Advice For A Prodigal Daughter

A bit of a different post for today. Certainly a break from the one before. Today’s post is a response to an e-mail I received recently,  one which is the latest amongst many that have run along similar lines. It came from a woman who I will refer to as ‘Prodigal Daughter’ throughout this post. I am writing this post for Prodigal Daughter and the other women in her position who e-mail me or have commented her on my blog, asking for help. Also, I want to have a post I can link to in the future when similar questions or concerns are raised.

As a measure of protecting her privacy, I’m going to paraphrase the content of Prodigal Daughter’s e-mail. Brackets are my explanations for things which either weren’t in the original e-mail or had to separated from the original message. Here is the paraphrased e-mail:

Prodigal Daughter began by asking for what I believed was the case about men in general, and not myself in particular.

This was followed by an explanation that she was millennial woman who is presently committed to living a serious Christian life, including biblical submission and a desire for a large family. However, she had sinned sexually in the past with a man. [So N=1.] She indicates that she is fairly good looking.  She hopes to find a God-fearing husband who will lead her future family. While she has turned her life around, she recognizes that she made serious errors in the past [and didn’t seem to excuse them]. She very much detests what she has done, but there is nothing she can do about it.

She acknowledged that a lot of God-fearing men only want a woman who has been chaste throughout her life, and she understands why. Her main question was whether it was a possibility that a God-fearing man could “forgive her past” and choose her as a wife despite her history. Was that wishful thinking on her part, and she was no longer desirable as a wife? [Prodigal Daughter can accept not marrying, if that is what happens, but she really does want a husband.] She sought my honest opinion on what men would think, knowing I couldn’t speak for all of them.

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Before I get into my response, I would like to mention that I want to keep this post about helpful advice and suggestions. This post is intended to have a very specific focus. I will police this thread heavily, so keep that in mind. People can respond to the e-mail or my suggestions, but free-ranging debates that get off-topic will be deleted. Just wanted to be clear about that from the get-go.

One thing that needs to be addressed before responding to Prodigal Daughter’s inquiry is an important prerequisite. This is not directed at Prodigal Daughter but towards women who are in her shoes. They need to honestly ask themselves if they really are ready or capable of fulfilling the duties of a Christian wife. It is essential for women with sexual sins in their past to do some serious self-reflection (although it applies to all kinds of sins and harm in the past too). Sexual sins/history can (and often do) have a serious impact on a woman’s ability to maintain a healthy relationship, especially a lasting one like marriage. I know that some of my readers and plenty of others out there will disagree with this, but I do think that some women end up being so scarred by their past that they cannot (or are unlikely to) overcome it. So all women in this position need to examine themselves and make sure that they are not so damaged. A full post can be written on how to do this and what to look for, but a major warning sign is a sense of disgust or revulsion associated with sex, in whatever form or context. If you [in the general sense] have blocks in place that would interfere with your ability to afford a future husband his conjugal rights, I’m sorry but you should not pursue marriage. At least as long as you have that block.

[Prodigal Daughter has indicated that she doesn’t have this problem. She wants to enjoy sex in a manner pleasing to God and to her future husband. In fact serving her husband in this manner would be a joy to her.]

Having covered that, now to the main topic.

Reading through the e-mail, it looks to me that Prodigal Daughter is looking for the following:

  • A God-fearing man
  • Who is willing to lead her and her family; and
  • One who will overlook her past

Prodigal Daughter, I will be blunt: you will probably have a very difficult time finding the husband you want.

Much of your difficulty, perhaps even most of it, will not be due to your past. Sadly, the general state of the Faith, the Church and marriage in the West these days is so bad that finding a God-fearing husband will be difficult for many Christian woman. Understand that this is a lousy market for Christians who want to marry and follow God’s commands. Whether a woman has been chaste her whole life or not, she will find a dearth of marriageable and marriage-minded Christian men out there. [The even bleaker situation Christian men face is covered well enough elsewhere on my blog.] So understand that the situation is tough irrespective of anything about you personally. [Prodigal Daughter has indicated she has noticed some of this already.]

