Question:

Hi,

I read one of your articles on your site, and I wanted to ask a similar question concerning my non-believing boyfriend. I never had intentions of going out with a non-believer, and I'm not sure of how things turned out this way. I never intended this to happen, but somehow it happened. He's a generally better guy than many of the Christian guys I've met. I'm very worried about being yoked to an unbeliever.

I liked him quite a lot in the beginning, so that's why we started to go out. He has such admirable characteristics, good work ethic and is so warm and kind to others. That's why I liked him in the first place actually. I've always been attracted to men who have Christ at the center of their lives, but I found it so odd because I've never really liked anyone for "who they were."

Anyway, regarding the physical boundaries, I admit he has more self-control than me. Sometimes I feel like God is shedding light on my own weaknesses. But we did make a mistake, and after all the drama I told him I'd just have to break up with him if we ever cross the line again. I just told him simply that if he wants to meet a girl who is okay with sex before marriage, then he would be better off breaking up with me and going for someone else. But after that promise he's been careful not to cross the line. I thought he would leave, but he didn't.

He doesn't really like the church nor is interested in Christianity that much at all. But after those moments of where he almost lost me, he follows me to church. Not every week but whenever he can. He tells me he would never be a Christ believer. He told me he doesn't want to believe in God and all that is not in his interests. Of course this saddens me, and I know I cannot change him. I tell him about the Bible and Christianity whenever I can, but it's like trying to talk to a wall. I have no fellowship with this man, and I feel like sometimes my own Christian life is on pause because of him. I find myself going to God then.

This leaves me in a bit of a dilemma. He just doesn't like breaking up for sure. He says he respects what I believe in, though he says it's not for him. I remember praying to God I would wait until April then, and I'm continually praying for this man though on most days I think "what's the point?" But then I go back to God and ask Him that only His will be done because I can never change this man's heart. So then I'm left wondering: Am I making the right decision or should I wait even before April to break up? I'm more worried about my faith than about a dating relationship though it could be painful. But this man has sacrificed a lot for me and it's evident he treasures me quite a lot. I feel pretty confused. Have I put myself in some kind of mess?

Please help.


Answer:

There are several things that concern me.

First, women often don't understand this, but men generally say exactly what they mean, unless you are dealing with a liar. He says he has no interest in religion, so I'm left with the conclusion that the reasons he is coming to church with you is to impress you and to spend more time with you. I suspect that you are looking for some hidden meaning behind his words, but in all likelihood there is no hidden meaning. He's told you he isn't going to become a Christian. It is true he might change his mind, but for now you have to assume he won't.

Therefore, the question is: Do you want to raise children in a home where their dad will not agree with the things you know you need to teach the children?

Second, while you say he is a great guy, you also say that being with him has put your religion on hold. That is not a good statement. That sounds more like a young woman being reluctant to face realities.

Third, you talk about not crossing "the line" and still having trouble controlling your sexual desires. You strongly hint that if it wasn't for his refusal to have sex with you again, it would have happened repeatedly. From this, I must assume that refuse sexual intercourse, but you do allow other sins that typically lead up to sexual intercourse, such as lust and lewd behavior. While you are avoiding one sin, you left the door wide open for other sins. "Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts" (Romans 13:13-14). I suspect it is this later behavior that causes you to say your religion is on hold. Though fornication hasn't happened again, your relationship is dominated by sensuality.

I don't think waiting is going to change the situation. You are hoping that he will convert. I hope he does too, but he needs to come to that decision on his own. Otherwise, you will always be wondering if he really meant it or just did it to please you.

The reason you are continuing, even though you pretty much said it is over, is that you are looking at all the time and effort you've invested in this man. You don't want to give up -- not because of the future, but because of the past -- and that is the wrong direction to focus.