The good folks at Boundless just published an article I wrote entitled Guard Your Marriage. Here’s the opening:
Many newly married couples struggle with guilt over past sins, particularly sexual sins. Thoughts come racing in at the most inappropriate times, forcing us to beat them back or fall into despondency over past failure. Perhaps worse, we can be tempted to cultivate fond memories of sinful experiences — in our dullness remembering only the flower and forgetting the bitter thorn.
But there’s a connection, I think, between sexual guilt (for what lies in one’s past) and possible infidelity (in one’s future). First, being weighed down with past failure can give us a sense that future failure is inevitable. Guilt can precipitate a sense of powerlessness; we feel this sin owns us, which becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, and the sin-guilt-sin cycle repeats itself. Alternatively, never truly learning from past failure — what precipitated it, the series of small and large decisions we made which, cumulatively, did us in — can lead to future failure.
Either way, it’s important that we accurately view our self, including our past, in light of the cross and Christ’s power over guilt and sin. So how do we, as married men and women, overcome guilt for past failure and cultivate habits that will guard us from future failure?
You can read the rest here if you so choose.