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  • Faithfulness in a Dating Relationship?

    I was going to post this in Women at the Well, but I think it could be valuable to anyone. Earlier, I was reading 1 Corinthians 7, and would appreciate some outside thought about it - mainly with this part:

    To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him [...] For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife? (v. 12-16)

    Do you believe this mentality should also apply in a dating relationship? I was particularly hung up on this too:

    If anyone thinks that he is not behaving properly toward his betrothed, if his passions are strong, and it has to be, let him do as he wishes: let them marry - it is no sin. But whoever is firmly established in his heart, being under no necessity but having his desire under control, and has determined this in his heart, to keep her as his betrothed, he will do well. So then he who marries his betrothed does well, and he who refrains from marriage will do even better. (v. 36-38)

    I'm wrestling with these two ideas - because I believe that God has called me into my relationship as a witnessing opportunity, but also that I shouldn't marry because I'm not convinced about his salvation. I'm mostly content to keep things the way they are, like it says in verse 38, if it means being spiritual support. But at the same I'm seeking wisdom when it comes to "staying loyal" to an unbeliever when not married. I often feel spiritually alone even though not emotionally alone, because I have I think good desires to be married to someone whom I can rely on for prayer and Biblical guidance. Yet when I consider leaving for a relationship with a true believer, it's a weight on my conscience - I feel that I'm being selfish and not "befriending faithfulness."

    Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. (Psalm 37)

    Of course I realize that because there's no marriage covenant in place, I'm free to do whatever I want. But I don't want to "forfeit" the situation just because it's difficult or spiritually draining. What would this also say about me in the future when it actually is a matter of marriage? Isn't this good "practice?" At the same time, I wonder if I only remain in the relationship for the emotional fulfillment or just out of the flesh rather than the spirit.
    「耶和華聖潔無比,獨一無二,沒有磐石像我們的上帝。
    撒母耳記上 (1 Samuel) 2:2

  • #2
    Re: Faithfulness in a Dating Relationship?

    Aviyah, I am rather inept when it comes to dating so I can't really give sound advice on that. Maybe someone else can.

    Here's a little counsel that might be useful. I learned the hard way not to trust my opinion of my own heart and motives. My limited advice would be to get before the Lord and ask Him to show you your true motives about why you are in this relationship. (See Psalm 139. That Psalm is all about God searching our hearts.) It may be one or more that you mentioned. It may be something else. Probably only you and the Lord can really know. Though I have also found that through a wise counselor that can hear God, the Lord will reveal my heart to me too.

    The only other thing I would encourage you in... you are not responsible for how he responds. At what point would you be able to move on if he never comes around to the Lord? Where is the getting off point in that case? To me, it gets real confusing if I think about it too much. But you could spend a lot of time being a spiritual support while a better match might be out there somewhere. I know you already know these things and have probably already thought them through. Just figured I would throw it out there. Does the guy know you won't marry him in his current condition?

    Wish I could give you sound counsel on the whole thing... but I am simply not qualified.

    God bless!

    Mark
    Matt 9:13
    13 "But go and learn what this means: ' I DESIRE COMPASSION,AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
    NASU

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Faithfulness in a Dating Relationship?

      Originally posted by Brother Mark View Post
      Aviyah, I am rather inept when it comes to dating so I can't really give sound advice on that. Maybe someone else can.

      Here's a little counsel that might be useful. I learned the hard way not to trust my opinion of my own heart and motives. My limited advice would be to get before the Lord and ask Him to show you your true motives about why you are in this relationship. (See Psalm 139. That Psalm is all about God searching our hearts.) It may be one or more that you mentioned. It may be something else. Probably only you and the Lord can really know. Though I have also found that through a wise counselor that can hear God, the Lord will reveal my heart to me too.

      The only other thing I would encourage you in... you are not responsible for how he responds. At what point would you be able to move on if he never comes around to the Lord? Where is the getting off point in that case? To me, it gets real confusing if I think about it too much. But you could spend a lot of time being a spiritual support while a better match might be out there somewhere. I know you already know these things and have probably already thought them through. Just figured I would throw it out there. Does the guy know you won't marry him in his current condition?

