I have been dating my girlfriend for almost two months. We have now run into some problems between each other. I will admit that she is not a Christian. I wanted to try and bring her to Christ. Her parents are divorced and her mom has a man living with her. My girlfriend calls him her step-dad, but this man and her mom are not married at all. I know that it is sinful to live with a woman you are not married to. It is to my understanding that my girlfriend has no problem with this man living with her mom or she would have said something about it. Would you agree? Obviously, her mom is guilty of fornication, which is wrong (I Corinthians 6:18).
When I asked my girlfriend out about two months ago, she was less than six months out of a serious relationship. She and her ex had talked about getting married. She told me that she and he had sex. I was very disappointed about this. I had some serious doubts after this. I just thought, "Well, she can't change her past." I couldn't really hold that against her. She told me that she doesn't regret what she and he did. This statement right here is asking for trouble. I told her that I was saving myself for marriage. She respects me for that, but I don't think she actually agrees with me. I actually went and bought some condoms, which is not like me at all. She really loved her ex. Her ex-boyfriend dumped her for another woman the day before they graduated from high school. I know it is dangerous to date a girl less than six months out of a serious relationship because it can be asking for trouble. She told me that she still has feelings for her ex and that she is still in love with him. After she told me this, I started crying so horribly. I did not want to break up with her at all. She hasn't been cheating on me, but she still has feelings for him. I don't know if he has feelings for her. She hasn't seen him in seven months. She told me that his mom sent her a Christmas card saying that "they miss her." When I spoke with her on the phone the other night, she did not feel as discouraged as she was the other day. She said she still doesn't know what to do. Her close friends are telling her that we should just be friends rather than be in a relationship. I just don't know what to do.
I have been reading this book titled "Dating". It is in a Christian perspective. It is not written by members of the church, but it has some excellent advice in what to look for in a Christian relationship. The more I read it, the more doubts I tend to have. On the third day of our relationship, I started doubting for some unknown reason. I don't know what I was doubting about or whether it was that I was thinking too negative. I have had second thoughts in our relationship. The second thoughts will go away and then come back. The book "Dating" says to not just continue in the relationship and hope the doubts will go away because they won't. There are some days when I think I love her but other days when I think that I don't. I don't really know for sure whether I love her or not. She doesn't know whether she loves me or not.
Brother Hamilton, I preach for small congregations on occasion to fill in. She knows that. She has never attended worship with me. I feel somewhat uncomfortable preaching when I know that I'm dating an unbeliever. I understand that I must be careful about dating an unbeliever (II Corinthians 6:14). It seems that I have been more of a hearer of the Word, than a doer (James 1:22). She believes that God exists, but she is not a Christian. Her mom was raised Baptist and her dad was raised Methodist. They never attend their services.
Before the Christmas break, I went with her to her house one weekend to meet her mom. Her "step-dad" is a truck driver and was out of town. Their house on the inside looked awful. I repeat awful. Her mom is a really sweet person, but she is not a housekeeper. Some people aren't. The shape a house is in doesn't necessarily depict the character of a person.
When Sunday came, I tried to get her to attend worship with me at the Lord's church in town. She told me that I would have to attend by myself because she would feel uncomfortable attending knowing that she would not attend the next week. The whole worship hour, I was having some major doubts. It was hard for me to worship. She told me whenever she gets older, her children will be in church. She says that she is not ready to become a Christian yet.
My girlfriend is a sweet, caring, and respectful person. She is a very beautiful and attractive person. I want my wife to be just as sweet, caring, and respectful as she is. I'm just not sure if our relationship is meant to be or not. What is your perspective? The preacher at my home congregation told me that I should probably call it quits with this girl because there is more negative than positive. Right now, I am trying to get a second perspective. We are confused as to whether we should end our relationship or not. I have prayed about it and I'm not sure if we should just break up and remain single for a while or just break up for good and keep looking. There are some days that I feel really close to her and some days that I feel not so close to her. What is this a sign of? I am very physically attracted to her. I just don't know about mentally. I am definitely not spiritually attracted to her. I believe it is more physical than the others. A good relationship requires all three attractions. What should me and her do in this relationship? I am confused. Can you help me out?
