Thursday, March 13, 2008

Making Things Worse

Dear Pastor Lawyer,

I have a friend who has been living in another country for while. My friend is single, and has struggled with being single for as long as I've known him and would very much like to be married. He's a great guy but a little odd. He loves the Lord and would like to be raising godly offspring, but he has never been very good with members of the opposite sex. Sadly he has struggled with lust and pornography and such like for a long time.

In the country where he is living he has not been able to find a good church to go to and the lack of solid Christian fellowship has not helped him in his struggle with sin. I've been telling him for a long time that he needs to come home to the states and join a good church.

Last week I heard from him again and he confessed to me that he just found out he got a girl pregnant. She is a Christian girl that he had been dating for a while, but he broke up with her because she was not a strong Christian and he did not believe that she would make a good wife. However, before he broke things off he "went a little too far" one night and now there's a baby on the way.

Do you have any words or ideas that I can pass along to him?

Thanks, a concerned friend.

Hi friend,

The last thing your friend ought to do is marry the girl. He should make sure she is taken care of financially and that the baby/child is cared for until he/she is 18 or so, but marriage would only compound an already ugly situation.

If you need to know why, here you go: The Bible tells wives to respect their husband. If they were to get married respect would be the last thing she would naturally have for your friend. If he confessed his sin of leading her into sexual immorality and she were a very godly woman and could genuinely forgive him, they might make a go of it. However, you say he says she isn't "a strong Christian," and he obviously isn't a strong Christian either; and because we go with what we've got, not with what we might some day get, marriage wouldn't be a good thing. Given the situation, she would not respect him, they would have a train wreck of a marriage, and the young offspring wouldn't be any better off than whatever the alternatives are.

Because your friend hasn't gotten a hold on his passions, he is in no state to be married. He is lonely, but he is doing everything to ensure that he is not qualified to be married. Pornography, lust, masturbation (it’s almost always present with pornography), and fornication are not the kind of behaviors that endear a woman to a man. And they aren't the kinds of behaviors that show a soft heart toward God. They do, however, show that he needs to repent in dust and ashes and give himself entirely to God.

As your friend gives himself to God, he needs to lose of the idea of getting married until he has lived consistently in favor with God for quite a while (probably several years). He should focus instead on walking with God and pleasing him in every area of his life.

Your advice for him to join a church and get involved is a very good piece of advice. Whether he does that where he is right now or here in the states, it is imperative that he get his individual life together with God, but also that he get involved in other people's lives with a servant's heart rather than a "what can I get out of this" sort of heart. From the way he's been behaving it sounds like he is the center of his life and he's not much of a giver. He needs to become a giver from his toes up before he even thinks about trying to get married. A wife needs a man who loves and serves her, not a grown boy who needs a mommy.

The key in all of this is that he needs to be broken before God. If he has a shred of "I'm a cool dude" left in him, he is just toast. He will simply go from easy thing to easy thing and will never be happy and more than that he will never receive the blessing of God. I'll be praying for you and for your friend. For you because you'll have to translate what I've said her into words that he will hear; and him because he'll need to humble himself in order to hear them and to put them into practice.

I hope this helps,

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