Last updated on August 3, 2022
When I was a junior in High School I met a girl who was a freshman. We started out as friends but quickly realized that we both have feelings for each other. Our relationship is filled with a lot of laughter, joy, and serious conversations. We are both Jesus’ followers, and we included Him in our relationship. Around my senior year was the first time we held hands and kissed (nothing more than that), during this time our relationship felt very shameful because of our age and I didn’t want to be judged by my friends and family. We would always pray and ask God for His will, we wanted to be together someday (when she was out of High School) but only if it was according to His will. There was a lot of fear in our relationship due to the public’s eye and so when I was a freshman in college we would often hang out but not tell anybody but her parents (and one time we lied to her parents). We would go to church together with me and my friends and then after church, we would go out to eat and hang out. Nobody knew about this except one of my friends and her parents.
During the time of us hanging out in person, we fell into deep sexual sin with each other (not sex). We would repent and ask God for forgiveness, all to fall into the same pattern of sinning. Around spring last year, she became really convicted of our hidden relationship, mainly us making out. She told me that she thinks we shouldn’t kiss each other until she is out of high school. She didn’t care about our age difference, her main concern was having integrity until we are publically allowed to date. When she texted me this, I definitely agreed because I was convicted of the same thing. Whether out of good intentions or insecure ones I also quickly told her I don’t think we should hang out in person or hold hands either. To rewind a little bit, in the past we have tried to act like only friends but every time we do there feels like a lot of tension because we don’t know how to treat each other as merely friends. I could tell I said all of this out of insecurity and hurt. Days later I remember still being insecure. We talked about how we should move forward. Days later, I was praying and I felt this burden. I felt like that even though I liked this girl, I was still unable to like someone else if they were to come into my life. I felt like I wanted to tell this girl (looking back maybe it was God) that since we are only acting as friends, I wanted to release her from any pressure she might feel to stick around even if she meets another guy. I told her that I would hope she would give me the same liberties.
Our relationship has never been toxic or bitter. Despite the shame of not being able to date in public, our relationship has always been supportive and life-giving. However, after I sent that text to her. She responded with something like “thank you so much for saying that, I was just thinking the same thing, I agree 100%”. I could tell there was some jealousy and anger in me because of her words. I felt insecure and jealous. I didn’t think she would be so supportive, and when she was, it made me feel uneasy. We chatted that night and it felt like she was acting uninterested in me (with her words and body language), this caused me to feel more jealousy, anger, and insecurity. Around this time I was fasting, reading commentaries, and doing a lot of deep studies of scripture because of my unhealthy relationship with them. I felt a big burden to know as much scripture as possible. This caused me to see more value in intellectual persuasion rather than the Spirit’s power. I decided that it would be a good idea to stop all communication with this girl for 21 days. I felt like the Lord told me to do this, but I am not 100% sure now. Early in the morning, I spammed the girl with texts saying I think we should stop talking to each other because there are unhealthy demons/emotions in our relationship. I told her I wanted our relationship to be healthy and above all, I wanted God’s will for us. Looking back I assume that doing that abruptly was really unhealthy. As soon as I sent those texts, I told her I would see her in 21 days and that whatever God spoke to us is what we would do.
During our 21 days, I prayed non-stop about this girl, I asked God to clean me of all the negative emotions I felt. I would go on huge walks and all I would talk to God about is things revolving around this girl. Well, a week and a few days passed and I remember praying to God, and I told Him I would give her up completely if He asked me to, and at that moment I felt that He was going to ask me to.
