If He's Not Ready "Yet" - Will He Ever Be?
- Cliff Young, Debbie Holloway
- 2012 26 Jul
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 he said-she said (selected questions will be posted anonymously).
QUESTION: After a year having sex with my non-Christian boyfriend, I repented and we both committed to abstinence until marriage. We've been talking about marriage for a while, and slowly he's shown interest in Christ, even to the point of getting baptized. However, shortly after his baptism he expressed not being ready to follow a Christian life "yet." He has since talked about proposing, but I told him we're not ready. I wonder if we or he ever will be. I know I can't marry a non-believer, but by having sex with him, am I already in an unofficial unevenly yoked marriage? Do I continue to witness and wait or should we just end things and move on? It's hard because we love each other, but even he recognizes the potential disaster of marrying as things currently stand.
There seems to be a number of issues going on in your relationship which is causing you a great deal of stress and confusion. Understandably, dating a non-Christian, having pre-marital sex, being unevenly yoked, potentially marrying (or being “married” to) a non-believer, living a godly example, his lack of discipleship, etcetera are all valid concerns.
No wonder why you’re reaching out for help!
(Our) God is not a God of confusion, but of peace. 1 Corinthians 1:33
He is not the creator of disorder, but rather He gives us the opportunity to find order (through Him) in our crazy world.
When I have found my life in a state of confusion, it was usually the result of trying to do too much on my own (and not relying on God and His Word to direct my path), straying outside of the boundaries He has called me to live or I have wandered from seeking and spending time with Him.
Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord. Acts 3:19
You have repented, you have turned to God and your sins have been wiped clean. God has forgiven you and you are in the process of forgiving yourself. Just as he said to the woman who was about to be stoned, “Neither do I (condemn you). Go and sin no more” (John 8:11).
The bottom line is you are dating a non-Christian man. Even though he got baptized, by his own admission, he is not ready to follow a Christian life “yet” and has probably only shown interest in Christ because of you and your desire to live your life for Him, not as a result of accepting God into his.
That time of refreshing will come, but it may require a period away from your boyfriend. If God has truly brought you two together, it will withstand the test of time and separation, if not, you will find someone better suited for yourself.
First of all, no: you are not yoked in any kind of marriage. Though sex was created by God for the marriage union, having sex with someone you are not planning to marry does not bind you in God’s eyes to that person. Marriage is a life-long commitment meant to reflect God’s immense love and commitment to his bride, the Church. It must be entered into specifically and willingly.
“Let marriage be held in honor among us all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous” –Hebrews 13:4
I do want to commend you for following your conviction and committing to future abstinence! We all make mistakes and bad choices, and thankfully God’s forgiveness extends much farther than our sin ever could.
Now, secondly, you ask whether you should continue to “witness and wait” or move on.
The passage you referenced (2 Corinthians 6:14) discusses the dangers and foolishness of being “yoked” with unbelievers, and the marriage relationship is the best example I can think of, of being “yoked” to someone else. And while it is true that a wife who becomes a Christian after her marriage should stay with her non-Christian husband if he will live peacefully with her (1 Corinthians 1:13) you are not a wife, and he is not your husband. Your boyfriend has already shown that he is not interested in following Christ; from what you wrote, it seems much more like he has been trying to make you happy and prolong your relationship than seek after a true relationship with Christ.
Both of you seem to have doubts as to the longevity of your relationship, which I think is the greatest indication that perhaps it should end. Continue to pray for him, and if he desires to be discipled get him in touch with some men at a local church. But if you are providing his only spiritual guidance, you can be sure that he is in it for you and not for God.
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 … Debbie Wright, Assistant Editor for Family Content at Crosswalk. She lives in Glen Allen, Virginia and is an avid writer, reader, and participant in local community theatre.
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 (we think they sound eerily similar sometimes, too!).
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Publication date: July 26, 2012