Well, we have become more serious; not official "dating" boyfriend and girlfriend, or courting, or however you say it, but we are committed to each other. In the sense that we aren't going to date anyone else besides each other. We do hang out alone a lot; there are people in the house, but we are doing more of one on one, or we go to parks and it is all just me and her. Problem is there isn't a lot of people who like to do fun stuff. I am an outdoors person, even if it's raining and Washington is nothing but a rainy state. And most people, all Christian friends, are always saying let's watch a movie, let's sit inside the house, and, yeah, mostly television is all they talk about 70% of the time. She and I like the outdoors no matter what the weather, and love camping, hiking, the beach, and riding bikes. It's difficult at times to find stuff to do in groups when a lot of people are very disconnected and don't have the same interests.
But we are taking it slow. We are doing a Bible study together, and actually today we are meeting at the church to do the Bible study. We talk about God a lot and on related subjects. And probably will be going over other topics, such as baptism, predestination, free-will, forgiveness, repentance, and talking in tongues in time, but not all at once. I have a foundation in a lot of them, but she doesn't so she wants to go over them, and I need to still study always on them no matter how old I am, so it will be good.
Praying together, which I like a lot, is kind of new praying with a woman. I pray with mostly guys one on one.
We are waiting until June or July, when I have a truck (long story), to go out. In June or July we will have been friends for 8 or 9 months, giving it time. We will see how we are with a lot of the hype of being new to each other and letting our hormones settle a little bit down. But if we do go out, our physical limit is just holding hands (no kissing, cuddling, etc.). It will be hard for me not to cuddle, but, hey, the woman is pure and holy and I shall respect that. Plus I understand her point of view, and she wants to keep everything for her husband -- even cuddling. I couldn't ask for some one so pure and innocent in my life. God has brought her into it, and I am more than humbled by it. We also have put it into accountability with my brother and his wife keeping us in check on things.
We are memorizing Scripture together. Uh what else? When I get a job again, which will be in the next two weeks, maximum (I have two jobs lined up. I am waiting to hear from one and if not that one then the second job I can get for sure.) Once that happens, I will have money and she and I will do more outreach stuff. We have a homeless shelter down here which is fun to do and talk to all the homeless. (I like homeless people. They are interesting people.) Besides that I don't know of anything else we are doing.
Even though we are not dating, for Valentine's Day I went to her college and into her class pretending to be a delivery boy delivering flowers. a business card, and a sheet you sign once you get the flowers. Never seen some one turn so red for receiving flowers!
Sorry; I'm babbling. If you have anymore advice it would be awesome to have! I always look for more insight on how to build a healthy, godly relationship.
Thanks again for all your help, and guidance. Be praying for you and the church you go to. Have a great day!
First, let's admit a simple fact. When you are to the point that you are seeing someone exclusively, you are dating whether that word sticks in your throat or not. That you haven't decided whether this is the person you want to marry is fine, you are still in that phase of relation where you are learning more about each other. You're friends: she's a girl and you're a boy, so you are boyfriend and girlfriend. Go ahead and say it out loud. It will keep you focused in regards to where the two of you stand.
I am so glad you are conscious of the need to keep your relationship public. It is good that you are trying to include others when you two are together. But even when you can't get people you know to join you, you can do activities where there are plenty of other people around. I won't recommend hikes thorough the wilderness, but you can go for a picnic in a public park. Or ride bikes, but avoid lonely areas. Doing community services together is also a great idea. As an additional suggestion: Is there a old folk's home in your area? They too would enjoy the company and conversation of young people.
The limits you placed on yourself are reasonable, but I hope that you are not doing it solely for her sake. You too should admit that you are a healthy human with sexual desires. Cuddling is going to fan the flames of passion, which is not reasonable to have in this relationship -- especially at this point when you aren't even certain whether you want to call this young lady your girlfriend. However, I wouldn't recommend it later either because the strength of sexual desire is always surprisingly strong.
Being willing and able to study and pray together is an excellent indication, but I'm puzzled at the selection of topics. Not that they are bad topics, but are you indicating that you and she don't see eye-to-eye on matters in God's word? If my guess is true, then it is good that you are approaching this relationship slowly. Religion is too important for your long term happiness to ignore differences. If in your studies, you come to have similar views and convictions regarding God and His Word, wonderful! But don't compromise your covenant with God just because a girl you like disagrees with you.
There are other issues that you and she need to discuss. What are your ideas concerning the roles of husbands and wives in a marriage. What are your attitudes toward the permanence of marriage? What do you think about divorce? How are children to be raised? Should a wife work outside of the home? How many children would make a nice size family? These are just a few things you will need to know about her and she about you before you make the decision that you seriously want to consider marriage to each other.
There are some lessons on this site that I would like you to study, both on your own and with your girlfriend (see I can say it, and not even blush!):
These are not the full set of material, but they cover things you ought to know at this stage and the next stage of your relationship. They are things that I cover with couples as they begin thinking about marriage. They probably would be better if I studied them directly with you, but given the distance, they are the next best thing available that I have.
Yeah, I know. We are just worried about our hormones running high at the moment. That's why we don't say we're going out or anything. We're dating in the sense of being interested in each other, more than we want to admit. That's why we are dating. I wouldn't date someone for fun. I don't date random people.
I'm not cuddling either because I understand her point of view and I agree with it in those things where my point of view is mistakenly wrong and not holy as hers. It is just like biblical subjects; if I see I am wrong I admit to it and tell the person and anyone I led astray with the way I believed. I try to correct myself to all the people I told otherwise in the past.
