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Integrating Compassion with the Wisdom of God’s Word

askauntdara@gmail.com


The purpose of Aunt Dara’s Christian Advice Column is to glorify God by addressing human needs with compassion and the wisdom of God’s word.


Sunday, November 27, 2016

Too Young to be Dating

Part One

Dear Aunt Dara,

I am 14 years old and in the eighth grade.  I have never liked the idea of dating in middle school, which is why prior to this year I never have.  In October I was asked out by a boy in my grade.  Every teacher would tell you all about how smart and mature he is for his age.  I agreed to date him to see how it would go.  Another reason I agreed to date him is because he loves the Lord, which is very important to me.  Many of the teachers that I trust have told me that they think our relationship is completely okay to have in middle school because we are both seen as more mature than the rest of the grade.  However, being in the relationship, I'm not sure I believe that anymore.  After all, we are only 14.  How mature can a 14-year-old really be?  Right?  Getting to the point, I'm not sure this whole dating thing at my age is a good idea.  But also taking into consideration that I have problems with stress and often question a lot in my life, I wonder if I am overreacting.  I have also recently been trying to find my identity in Christ and grow in my relationship with Him.  It is the most important thing in my life right now to have a good, strong, relationship with the Lord.  I am trying so hard to have better faith in Him and not struggle with doubt so much.  I feel like a 'romantic relationship' does not contribute to my needs right now.  I also have stuff at home I am trying to juggle, and I don't know that I want to be juggling a boyfriend on top of all of this.  I have been praying so much trying to figure out what to do, and I just feel stuck.  If I break up with him, I know it will introduce drama into my life and stress me out.  If I stay with him, I'm right back where I started.  I don't think he'll just want to be friends, because he is very serious about me and our relationship, more serious than I have ever been about us.  What do I do?  Do I break up with him and potentially throw away our friendship?  Please help, thanks.


Too Young 

Dear Too Young, 

Thank you for writing to me and trusting me with your situation.  I can see why people tell you that you are mature for your age.  Your letter shows that you have wisdom beyond your years.  You are correct in saying that 14 is very young to be dating.  You are also demonstrating wisdom in saying that your priority is finding your identity in Christ and growing in your relationship with Him.  May I suggest that you can keep your boyfriend and build your faith in Jesus both at the same time?  I shall explain.  You said that your boyfriend is intelligent, mature and he loves the Lord.  Who better to help you grow spiritually than someone who loves you and loves the Lord, and is developing his own relationship with the Lord also?  What I am suggesting is that you back off a little on the "romance" and dating and develop the friendship side of your relationship by working toward mutual spiritual growth.  He sounds like someone who would be healthy for you.  Keep him. 

God bless,
Aunt Dara 

Part Two 

Dear Aunt Dara,

I really appreciate your advice.  Unfortunately, we broke up.  It seems to be the best choice since my parents are not totally supportive when it comes to me dating, and I'm still not completely for the idea of dating at my age.  I still really want to stay friends with him, but we both took this pretty hard and I'm not quite sure how to get over him to the point where we can become friends again.  Any advice?

Too Young 

Dear Too Young, 

I am so sorry to learn that you broke up and that both of you are taking it pretty hard.  As I said before, you could have helped each other to grow spiritually if both of you backed off from the romantic "dating" and developed your Christian friendship.  The Bible is very clear that we need other Christians to encourage and support us (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; Galatians 6:1-2; 1Thessalonians 5:11; Hebrews 3:12-13; Hebrews 10:24-25; James 5:16).  Not knowing the circumstances of how you broke up, it would be difficult for me to give any suggestions on how to repair the relationship, except to say that open, honest communication, heartfelt apologies and forgiveness, and much prayer are called for at this time.