For a marriage to work, there must be some basic commonality between two people from which they can grow together. You have to look at a relationship from all angles to decide if it will work. The problem is that many people get caught up in one view and hate to let go even when they rationally know that it isn't going to work. A part of the problem is the sex drive. When people are sexually attracted to each other -- even before sex occurs -- their urges dampen the rational judgments of their mind. That is why you hear of so many people talk about sex "just happening." They had no intention of having sex, it wasn't in their plans, but the emotions of the moment overwhelmed their rational thoughts -- and it "just happened." But another issue at play is a bit of pride. When a person makes progress by finding someone that they like, it is hard to step back and admit that it was a mistake. So the person keeps pushing the relationship even after he admits it won't work because that is easier than facing having to start over again.
So let's view this analytically for the moment:
Religion is obviously important to you, but it is equally obvious that it is not important to her. I'm glad you hoped to persuade her to Christ, but it doesn't appear that she has interest. She's told you that she isn't interested. She doesn't attend services and won't go even when you ask. During the time of dating, people tend to put their best foot forward and do things to impress the other person. Since she won't go, even with a motivation to impress you, that tells me that she has no interest and some objection to attending church services.
You preach on occasions and I have the impression that you might consider doing it full-time if the opportunity arises. Now, will this woman be an asset or a hindrance, especially since she is not likely to become a child of God? Remember also the words of Paul regarding Barnabas and himself: "Do we have no right to take along a believing wife, as do also the other apostles, the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas?" (I Corinthians 9:5). Those preaching in the church have the right to take a believing wife. If you are serious about preaching, you need to keep that in mind.
The fact that she committed fornication in the past would not be an issue if she thought it was wrong, but she doesn't. She is content that her mother is living in sin and she doesn't see her own fornication as being wrong. You know she is still opened to it because you went out and bought condoms, so on some level you know that she might want to have sex with you. In other words nothing has changed in her conviction regarding this sin. There will always be the concern that she might have sex with someone else because she doesn't believe marriage is necessary before it takes place. While it is to her credit that she hasn't "cheated" on the relationship in the two months you have dated, the truth is that two months is hardly any time. It doesn't tell you that she has the strength of character to be devoted to just one man on a continuing basis.
I'm also concerned about her influence on you. You state that you are saving yourself for marriage, which is as it should be. But you went out and bought condoms. This tells me that your resolve has been weakening and that you have been thinking about have sex without being married. This isn't love! Love "thinks no evil" (I Corinthians 13:5). If for no other reason, this one alone should be warning enough that you need to put some distance between you and she until she also comes to the realization that fornication is a sin.
I'm not at all surprised that she is still longing for the boy who dumped her. I suspect that he is the first and only boy she's had sex with. People don't realize how strong of a binding sex creates between people. Even though they have broken up, she will continue to carry feelings for him for a long while. That's a lot of competition because you aren't being compared to a real person, only a memory that is being "dressed up" better than it actually was. The fact that she prefers her memory over your current relationship isn't a good sign. It might change over time, but you would need a good bit of time to determine if it will actually happen.
The housekeeping isn't something to skip. You should be thinking about what life will be like if you married her. Not everyone follows after their parents, but the majority do. Now if you said her own room was different from the rest of the house, then there might be a possibility, but I gather the whole house was basically the same. Most likely she has the same work habits her mother has. Again, two months is very little time to make a firm decision, but that should be a strong point of concern.
About the only positive point you list is that she has a sweet personality. That is not to be discounted, but it can't be the sum total of a lasting relationship. She might make a good friend. But I agree with the other preacher, this relationship isn't working and shows no signs of improving over time. I don't see how you can form a strong respect for her as a person. Worse, there are signs of danger that your emotions are causing you to ignore. Getting sexually excited over a girl whom you might not be fully concerned about her spiritual welfare is a recipe for sin. It certainly isn't the foundation for a long lasting relationship and marriage. Unless there is some sign of improved changes, I would strongly suggest pulling back from this relationship and look for a better mate.
Thanks for the answer. Everything seems to be making sense and in order for me to stop having these doubts, I probably should get out of the relationship. I think I want to be single for a while before I look for another mate. This may change, but it is probably for the best.
I'm not looking forward to breaking up with this girl, but it is probably for the best. I must do what God wants of me and do what is best and not what is right in my own eyes. Feelings are the worst guide.
I'm sorry that it is working out. I know how much you wanted a girlfriend, so I know this is a big let down for you. But, please, don't give up. There will be other girls. Just keep looking.