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 hesaid-shesaid@crosswalk.com  (selected questions will be posted anonymously).

QUESTION: I'm not sure what to do. I've been with my boyfriend for two and a half years, and I've been uncertain the entire time whether he is God's pick for me. He says he knows Christ but his actions belie his claim. I've been in soul agony all along because I truly love him, but I somehow get the sense God has other plans. There is the impurity of our relationship, his less-than-stable track record at keeping a job, and worse, his penchant for marijuana. Writing all of that is causing a "Duh!" moment in me but I still cling to the relationship because of my love for him and my hope that what I see in his heart currently will make its way to his character eventually. Please help.

HE SAID:

I am so glad you took the time to write out your question.

Oftentimes when we face difficult and uncertain situations, we mull over the alternatives (only) in our head which allows our emotions to sometimes squelch common sense, values and the voice of God. However, when we take the time to actually sit down and write out our feelings, the pros and cons, and possible consequences we seem to have more clarity in our decision making process.

From the sounds of it, your relationship is currently one which is not encouraging either of you to lead a life you want, nor is it glorifying to the Lord. You both may have the intention of living a Christ-filled life, but being together is not producing that outcome.

A relationship in my mind should result in more than what either of you are or can do alone. In other words, one plus one equals three.

What I have discovered is there are people who come into our lives who we genuinely care for and sincerely love, but may not be the one whom God has chosen for us. Because you have love for him doesn’t mean he is the right man for you.

Have you considered what he does to and for you as a person? Does he encourage, challenge and inspire you to become better or does he drag you down, causing you to stumble or compromise your values? Are you clinging to the relationship for the sake of being in a relationship or can you see a life with him twenty years down the road (similar to how you are living now)?

What may be best for your boyfriend at this point is to not be in a relationship with you so he can get his life together (if that is his true intention) since it’s allowing him to lead a mediocre life and isn’t challenging him to face the areas he needs to address.

If you have had feelings of uncertainty for the entire two and a half years of your relationship, it may be time for you (at the very least) to take a break from dating in order to evaluate your feelings for this man – be it truly a relationship or only a friendship.

You seem to be facing the dilemma many of us have in life - knowing what to do, but just not wanting to do it.

SHE SAID:

Thanks for your letter and your cry for help. I am going to cut to the chase because I am concerned for you. I too have been where you are and all I can say is: run, girl, run. Yes, it is a "duh" moment because you know in your heart this guy is not right for you. Please know God is not going to bless sin. You can't sleep with a man, allow his obvious love of drugs, plus support his lack of support in not working consistently and expect God to bless it. Also know God would not bring someone like this to you, in my opinion, to cause you to sin. I can tell you love him but wouldn't you prefer to love someone who truly loves you in Christ?

I need to ask - do you know the Lord as your personal Savior? If you do, you should also know that God desires us to date/marry those with whom we are equally yoked. Those that are spiritually where we are not only in what we believe but in how we live our lives. Now I know you say your boyfriend says he is a believer, but you are also aware that his actions are not matching his “belief.” Remember, even the devil believes. Actions will follow your faith…faith follows trust in Christ. To me, your boyfriend does not sound saved. God's word Luke 6:44 that we will know others by their fruits. A man who loves God would not try to get you into bed. He would not be doing drugs and he would certainly want to keep a job. He would want to lead you towards Christ, helping you in your walk.

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14)

Ok, so maybe your boyfriend is a new Christian and you are extending grace. If so, extend it as a friend, helping him to grow in Christ first before becoming his girlfriend. Now I realize you can't go backwards in your relationship, but you can stop where things are and tell him how you feel. That you do not want to have sex anymore. That you want him to get help with his drug problem. That you want to both go to church and get in a Bible study, etc. As you choose to follow Christ consistently yourself, you will become more and more like Christ. These changes will cause your boyfriend to either draw closer to Christ, or pull away. It's up to you on how long you wait to see any changes.

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:14).

HE is … Cliff Young, a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and a veteran single of many decades. He has traveled the world in search of fresh experiences, serving opportunities, and the perfect woman (for him) and has found that his investments in God, career and youth ministry have paid off in priceless dividends.

SHE is … Kris Swiatocho, the President and Director of TheSinglesNetwork.org Ministries and FromHisHands.com Ministries. Kris has served in ministry in various capacities for the last 25 years. An accomplished trainer and mentor, Kris has a heart to reach and grow leaders so they will in turn reach and grow others. She is the author of three books: Singles and Relationships: A 31-Day Experiment (co-authored with Dick Purnell of Single Life Resources); From the Manger to the Cross: The Women in Jesus' Life; and the most recent, Jesus, Single Like Me with Study Questions (includes a leader's guide and conference/retreat of the same name).

DISCLAIMER: We are not trained psychologists or licensed professionals. We're just average folk who understand what it's like to live the solo life in the twenty-first century. We believe that the Bible is our go-to guide for answers to all of life's questions, and it's where we'll go for guidance when responding to your questions. Also, it's important to note that we write our answers separately.

GOT A QUESTION? If you've got a question about anything related to singleness or living the single life, please submit it to hesaid-shesaid@crosswalk.com (selected questions will be posted anonymously). While we are unable to answer every inquiry, we do hope that this column will be an encouragement to you. Click here to visit the He Said-She Said archives.

Publication date: May 23, 2013