God bless,
Aunt Dara

Monday, October 31, 2016

Dealing with Differing Opinions

Dear Aunt Dara,

I feel like I'm in a very difficult situation.  My father is senior pastor at a small, non-denominational restorationist church that's very conservative but not as much as other churches.  I do agree with conservatives on some things (I'm pro-life on abortion and euthanasia and believe premarital sex is wrong), but I agree with progressives on other things (I'm pro-gun control to some extent, am pro-environment, and consider myself both a feminist and an egalitarian).  Even though I love many of the regular attendees and especially working with the kids, I sometimes feel like I want to be in a different environment.  I have a disability and my parents have guardianship of me.  I live with them and I don't have a car or access to public transportation, so I can't go to a different church.  Plus, it would look bad for me to go to a different church because my father is the preacher.  Even if I did leave I might not be able to find a church that agrees with both what I side with conservatives on and what I side with progressives on.  I'm afraid to talk to my parents about how I feel out of fear of them criticizing me or my beliefs.  Any advice?


Preacher’s daughter

Dear Preacher’s Daughter,

What exactly are the reasons that you feel as if you need to be in a different environment?  Are you thinking that it is difficult to be in a church where other members do not see eye-to-eye with you on some issues, or is there perhaps some other reason?  If you are thinking that you would like to be in a church where the members are more in line with your political beliefs, you could be searching for a lifetime and never find that.  Even married couples rarely see eye-to-eye on everything.  Generally, congregations are made up of people with varying political beliefs and differing opinions on political issues.  The church is not meant to be a place of uniformity on all issues, but a place of unity on the essential elements of the gospel.  You may have heard the saying, "Speak where the Bible speaks and be silent where the Bible is silent."  The Bible is very specific on things such as the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ and what one must do in order be saved.  However, the Bible is silent on such things as the environment, gun control, and how the national economy should be managed.  You may have also heard the saying, "In essentials, unity.  In non-essentials, liberty.  In all things, love."  "In essentials, unity" means that Christians need to be unified on things that are clearly revealed in scripture, especially on essential matters such as Christ's deity, crucifixion, and resurrection, the plan of salvation, the elements of worship, and the importance of avoiding sin.  "In non-essentials, liberty" means that Christians have liberty in their opinion about things that the Bible doesn't mention or doesn't make clear.  "In all things, love" means that we are human and we will have differences of opinions and beliefs (see Romans 14 and 1 Corinthians 8), but we are unified by our love for God and for one another (Luke 10:25-28, 1 John 4:11). 

Since your parents have guardianship of you and you are dependent on them for your housing and transportation, how would it be practical for you to change your environment?  Would it not be better to accept the people in your church who have differing beliefs on political issues, while loving them as your brothers and sisters in Christ?  For additional guidance on this, please read 1 Timothy 1:4, 1 Timothy 6:3-5, 2 Timothy 2:23-26, Titus 3:9, and 1 Peter 3:8-11.

God bless,
Aunt Dara

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Will She be Able to Attract an Honorable Man?

Dear Aunt Dara,

I recently ended a 6-month, long distance courtship.  My boyfriend Jerry had known me for about a year before we met face-to-face.  He was a police officer and gave me legal advice when I had a stalker at school, and this enabled me to get help.  Afterward, he had been pretty protective of me.  At first he was wonderful, but when he got relaxed he began to show his veiled personality.  I ended the courtship because he was not choosing me over certain activities the family dropped on him 24 hours beforehand, so I felt as if I were taking second place against a family of 16 people.  Additionally, he started to become dismissive and never took me seriously.  I am hurt.  This was my first relationship and it lasted six months.  It ended as peacefully as it could, but left me hysterical for a while.  Mom said I shouldn’t talk to him at all, and she said he isn’t welcome at our home.  I still respect him.  I do not hate him nor dislike him.  I want to be with Jerry, but mom says that would be inappropriate.  However, I am scared nobody is ever going to look at me the same way.  Jerry was a first, but I am afraid guys will not like me the same way Jerry did.  I may have hugged Jerry, or rested my head on his shoulder during a movie, but we were never intimate physically.  I’ve never kissed a guy either.  The guys who came around before Jerry were too subtle on their intentions, and consequently they moved on because I remained oblivious.  Am I being unreasonable to think that I will be unnoticed by someone honorable?

Single Sophomore at 20

Dear Single Sophomore,

Since I do not know exactly what happened between you and Jerry that caused you to break up with him, I cannot say whether or not it would be appropriate for you to continue to be friends with him.  However, your mother must have very good reasons for not wanting you to talk to him and for him to not be welcome in your home.