That is the overall picture. As for the more specific…

First off, it is not a question of a God-fearing man “forgiving” you your past. You didn’t sin against him, at least, not him specifically. It would only be in the general sense of sinning against the church, of which he is a member. Rather, this is about him ignoring or overlooking your past, and either hoping it doesn’t affect your marriage or accepting the consequences that it means for your marriage. Again, this isn’t about forgiveness. We are called to forgive as Christians; but this is about a man evaluating whether or not you would be an acceptable wife. Your past choices will affect your abilities as a wife. Men will be deciding if you are worth the risk that your past entails.

Now, God-fearing men fall into several “camps” as far as a woman’s sexual history is concerned. Some, especially those who have been chaste themselves, won’t ever accept as a wife a woman who hasn’t been chaste. [For the sake of disclosure I should mention that I personally would fall into this camp.] It is tough to get a read of just how many men are in that camp. Others will hesitate about it, with the amount of baggage you have being a determining factor. The more you have, the more likely it will tip the scales against you. Your other attributes will matter here a great deal.  Of course, not all God-fearing men are as “picky”, especially those who have themselves fornicated in the past. What will matter to them will be your recent actions and your present state. There are also those who have been indoctrinated to think that it a woman’s sexual history doesn’t matter or that they are lesser men if they let it affect their judgment. While that can work for you, I would advise you be be careful when dealing with such men. You don’t want to marry a man who will secretly regret his choice or later resent being told to bury his wishes.

With an N (number of premarital sexual partners) of 1, you are in a far better position that many other prodigal daughters out there. Many of the men who would consider marrying a woman with a sexual history will be far more accepting of you with such a low number. They will know you aren’t a slut (a crude word but accurate and useful here). Instead  you are a woman who erred with a single man. Either you did so once and realized your error right away, showing more wisdom than most. Or you stuck with it, and showed an interest in a serious relationship. As sad as it is to say, this is in your favor. Most millennial women have higher N’s than that.

So in sum, there will be some God-fearing men who will not accept you as a wife because of your past. But your history is not so bad as to push away all of them.

Age is another possible hindrance. The older you are, the more restricted your choices. A man might be willing to overlook a certain history in a 20 year old that he wouldn’t for a 30 year old. In addition, men are drawn to youth in women. All else being equal, we will choose the younger woman. In addition, the younger you are, the more time you have to find someone. I would also point out that those men who want a larger family will want to marry a younger wife in particular.  The manosphere likes to throw around certain numbers, 25 years old and 30 years old being the most prominent, as ages past which a woman is not marriageable or worth marrying. I wouldn’t worry about that all that much- the ‘sphere is quite small and women past those ages can and do marry.  But it could always be a factor, so it is important to understand and accept that. Plus it means you shouldn’t waste time- this really does need to be the primary focus of your life right now.

In summary, the older you are/get, the tougher the situation will be.

You have mentioned you are fairly attractive. [Prodigal Daughter has explained she works out daily and eats well. She dresses modestly and attractively, and has her hair long and well groomed.] This will be in your favor, and might ultimately be what helps you find a husband. Men are drawn to beauty as well, and it might help a man decide you are worth the risk. Even when we shouldn’t, men will overlook a lot for a pretty face and a shapely body. Keep taking care of yourself here, this is a chance for you to really stand out. Keeping your weight down and your body-fat percentage in a healthy range gives you a leg up. Just keep in mind your attractiveness is tied to your age, so it will be of less help the more time that passes.

So where am I going with this? Simple- your situation is difficult… but not impossible. Your past counts against you, but your looks will help you out. Your age can help or hurt- it depends on how old you are. But women in your position can and do marry. Even to God-fearing men. So it is not a lost cause.

Here are a few pieces of advice that might help you out:

  • Look at men older than you. Don’t just look at guys within 1-3 years of your age. You need to be looking well past that. Seriously consider men 5 to 10 years older than you. Trust me on this. An older man will appreciate having a younger wife, especially if she is still pretty. He might not care about history as much either, as he will be grateful to have a wife.
  • Look out for men who are recent converts or “prodigal sons.” The men most likely to accept your past failings will be those with a sinful past as well. You will find more of those among those who have recently joined or returned to the church. Widowers, while rare, are a possibility if their wife died young.
  • Be pro-active. Many men are gun-shy about marriage these days. Emphasize your support of, and willingness to engage in, Christian marriage (with biblical submission and everything). Ask around if anyone knows of any men who are looking for a wife. Introduce yourself and be friendly with the unmarried men in church. Talk with your fellow women, find out if any have brothers or cousins who might be interested in marriage.
  • Set realistic expectations. Prince Charming doesn’t exist in real life, and never has. The highest value, most attractive men might not accept you because of your past. Age could also push some away. So be realistic, not picky.

