The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

I'm in a relationship with this girl, and for now we are, according to her parents, just friends. I have to first become friends with her family before I can ask for her hand. She said that her father wouldn't mind if we kissed each other on the lips, or if we massaged each other. She likes massaging me, and I like massaging her -- no private parts. He wouldn't mind if we hugged or stayed close together. But her mom is super duper protective. It hurts our relationship because we both want to hold hands and she doesn't want us to, even thoug her father wouldn't mind. She won't let us just spend ten minutes or so alone to talk privately. When I was with her, we hardly could talk privately. I know her mom cares for her, but she is too protective. Would we be still allowed to hug, kiss (not French kissing), and hold hands since her father wouldn't mind? I don't want to ignore her mom, but, come on, seriously, we can't even hold hands! Isn't the husband the head of the family? Would we still be wrong doing what he allows and what her mom doesn't?


Answer

I get the distinct impression that you are in a rush to push this relationship further in a physical way, though you have no intentions of going so far as sex. Her mother is concerned that in your rush you won't be able to slow down. Thus, she is insisting on rules to try to stop anything from starting. She figures it is easier to prevent a fire than try to put one out.

Now notice that to get permission to marry this young lady, you have to be accepted by her family. How is that going to happen if you continually push the boundaries because you don't like where they are? Yes, the husband is the head of the family, so he has to convince his wife that she is being extreme. It isn't for you to step into the middle of this. You'll have to wait until he decides to take your side, which will only happen because you demonstrate that you have strong self-control for a young man.

One thing that concerns me is that you seem to see the quality of your relationship as being defined by your physical attraction for each other. But a marriage is about joining together with your best friend. In speaking of one's wife, God said, "Yet she is your companion and your wife by covenant" (Malachi 2:14). Rather than spending your time complaining about the restrictions, using this time to really get to know each other -- her thoughts, her dreams, her fears, etc.

As hard as it is, spend this time building your patience and your self-control. It will do you well later in life. "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing" (James 1:2-4). It might not be fair. It might be over-protective. But you can use this as time to strengthen your spiritual muscles.

She thinks that she isn't good looking and because of her past life she got involved in cyber sex, phone sex, learning about sex stuff that aren't appropriate to learn when not married, and more stuff that involved her with sex. She hasn't had real sex or even touched a man in a sexual way. She thinks that she has basically nothing to give me when we get married (God willing). She thinks that she will not have a lot of enjoyment because of what she did before and that only a few things she will be able to give me. Because of what happened she worries and feels like she has betrayed me or something, and this hurts me because she worries and when she talks about her not being good looking and that she won't be able to give me a lot, it hurts because it feels that I won't have a good physical relationship when married. I told her so many times to give it to God, that He is our Father and that He cares for us and He will take care of it, and that He will restore her emotions and her body and her thoughts, and that she will enjoy it. But she has a hard time trusting God, although I trust God and believe He will restore her and that we both will enjoy what happens after marriage. She has stopped with this involvement in sex, but she still worries about it. Is there anything else that I can do?

First, stop trying to prove her wrong. The harder you push to deny what she wants to believe about herself, the more she'll dismiss what you say as simply being nice to her. I would like you to go through a study that I wrote: The Greatest Love Song Written. In particular, I want you to focus on how Solomon never directly contradicts his fiance, but still compliments his fiance sincerely and in ways she cannot deny them.

I see now that you are so set on proving to her that she is physically attractive that you are willing to push the limits of propriety. You need to stop this because you are going to push both of you over the edge. Rather, what I want you to see is both of you are focusing on only one narrow topic. She thinks she is inadequate sexually, you know that isn't true, so leave it at that. But there is so much more to a relationship than physical attraction and sex. All areas of a relationship need to be developed. Show her that you value her companionship, that you value her thoughts on subjects. Find things that you can sincerely praise her, whether it is her abilities in cooking, art, education, or whatever it might be.

When will she realize that she was wrong about being sexually attractive? Probably not until after a few months of being married. When it comes close to the time of your marriage, contact me and we'll talk about how you can make her experience at having sex some of the best times of her life. But in the mean time, for both your sakes, leave this subject on the shelf. This is not the appropriate time to address it.