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Ask the Pastor

† Theological musings and answers to selected questions by a confessional Lutheran pastor.

10 July 2006

Can a Christian Have a Boyfriend?

Q: As a Christian, is there anything wrong with having a boyfriend?

Holding HandsA: This is one of those “it depends” questions. “It depends” upon you and the boy. How old, how mature, how responsible, how able to keep yourselves out of tempting or compromising situations are each of you? Since you are even asking, I assume that you are young enough to be living with your parents. So also, “it depends” upon your parents’ opinion. Sometimes they can be overprotective, but most parents also have seen a lot of the pitfalls (and the jerks) who come with dating and more easily recognize problems than do we when we’re head-over-heels in love.

Finally, “it depends” upon your reasons for wanting to have a boyfriend. Many people date (and pair off for a time) with no real reason except that they want to or that it’s the thing that everyone does. Others do it specifically to have opportunity for premarital sexual gratification. I’m not saying that every date is a screening process for marriage, because I know that you might not be ready for marriage. Yet if you’re seriously dating someone you’d never consider marrying, then ask yourself why?

I covered some of this territory in a previous post — Dating: Right or Wrong? — and compared modern dating to the practices of earlier days. Scripture and history are full of illustrations of arranged marriages and a little bit of courtship. Dating, however, is a recent innovation, born of increased leisure time, disposable income, and ease in transportation.

Turning back to you and your friend — if you and he show maturity, if both of your parents have no major objections, and if you are doing it for reasons either of good, Christian companionship or of investigating a lifelong Christian marriage, then I think you’re on the right track. However, remember that dating will always have its particular pitfalls as well as its strengths, especially ongoing temptation for sexual activity outside of marriage.

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Walter Snyder is the pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Emma, Missouri and coauthor of the book What Do Lutherans Believe.

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Blogger Lutheran Lucy said...

This is an excellent post!! Have you heard of the dating book by Pastor Tim Paul (or Pauls)? Our youth director has been reviewing it for our kids and is hoping to have a review of the book in the near future. At 3:30 in the morning my brain is dead, and I can't think of the title. :) I have read through part of Joshua Harris' I Kissed Dating Goodbye, and he makes some similar points. Granted, one has to be careful of the theology in the book, but hopefully some kids will stop and think more seriously about the "dating craze" in our society. It is WAY out of hand! Thanks again for this excellent post! Blessings!

12 July, 2006 03:48  

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