The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

Hi,

I have a serious question about this relationship I am in. I am not certain if I should call it a relationship because her parents do not like the thought of it.

We have been in this relationship for several months. I want to do things right and get her parents' permission before I ask her out because I experienced not getting the permission beforehand and it really didn't turn out well. Both of the parents told me no. I talked to the both of them at the same time. Her dad pulled me aside and told me that in his opinion: "Married at 18, dating at 30," which does make sense a little bit. He explained that he doesn't want her to go through the pain of dating. If, when she turns 18, she thinks she likes someone then and she wants to marry him, then she can.

This is where it gets weird. Back when we first started talking she had an iPod so she could talk to people, but her parents didn't know about it. They did not want her to have anything on social media. Her younger sister also has an iPod that they know about because they bought it for her. (How does that make sense?) They took my girlfriend's iPod away because she snuck out and bought one herself.

I am a very patient person, and I will wait forever just to have their permission. Her dad did tell her and I that she is "my problem" when she turns 18. I'm not sure if he is being serious or not, but I really hope he is. I can see her as my wife. I want her parents to agree. I have been taking the proper step by going over to her house, hanging out with just the parents, and having her come over to mine to meet my family. All of that seems to be working until something as simple as a hug gets in the way. I gave her a hug before church because I told her about what her ex-boyfriend said about what they did, which she said was not true and I completely believe her. However, her mom walked in and was not happy. Her dad walked up to me between services and told me to stop talking to her all together. But the next day he had no problem with me. I'm not sure what happened -- whether he was being serious or he was testing me to see what i would do.

Okay, there's my situation. What do you thing I should do?


Answer

I can see this coming from one of two directions:

  • She got too involved (sexually) with a prior boyfriend, her parents found out, and basically are isolating her until she is 18 to protect her and the family from further embarrassments.
  • Her parents are just the over-protective type.

The first better matches what you have told me. You didn't mention your ages, but it sounds like you'll just have to be patient and wait until she gets out on her own. I would suggest that you don't instantly marry her once you both are eligible. There is too strong of a possibility that things are being hidden from you. Waiting six months or a year after she has moved out from her parents will give you a better idea who you are marrying.

That is what I am worried about. The parents also told me another reason they took the iPod away because they found some "bad things" going on while she and her ex-boyfriend were dating. Recently her ex-boyfriend walked up to me and said they did some kind of sexual stuff. She told me to my face that all they did was make out. But he said very much otherwise. Who should I believe: her or her ex?

The biblical rule for determining truth is two or more witnesses. You have her saying that she and her ex-boyfriend only "made out," but that doesn't tell me what she considers "making out" to be. I can also see her skipping over inappropriate conversations or sending inappropriate images -- telling herself that those don't count since they were physically together when those things were happening. Keep in mind that she is motivated to minimize anything that happened in order to keep you. On the ex-boyfriend's part I would wonder what his motivation for telling you what they did. It could be to run you off so he can get her back. It could be boasting. It could be warning you that she isn't what she pretends to be. It could be revenge against her for dumping him. However, if we take it at face value, we have contradictory evidence. But this isn't all the evidence, we also have the hints that her parents have been telling you. The weight of the evidence so far is that she is not being honest.

Jesus also tells us in Matthew 7:16-20 that we know people better by the results of what they do over what they actually say. That means you need to observe whether her life is consistent with what she claims to be. That may be hard for you because you are motivated to see her in a good light.

Again, my advice remains the same. Wait until she is out living on her own and wait six months to a year to see how she behaves in an environment where her parents are not there making her behave. I know the waiting is hard, but we are discussing a very important decision that will impact the rest of your life. Investing some time to make sure it is the right one will be the best thing that you can do.