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need help finding my way
Feb 22, 1999

Dear Rev. Pieters

I have been with another woman other than my wife, I am very

guility and ashamed, It was oral sex and mutual masterbation, which I've been told is low risk for HIV but have let my fears of God punshiment overwhelm me. I have told my wife of the oral sex and asked Gods forgiveness, but have been unable to put this behind me. Its almost time for the 3 month test, I don't know if I can go through with it, I can't sleep, constant pains in neck and legs, can't talk to my pastor about what i've done just too ashamed. My wife will stand by me what-ever happens, I can't believe what I have done to her, my kids and God. I don't deserve her and really don't fell like living. I'm so ashamed that I've not been able to ask God to forgive me, If there is any suggestions on how I can bring myself to God to ask his forgiveness please help me find the way.Thank you

Kenny

Response from Rev. Pieters

Dear Kenny,

Shame and fear can have a powerful and often destructive impact on so many different levels of our lives. Many people make decisions based on their shame. Others make decisions based on fear. Yet others make decisions based on love... love of God, love of others, and love of themselves. Right now, you're making decisions based on shame and fear. How about giving love a try?

I know that God loves you. Given your repentant feelings, I feel confident that God is completely ready to forgive you, and no doubt already has.

Your wife is ready to stand by you, no matter what, which strongly implies that she is forgiving you. So why can't you forgive yourself?

Perhaps it's because you believe you don't deserve it. But I'm sure you do deserve it. Everyone makes mistakes, and many of us make mistakes in how we use our sexuality. I do not believe that God punishes us with illness for making those mistakes. Please read the article, "HIV/AIDS: Is It God's Judgment" found here on my page at The Body.

Believe in yourself the way God does, and the way your wife seems to... OK, you've done something you feel you shouldn't have. But you're obviously repentant.

Remember the words of a traditional assurance of pardon, one that many clergy proclaim every time we consecrate Holy Communion: "If we have openly and honestly confessed, God is kind and just to forgive us and cleanse us of all unrighteousness." Seems to me you've filled all the requirements... now it's up to you to accept the forgiveness that is yours, and move on.

Let me know how you're doing, Kenny.



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