A few days passed and I knew I was going to see this girl at a Christian event I was speaking at, I did and we talked for a while and it was good. One of the things we talked about was the guilt of feeling like we aren’t allowed to love each other. Almost like it was a sin. We texted that night and I felt such peace about God being okay with us liking each other. I felt like I was overcomplicating the question “Is it God’s will for us to be together”. I felt like God didn’t really care, as long as it was honoring Him. A few days passed and I ended up texting her again basically asking what her thoughts were about after our hiatus. I told her that whatever she was feeling, we would go through with it. I would take it as God’s will. She told me that the hiatus was amazing for her because it allowed her to place God at top priority again. She said she missed me, but she was also filled with a lot of joy because she didn’t feel like she was hiding anything from anyone. She eventually talked about how she wanted to be able to continue her High School journey and for me to continue college. She was basically asking for us to not really talk until a future date. I didn’t agree at first just because I didn’t understand why we needed to be out of each other’s life. But I eventually felt like this was God’s will. We chatted with each other for the last time. We talked about everything and we both cried a lot. A week later, I texted her back basically saying that I don’t get why we have to do this, it seemed unnecessary to just cut each other out of our lives.
We had one last conversation (this was a text conversation, not a call as it was late at night, and she basically told me that she feels fear every time she reconsiders. So I told her that if this is what she really wanted then I would do it. We had one last conversation and I asked her if she wanted me during this hiatus to completely let go of any possibility of us being together, she said, “I don’t know”. I was saying my goodbyes and goodnights over text and in my head, I thought I heard God say “tell her that you guys aren’t meant to be spouses”. What I heard in my head wasn’t even that clear, it was just something along the lines of us not being spouses. Now I didn’t know if this was God or not, or at least I wanted to make sure. I thought it was myself or just my need to always take it a step farther. The next day I felt such strong guilt when I was debating in my head if this was God or not. I felt “I can’t follow God unless I obey Him in this”. I didn’t get why God would tell me to tell her that, we were already planning on not talking for a long time. Two days later I texted her “God told me we aren’t spouses and so let’s just let go and not worry about that”. I told one of my friends that I told her this and then an hour later I just didn’t feel at peace about it. So I texted her back “I shouldn’t ever claim that God told me to tell you something unless I am 100% percent sure. Please disregard my previous text”. I felt like that was dangerous unless I knew for sure. She said okay.
As the days and weeks went by all I could think about is that there were constant thoughts telling me to text her. I didn’t get why I needed to because we weren’t talking to each other. I didn’t obey because I didn’t know if it was God. I felt so much guilt and there was one time specifically when I had the thought “If Jesus came back right now would you text her or not”. I figured I would text her. I felt thoughts like I would go to hell unless I obeyed God. I felt like I wasn’t “giving it all up for Him”. I asked God for a sign on what I should do, that same day my dad came into my room and asked about the situation. I told Him the thoughts and he basically said “that’s not God, why would He tell you that?” I felt peace about it not being God for one day, that is until I thought my dad didn’t know enough about the situation.
Amid all of this, I did speak with this girl once or twice. I talked a lot about not wanting anything we do to be based on fear. I told her we shouldn’t mix up the voice of fear and guilt tripping with God’s voice. As the weeks went by, all I could think about were these thoughts. My thoughts felt like a game of ping pong. I would wake up with many thoughts and fear, thinking God is telling me this, and I would go to bed with thoughts about it too.
I asked God for another sign and that same day the girl texted me saying she felt like the break was good but she knew it was more based on fear than what God wanted. She asked to be friends again and I said yes. The thoughts continued “you need to tell her this”. I remember once I was shaking feeling like I was going to hell if I were to marry this girl. I felt uneasy in church and guilty whenever a godly person would talk about repenting of sins and giving it all to God. Reading the Bible and praying was fear-giving too. Every time I would read scripture, no matter what verse it was, it felt like it would give me a reason why I need to tell this girl we aren’t supposed to marry. I felt afraid whenever I heard these thoughts, they didn’t feel loving, but rather very harsh. For three months straight I was unable to talk to God about anything other than this situation. I was unable to read the Bible and go to church without the thoughts coming. I remember feeling so tired and desiring rest. But the thoughts wouldn’t give me any, it would be super pushy and make me feel guilty or afraid. There was no space to breathe and take a step back.