As for whether or not other guys will look at you the same way Jerry did or whether or not you will be noticed by someone honorable, I can tell you that honorable men are attracted to women who love God, who have pure behaviors, and have the characteristics mentioned in Galatians 5:22-24 and 1 Peter 1:5-8.  An honorable man will be highly attracted to you if he recognizes your sincere love of God and sees these characteristics coupled with chaste behavior and good works.  So, I suggest that you concentrate in becoming attractive to God, and you will become attractive to the right type of man.

God bless,
Aunt Dara

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Waiting for God’s Timing

Part One 

Dear Aunt Dara,

I consider myself to be a fervent Christian.  I read my Bible and pray every day, and I try my best to do what's right, which is a hard thing to do for a 21-year-old in this day and age.  I have never been in a relationship with anyone, and it doesn’t help that some of my friends are in relationships.  I always pray for God to send me the right man, a Christian man who loves God, but it seems like the men who always like me are never Christians.  I'm reminded daily never to be in a relationship with someone who doesn't share the same beliefs as I do.  I am starting to feel confused, depressed, and extremely lonely!  Sometimes I think that maybe I will be single forever.  Am I doing something wrong?  What is it that I need to say or do for God to change my situation?

Sincerely,
Lonely Single
 

Dear Lonely Single, 

No, you are not doing anything wrong.  In fact, you are doing everything correctly.  You are praying and trusting God to send you a Christian man who loves God.  Please be assured that God hears and is answering your prayers.  He is preparing the right man for you at this time, and when the time is right God will bring him into your life.  I repeat:  when the time is right God will bring him into your life.  I know you feel lonely and sad because God hasn't brought him into your life yet.  Trust God's timing.  Wait on the Lord.

God bless,
Aunt Dara 

Part Two 

Dear Aunt Dara, 

A couple of months ago I spoke to you about being alone.  Well now I have been confiding in a young man who seemed to be interested in me.  He is 28 years old and I am 22.  I feel at times he can be a very good friend to talk to and he listens to me, but there are times when he becomes very sexual toward me.  I know some men do not know how to express themselves toward women they like, but I feel as if he just wants sex with no strings attached.  He told me that when we met I looked like I could be sweet in bed and I looked like a down-to-earth person.  I like talking to him but it seems every time we talk the conversation somehow turns toward sex.  I asked him bluntly what exactly is it that he wants, and he told me he doesn't really know.  I thought at his age he would have some knowledge about what it is he wants in life, especially from a woman.  I remember you told me that God is preparing a man for me and he will soon come.  I don’t know why every time I decided to move on with my life and be happy being single another man tries to come in making me think he is serious about me.  Even before I was talking to him, there was another man who had the same agenda, and it wasn't until a week after I broke up with him that I met the guy I’m with now.  I feel hopeless thinking that all men just want sex before commitment because he is not the only man to do this to me. 

Sincerely,
Lonely Single 

Dear Lonely Single,

You must have misunderstood what I told you in my last response.  I did not tell you that the right man would soon be coming into your life.  I told you to trust God's timing and wait patiently on the Lord to bring the right man into your life when the time is right.  I don't know when that will be, and neither do you.  It may be next month, next year, or five years from now.  The point is, your loneliness makes you appear desperate for a man—any man—and therefore you become a magnet to the type of man who wants to use you for sex.  These men prey on lonely women who have a great need to find someone to love them.  In the beginning, these men will appear to be very supportive, loving, and charming until they have gained your trust, and then they will take advantage of you.  Unfortunately, it appears that the new man you have become involved with may be the type of man who wants you for sex.  How do I know?  Because that is what he has been talking about.

I would like to repeat what I said to you before:   

God is preparing the right man for you at this time, and when the time is right God will bring him into your life.  I repeat: when the time is right God will bring him into your life.  I know you feel lonely and sad because God hasn't brought him into your life yet.  Trust God's timing.  Wait on the Lord.  

Do not go out looking for someone to love you.  That's God's job.  When it's God's will, love will find you.  Stop looking for a man to love you and start loving God.  Let God fill your lonely heart, then you will become the type of woman who will be a magnet to a man who loves and obeys God.