I cannot promise that anything I’ve said will be of any help. Like I said, it will be a hard road, but not an impossible one. However, it is entirely possible that you may never find yourself a husband. Many God-fearing Christian men and women will not be able to find spouses int his day and age. Don’t build up unhealthy expectations or let your anxiety overcome you.

 “So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”

At the same time, remember-

 “Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you.  For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.”

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If any of my readers have any suggestions of their own they would like to, please feel free to do so in the comments. Once again, I would like to keep the comments focused on the topics of this post only, and will be policing them.

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31 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Femininity, God, Marriage, Pair Bonding, Red Pill, Sex, Sin, Temptation, The Church, Women

31 responses to “Advice For A Prodigal Daughter

  1. I think that she did sin against her future husband, that’s the thing. It’s not that different from Esau, throwing away his birthright and then seeking to get it back, seeking repentance with tears, but not being able to recover, tho heavily remorseful.

    [DG: Left in for the sake of additional comments and because reasonable minds can disagree.]

  2. trugingstar

    What I mean to say is, she doesn’t need any special advice as a non-virgin. It’s going to be difficult. I can hardly stand it myself. [DG Edit: Please do not sin to try and gain yourself a husband. It will be a temptation, but resist it. Avoid gossip, slander and dispensing sexual favors to get what you want.] If you [avoid]these things, it will be more difficult for you to get a husband than a virgin, but you won’t be apostatizing to get your way. I’d recommend a divorced guy, and like DG said, older. The sin is forgiven, but the consequences are still there. It wouldn’t be right for you to date any Christian without telling him your number by the second date. Maybe don’t go to the bar on your dates, because I see how telling someone like that could be dangerous. Go on some daytime dates where it’s not too expensive.

    [DG: For the record, I would “recommend” a divorced man only in a few circumstances. He couldn’t have been a Christan when married, he didn’t initiate the divorce and he and his wife weren’t Christians when they divorced (although he could be, she couldn’t- Pauline Privilege and all that).]

  3. Heather

    Hi Donal,
    I Hope it’s okay to comment on this.
    Set realistic expectations. Prince Charming doesn’t exist in real life, and never has.
    This is a good summary.

    If the goal (and accompanying effort) is simply to find an eligible man, the effect can ultimately be that of idolatry; so it is worthwhile to emphasize the need for your Prodigal friend to focus primarily on being a godly woman. This is really key, IMO, as God is 100% capable of bringing her the “right” man at the right time, if it’s to be so.
    I’ve known young people who seem to believe that an ideal marriage/children would resolve their internal state of restless unhappiness. But this just isn’t true, . Marriage of any caliber is not necessarily easier or more fulfilling than Christ-focused singleness.

    If she is truly seeking to know and honor the Lord, she can learn to be satisfied regardless of where He leads her.

  4. Elspeth

    Kill the histrionics people. The reality is that there are good, godly men with pasts of their own who would be willing to marry her if she’s pretty, pleasant, and repentant enough.

    What this woman needs to do is threefold:

    1. Spend some time alone with God in sackcloth and ashes and come to terms with her sin. No dating until she’s done so.

    2. Find some godly mentors with whom she can be transparent and accountable.

    3. Allow those same trusted people to guide her as she makes it known she’s interested in marrying.

  5. Isn’t “prodigal daughter” a bit harsh in this instance? She didn’t go around partying or anything; just fornicated once.

    She acknowledged that a lot of God-fearing men only want a woman who has been chaste throughout her life, and she understands why. Her main question was whether it was a possibility that a God-fearing man could “forgive her past” and choose her as a wife despite her history. Was that wishful thinking on her part, and she was no longer desirable as a wife? [Prodigal Daughter can accept not marrying, if that is what happens, but she really does want a husband.] She sought my honest opinion on what men would think, knowing I couldn’t speak for all of them.

