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Date a doubtful Christian?


Hi guys! I really need some advice.
There’s a guy who’s interested in me, and I must admit I’m interested in him too. I’m 27 and have never been in a relationship before. However, I’m putting the brakes on my feelings at the moment, as I’m not sure if I should commit to the relationship or not.
The guy I’m interested in has almost everything I’m looking for in a man. He’s creative, practical, kind and quite cool. A lot of our goals in life are the same, and I enjoy his company. He’s honest, genuine, family-focused and sincere.
But here’s the problem: he says a Christian, and quite open about that. However, he doesn’t seem to have any interest in God, at least as I see it. He likes to get drunk and flirt a bit, and then he boasts about it. He also thinks people should live together before they get married. He’s had a few girlfriends before, and I guess he’s had sex with them. Apart from this he seems perfect, so it’s very difficult to know what to do!
This is really tearing me up. I do like him, but I don’t know if I dare to commit myself to him. Will it work out? Can I draw him into fellowship with God, or would he pull me in the opposite direction? The way I see it is that as a Christian, I want to live according to Biblical principles, but he thinks some of these are a bit ‘old-fashioned’.

I don’t feel like I have so much time to find anyone else, or that the chemistry could be anywhere near as good with someone else.

Have you any thoughts about this?



Svar 3/1/2021

Hi,

My first impression of you is that you’re someone who analyses your thoughts, and processes them thoroughly, and you think over your decisions. I think you might have a tendency to rationalise things, and you aren’t too impulsive or too affected by your feelings. You have a lot of good character traits and these can save you from making some poor decisions. At the same time, in order to experience love, you sometimes have to dare to be open and take a risk at the right time, when things seem to fall into place!

However, it does seem like your current situation falls into the first category, and that this is the right time to rationalise. You’ve described a man with lots of positive qualities: he’s creative, practical, kind, cool, honest, sincere, family-focused and even a Christian. He sounds like the perfect man!

Still, we do see some warning lights. Someone who says they are a Christian, but who doesn’t seem to be interested in God, someone who can go out and get drunk, and flirts and then boasts about it, doesn’t seem to live close to God. We are a bit afraid that this could be a painful subject in any future relationship between you.

On the one hand his behaviour might be due to immaturity: he may be a new Christian, and doesn’t know any better. However, it could be worse: maybe he just doesn’t take being a Christian seriously. And this is where we see the warning lights. If you want to find a man to date and then to share your life with, then shouldn’t it be someone who shares the joy of the Christian faith, and who has the same desire to live near God?

Here’s a Bible verse that we think is relevant for both of you:

‘Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ’ (Ephesians 5:15–20).

Getting drunk isn’t recommended according to the New Testament. But what about living together before marriage? Cohabiting before marriage has become totally normal in many (but certainly not all) countries, but the Bible still says that marriage is a covenant:

‘Wisdom will save you also from the adulterous woman, from the wayward woman with her seductive words, who has left the partner of her youth and ignored the covenant she made before God’ (Proverbs 2:16–17).

A lot of young people, and even some Christians, move in with their partner without building their relationship on a covenant. The Bible always portrays the wedding as a public act, in which the families know about it and are involved. It doesn’t necessarily need to be a church wedding, but it should be public. The fact that your friend is willing to compromise this is unfortunately quite normal, but this shouldn’t be an option for someone who wants to follow God’s will. This is the second warning light.

It seems that your faith is very important to you. Although this guy has many great qualities, it doesn’t mean that he shares your deepest and most important values. Aren’t these values more important than other qualities, such as being practical? If you need to, you can always phone for a plumber or a carpenter to come and do something practical in a future family home, but you can’t just hire a man who wants to have a God-centred family life! The question is not whether these Christian values are old-fashioned, but if they are right and true, and good for us. Do you dare to take the risk that God’s will is best for you? It would be sad if you compromise.

At the same time, you’re maybe afraid that time is passing, and that you might not get another chance if you give up this one. Perhaps you want children, and it seems that time is flying by. Maybe this advice we’re giving you is just making things more painful for you?

There are no absolute guarantees. The most compatible Christian man might not turn up, but on the other hand, perhaps he will! Remember, you don’t have any guarantee that a man who shares your Christian values now will always remain a Christian. People change, and life is dynamic. There are no such guarantees in life. What matters is making the best choice now, and not making it more difficult for yourself later on.

It may be a bit unrealistic to hope that after starting a relationship with him, you will be able to pull this guy in another direction from where he’s going now. Sometimes this happens, but people don’t change so easily. We would say it is a bit too risky to start a relationship just hoping that he will change. At worst, this relationship may be ‘the good’ which keeps you from ‘the best’. This friendship may be a sign to you that there are great men out there, who would suit you, men whose company you would enjoy but who would also take their faith as seriously as you do.

This is a tough question. You will need to pray, to be committed to God’s will, and to have a longing for godly wisdom. There’s no absolutely right answer. You’ll have to try to listen to God’s leading. However, we hope that you at least see some very clear ‘writing on the wall’ before you jump into this particular relationship, as we see these warning signs.

May God help you, lead you and be close to you in this difficult process.

 

Best wishes