Growing Up in the Lord:
A Study for Teenage Boys

I've been dating this girl for almost a year. She is two years older than I am, but the thing is, she has a baby from a past relationship. The baby's father does not want anything to do with his baby, so he basically abandoned them. She still, almost two years later, gets upset over what he did to her, that he broke her heart many times, and played mind games. And a while ago, she told me she was worried she was still going to like him. This is just part of it, though. I've been through a lot of stress with this girl that my mom told me I shouldn't have to go through. So lately I decided to ask God for an answer if I was meant to be with this girl or not. The thing is, I want to do it right. I want to ask God the correct way. How do you think I should go about doing this?

I hope you won't think me too nosy, but I would like to better understand your situation so I can give you a good answer. I just can't recall if you told me how old you are. What kind of stress are we talking about? If you ignored the fact that you are dating this particular girl, imagine the ideal type of woman you hope to marry one day, then tell me -- how close is this woman to your ideal? Have you had sex with her? You seem to describe a woman whose heart is not fully with you, so why are the two of you dating?

The reason behind many of these questions is that we men have a built-in desire to be wanted, and being the knight in shinning armor to a woman in distress is one way to feel wanted. I'm trying to get a feel for the motivation behind this relationship. When I better understand what is happening, I'm going to show you what the Bible says would be the best thing that you can do. After all, God said it contains everything pertaining to life and godliness (II Peter 1:3), and this is definitely a part of life.

No, you're not nosy at all. I don't mind answering questions. I am 16 years old, she is a 2 years older than I am. The stress is bad sometimes, to be honest with you. She is SO unpredictable it's crazy. I never know what's going on with her. She always eventually has something to tell me, but it's not always good. That's what I mean when I say stress. For an example, she told me a while ago she was worried she was going to start liking her ex-boyfriend again, who is the father of her baby. That really put me under a lot of stress and made me depressed for a while. Then one time, when things were going perfectly good, she just out of nowhere says she wants to take a step back and have a break for a while. Why? I have no idea. She says it's because when she has dated people in the past, she just can't stay with one person too long. We never did end up taking a break, and she told me that she feels sorry about saying that and it won't happen again. Two months later, same thing happens. I also get stressed out with her because I really can't tell if she's gotten over her ex-boyfriend. She has his email password and goes onto his inbox to read his e-mails with other girls. I don't know why, either. This gives me the impression that if her baby's father decided to come back, say he was sorry and ask for a second chance, she'd say "Bye bye" to me and take him back. I just really, really don't know with her sometimes.
I have had sex with her, I feel bad about it, prayed and asked God to forgive me for it and than I told this girl that it's better if we don't have sex. She has some great qualities to her. She can be so caring, loving and sweet, but at times, she drives me insane. Thus the reason I ask God for an answer on this situation, to open the door to whatever path in this relationship he wants me to go. Whether it's to be with her and it's meant to be, or to break up with her because we weren't meant for each other.
I hope I made this more understandable.

That helps me understand the situation much better. I'll try to get you a detailed answer shortly. I'll probably lay things out in a no-nonsense manner, so don't get upset with me, I do have your best interest at heart.

But meanwhile, I have something I want you to think about and write back to me about. I've learned over the years to pay attention to what a person doesn't say or things they avoid answering, whether on purpose or accidentally. Often the silence is more telling than the answers. I know I asked this before, but the answer is important for your sake:

  • Assuming that she doesn't change (few people really do), can you see yourself married to her for the next 50 years? How likely is her behavior to drive you so nutty that you would run screaming from the house? How likely would she remain faithful to only you?

  • Ignoring her for the moment, imagine the ideal woman you would like to marry. Now, as honestly as you can, how close to your ideal is she?

  • Finally, look at I Corinthians 13:4-8. There is a list of qualities that define what love really is -- and it isn't butterflies in the stomach or aches in your groin. I want you to go through each point in a brutally honest fashion and tell me if she has show those qualities to you or if she is doing the opposite. If you don't understand what is being described, read through the article Love is ...

My goal is to get you thinking with your mind instead of your emotions.

I'm not upset, I don't mind at all. If she gets worse or still drives me insane, I can't see myself being with her for the next 50 years. Actually, a few times when she's at home and we're talking on the Internet, she drives me so insane that I want to get out of the house and leave for a while. I think she'd remain pretty faithful, but I just don't know with her. Like I said, she told me a while ago she thought she was going to like her ex again, but now she says she never will and she's not worried she's going to. I just don't know. Another thing, she's the first girl I have dated, I don't know how to break up with her, no matter how much she drives me insane sometimes.
Well, for starters, my ideal woman wouldn't have had any kids with anyone else.
I'm going to try thinking about that. Although i'm wondering, if I'm praying for an answer from God if she's the one for me or not, what do you think an example of His answer would be?

When Jesus was here on earth, he frequently took the Jews to task for ignoring what was right in front of them. "He said to the multitudes also, "When you see a cloud rising from the west, immediately you say, 'A shower is coming,' and so it happens. When a south wind blows, you say, 'There will be a scorching heat,' and it happens. You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky, but how is it that you don't interpret this time? Why don't you judge for yourselves what is right?" (Luke 12:54-57). Jesus' point was that Scriptures said a lot about what the Messiah would be like and Jesus had been fulfilling those predictions as no one else could possible do so, yet the people ignored all the signs. "You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and these are they which testify about me. Yet you will not come to me, that you may have life. ... For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote about me. But if you don't believe his writings, how will you believe my words?" (John 5:39-40, 46-47). When the people demanded additional signs, beyond all the evidence already given, "He sighed deeply in his spirit, and said, "Why does this generation seek a sign? Most certainly I tell you, no sign will be given to this generation."" (Mark 8:12). In other words, the answer already given was adequate. If they can't see it, adding more won't change matters.

I'm pointing this out because you are doing much the same. God gave us a book which "his divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and virtue" (II Peter 1:3). The Bible, Peter tells us, has everything we need to know in regards to life and godliness, but it appears you are hoping for some additional signs to tell you what you know deep within yourself.

You have been approaching dating as a way to entertain yourself. But dating is supposed to be a search for your future wife.