    From what I’ve observed of good Christian men is that most would definitely be willing to forgive one mistake in a woman’s past. The manosphere members here might be more jaded and unwilling to compromise, but they’re hardly representative of most men.

  6. Feminine But Not Feminist

    I agree with Donal’s take on this and think she will have a very difficult time of finding what she is looking for, but it’s not impossible. I would advise her to pray, pray, and pray some more… not only that she will find a man like that who won’t hold her past against her, but also that any issues and baggage resulting from her past choices will be resolved beforehand so that she will be a good enough wife for that man.

    It sounds like she truly does understand the gravity of what she has done, and that she is truly repentant of it and going in the right direction now, which is definitely good and might just help her out. Though she will likely have a much better chance with men that have been down that same road and are now repentant of it and on the right path themselves. It’s doubtful that any lifelong chaste man will take her, but again, it’s not impossible.

    I would also advise her to be completely honest with any man who would consider her about this. To be willing to answer any questions he may have about it. It would be very unfair to him for her to hide it from him if it’s something that would be a big deal to him… everyone has a right to know this stuff about a prospective spouse.

    And I would advise her to always… ALWAYS… be grateful to the man that chooses her, precisely because he will choose to spend the rest of his life with her when she would otherwise be all alone. This is vital and should never be forgotten.

    I also think Elspeth is right that many good men would be willing to forgive her and take her despite this, but only because she is truly repentant of it, and that most of those men are going to have fornication in their own past as well.

    Though I do agree with what redpillsetmefree said about her having sinned against her future husband, considering what Proverbs says about doing your husband good and not evil ALL the days of your life, which of course includes her life prior to marrying him. Which means she will need to humble herself with him and recognize this when asking for his forgiveness.

    So to Prodigal Daughter ~ you still have a chance, all hope is not lost. Hang in there, pray, keep your eyes open at all times for a good man, pray, be willing to do your part, and pray some more. There are probably more good men out there than there are good women, so there’s still a chance for you to get one, but be reasonable and realistic when evaluating them. I wish you well.

  7. N=0 and chaste is preferable. I would personally not rule out a woman for having N=1 and is now chaste. N=2 or higher is getting into very risky territory in my opinion. I still wouldn’t rule it out, but I’d say it’s extremely unlikely.

    Although I would take N=1 and chaste over N=0 and immodest behavior anyday.

    However, I’d need to hear every detail of the story in person to see if she is repentant of it. You can clearly tell when someone is or isn’t based on how they talk about it and their body language.

    I’m personally not afraid to talk about any and all sins I’ve committed in the past because of the grace and mercy I’ve been given and the Father is exalted in saving me from my depravity. However, must be coupled with actual repentance to where you see the person actively moving in the other direction as well.

  8. Pingback: Against All Advice | Donal Graeme

  9. Feminine But Not Feminist

    After reading my comment back, I don’t think I made my next to last paragraph clear enough. I meant to say that he might be more inclined to forgive her if she recognizes that she sinned against him and is humble about it when asking his forgiveness for it, because a good man would probably feel sinned against.

  10. 4_Nick

    The degree to which she detests her previous action is the degree to which she is NOT an alpha widow. Alpha widowhood is the single most dangerous aspect of previous sexual experience. This is why a woman who erred with an average niceguy boyfriend is preferable to a virgin who is alpha-widow crazy for the lacrosse team.

    This is why it is important to feel repulsed by our sin. As long as we are not repulsed by it, we can still secretly cherish the sin while only being repulsed by the negative consequences it has wrought in our life.

    It is pretty tough to imagine an alpha widow whose stomach turns when she thinks of what she did with that guy.

  11. FuzzieWuzzie

    I’m older and, for all intents, secular. I agree pretty much with what Feminine but not Feminist said. In fact, I’ll add that I think she is in good shape. While sexual history can be quantified, attitude cannot. Prodigal Daughter is motivated. In the dating marketplace, there are too few women who are.
    PD, to echo FBNF, be grateful when you do find him.

  12. Hey all,

    There will be no shortage of men willing to commit to her. I also suggest she has sinned against her future husband, but provided she repents and adopts the appropriate attitude towards a man, there will be numerous candidates.