      Wish I could give you sound counsel on the whole thing... but I am simply not qualified.

      God bless!

      Mark
      Thanks so much, this is definitely a great idea to pray about understanding my own heart and I'll dive into Psalm 139! I wonder about what the "getting off point" would be also. Currently we don't have any marriage plans, but if it reaches that point, my conscience tells me that I shouldn't accept based on being "unequally yoked." Probably then I would voice these concerns more clearly - but I would feel conflicted about leaving prior to that because it seems self-righteous. I feel stuck between God telling me not to leave but also not to marry, and I viewed that as the whole point of dating. (I wasn't as mature in the faith when we started the relationship).

      "The only other thing I would encourage you in... you are not responsible for how he responds."
      Yes! This is a major burden for me also because I feel like if he isn't saved it's because I didn't have enough faith. If I leave it's like I gave up on God and didn't persevere through that verse 16 scenario.
      「耶和華聖潔無比,獨一無二,沒有磐石像我們的上帝。
      撒母耳記上 (1 Samuel) 2:2

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Faithfulness in a Dating Relationship?

        Originally posted by Aviyah View Post
        I'm wrestling with these two ideas - because I believe that God has called me into my relationship as a witnessing opportunity, but also that I shouldn't marry because I'm not convinced about his salvation.
        Allow me to share 2 stories with you without being pedantic or telling you what to do.

        I fell in love with my wife the first time I saw here. She was a faithful Christian, me a so so unrepented Christian in name only, definitely unequally yoked. I only went to her church because it was important for her. We engaged 8 months later and planning to marry one year later. In retrospect I know that at the time some people were praying for me because they were worried about the relationship, my fiance included. 3 months before the marriage their prayers were answered, the Lord took me, I was without chance, could not resist His love, best day of my life. Still makes me wonder if my conversion would had happened without the prayers of those people.

        Story two, one day my oldest daughter came home with a guy to introduce him to us as a serious partner. And we learned that he was raised anti Christian and made no secret of that. And my wife said: he is mine, I am going to pray for him until he turns to the Lord. 2-3 years past, they already were married, but her prayer was answered, he became a Christian.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Faithfulness in a Dating Relationship?

          Originally posted by ProDeo View Post
          Allow me to share 2 stories with you without being pedantic or telling you what to do.

          I fell in love with my wife the first time I saw here. She was a faithful Christian, me a so so unrepented Christian in name only, definitely unequally yoked. I only went to her church because it was important for her. We engaged 8 months later and planning to marry one year later. In retrospect I know that at the time some people were praying for me because they were worried about the relationship, my fiance included. 3 months before the marriage their prayers were answered, the Lord took me, I was without chance, could not resist His love, best day of my life. Still makes me wonder if my conversion would had happened without the prayers of those people.

          Story two, one day my oldest daughter came home with a guy to introduce him to us as a serious partner. And we learned that he was raised anti Christian and made no secret of that. And my wife said: he is mine, I am going to pray for him until he turns to the Lord. 2-3 years past, they already were married, but her prayer was answered, he became a Christian.
          Wow. That’s about all I can say.

          Originally posted by ProDeo View Post
          Allow me to share 2 stories with you without being pedantic or telling you what to do.

          I fell in love with my wife the first time I saw here. She was a faithful Christian, me a so so unrepented Christian in name only, definitely unequally yoked. I only went to her church because it was important for her. We engaged 8 months later and planning to marry one year later. In retrospect I know that at the time some people were praying for me because they were worried about the relationship, my fiance included. 3 months before the marriage their prayers were answered, the Lord took me, I was without chance, could not resist His love, best day of my life. Still makes me wonder if my conversion would had happened without the prayers of those people.

          Story two, one day my oldest daughter came home with a guy to introduce him to us as a serious partner. And we learned that he was raised anti Christian and made no secret of that. And my wife said: he is mine, I am going to pray for him until he turns to the Lord. 2-3 years past, they already were married, but her prayer was answered, he became a Christian.
          Wow. Thats about all I can say.
          A cannot be A & not A at the same time.

