To Be or Not to Be… Kind

Dear Christian Counselor,

My boyfriend just told me that I was getting on his nerves by saying, “Justin Bieber is cute, oh Usher is amazing,“ a couple of times to make him smile and laugh. And it’s normal for girls to say that kind of stuff. But instead he said I hurt his feelings again. I don’t know what to do.

Emily


Dear Emily,

I think your boyfriend has been pretty clear about what he would like you to do. The real question is why you don’t want to do it. When someone you care about asks you to stop hurting them, the kind response is to stop. What do you care about MORE than your boyfriend which makes you tease him this way? Is it being cool, knowing he is jealous about you, keeping some distance in your relationship or something else? Once you figure out why you don’t want to be kind to him, then you need to make a decision about whether that reason is really more important than he is. And if it is, then you probably shouldn’t be his girlfriend.

Lady in Waiting

Sad guy holding a bouquet of flowers on a bench in a parkDear Christian Counselor,

I’ve actually just started getting serious about my faith. My boyfriend and I have been dating for 3 years now, no sex involved, and I am not ready, but my boyfriend has been none too discreet with the fact that he’s ready for it. I know I won’t be ready until after we’re married. How do I explain this to my boyfriend, I mean he has been waiting for so long?

Confused


Dear Confused,

This question won’t even matter if you both are not on the same page spiritually. Your common ground, first and foremost, must be your faith in Jesus Christ. Is this man a Christian as you are? If the answer to that is no, then you have a battle with Truth in being unequally yoked (2 Cor. 6:14). If the answer is a resounding yes, then you have Scripture to guide your sexuality (see, for example, 1 Cor. 7:32-36). If this man is a respecter of Jesus and the Word of God then he will wait until marriage for the glory of God and the ultimate good of the relationship.  We follow the commands of Scripture because they are good for us; to disobey or ignore them would bring pain and hardship for you. It is healthy for your relationship to face this head on and see where he stands in regard to Truth. You need to know.

— Karen


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What is Going on With Him?

Dear Christian Counselor:

Family watching television, c. 1958

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve been dating this guy for about 5 years.  Our dating has consistently been watching TV and the occasional meal out on special occasions.  I always assumed he couldn’t afford to spend much for dates.  However, last summer he and his mother went on several vacations together.  I told him I was jealous because he would go and do things with her but not me.  He will give me nice gifts and money or other provisions when I’m short of cash.  I like him and he’s good to me.  I often feel that the relationship is on his terms – he will do what he wants, but when I express an expectation, he bucks and tells me to just go by myself.  What is going on with him?

–Tired of Watching TV


Dear Tired:

You say that you like (not love) him, and you don’t say whether there is anything sexual going on.  If there isn’t, then decide whether you want to keep this guy for a friend because that sounds like the basis of your relationship right now – a friendship that keeps you both from being too lonely and gives you someone to lean on from time to time.  If that is the case, then “what is going on with him” is that he is content with the depth of your friendship.  If you are not, then I would suggest you make some new friends.

If you are sexually intimate with him, then I would say “what is going on with him” is that he is getting what he wants without having to make real compromises or commitments.  God intended our long-term, romantic relationships to reflect His own relationship with His people (Eph. 5:31-32) — which means an emotionally intimate and sacrificial relationship.  It doesn’t sound like that’s what you have.  If not, then maybe the real question is… what is going on with you?  Why are you willing to stay in a relationship that is not pleasing to God and not pleasing to you? That might be worth exploring with a pastor or a counselor.

—Louise

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