    The question is: if she is good looking and in good shape, why is she having issues attracting a suitor?

    She ideally needs to be mentored through this process by an older, godly woman. Finding one of those that can give good counsel could be difficult.

    Churches are so feminised that good advice is hard to find.

  13. I agree with Feminine but not Feminist above that the Proverbs 31 woman does her husband good and not harm *ALL* the days of her life, even before she met him – so Donal – I disagree that she didn’t sin against her future husband, she did.

    Proverbs 31:

    Prov. 31:10 ¶ Who can find a worthy woman?
    For her price is far above rubies.
    Prov. 31:11 The heart of her husband trusts in her.
    He shall have no lack of gain.
    Prov. 31:12 She does him good, and not harm,
    All the days of her life.

    [DG: Omitted content, plus sites of an uncertain nature and theology.]

    The other thing is an act of submission to the Lord, and symbolic of cleansing herself. While saying the [omitted] prayer above, or after, take anointing oil and anoint or ‘cleanse’ herself by anointing her body where she was touched by the previous partner – thus spiritually purifying her physical person for her future husband. Then ensuring she *STAYS PURE* for her husband on her wedding night.

    hope some of this helps

  14. Bee

    True repentance is crucial. It is hard to measure but I agree with not making excuses about her past. She was wrong. She did wrong. The girl I married demonstrated true repentance by intentionally taking herself out of the dating market for a number of years. She also served a lot at church, not just serving in the Singles Ministry.

    As far as alpha widows, here are three things that can offset their past:

    1. Thinking about past lovers is a temptation. Practice spiritual/mental discipline by rejecting those thoughts and images and using them to spring board to praying for others and then meditating on a memorized section of Scripture. Jay Adams calls this the, “put off, put on” principle. Christian meditation and prayer is active, not passive.

    http://www.amazon.com/Theology-Christian-Counseling-Jay-Adams/dp/0310511011

    2. Respect and speaking well of men and then her husband once married. Begin the habit of focusing on the good points you can find with the man you are dating, your father, co-workers. My wife routinely brags about me to others. Her parents and siblings think I walk on water – I don’t, but they get that impression from her.

    [DG: I deleted the third point here. A few of the suggestions were acceptable, but most were questionable and some were incompatible with Christian doctrine and Tradition. I was tempted to remove the whole comment, but the first two points seemed ok so I have left them up.]

  15. Prodigal Daughter has asked me to provide a few explanations here in the comments for everyone. What follows is hers:

    @Elspeth
    Yes ma’am, I wholeheartedly agree with you. It has been 8 years and I have laid everything on the altar. I know that God has restored me and healed me. I understand the gravity of my mistake. I have made a vow that my life will bring Him honor, no matter what direction He leads, whether that be to a husband or to remain single.

    I have 2 godly mentors who know the details of my past, who have guided me, and who hold me accountable. They are such a blessing to me. Thank you so much for you wise advice. It is nice to have this confirmed.

    @ Feminine but not feminist
    I know that I will be a very lucky women when chosen. I have no plans or desire to hide any parts of my past from my husband. I agree that he has the right to know every detail before making a decision. Will it break my heart to tell him? More than words can convey. However, I am the one who caused this. My hurt cannot begin to measure up against how I have wronged him. I made my choice, no one else did. I am responsible for my own sin and the consequences that come with them. Thank you for your advise and perspective.

    @Deep strength
    Yes sir (I’m assuming you are a sir), I know my sins have been forgiven. Praise God!!!! I will hold no details back from my husband. However, I chose to remain anonymous on here because I don’t think it is necessary for all folks to know my past. If God asks me to tell the world, I will. But, so far, He hasn’t. I have not always been modest and chaste, obviously. However, God has done a radical transformation. Thank you for your insights.

    To all, I most certainly do understand the weight of my sins. I have no desire to trick a man into marrying me. At this time, I have a nice career and healthy future, so I am not desperate to trap a man. I love children, but will embrace whatever direction God leads. I am currently working with 2 ministries focused on ladies. My hopes is that I can help point them to Christ and away from the world. I hope, with everything inside of me, that someone can learn from my mistakes.

    Love to you all. Thank you the advise and I would appreciate prayers as I seek to minister to younger ladies.