I remember reading 1 John 3:19 till the end and feeling like these thoughts were God. At first, it felt like these thoughts were speaking harshly to me and accusing me of not being a genuine Jesus follower. But then I started to believe that maybe it was my heart and conscience that were giving me these thoughts. Either way, I was constantly in fear and unrest, unable to think about even working out or cleaning my room because all that came into my mind was for me to do this. I remember weeping and telling God that I would, but that night I talked to my friend (who knew about the situation) and he told me “bro that’s not God, He wouldn’t speak to you like that.” In my head I thought that maybe God told me to tell the girl she was not my wife and then because I didn’t do it my conscience spoke to me roughly). My friend told me that he feels like it was some demon. I remember going to bed that night feeling so dark, I didn’t know what to do. My mind was traveling a million miles per second. I texted another friend of mine that night who is really close to God. He has the gift of prophecy. I begged him to see if God would tell him what I should do. I figured that if I am this confused him then I need other people to pray.
The next day I talked to the girl telling her everything. She told me that she has a really tender heart toward God’s voice and God hasn’t told her anything about this yet. I told her that I am going to talk to my friend (the one who in the past had told prophecies) and whatever he says I am going to do. She said okay. My friend told me that God does not accuse us, Satan does. He told me that I need to unfriend chaos and that “Take it day by day. Sometimes weeds look like flowers. If you let them grow long enough. You have grown close to your accuser, maybe even learned to like him. There’s a set path for you. Stop stepping in the grass and kicking it trying to make a path for yourself.” As I promised myself and the girl. I took those words to be God’s confirmation that those thoughts were not Him.
However, the thoughts came back a few days later. They started to tell me that I was idolizing her and that I needed to get her out of my life until God told me she could come back. We already went on a break and so I was hesitant that God was saying this. The thoughts thickened, and I felt more and more guilt. Every second of the day for a whole month, these thoughts were in my head. There was one time when I told the girl that I felt like God told me to leave her for a few days. So I did. She was so confused about why this kept on happening. During this hiatus, I was singing to God, one day, “I fell down, I laid my crown, at the feet of Jesus…”. I thought to myself how guilty and fake I feel in the church because of these thoughts, I told myself I wouldn’t ever be able to sing that song without a bad feeling in my chest unless I obeyed the voice. I began to weep bitterly at that moment telling God that I would give her up and I felt like I needed to finally tell her that God doesn’t want us dating. That night I felt so sad and confused about why we couldn’t be together. We have loved each other for 3 years and we both love God and better each other so much. The next morning I prayed for God to reveal to this girl the same thing. I didn’t understand why God would tell me she was not my wife and not tell her. The girl was up at 1 am reading and praying to God because she wanted to hear His voice. I told her to pray about it all day to see if God told her the same thing. I sent her multiple verses that convicted me. Later that day, I had a conversation with my friend and at the end of it, I felt so much joy and closeness with God. I knew the voices weren’t God’s because they were so condemning. However, the joy didn’t last for long.
One of my friends got upset at me because I was willfully allowing myself to believe that these thoughts that were condemning and accusing me were God. He said he can say 100% that they aren’t. He was at a camp earlier that week and the speaker talked about the enemy’s tactics while speaking to us. He asked God “God doesn’t this sound like my friend’s situation”. He told me God told Him yes.
I have talked to two older godly Christians about this and they say that God doesn’t speak to us harshly like this, He is gentle. I believe them, but I am wondering if the harsh thoughts aren’t from God, they are just a byproduct of disobeying God.
I know I don’t idolize this girl, if I knew with 100% certainty this was Him then I would do it. I also wouldn’t be broken if she left my life for another reason. I also recognize that the thoughts have gone back and forth from “tell her she’s not your wife” and “tell her you need a break and I will tell you when you can have her back in your life”. These thoughts have both clashed but on separate occasions, I felt they were both God. I don’t understand why God would tell me one thing and her another thing. She has told me that if I genuinely feel like it’s God then she will accept that and have my back. She doesn’t feel like it’s God though. I have gone back and forth for four months straight.
