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    “Help! I’m Not Sure if My Boyfriend Is Turning Me Toward God or Away From My Friends!”

    Please help! My boyfriend has really helped me grow my relationship with Jesus since we started dating back in February, and even before then, when we were just really good friends. He’s pointed out some things in my life that I needed to change and had scripture to back him up. Some of the things were making jokes about drinking and smoking and weed and gay people, and dirty jokes between me and my friends. I’m very active in my church as a student leader at youth group and I’m on the worship team, and I need to be setting the right example and I want to. I want people to see Christ in what I do. But my mom was reading through these texts and said that I need to be careful that my boyfriend doesn’t pull me away from my friends. I explained to her that he was going to go to my friends about it also, and that he’s friends with these same friends, and she tried to defend my friends by saying it was okay to make these jokes as long as we didn’t do those things. I think that there are other ways to have fun and be funny than joke about those [things]. I’m just confused and I want to make sure that my boyfriend isn’t trying to pull me away from my friends or anything. I’ve prayed about it and looked at scripture for this, and it backs up what he’s saying. I just would also like somebody else’s [view of] it and some advice. Thanks!

    Hey sweet girl, thanks for your question. So, right off the bat, I’m going to suggest that your boyfriend is correct in his criticism. I’m basing this on your description.

    I’m sure you’ve heard all the scripture that backs up his point, and there is a lot in the New Testament that discusses how we speak. “But now you must get rid of all such things—anger, wrath, malice, slander and abusive language from your mouth.” (Colossians 3:8)

    As Christians, we are called to share the Gospel, right? Well, how can we do that when we present ourselves in a manner that is ungodly? Making fun of people, joking about ungodly things, gossiping and speaking mean things are just some of the things that we need to stay away from.

    Scripture tells us that what comes out of our mouths is a reflection of our hearts. Think about that. We are a package as Christians and we really need to walk the walk. Think about how Jesus spoke. Ask yourself if you would have some of these discussions with Jesus standing among your group of friends. If you would not speak this way, why are you doing it with Him in your heart?

    Ephesians 4:29 reads, “Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear.” What does this mean? It means that whatever you say should build a person up. Instead, you are reducing them, maybe not directly, but at least in the eyes of others.

    I don’t believe that you have to turn away from your friends at this point. But if you feel that they’re continuing to have a negative influence on you, you might have to take a step back, at least when it comes to these types of discussions.

    It’s not about your friends or your mom (although you should be respectful to her), it’s about God. Your boyfriend seems to be guiding you down a Godly path and that’s great. Friendships are important, but God is more important and pleasing Him should be at the forefront of your desire.

    So, here’s what I think you should do:

    1. Speak with your friends, either together or one-on-one, and explain that you’ve had a change of heart (assuming you have) and that you really want to refrain from speaking badly about things. You can share the scripture with them. Hopefully they agree, but if they don’t, don’t be afraid to excuse yourself politely if such discussions come up. If you do lose your friends over this, so be it. God comes first.
    2. Pray. You do need God’s help in changing for the better. You need Him to judge situations righteously and to recognize when you are speaking in a way contrary to your faith.

    Good luck and God bless!

    Need some advice? Ask your questions in the Ask Olivia Girl Talk forum or in the comments below and I might answer them in a future article!

    Ask Olivia
    Got a question about boys, your besties or God? I'm here to help! As the girl all my friends always came to for advice, I've turned my girl talk, level-headedness and love of Jesus into a job -- one I love because I was a teen not long ago, too! Click into Ask Olivia in our Girl Talk Forums to ask me a question!

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