  16. A few other things:

    @ Sir Nemesis- She left the faith for a while, which is what makes her a Prodigal Daughter. Specific sins are not necessary to it.

    Also, Prodigal Daughter has no reason to lie to me. We don’t know each other in Real Life, and probably will never meet. She has no incentive to lie here- it gains her nothing. She wants the honest truth, and good, helpful advice.

  17. Then she should not consider a guy who wants gory details. The last thing someone genuine in repentance needs is to marry a grudge-keeper, which is much more probable in a guy if he wants a blow by blow of all her sexual sin while acceding to none of his own (the usual way of such things). Sexual sin is bad enough without hyperfocusing on it.

    Even if he’s willing to do his share of exhausting and exhaustive detail about past sexual sin, it’s still not really an optimal marriage choice. Better to find a guy who isn’t insistent on anything more than simple honesty about not being a virgin. More of them and one less source of stress in keeping the marriage lifelong.

    I’ll put it this way, the men I know who are married were simple honesty types. The guys who were/are shall we say exhaustively concerned about all the sexual details with other guy(s) are pretty much all still single.

  18. @ donalgraeme

    Also, Prodigal Daughter has no reason to lie to me. We don’t know each other in Real Life, and probably will never meet. She has no incentive to lie here- it gains her nothing. She wants the honest truth, and good, helpful advice.

    Oh no I didn’t mean to imply that. She doesn’t have any reason to lie, and based on the level of regret she displayed, she doesn’t seem likely to rationalize down her N either. What I meant was that if I met someone with claimed N=1 in real life, I would have a hard time trusting her. I don’t think most men would be that distrustful though.

  19. Hope this helps

    @ Donal Graeme – Repentance has been well discussed above. But I have not yet seen any mention of providing a comfort level towards a marriage. By that, I mean @ Prodigal Daughter making it clear to a possible husband that she believes in all of the marriage vows and finds divorce/frivorce to be abhorrent. I mention this because I’m sure quite a few of us know a man who was raked over the coals in a divorce and who might well be gun shy, not to mention the friends and family of such a man.

  20. From the OP:

    I know that some of my readers and plenty of others out there will disagree with this, but I do think that some women end up being so scarred by their past that they cannot (or are unlikely to) overcome it. So all women in this position need to examine themselves and make sure that they are not so damaged.

    I did want to address this but I didn’t earlier.

    The Father can heal all emotional and psychological “damage” per se, but from what I have seen most humans — male or female — keep it to themselves or put it away and don’t talk to the Father about it. Such things cannot be overcome with our own power.

    The physiological consequences are not typically removed either such as STDs, potential pregnancy, infertility, and whatnot.

    ———————

    @ Practical Conservative

    Then she should not consider a guy who wants gory details. The last thing someone genuine in repentance needs is to marry a grudge-keeper, which is much more probable in a guy if he wants a blow by blow of all her sexual sin while acceding to none of his own (the usual way of such things). Sexual sin is bad enough without hyperfocusing on it.

    Even if he’s willing to do his share of exhausting and exhaustive detail about past sexual sin, it’s still not really an optimal marriage choice. Better to find a guy who isn’t insistent on anything more than simple honesty about not being a virgin. More of them and one less source of stress in keeping the marriage lifelong.

    I’ll put it this way, the men I know who are married were simple honesty types. The guys who were/are shall we say exhaustively concerned about all the sexual details with other guy(s) are pretty much all still single.

    I’m going to disagree with this.

    Simply brushing something under the rug is why men/husbands get in trouble in the first place and why the divorce rate is so high. Most “blue pill” men don’t have a healthy knowledge of how past sexual history affects women. Likewise, if I were to brush a woman’s credit history under the rug and not know if she was in substantial debt before marraige and taken it on… there are going to be bad consequences on my end for making such a decision.

    I personally don’t think a “play by play” is needed where a woman or man describes exactly when and what they did in terms of sexual sin. However, describing a history of what happened, and why it happened is important. It gives you the chance to see if they are willing to own up to what they did or blame it on others.

    If pride is the sin above all sins, then humility is the key to understanding and building trust in relationships.