          מקום כניעה סך הכל

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Faithfulness in a Dating Relationship?

            Originally posted by ProDeo View Post
            Allow me to share 2 stories with you without being pedantic or telling you what to do.

            I fell in love with my wife the first time I saw here. She was a faithful Christian, me a so so unrepented Christian in name only, definitely unequally yoked. I only went to her church because it was important for her. We engaged 8 months later and planning to marry one year later. In retrospect I know that at the time some people were praying for me because they were worried about the relationship, my fiance included. 3 months before the marriage their prayers were answered, the Lord took me, I was without chance, could not resist His love, best day of my life. Still makes me wonder if my conversion would had happened without the prayers of those people.

            Story two, one day my oldest daughter came home with a guy to introduce him to us as a serious partner. And we learned that he was raised anti Christian and made no secret of that. And my wife said: he is mine, I am going to pray for him until he turns to the Lord. 2-3 years past, they already were married, but her prayer was answered, he became a Christian.
            I love it ! Y'all didn't stand a chance.

            Originally posted by ProDeo View Post
            Allow me to share 2 stories with you without being pedantic or telling you what to do.

            I fell in love with my wife the first time I saw here. She was a faithful Christian, me a so so unrepented Christian in name only, definitely unequally yoked. I only went to her church because it was important for her. We engaged 8 months later and planning to marry one year later. In retrospect I know that at the time some people were praying for me because they were worried about the relationship, my fiance included. 3 months before the marriage their prayers were answered, the Lord took me, I was without chance, could not resist His love, best day of my life. Still makes me wonder if my conversion would had happened without the prayers of those people.

            Story two, one day my oldest daughter came home with a guy to introduce him to us as a serious partner. And we learned that he was raised anti Christian and made no secret of that. And my wife said: he is mine, I am going to pray for him until he turns to the Lord. 2-3 years past, they already were married, but her prayer was answered, he became a Christian.
            I love it ! Y'all didn't stand a chance.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Faithfulness in a Dating Relationship?

              Originally posted by ProDeo View Post
              And my wife said: he is mine, I am going to pray for him until he turns to the Lord.
              Best quote in a long time!! God is Good! God bless the prayer... "warrior!"
              Slug1--out

              ~"In the turmoil of any chaos, all it takes is that whisper that is heard like thunder over all the noise and the chaos seems to go away, focus returns and we are comforted in knowing that God has listened to our cry for help."~

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Faithfulness in a Dating Relationship?

                Well, I am an older widow so my impute will differ a bit here. Recently I had begun (or he began) a long distance relationship with someone I knew briefly even before I was married. btw, I was married to the same guy 56 years before his death two years ago. My new friend supported me mainly by letter, email, texting, and some calls during a heart valve replacement I went through. And he sent various presents (especially on my birthday) which were big blessings. In time as we talked I realized that there was question in my mind as to whether he really knew the Lord in the sense of the kind of commitment I am looking for in any close friendships. And, in time, he would interject much swearing and negativism into our conversations. After a while I felt this kind of heaviness and started discouraging the calls, etc. I did keep praying and even as he wanted to come visit and me come to where he lived which was over 1000 miles away..I realized this is not what I wanted to do because I was not really interested in marriage to him nor likely to anyone maybe ever. And I realized I had been married many years and what all it can mean. The fact that we are both older seniors did play into it. At this age mainly we are seeking companionship. Yet, here was an accomplished and kind man who honored me by giving much support when I needed it. The answer came after much prayers and was to end the relationship and correspondence not only because his true colors were coming forth and I could see that anything serious especially with him was not what I wanted because God loves me and is protecting me for getting into something that will bring unhappiness into my life. I encouraged him to find friends within his area..He was a consistent church goer but not biblically focused. He kept quoting other things from non-Christian sources (not bad things and often religious) but nothing really biblically sound as far as I could see, in other words, relative and worldly thought about religion, God, karma, Zen, etc. (mixed bag). But he was very smart about how he presented his views to me. It took me a while to see through it.

