Question

Hello,

I am 13 years old. First, I would just like to thank you for your web site; I have found it a great help. My question is: Is it OK to go out with a boy who is not a Christian? I do not believe that he will distract me from being a Christian. He has no religious views and hopefully I can show him that Jesus is the only way to be saved; however, I was still wondering whether God sees this as a sin?


Answer

There is no rule saying a Christian can only date or marry another Christian. What you actually see are instructions on how a Christian can deal with marriage to a non-Christian.

"But to the rest I, not the Lord, say: If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her. And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy. But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace" (I Corinthians 7:12-15).

"Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear" (I Peter 3:1-2).

But this does not mean that going with a non-Christian is a good choice in all cases. You have to keep in mind that his moral code is not the same as yours. You have a desire to follow the Lord and that puts limits on your actions. He might not have the same limits, and he won't necessarily accept the Bible as applying to him.

A question I have for you that is more of a concern for me at the moment is how much older is he than you? I would ask that question regardless of whether he claims to be a Christian or not.

While it is great that you hope to teach him, realize that you can do that whether you date him or not. But if he does want to do something wrong, you need to keep in mind that it is easier for him to pull you down than for you to pull him up. "Do not be deceived: "Bad company corrupts good morals"" (I Corinthians 15:33).

Finally, if you would take my advice, it is fine to be friends with a boy who is near your age, but I don't want you thinking about yourself as being committed to anyone, even in terms of dating. You are in the middle of maturing and that strongly impacts your view of the world -- frequently in not accurate ways. I don't want you to allow yourself to get serious about anyone for several more years at a minimum. You will be less likely to make bad choices that way.

Thank you for the reply. I will keep that in mind and put off dating for a few years. He is only older than me by a few months, so we are practically the same age.

That is a wise decision. Both of you have maturing to do and as that happens, you may grow closer together or further apart. Do things together and be friends for now, then decide whether you want to make a bigger commitment.