I have had a girlfriend for almost a year, but she has had a difficult past that torments me. I love her, but very often I think about what she did. She was the lover of a much older man, and has a daughter from him, as well as two daughters from a man who died…. Please, I need some advice!

Dear Friend,

You are very wise to recognize your doubts and to examine them. Many people have doubts, but their emotions overrule those doubts and cause them to refuse to acknowledge the danger signs until it is too late.

You specifically mention the way your girlfriend’s past torments you, and that you often think about what she did. Is it that she had two long-term sexual relationships without being married? Or is it that she may have had sexual relations with other men as well as the fathers of those daughters? Or do you think that she made really bad decisions in the past, and that could mean that she will continue to make poor choices in the future?

You ask for advice, so the first and most important counsel we have is that you should not be in a sexual relationship with your girlfriend. She has three living, breathing daughters to show you what happens when people have a sexual relationship. The only protection that is sufficient is abstinence. Otherwise, there will soon be a fourth child, and you will find yourself taking care of all of them.

How do you feel about your girlfriend’s daughters? Have you come to love them? Can you treat them as your very own, equal to whatever future children you will have? If the answer is no, or if you are not sure, then you must break up with your girlfriend immediately. Her children need a stepfather who loves them completely and wants to invest in their future. No parent should ever consider a relationship with someone who doesn’t love and accept his or her children without reservation.

When your conscience continues to bother you about something, you would be very wise to listen. God gave us each a conscience to protect us from harm or danger. You may not fully understand what the harm could be, but it is still best to follow the leading of your conscience.

Did you know that all of us have done things that are wrong? We have all sinned. There is not one of us who is perfect.(1) That is exactly why God sent His Son Jesus Christ to pay the penalty for our sins.(2) Because of Christ, we can be forgiven no matter what we have done. But we must decide to ask Him for forgiveness. With His forgiveness, we can put the past behind us, (3) but we will still have to face the natural consequences of our actions.

We wish you the best,

1 Ps 14:3; 53:3; Ro 3:10,12,23
2 1P 3:18
3 1Jn 1:9