There were two separate moments where I was so ready to tell the girl that the thoughts are God, but on both occasions moments later I had a conversation with another Christian that told me God does not accuse me or condemn me. They also said that if I like the girl and feel peace about liking her then I should date her and trust God to open and close doors.
If this isn’t God why is it so hard to read the Bible and pray? I feel like I am unable to do these things without feeling these thoughts.
She is 17 and I am 19. We have already agreed to wait a year until she is out of High School. I am not sure what to do though. I do not want to make a mistake but I also can’t stand feeling anxious around her and anxious when I read the Bible or worship.
Are these thoughts God?
I’m sitting here trying to think of a way to clearly explain this to you. You don’t have a religion based on obeying God. You worship your own emotions and thoughts and call them “God.” If would accept this challenge, I would like you to listen to Communication Between God and Man. Have your Bible with you. Look up the passages that Brother Sebree references and see if that is not what is recorded by God in the Bible. Next, I am going to ask you to listen and read What Is God’s Will for Me? Again, look up the passages in the Bible and see that this is what God had said. Both of these are going to be tough getting through because you’ve accepted lies for so much of your life without being like the Bereans. “Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11).
It is my hope that once you see what God has actually said, then you’ll stop making decisions based on your emotions. Instead, you need to start deciding whether this girl will make you a suitable wife by looking at the qualities that God recommends. See A Good Mate. That is probably what struck me the strongest as I read through your message. Everything was about your current emotions and nothing was grounded in reasoning from God’s teachings. No wonder you are in turmoil!
What I also notice is that you have a tendency toward depression. You are quick to be hard on yourself. Given two options, you will more likely take the negative. It appears you want to punish yourself and be a victim, but all you are doing is avoiding being responsible for your decisions. You want God to make all your choices, even though God said He designed us to make our own choices. He tells us what is best, but it is our choice to decide whether to follow God or not.
Many of your problems started because you got involved in sexual sin with your girlfriend. You have been seeking to punish yourself ever since. The really simple answer has always been to realize that you both were wrong and change your behavior and attitude toward the sin. You have to choose to follow God instead of your sexual emotions. “He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but he who walks wisely will be delivered” (Proverbs 28:26).
Thank you so much for your thoughtful response! I will take you up on both of those challenges.
If I may ask one more question. How do I get rid of these lies? Every time I read the Bible I sometimes whisper that God is asking me to leave this girl because she blocks me from Him. I know this isn’t true because I spend time with God. I do love this girl very much but I am having a hard time knowing whether I love her too much (like these thoughts are telling me). All I care about is following God’s will for my life and being in obedience to Him. You are right, if two options are given to me, I almost always choose the hardest one. I want to be free from these thoughts, but only if they are not God. This girl, despite our past sins, is the godliest woman. I know. If God allows us to date a year from now then we will get married someday. The question is, how will I know whether He tells me she’s not my wife? Or how do I know if God is asking me to remove her from my life to get closer to Him? I can see the benefit in taking her out of my life because she’s my best friend and without her, I would only have God, therefore I would be able to focus on God more.
I love this girl and want to marry her someday, but I want to love God to the max, and I am confused why I always hear thoughts of Him telling me to give her up. We have already given each other up and we really don’t want to have to do that again. I just want to obey His voice and know His will. What are your honest thoughts? Do you think these voices are God?
One last thing is that I feel disobedient or sinful for not wanting to obey these voices asking me to give her up to get close to God.
As I mentioned in the first response, you are having a hard time because you are used to calling your emotions and your thoughts leading from God. The Bible is God’s instruction book to men. Show me in God’s Word that God communicates in such a vague way that people are uncertain that it is God speaking or what His message is. Besides, God said that direct revelation ended (I Corinthians 13:8-10).
God created marriage (Genesis 2:24) and wants His children to marry and raise up the next generation. Who you marry is your choice. God teaches you how to make good choices, but God doesn’t make the choice for you. You have to be responsible for your own decisions.
Disobedience is going against what God has said. And God’s will for us is communicated to us in the Bible. If you are sinning, you have to show the command that you are disobeying. Your emotions and thoughts are not God’s commands.