I’m dating this guy who is absolutely amazing! Unfortunately, my friends think I should break up with him. They keep telling me that “He’s too into church!” I admire that he puts God first, but I can’t get my friends to accept him. What should I do?
Christian relationships are supposed to be distinguishable from the world’s relationships and as a result, people may have difficulty understanding your position. Even other Christians may struggle with the differences because people are at different places spiritually. On the other hand, sometimes when we’re in the midst of situations, its hard for us to see clearly. Relationships and friendships can sometimes be quite difficult to navigate, so here’s what I suggest to deal with this situation:
- Pray about it. As always, keep God in the center of your life and decisions. Make sure that God approves of the relationship and ask Him for guidance about how to handle the criticism of your friends. Sometimes people who care about us can see things we’re missing. At other times, friends and family can totally miss the mark because of a lack of understanding. Either way, it’s important to consult the One who knows all things. Ask God for more revelation in this area.
- Don’t tolerate being mistreated. It’s AWESOME that your boyfriend puts God first! God commands that His disciples put Him first in every area of their lives and He’ll reward such obedience! However, part of obeying God is showing the love of Christ to others. It’s important to understand that loving God does NOT mean neglecting the people in our lives. So if your boyfriend never has time for you, then perhaps you should have a conversation with him about that.
- Make sure you’re TRULY okay with the relationship. Sometimes we invest so much in others that we forget to make sure that our own needs are being met. We say it’s okay when we don’t mean it wholeheartedly. Be sure that your desire to be in a relationship or feelings for your boyfriend don’t cloud your judgment. If it doesn’t feel right, then it probably isn’t. It doesn’t mean that your boyfriend is too into church; it could just mean that the relationship needs to be put on hold for awhile while he focuses on his relationship with God.
- Limit what you share with others. Friends mean well, but sometimes they can be a little critical of what they don’t understand. If you truly believe that this relationship has God’s approval, then perhaps you should be more selective about what you share with your friends regarding your relationship. It’s appropriate to tell your friends that if they can’t respect your relationship, then talking about it is off-limits!
- Don’t forget to keep God first. If the relationship is one sent by God, then it’ll continually flourish with time. Don’t allow your friends’ negativity to convince you to interfere with your boyfriend’s relationship with God. Continue to support him and his love for God. If you want to spend more time with him, considering going to more church functions with him or make time to do a couple’s Bible Study together. As you grow closer to God, your relationship will strengthen, too.
Christians should understand that growing closer to God requires a lot of time and sacrifice. However, when God places someone in our lives, He wants us to nourish the relationship, too. It’s important to find a balance!
What do you girls think? Can someone ever be too into church? Do you have any other suggestions?