God bless,
Aunt Dara

Monday, June 27, 2016

She Had Hoped to Marry a Virgin


 Part One

Dear Aunt Dara,

My boyfriend and I have been together for nearly 6 months.  In the second week of our relationship, he told me that he felt compelled by the Holy Spirit to tell me about his past, and also because I had mentioned to him that I trust that he would be honest with me.  He told me that he got into a sexual relationship with one of his ex-girlfriends 7 years ago.  She is about 14 years his senior and is someone he knew from work.  It was his first job and she was nice and showed him the ropes.  I asked if they did it once or twice and he told me “many times.”  I really appreciate his honesty with me and I know that it took him a lot of courage to tell me about his past.  I also appreciate that he told me early in our relationship and did not wait until I sank in deeper before telling me.

I must admit that my heart sank when I heard it.  I told him that what I look for in a boyfriend is that firstly, he must be a Christian, and secondly, a virgin.  To me sex is something that should be enjoyed only between married couples.  After he told me about his past, I felt at a loss.  He told me that if it is really hard for me to accept his past, maybe it isn't God's will that we end up together.  Hearing that made my heart sink because I am really in love with him and I trust that he is the one God led me to.  I understand that even if I were to find a guy who is a virgin, that doesn't guarantee that he will love me and love God as much as my boyfriend does.  I questioned God and asked why He would lead me to someone who is all that I’ve ever wanted and even more but he has given his first sexual experience to someone else.  My boyfriend is someone who has a passion for Christ, who wants to lead me closer to God and is God fearing.  I love that he has a heart for Christ.  He told me that Jesus died for all our sins and not all sins except sexual sins, and I agree with him.  Jesus has forgiven him, so who am I to question that?  Plus, I know that I myself am also a sinner, so who am I to judge him for his past? 

Things went well for the next few months after that, but I sometimes find myself replaying that scene in my mind where he told me about his past.  I find it difficult to forget what I heard.  I also find it difficult to talk about it with him because I don’t want him to think that I am holding his past against him.  I know it is unfair to him, but I can't pretend that everything is fine and that I am not affected.  I find it hard to find someone to talk to about it as I do not want them to judge him based on his past, but I have to admit that the knowledge of his past is slowly eating me up.  I keep myself going by praying and asking God for strength because I know that I can't get past this on my own strength.  My boyfriend told me that men will disappoint us but God will not, so I am trying to keep my focus on God and remember that I should place my hope in God and God should be the centerpiece in my life. 

I also appreciate that he has never asked me for sex and we both plan to do it only when we are married.  I love that he spends time to pray with me and we now attend a Bible study together.  We’ve also been to Marriage Preparation Retreat together and we are planning to get married.  However, I really want to get this resolved before we get married because if I don’t I am afraid that it will affect our marriage.  Will his past sexual experience affect our future sex life?  Will he have certain expectations because he has done it before and I am still a virgin?  I really love him, but I find his past tearing me up.  I feel so lost.  I don't want to give him up and risk missing the love of my life just because he isn't a virgin.  But on the other hand, what I know is haunting me.  Please Aunt Dara, give me some guidance on how I should handle my relationship!  I want to do what pleases God!  Thank you in advance for your advice.  I look forward to hearing from you.

God bless,
Struggling Girlfriend

Dear Struggling Girlfriend,

As I read and reread your letter, I see several positive signs in your boyfriend and your relationship with him.  You indicate that he has a spiritual focus, that he loves God, has a heart for Christ, and that he wishes to help you to grow spiritually and demonstrates this by praying with you and attending Bible study with you.  He also seems to be very dedicated to you and your future together as demonstrated by his desire to marry you and to attend a marriage preparation retreat with you.  From what you have written, it would appear that your boyfriend is an honest, sincere person who truly loves God and loves you.

