I hope this email finds you well!
I have a question for you about relationships as a Christian. I’m a Christian and a part of a denomination. I believe that loving God and praising the Lord is universal, and universally there are things you should and shouldn’t do. I have a few questions. I asked my pastor if he thinks dating someone who doesn’t praise the Lord is a sin. This person doesn’t praise the Lord but says she thinks there is a higher power and doesn’t know what it is. She believes that Jesus Christ existed, but also doesn’t deny Christ. I was told it isn’t necessarily a sin (in the pastor's opinion), but it’s not a good idea; being without a light can cause darkness.
Do you think this is frowned upon by the Lord? My girlfriend and I have had a bumpy past. She’s cheated on me three times. We’ve broken up and have gotten back together. She’s never been in a relationship before so I blamed it on that as they were small cheats.
I’m not looking for relationship advice. But is it OK to be with someone who upsets me? She physically upsets my stomach sometimes, hurts my head, makes me anxious, sometimes distracts me in life, and has previously caused me to do worldly things. I’m working on myself and have been channeling them out. She’s doing things that will make me burst out with worldly language to my friends when talking. My guess is that it’s definitely frowned upon. I’ve given this girl countless chances and opportunities to change, but she doesn’t fully.
She hurts me and upsets me, and I feel like Christ would want me to be happy, but I’m not sure if it’s sinful to be with her.
I suspect that your confusion is due to a conflict between your emotions and your reason. It happens to many people and it isn't just about human relationships. A guy can have an old clunker of a car that he has poured thousands of dollars into to keep it running but it seems that every other week something else goes wrong with it. Most neutral observers will say that the car is no longer worth keeping, but he thinks, "Well, I put so much money into it, and I really don't want that money to go to waste so I'll fix it up. I'm sure it will be good for a while after I fix this problem." The cycle continues until the situation becomes irreparable.
Too many people approach dating in the same way. They look at how much they've invested in the past instead of looking at the future value of the relationship. They are afraid to say that they wasted their time so they think if they just work at it a bit longer, things will become better.
The purpose of dating is for two people to get to know each other well enough to decide whether they want to marry and live the rest of their lives together. This means that not every person you date is going to work out. Sometimes she finds things she doesn't like about you. Sometimes you find things you don't like about her. More rare is when you both conclude that this is just not going to work.
You listed numerous reasons why you picked the wrong girl. In fact, it sounds like you are caught up in an abusive relationship. A marriage partnership should be about encouraging each other to become better people. However, it is clear that she is tearing you down emotionally and morally. Would this be the type of woman you would wish your brother or your best friend to marry?
You've also hinted that you've been sexually involved with her and that she has been flirting or involved with other guys. You excuse her behavior as minor infractions and due to a lack of experience, but her current behavior is an indication of how she'll behave in the future. People rarely change unless they have strong motivation. During courtship, the couple is strongly motivated to impress the other person. Once you get married, that incentive disappears. What do you think you will be dealing with in a few years after your marriage?
Notice that I haven't even started to address your question about the differences in your religious views. I wanted you to see that you already have a flawed relationship. Now, consider several years down the road after you get married and have children. How are those children going to be raised? Statistically, the odds are that your children will be atheists because they will grow up seeing their mom and dad constantly disagreeing about God and what should or should not be done.
As your preacher pointed out, dating a non-Christian isn't a good idea. Your relationship is proving him correct. Find someone who makes you a better person -- someone who causes you to enjoy life -- someone you consider to be your best friend. It is hard enough to reach the glory of eternal life without adding interference from those you spend time with. "For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And if it is with difficulty that the righteous is saved, what will become of the godless man and the sinner?" (I Peter 4:17-18).
Thank you so much for this. I will do what’s right and move on peacefully. I appreciate your answer. May God bless you!