    I’ll put it this way to counter your point: I’d rather be single and serving God faithfully than brush a woman’s history under the rug and potentially end up being one of the 40-50% of men who get divorced.

  21. @ an observer

    The question is: if she is good looking and in good shape, why is she having issues attracting a suitor?

    Prodigal Daughter has indicated to me that she has attracted at least one suitor, but he was not God-fearing. Further specifics I am not aware of.

  22. Deep Strength, it’s not sweeping under the rug at all. If a woman had a 500 credit score and got it up to 800 and kept it there for the past 9 years, it would be questionable for her to marry a guy who was more focused on the specific bills she ignored back in her 500 credit score days rather than accepting that she painfully, over years learned better financial management and has a top-level credit score now. It’s not “brushing a woman’s sexual history under the rug” to be ok with a simple but honest sexual history.

    We may well not be so far in disagreement, I certainly think it’s better to be clear about one’s sexual background once things are serious/exclusive. But that doesn’t have to involve a lengthy recitation of every time, place and person. And it’s hardly humble, the spin you put on wanting the exhaustive details. It has a touch of the old self-righteousness to it.

    Repentance is real and does happen. It’s really about trusting in the Lord when it comes to such matters. If you really think a woman like Prodigal *is probably lying about being with one lover before marriage*, then you yourself (generic you) are hardly marriage-worthy for a repentant woman such as she is. A woman like this, beating herself bloody over one sex partner in her entire life? Probably pretty repentant and not fudging things. A simple history ought to suffice and then some for a potential husband. And that’s what she should seek, someone who accepts that her repentance is real and bringing forth good fruit.

  23. @ Practical Conservative

    I think you’re close, but you’re not getting it because you’re not a man. The difference in perspectives is outlined here by Cane:

    http://canecaldo.wordpress.com/2014/08/14/they-want-differently-a-primer-on-womens-sin-and-genius/

    Men evaluate primarily based on counting the cost. The more information you have available to you the more informed decision you can make. The male brain tends to prioritize information as an important part of the relationship (e.g “is this an acceptable level of risk to take on?”) which will put it into a category of yes/no/maybe, whereas the female brain tends to prioritize the relationship first and then looks at the details (e.g. “how can I make this work even if it’s risky?”).

    Now, I agree that play-by-play is not necessary; however, to any potential spouse I would expect most informed men to dig at previous issues and ask the hard questions. The answers you get are going to give you information about if the repentance is real much like a credit history.

    If both men or women don’t do such a thing prior to marriage then they have absolutely nothing to complain about if they suddenly find they aren’t married to the man/woman they thought they were.

  24. Bee

    @Deep Strength,

    “The physiological consequences are not typically removed either such as STDs, potential pregnancy, infertility, and whatnot. ”

    For N>0, the possible infertility is an important point for a young man to consider.

    Is there an accurate medical test that can show a woman is able to have children?

  25. Feminine But Not Feminist

    @ Bee

    They can do bloodwork to check the levels of certain hormones that are needed for a successful pregnancy to begin. (There are more advanced and invasive tests also, but I think you have to be struggling to get pregnant to get those tests done. Like, they can insert a camera to look at the lining of the uterus, among other things). I think it would be a good idea for Prodigal Daughter to have that checked, just in case a prospective husband is concerned about that (since premarital sex can impact fertility, especially for women with higher N counts). I’m seriously considering doing that myself because of my age, just to see where I stand.

  26. @ Bee/ FBNB
    The bloodwork that shows the level of certain hormones is very inaccurate if not done at the right time of a woman’s cycle. If a woman wants to get accurate bloodwork done she should chart her cycle for several months under a certified teacher before getting it done.
    Thankfully, even if the bloodwork indicates infertility a great deal of infertility can be easily and ethically treated with the help of NaproTechnology.
    http://www.naprotechnology.com/.
    I would definitely recommend prodigal daughter finding a certified teacher and learning how to chart to out-rule or treat infertility. http://www.creightonmodel.com/.

  27. How does premarital sex significantly increase the risk of infertility? It’s not like your body cares whether you’re married or not when you have sex.

    Sure, infertility-causing STDs might be a slight risk but rather unlikely with N=1. Are you talking about use of contraception?

  28. @ Prodigal Daughter:

    I’d say you’re getting pretty good advice from Donal and company here. Particularly good bits from FBNF.

