Question:

Hello there,

I just found this site, and I've been reading it quite a bit. I'm not quite sure how to form my question but I need to tell the background of it first.

I wasn't a reborn Christian years ago, but I did grow up in a Pentacostal family. Back then I prayed for three things: more faith, to become more brave (socially), and that God would pick the right girfriend for me, who I would marry because He knows better about what is right for me. I was 17 back then.

A few months later I met this girl on this international chat page. After one day I already had a huge crush on her and felt (very strongly) that this was the answer I had been praying for. This caused my faith to sky rocket, and I started to praise and worship God and search for Him pretty much for the first time in my life. Because of this I went to another church meeting where I got filled by the Spirit for the first time ever and this totally rocked my life even more. Long story short, I got everything I had prayed for and the girl I dated turned to Christ due to my influence and her own experiences with God.

But now it is many years later, and we are still not married. She has many anxieties and even depression in her life, and she hasn't been set free from these. We've faded into sexual sin through the years until we finally commited premarital sex. I even ended up living six months in her home.

But last week I got struck by the Holy Spirit and suddenly got the strength to do the right thing and repent. I moved out and said that we need to stop this sexual sin. I've been saying that either we take the few steps forward to marriage or few back to normal dating with proper boundaries. But she hasn't understood this decision too well and has been quite anxious, mad, and everything else because of it. She doesn't seem to understand that she should also commit her whole life to God and do the right thing according to His standards. She has threatened breaking up even.

I know I have done the right thing, but for this to end up well she needs to repent and surrender to God as well, but I don't know if that going to happen. I trust in God, but it still worries me to throw away years of a relationship with a person I still love. I wonder whether God can still turn this around or could all this end up in a break up, even after going through all this with prayers answered and all? After all my life started to change right after I met her. Right around the same time I found God.

I don't know if this make any sense, but I appreciate your time.


Answer:

The core of your problems revolves around the fact that you are making decisions based on your personal emotions and expectations. You assume that if you feel good about something and especially if it matches what you expect, then it must be from God.

Let's take the example of finding a girlfriend. You asked God to pick a girl for you. That means you were trying to push the responsibility of the selection off on God. But when you look through the Bible, God tells us how to select a good mate. He lays out the qualities that we should look for and the warning signs that tells us that this is a person we should avoid. He even tells us what are the true qualities of love. None of them are feelings. All of them are about how two people behave with each other (II Corinthians 13:4-8).

What you did was take the first person who came along after your prayer and assumed that God sent her into your life. You got excited and called that excitement a stronger faith. Your girlfriend is also an emotional person and she got excited about God too. But notice that it was a house built on the shifting sands of emotions. "Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall" (Matthew 7:24-27). You hear God's teachings, but you haven't really made them a part of your life and your behavior. It works for a while, while everything is going well, but as soon as trouble comes everything falls apart.

My guess is that your girlfriend lacks confidence in herself. She emotionally needy and she constantly doubts that you really love her. Over time she kept making greater demands of you to prove that you loved her and since there was a worldly focus to this relationship, those proofs involved physical acts. Of course, your body also craves a physical relationship, so it was just a matter of time before the clothes came off and you were having sex. You probably even told yourself that it was all right because God sent her to you and you were planning to marry her -- but it was all a lie. "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God" (I Corinthians 6:9-10). When you finally realized just how sinful you had become and pulled back, she took that as evidence that you didn't really love her.

I don't know if this can be resolved because the decision to marry involves two people and she refuses to make a commitment. She wants your attention and your body, but she wants to leave herself an escape.

This is going to be hard, probably too hard, but stop and think hard about this: Knowing all that you know about her, leaving out all the emotions you have tangled up with her, do you think she makes an excellent wife for you and would be a wonderful mother of your children? Not as she might become, but as she is today. This is not a matter of how much time you have spent with her, or the fact that you've sinned with her. You have to look at who she is, which is what you should have done years ago.

You prayed for more faith. But notice where God says faith comes from: "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17). Faith doesn't come from your experiences. It isn't an emotion, though people with strong faith have strong emotions. Faith is your trust in God due to your knowledge of Him. Using this as a measurement, over time your faith became weaker because you moved further from God's teachings. You got wrapped up in worldliness instead of godliness, but you were blind to it because you assumed your emotionalism was your faith.

Assuming that you aren't totally mad at me for pointing out these truths, the next question is where do you go from here. First, you need to fix yourself because you can't help her when you are spiritually broken. "And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove the speck from your eye'; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye" (Matthew 7:3-5). You've strayed a long way from God. It is time to get out your Bible and sit at His feet and learn. Stop using your thoughts and your feelings as a guide in your life. "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and depart from evil" (Proverbs 3:5-7).

I would like you to read: The Gift of the Holy Spirit because you express that the Holy Spirit being with you as an emotional feeling and not as the Bible describes it. It is different from what Pentecostalism teaches, but the distinction is critical. Feelings are unstable. Truth is constant. "He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but whoever walks wisely will be delivered" (Proverbs 28:26).