What do you do when you and your girlfriend don't agree about religion?




I am have misstated my question. She is the one that believes on sex AFTER marriage. Sorry for my previous question. We have not been physically involved for a while and because of her proclaimed faith (AME) she really believed she is saved. We have come to an impasse and now we are both becoming frustrated. As young man, I am the one who is tempted because of our situation. She no longer desires intimacy because of the sin factor. But she is lost in her understanding and that is why I feel that I cannot marry her. She is ignorant to even consider the idea of true worship as she complains that my church is boring and does not do anything for her. It always amazes me how people think that church is suppose to do something for them and they in turn not get involved. I hope that clarifies my question.

My deep apologies to both you and your lady friend. I completely misunderstood the situation. I hope you don't mind, but can I ask a few questions to make sure I understand the situation better? I don't want to put my foot in my mouth again.

Two chance wordings make me wonder:
1) Since you said, "She is the one that believes on sex AFTER marriage," are you saying that this belief is one sided? In other words, what is your understanding about sex before marriage?
2) Since you said, "We have not been physically involved for a while," are you saying that you had been in the past? The wording is a bit vague and I know embarrassment about intimacy leads to this, but could you be more precise about what you and she had been doing that she no longer allows?

It sounds like the lack of a common view toward religion is forcing the two of you to drift apart. This often happens when two people are infatuated with each other. Physical desire draws them together, but as they spend time with each other, learning all the small details of each others ideas and habits, the infatuated couple learns that the other person is not all that the one imagined the other to be. When a person finds real love, time strengthens the bound. When a person is infatuated, time weakens and destroys the bound.

I urge couples to have an engagement period for this very reason -- to allow enough time to find out if it is love or infatuation. It is one of many reasons why sex is to be reserved for marriage because sex creates a bound between two people (I Corinthians 6:15-18) and if they aren't in love, the eventual departure hurts even more.

I agree that it is sad that a person approaches religion with the attitude of "what is in it for me," but unfortunately many do so. There isn't much you or I can do to change this. But sad as it may be, isn't it better to know this about her now than to discover it after you had made marriage vows? As nice as she is, she isn't the only single woman available. It is frustrating to start again, but it is time you start looking for someone else.

We both are in agreement that sex should be after marriage and, yes, we have been sexually involved in the past but have refrained from it for about 2 1/2 years. I admit that I was not in agreement at first, but over time it has been relieving to me as I have become more willing to accept our abstinence. However it is still hard for me, as a man, but I understand. I still pray that she would open her heart to the understanding of the truth and be willing to allow God to work with her, but she is stubborn and reluctant. It is frustrating, but I see I have to make some hard decisions in the near future, as it is not doing any justice to me or her.

I am glad that you have reached the point in your spiritual maturity to understand at least intellectually that sex belongs only in marriage. It would be even better if I could see more confidence in you that you are sure that what you did was wrong and that God, as always the case, is right about the matter. I dislike returning to the topic as I know it must make you uncomfortable, but I have a habit of reading between the lines and I feel like a doctor who sees that a wound has healed but suspects that a pocket of infection still lies hidden inside. The way you worded your note, you leave me the impression that if this particular lady had allowed you to remain in her bed that you would have found some way to continue to justify the fornication, or at least ignored the issue. Hard as it is on you, her denying you access to her body was perhaps the best thing that could have happened to you for your spiritual sake. Though you are drifting apart because of your different views of God's word, still you should thank her for the sweetest parting gift that she could have given you.

If you have any doubts that this was best, please let me know. I want you to be fully convinced about the role of sex in a man's life because any crack in your armor is a hole Satan is going to exploit. Even though it is embarrassing to speak about these things, taking about difficulties in advance can prepare a person mentally for the challenges Satan will throw our way.

Because you gave her your body, you forged a bond that is difficult to ignore. "Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods, but God will destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For "the two," He says, "shall become one flesh." But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's" (I Corinthians 6:13-20). Even though intellectually you see that you are drifting apart and that you will never agree on religion, yet you are continuing to string out this relationship. You are very right: it is not just to either of you. More, those ties are hindering you from really looking for someone else. And, I am concerned about your resolve to remain chaste until marriage. If, in a moment of weakness, she invited you back to her bed, would you honestly be able to resist? Or, would you seriously consider compromising your bond with Christ once again?

You're a good man who desires to serve the Lord. That makes you a good "catch" for many Christian women because there are so few like you in this corrupt world. Lean on the Lord and He will help you bear the burden while you look for a suitable mate. Visit other congregations if there aren't suitable women where you are. Let some of the sisters, whose judgment you trust, know that you are looking and ask if they know of someone. Attend meetings and get-togethers in other areas. You aren't finding anyone nearby so expand your horizons.

See also:

Questions and Answers regarding Dating