Question:

God bless you,

Well, I have an issue in my life. My parents and I were introduced to Christianity a few years ago. My dad already had a background in it since his childhood, so he connected and loved it right away. My mom and I didn't feel it right away. It was a big change.

Well, months passed and I still felt weird about it. Then my best friend and I, whom I had known already for several years, began dating. Right away we fell in love. He had always been more like a boyfriend than a friend -- always protecting me, always listening. Having him as a boyfriend was just beautiful.

Even though I was going to church, I didn't know much, so we did engaged in sexual relations.

One day my parents were going to get baptized. I had already said no, but somehow at the lake my parents kept trying to convince me. A fear came over me that made me say yes at the last minute.

At the beginning I tried to abstain from committing sin with my boyfriend, but I didn't really know why I was supposed to abstain. Soon enough I fell and committed sin again.

Less than a year into dating, my boyfriend began telling me he wanted to marry me. At first it was just an idea, but then we decided to do it soon to help me with my citizenship. He came to my house with his parents to ask for my hand and my dad said yes if we loved each other. Everything seem great until my dad came to realize my boyfriend was raised Catholic. He then insisted that I couldn't marry him. My dad always told me to not make any mistakes with him because then I would have to marry him. But I didn't tell my dad what we had done.

Soon it was an issue. He had to change his beliefs, his life and everything to marry me. We continued to stay together, fighting through with our love. Recently, I became dedicated to God and completely abstaining from deadly sins. I have been learning more, and even my boyfriend began trying to go to church. He even bought his Bible and began asking questions. Everything seemed great again, until he took a complete step back, and said he doesn't want to be with me if he can't marry me. He said he can't get baptized, he can't believe, because if he does, he will be admitting his grandmother is in hell for being Catholic, and that all his family will go to hell if they don't follow him.

I love him so much. I have never wanted to give up on him or on us. My question is what can I do? Why can't I marry him? I know the Bible speaks not to marry unbelievers, but it also says not to fornicate. I read parts where it says man can't marry a women who has been with another man. But overall, the Bible speaks about love, and we love each other. Please help.

Thank you.


Answer:

There seems to be quite a bit of confusion going on. I don't know if I can straighten it all out or not.

Whether you two marry is up to the two of you. You both have to agree to it. But whether you are making a good choice is a different question. The Bible speaks of people married to non-believers. It isn't that it is sinful to marry a non-believer, the problem is that it makes life very difficult and will most likely result in you leaving the faith. See: Is it wrong for a Christian to marry a non-believer? Most of the difficulties will arise after you start having children. There will always be arguments over whose church the children attend and which faith they will be raised in. Because the children will constantly see their parents arguing over religious beliefs there will be a strong tendency for them to grow up without any belief.

I'm sure it wasn't your intention, but you leave the impression that you are not a very strong Christian. You tell me that you are only a Christian because your parents pressured you into the decision. You talk about not knowing that sex before marriage was wrong, but somehow after being baptized you tried to stop, which means you did know it was wrong. When you continued you excused it as not knowing why it was wrong. The latter is odd because our full understanding of something is not required for obedience to God's laws.

Another thing that bothers me is that your boyfriend is Catholic. In the Catholic religion, sex outside of marriage is also clearly defined as being wrong. So that tells me that your boyfriend is not a devote Catholic.

Your boyfriend's reasoning for not becoming a simple Christian was not well thought out. His grandmother and the rest of his family have been Catholics. His becoming a Christian won't change this fact. If Catholicism is wrong, then his remaining a Catholic won't change that. It would only mean that he would join his family in being wrong. If he changes because he sees that simple Christianity is right, his change won't change the rest of his family, but it would given him opportunities to teach those who remain alive what being a true Christian is like.

Yes, the Bible says that fornication is wrong. How does that make any other sin right? The lie that love somehow changes things is wrong. We have to love God first. "Jesus said to him," 'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the first and great commandment" (Matthew 22:37-38). Disobedience is not an act of love. "If you love Me, keep My commandments" (John 14:15).

You are also incorrect claiming that people who commit fornication can't marry some other person. See: Am I restricted to only marrying the boy I first had sex with?

The decision for who you marry is your own and the person you marry. Parents, family, religious leaders can advise and that advise ought to be seriously considered because they don't want you to make a permanent mistake with your life. But if, after weighing all the reasons, decide that you rather go against their advice, then understand that you will bear all the responsibility as well.

From my viewpoint you have a boy of a different faith who thinks sex is more important. When studying the Bible and realizing there are problems with his faith, he puts his family's views above what he learned from God's Word. You haven't really described someone who shows good qualities as a husband.

In your own life you've let other people push you into decisions. You let your family force you into becoming a Christian, though you later realized they were right. You let your boyfriend persuade you into sex, even though you know it is wrong. You're growing up. You are responsible for your decisions. I want you to make good ones because you know the choice is right -- not because others are pressuring you.