Afraid to Commit: Am I Being Selfish?
- Thursday, July 10, 2014
EDITOR'S NOTE: He Said-She Said is a biweekly advice column for singles featuring a question from a Crosswalk.com reader with responses from a male and female point of view. If you've got a question about anything related to singleness or living the single life, please submit it to email@example.com (selected questions will be posted anonymously).
I am 31, and I have been dating a guy (we are both Asian and born-again believers) in a long distance relationship for 2 years. We have only met in person 3 times, but we talk on the phone a lot. He is very interested in marry me, but his home situation makes me uncomfortable. He has 2 mentally disabled adult brothers at home, whom he really cares about. After his parents grow old, he will be responsible for living with and caring for his brothers.
I feel guilty even asking this, but should I marry him? Part of me knows I wouldn't be happy living with and caring for 2 disabled people. The other part knows I should sacrifice my life for the good of others, as Scripture says.
This man is good and loyal to me, even though he has an anxiety disorder stemming from his upbringing and home life. His parents aren't ready to put their sons in a disabled care center; they too expect my boyfriend to care for his brothers when they are no longer able to. He knows about my fears, but says we shouldn't worry and we'll be able to face whatever the future brings. But I haven't been able to accept his offer of marriage, and have really been battling fear. I feel so bad about this. Am I being selfish, and dishonoring God, for not committing to this man?
Having been in long distance relationships, I understand many of the obstacles and struggles you face, along with the benefit of having to learn to communicate with each other apart from one another. Being “together” for two years yet only having met three times during that period can translate to a shorter relational period overall, so try not to feel the pressure of time in your decision making.
Your fears and apprehensiveness are valid, and discussion of marriage may be a bit premature due to your lack of “face time," although some Asian cultures don’t necessarily emphasize the need to be “together” through a courtship period (i.e. arranged marriages).
Your boyfriend’s concern for his brothers and the responsibility he is taking to care for them is admirable. It shows his heart and love for his family, which is characteristic in part to his background.
As a believer, each person is called to live the life they are individually gifted for and it is not wrong to follow a path that differs from another.
Live a life worthy of the calling you were given (Ephesians 4:1).
Oftentimes we, even those of us in the church, compare ourselves to others and judge one another based upon what we are doing or how we decide to act.
Just because you may be tithing thousands of dollars each week doesn’t mean your neighbor has to. Even though you’re spending every week helping in the nursery doesn’t mean everyone else should. If your boyfriend is called to serve the rest of his life caring for his brothers, it doesn’t make you selfish or dishonoring not to.
God calls each of us for a distinct and separate purpose.
Whomever God brings to you as a “help mate” should share in that calling you have been given (or at least be willing to walk through it with you).
As you spend more time together and continue to grow in your relationship, you will know whether this is the man and direction God has called you for or not. However, do not let fear alone dictate your decisio,n as oftentimes fear is from the enemy trying to keep you from doing God’s work or from achieving what you don’t think is possible.
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