Well, we decided we were moving too fast. We haven't done anything, but just like I said hormones, passion, or whatever it's called is on high. Well, she is the type of girl that if I tried (which I wouldn't) anything more then holding hands, she'd punch me in the face or kick me in my children. She's a country girl and not afraid to defend herself and stick to her beliefs about relationships. Not to worried about physical part. It is just that I respect it a lot because I viewed cuddling as okay, but not anything more, such as kissing before marriage. Anything that's like at least half-sexual. even though it might have love behind it. Not that kissing is bad, just that it's best left for the one you love and are married to only.
We actually did ride bikes the other day. We have done so three times so far and gone to prune trees. THe old folk's home I haven't thought about, but that's a good idea.
The reason I can't call her my girlfriend is because I want to make sure she is the right one God has for me, but we are dating, so I am not sure if that makes any sense.
The selection of topics was at random, but we have slightly gone over all those topics except one, but only talking in person or over the phone for a half an hour on all of them. In most areas she believes as I do. I can see she just needs a foundation in them. Her parents seem to be Calvinistic Baptists or something that is close to Calvinism, but most of their kids have stepped away from Calvinistic beliefs and don't agree with it. She has too. Baptism is of course our controversial topic but not that controversial. She wants to know why I believe the way I do about it because she was raised otherwise. She was reading through I Peter 3:21 and noticed it says "now saves you" when we were going over baptism. She feels 50/50 on the subject and wants to research that topic more. I want to be fair and maybe descuss it with her dad there, so she can see both sides and make a intellegent decsion without a one-sided view. But then again, sometimes it's best she just hear my view and learn it from me and the hear other people views on the same subject. It would be good to have some advice on this. But other topics, such as predestination and all, she doesn't have Calvinistic beliefs, and she believes in free-will and that anyone can come to Christ.
My kids, if I have some when I get married, will grow up with my belief system. In regards to roles concerning wives and husbands, her views are the husband is the head of the household, woman needs to submit to the man, but the man does need to give respect to the woman, and they are to treat each other equally in the sense one isn't higher than the other. God made man for a certain role in marriage and God made woman to be a certain role in marriage and in family. We believe that unless one of us commits adultery, we are not allowed to get divorced. Marriage isn't a light thing to take on. It is serious and once you commit there is no turning back. I'ts a good thing if you marry the one whom God has planned for you to marry.
She wants five kids. I don't really care how many kids I have but five is the maxium limit for me. Six is too much, and yeah, I want to be free of my kids by the time I'm 70. That might sound kind of mean, but yeah that's just me. But I do want grandkids and have them come over and spoil them a little like my grandparents still do to me.
My own personal opinion and because biblically looking at the role of a woman in the Bible, work-wise it seems like it is fine for women to have jobs or make extra money in both the Old Testament and in the New Testament. I can't remember but somewhere in the Old Testament there's a woman who does a lot of things. I think she bought sold property and did other things I can't remember, but it's a popular part of the Bible in the Old Testament that talks about a woman. Also, in the New Testament it talks about the woman who made stuff for people, like garments, robes, blankets or tunics, one of those I think. In that sense I think its fine if a woman has a job as long as there isn't any kids at home. We both have discussed the subject that if a woman gets pregnant, when married of course, then the woman quits her job for a couple years and takes care of the kids while the man works. That's the way it is -- no if's, and's, or but's about it. That's both mine and her opinion. Work load at home should be shared, not just the wife doing the dishes and constantly taking care of the kids, but that when the husband gets home from work he right away helps out and gives her a break even for 45 minutes or a hour, so she can have hour or so to do what she wants and then comes back while the guy finishes up cleaning and getting ready -- taking a shower -- or however the wife and husband arrange it. My mom raised three boys, so did my dad of course, but I understand a little bit how hard it is because I take care of my nephew a lot.
Hope that gives you more insight on how I view things and how we believe marriage should be. My friend says she hates the saying that the man is the head, but the woman is the neck and is the one that turns the head, or however that saying goes. She hates it because it makes it look like the man isn't really leading the household and the woman is just abusing the man. So she feels very strongly about the man being in leadership and taking charge, which is a rare find nowadays. Most woman seem like feminists who want to be independent till the bitter end and do not want to rely on the man at all.
Looks like I got a lot of reading to do. Thanks for all the stuff. I will be reading it starting next week. I would be honored to have you mentor me on these subjects. I wish you lived closer. If I get married to her, I will send you a wedding invatation. Have a goodnight and thanks again for all the material and advice.
It sounds to me that you both have an excellent grasp of your situation and that you are laying a great foundation for the future. Continue the course and you won't regret it.
I won't recommend studying baptism with her Dad unless he is interested in your beliefs. Few people want to see their parents fighting with someone they like. I'm not saying don't discuss it as the topic comes up, but I would not push it into being a debate whether he or you "wins." The focus should always be on what God says is right and not who is supporting the right cause.
Please send any questions you have as you go through the material I recommended, or as you consider other issues. I'll recommend additional material if you and your girlfriend get more serious about getting married.
The main thing at the moment is for both of you to get to know each other as persons. Early relationships are often composed of a lot of imagination. Not that it is bad, but our imaginations are rarely accurate. As you get to understand her better you will either become disappointed or realize that there is more to admire about her than you had originally thought. As the later happens, you will realize that you are truly in love, which is why one study is about what true love really is.