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Ask the Pastor

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

04 August 2006

False Promises, False Hopes

Q: My boyfriend and I decided to promise ourselves to each other with rings because although we would like to get married we can’t. He has female friends that he has had past romantic interests in and he says no matter what he will go out with them as he wants. Is this right?

Promise RingsA: Sure it’s right — if your definition of “promise” is “a bunch of important sounding words that have no particular meaning or binding force in life.” Otherwise, your boyfriend is lying to himself and to you. If he truly believes that he would marry you as soon as circumstances allow, why would he be looking for excuses to date other women?

Consider Jesus’ words as He explained the Parable of the Dishonest Manager (Luke 16:1-13). He said, “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. (v. 10)” If your boyfriend cannot be trusted in the matter of the promise rings (the “little”), how will he be faithful to his wedding vows (the “much”)?

Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version™, © 2001 by Crossway Bibles.

Send email to Ask the Pastor.

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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