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She Doesn't Go to Church

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What do I do if I like a girl at school who doesn't go to church?—Gator Guy, 15, FL


Shayna Answers:

Dear Gator Guy,

Sometimes we fall for people who aren’t believers—myself included. Unfortunately, acting on our feelings—starting a relationship with that person—usually ends badly for us. Let me explain why.

First Corinthians 6:12 reminds us that “all things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful” (NKJV).* In other words, God gave us the freedom of choice so that we could actively demonstrate our love for Him and for those around us. But sometimes we don’t always choose the best people to love.

When it comes to dating non-Adventists, or in this case maybe even a non-Christian, know that you are putting yourself in a situation that will test your faith. You will become vulnerable to situations that, at the risk of losing your loved one’s affection, you might start making compromises about your beliefs, your body, and about God.

No matter how much any of us try to deny it, we are influenced by our significant others. We do things to impress them and make compromises to please them. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this—unless you’re displeasing God. Being able to compromise with a significant other will be a valuable skill when you are married. At this point, getting into a dating relationship with a non-Adventist and compromising too much can distance you from God.

The devil uses relationships all the time to make us lose our focus on God. Samson and Solomon fell in love with beautiful, non-believing women, and these relationships pulled them away from God and His blessings.

Samson, an Israelite, fell in love with a Philistine woman named Delilah (Judges 16). The Philistines used Delilah to deceive Samson into telling her the secret of his strength. When he did, the Philistines gouged out his eyes and put him in prison.

First Kings 11 tells us that even though the Lord instructed Solomon not to marry pagan wives, he did it anyway. Angry with Solomon, the Lord rose up adversaries against him. Until then his reign as king had been peaceful.

In 2 Corinthians 6:14 God urges us not to be “unequally yoked together with unbelievers” (NKJV). When we’re in relationships with those who don’t share our beliefs, we almost always end up having to choose between them and God.

I don’t mean to scare you or sound overly dramatic, but small compromises, such as going out to eat on a Friday night, maybe watching a movie that you wouldn’t ordinarily be comfortable seeing, or going to a party where other people are drinking, will erode the strong foundation that you have in Christ.

If you really like this girl, why not encourage her to start coming to church with you? Your first concern should be that she would come to know Jesus as her Savior. She might embrace some of your beliefs. At the very least, she’ll start to understand you more and the God that you serve.

*Texts credited to NKJV are from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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