The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

Hi,

I just finished reading something that a person posted on your web site about dating a non-Christian. This subject as well has also been on my mind. I would like to have a second perspective also if that is possible! So thank you in advance for your time. :)

I have had a really strong friend relationship with this girl for about three months now. It has always felt like we are dating each other. We are both almost 16. She has been in a few relationships before but not for a long time and I have never dated anyone before. I know we both really like and have feelings for each other, and I will not lie, I would love to date her! She has a lovely personality, is beautiful, likes pretty much the same things as me, friendly, fairly popular and is overall a very nice girl. Only thing is: she is not a Christian. Her mum is not, she has a step-dad, and her grandparents say they are and she spends a lot of time with them.

Pretty much all people at my school and the college have said we should date and that I should seriously ask her out soon before it's 'too late.' I want to! But the only thing stopping me is our faiths.

I mean, she always asks questions about my faith, and why I believe what I believe, and she says she is still undecided on her faith. When I talk about my faith to her I am always open and take the opportunity to share my love for God.

I need to have a conversation about this with my mum because I don't want to disappoint her and ruin our strong relationship we have by me dating a non-Christian. Also, I know very well what the Bible says about this particular topic. I believe God has been saying to me lately that He has placed her in my life to encourage and strengthen my faith, and visa versa. That is all I have heard so far though. Thank you for your time!


Answer

It might sound as an odd question, but what do you see changing if you begin to date this girl? Dating typically is used for two purposes in our culture: to find someone we want to marry and for entertainment. The later can be a danger since moral boundaries can be forgotten easily while chasing after pleasure.

There is nothing in the Bible that says it is wrong to marry a person who is not a Christian. There is nothing wrong with dating a non-Christian. But even so, it isn't always the wisest choice. Those who are close to us often influence our decisions. A bad choice in a close friend or companion can lead to making bad choices yourself in the future. "Do not be deceived: "Evil company corrupts good habits"" (I Corinthians 15:33).

The biggest problem with getting close to someone who is not a Christian is their moral standards. You accept restrictions on your behavior because you want Jesus as your Lord. "To those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law" (I Corinthians 9:21). You have to keep in mind that there are things she is willing to do that you know are wrong simply because she has not yet become a Christian. That means you can't let your guard down. You have to be responsible for the purity of this relationship, even when she doesn't understand and your body may demand that you follow her lead.

Given your ages, understand that the odds are that this relationship probably won't last long. This is not a slam against you or her. It is just common sense. You both are inexperienced in dealing with the opposite sex and what looks attractive on the surface might not remain attractive as you begin to realize that there is more to people than the surface traits. Don't rush matters. There are years still before you come to the time you will want to make a final decision about who you will be marrying. "I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or by the does of the field, do not stir up nor awaken love until it pleases" (Song of Solomon 2:7).

Hi,

Thanks so much for your reply. It was indeed extremely helpful and insightful, and it made me realize that God told me what He told me because He knew that this relationship and how I handle it will increase my faith. He knows I will obey Him and that consequently means that I know what I must do. It seems as if He has been teaching me many valuable lessons over the last year or so here. I am no doubt learning the hard way each time, that is for sure!

So here is my question: As you could tell I currently have a lot of peers almost pressuring me to date this girl. They are expecting me to do so. Stupidly I have previously replied to their comments with 'all in good time.' How I regret saying that now! We always see each other as we live so close together, literally a road away. So what would you say I should do now if I just want to stay good friends with her? Do I need to speak to her and just be truthful about it?

Thanks again.

There is nothing wrong with saying that you don't want to get serious with someone who isn't as serious about God as you are. Thus, the good time to date this girl, or any other girl, is when you know she wants God first in her life. If that never happens, well, the "good time" won't come around.

Meanwhile, there is nothing wrong with remaining friends and talking about things like religion and other common interests. I take it that you are pretty sure that she would be pushing toward immorality. That is unfortunate. I hope you can be an influence for good in her life, but keep in mind that you must always be on guard. "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world" (I Peter 5:8-9). Regardless of what other people want, you are responsible for your own behavior.