    A couple of other things here, taking PD’s story and stated intent at face value. I’m also keeping in mind that PD wants a God fearing man who is willing to overlook her past and who is willing to lead her and her family.

    1. If you are as you represent yourself to be, you are above average in attractiveness and you will have no trouble attracting men or at least having men express interest in you. That said, what happens often here is that some women in PD’s position miss the subtle interest from the men who will meet her criteria, and will see the overt signs of attraction from men who won’t. Be on the lookout for men who you might not otherwise notice, because they aren’t always high up on your radar.

    2. Don’t forget the primacy of sexual attraction here. I mean attraction here, not comfort. I mean a man you want to get naked with. I don’t mean a man who makes you feel safe and secure, makes you feel comfortable, and who is good, kind and nice to you, though those traits are important. It is also important that there be sexual attraction and chemistry from you to him. I’m sorry to say, but it is difficult for most women to find men who bring more or less the correct balance of attraction and comfort here.

    Do not marry a man you don’t really want to have sex with. Be very honest with yourself in this regard. Marrying a man you aren’t sexually attracted to is unfair to you, it’s downright cruel to him, and it will lead to untold misery for both of you down the road.

    Do not marry a sexually unattractive man, thinking that you will “grow” into sexual attraction for him. You won’t. Do not marry a man thinking that he will “change” or “improve” or “get better”. He won’t. Don’t marry a sexually unattractive man with the belief that the sex isn’t all that important. It is. It IS that important, if not to you, then to him. Don’t marry a sexually unattractive man in the belief that being married to this man is better than not being married at all. It isn’t. It IS better to be single than to be yoked to a man you don’t really want. You will ruin your life and his if you do this.

    3. What also happens with women in PD’s position is that they tend to attract two kinds of men:

    (a) men who are God fearing and who will overlook her past, but are sexually unattractive to her and are unable to lead her and a family. Such men are drawn to her, but are unable or unwilling to assert themselves or lead or display dominance.

    (b) men who would lead her and her family and are sexually attractive to her, but who are not God fearing. Such men in this latter category don’t care about her past because they want rapid sex from her.

    PD will need to be careful of these two types of men, because by far, most of the men she has met and will meet will fit into one of these categories.

    4. Remember that you are a total package, and you are marketing yourself as a wife. Play up what you bring to the table. Domestic skills are an absolute must for a wife – cooking, cleaning, housekeeping, etc. Do you have a job or skill? Do you bring an income? Do you want children? If so, you’ll likely be the primary caregiver. Can you do that? Are you willing to do that? If so, make sure you make this clear.

    5. Make clear that you want a Christian marriage. That means sexual and carnal union, indissolubility, and openness to children. You do not want a “secular civil marriage”, nor a “relationship”, not a “partnership”, not a “combination of equals”.

  29. @ Prodigal Daughter:

    Many women fall into the trap of confusing “comfort” traits with “attraction”. Don’t join them in their grave error/rationalization of getting “comfortable” with a good, kind, nice, unassuming and earnest, yet sexually unattractive, unassertive man; and calling that “attraction”.

    Christian women and “Churchian” women are especially prone to this sort of thinking. Don’t do it.

  30. Elspeth

    @Sir Nemesis:

    Absent certain STDs, premarital sex does not significantly increase the risks of infertility.

  31. Nem:

    The problem isn’t the premarital sex; it’s the things that are used to facilitate it and the side consequences of it.

    Most women who are having premarital sex are using hormonal birth control. They’re using it consistently and constantly for years. A lot of them are on the pill for upwards of a decade before they’ve been married and then decide to have kids, maybe 2 to 5 years into the marriage. I of course don’t have science in front of me. But it’s simply not possible to conclude a woman can alter her own body chemistry for the express purpose of chemically sterilizing her during her most fertile childbearing years, and then believe that her body will immediately revert to fertility, fertilization, implantation, and normal gestation on ceasing HBC. A lot of women get polycystic ovarian syndrome from long term pill use.

    The other part are the STDs. Syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia and PID certainly lead to sterility by doing a lot of things; most notably scarring up the fallopian tubes so eggs can’t make it to the uterus for implantation.

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