                So now.. I admit having let him go was not easy because I was flattered and helped for a while with such attention. But I was also at a vulnerable time and the enemy can use the tactic of deception so things seem good at first but eventually lead to a dark and unhappy place diverted from God's better path for me. I think God has something better with someone I have more common beliefs and with whom I can share His Word without hesitation or apology. Meanwhile, I am still grieving a bit over the loss of my late dear husband and have family, church, and health matters to work on. God is good. His Way better. Trust is my key and by keeping it..I believe that there will be someone more suited ahead. btw, this happened to me before and more than once way back when I met my late husband of 56 years. Still works best to pray, wait, and discern.

                Well, I am an older widow so my impute will differ a bit here. Recently I had begun (or he began) a long distance relationship with someone I knew briefly even before I was married. btw, I was married to the same guy 56 years before his death two years ago. My new friend supported me mainly by letter, email, texting, and some calls during a heart valve replacement I went through. And he sent various presents (especially on my birthday) which were big blessings. In time as we talked I realized that there was question in my mind as to whether he really knew the Lord in the sense of the kind of commitment I am looking for in any close friendships. And, in time, he would interject much swearing and negativism into our conversations. After a while I felt this kind of heaviness and started discouraging the calls, etc. I did keep praying and even as he wanted to come visit and me come to where he lived which was over 1000 miles away..I realized this is not what I wanted to do because I was not really interested in marriage to him nor likely to anyone maybe ever. And I realized I had been married many years and what all it can mean. The fact that we are both older seniors did play into it. At this age mainly we are seeking companionship. Yet, here was an accomplished and kind man who honored me by giving much support when I needed it. The answer came after much prayers and was to end the relationship and correspondence not only because his true colors were coming forth and I could see that anything serious especially with him was not what I wanted because God loves me and is protecting me for getting into something that will bring unhappiness into my life. I encouraged him to find friends within his area..He was a consistent church goer but not biblically focused. He kept quoting other things from non-Christian sources (not bad things and often religious) but nothing really biblically sound as far as I could see, in other words, relative and worldly thought about religion, God, karma, Zen, etc. (mixed bag). But he was very smart about how he presented his views to me. It took me a while to see through it.

                So now.. I admit having let him go was not easy because I was flattered and helped for a while with such attention. But I was also at a vulnerable time and the enemy can use the tactic of deception so things seem good at first but eventually lead to a dark and unhappy place diverted from God's better path for me. I think God has something better with someone I have more common beliefs and with whom I can share His Word without hesitation or apology. Meanwhile, I am still grieving a bit over the loss of my late dear husband and have family, church, and health matters to work on. God is good. His Way better. Trust is my key and by keeping it..I believe that there will be someone more suited ahead. btw, this happened to me before and more than once way back when I met my late husband of 56 years. Still works best to pray, wait, and discern.
                "The flowers appear on the earth,
                the time of singing has come,
                and the voice of the turtledove
                is heard in our land
                ." SofS 2:12 (RSV)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Faithfulness in a Dating Relationship?

                  For some reason my previous post got doubled (not intended) and when I click on edit post it just spins but won't allow me to edit it. Mod's please fix if possible since it won't work from here. Must be a glitch. Thanks.
                  "The flowers appear on the earth,
                  the time of singing has come,
                  and the voice of the turtledove
                  is heard in our land
                  ." SofS 2:12 (RSV)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Faithfulness in a Dating Relationship?

                    Originally posted by turtledove View Post
                    God is good. His Way better. Trust is my key and by keeping it..I believe that there will be someone more suited ahead. btw, this happened to me before and more than once way back when I met my late husband of 56 years. Still works best to pray, wait, and discern.
                    Thanks so much for sharing this!!

                    Originally posted by turtledove View Post
                    God is good. His Way better. Trust is my key and by keeping it..I believe that there will be someone more suited ahead. btw, this happened to me before and more than once way back when I met my late husband of 56 years. Still works best to pray, wait, and discern.
                    Thanks so much for sharing this!!
                    「耶和華聖潔無比,獨一無二,沒有磐石像我們的上帝。
                    撒母耳記上 (1 Samuel) 2:2

                    Comment

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