaging your marriage by keeping secrets, it is best to share the secrets of your past life before agreeing to be married.

However, there is something you say that concerns us even more than your question. You say that your boyfriend is a demanding person and that you fear he will treat you badly in retaliation for your past. Why in the world would you want to marry a man with that kind of character? A man who makes you feel that you are not good enough for him is not the man you should marry. If you continue this relationship, you are knowingly agreeing to feel belittled and demoralized for the rest of your life.

When Jesus died on the cross, He paid the price for every one of our sins. He suffered the penalty for everything you did in the past that you are now ashamed of. When you asked Him to forgive you, He not only forgave you but He also completely wiped away the eternal consequences. He will never bring it up again, and He will never treat you badly because of it.

We encourage you to develop a personal relationship with God through prayer and Bible reading. Your Heavenly Father can always be trusted to give you help and strength when you depend on Him. Find a church where the people are loving and forgiving, as they follow God’s example. Work on becoming a woman who has confidence and self-respect. And don’t settle for any man who can’t love you for who you have become.

We wish you well,