From the beginning he was honest with you about his past and did not keep his past sexual sins secret, but therein lies the problem.  You say that your expectation for the man that you marry is that he should be a virgin.  You ask why God would lead you to someone who is all you ever wanted but is not a virgin.  Keep in mind that your desire to marry a man who is a virgin is your expectation, not God's.  God never said that entering marriage is for virgins only.  I am not saying that sex outside of marriage is not sin.  It is.  I am saying that God does not forbid marrying someone who has committed sexual sins.  So, why would God lead you to this man despite your desire to marry a virgin?  Because God has forgiven him and no longer holds his sins against him.  Please refer to 1 John 1:9, Psalm 103:8-12, Jeremiah 31:34, Hebrews 8:12 and Hebrews 10:17.

You ask if your boyfriend will have certain expectations regarding your sex life when you marry because you are a virgin and he is not.  That's highly doubtful.  He knows and understands that you are a virgin, and I am sure that he is very pleased that you are.  I don't predict that he will expect anything from you that would be unrealistic.

You ask if his past sexual experience will affect your future sex life.  Only if you let it!  Remember that the Bible says, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).  The blood of Christ cleanses us from all sin, just as if it never happened.  It is possible to have a good marriage with someone who has committed sexual sins, and has repented of his sin and is now living a life pleasing to God.  You said that it was 7 years ago when he was sexually involved with a woman he met on his first job.  That tells me that he was a young man.  Young people make a lot of mistakes and do things they later regret and are ashamed of.  That's the nature of youth.  That's why David wrote, "Do not remember the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions; According to Your mercy remember me, For Your goodness’ sake, O Lord" (Psalm 25:7).  What if the situation were reversed and you were the one who had given in to temptation and did the things that he did 7 years ago?

Your boyfriend's willingness to be open with you about his sins and his 7 years of abstinence from sexual sin indicate to me that he will be the kind of man that you can trust to be honest with you and faithful to you.  In bringing the two of you together, God has given you a precious gift, a man who will be a blessing in your life.  Cherish God's gift and give your boyfriend the love and mercy that he deserves.  Focus on the present; let go of the past.

God bless,
Aunt Dara

Part Two

Dear Aunt Dara,

Thank you so much for your advice!  I am very thankful to be able to speak to someone about how I’m feeling.  I think the issue that I am facing now is that I can forgive but can't forget.  I understand that he did not let me down because he committed that sin before he met me.  I realize God has forgiven him and no longer holds his sins against him, but I find it so hard to forget what I know.  Sometimes when I look at him his past automatically comes up in my mind and the thought of what he did with someone else makes me sick.  I must admit that there were times when I’m frustrated with the fact that I saved myself for him but he couldn't do the same for me, plus the fact that he was a Christian when he committed that sin.  (He had been a Christian for about 6 years when he committed that sin.)  I understand that being a Christian doesn't mean that one will not sin, so I know it is wrong of me to think that because he was a Christian then he shouldn't have committed that sin.  I just thought that he should be able to resist temptation more since he was a Christian.  Now that he has given his first time to someone else, we can't enjoy our first time with each other.  Would he compare me to her?

I am really not sure why I find it so important to marry a virgin.  Is it because of my faith, or am I just wired that way?  Could it be that I don't love him enough that I can't look past his past?  I feel so unsure at times.  Would it help if I talk to him about how I’m feeling?  If hesitate to talk to him about it because I’m worried that it would reopen old wounds and he would wonder why I am so caught up with his past.  Just when I thought I had gotten over it and moved on, the monster shows its head again.  I really want to focus on the positive and the present of our relationship, but there are days where it is so difficult.  How do I learn to forget?  It seems that the more I want to forget, the harder it is to do so.  Some days I wake up feeling positive that I can let go of his past, but some days I feel the opposite and it makes me doubt if he really is the one God wants me to spend the rest of my life with.

I’m sorry for taking so much of your time but I feel like I have no one to talk to and I feel so suffocated at times.  I know I should learn to trust and rely on God in everything but sometimes that is really easier said than done.  I hope to hear from you soon Aunt Dara.  I am very, very thankful for all your time and advice!

God bless,
Struggling Girlfriend


Dear Struggling Girlfriend,

I have been praying about what more I can say to you that would be helpful in your situation.  Seven years ago your boyfriend fell into sin.  He was tempted and he gave in.  Yes, he was a Christian when he sinned.  Yes, he knew better.  Yes, he should have resisted temptation, but sexual temptation is very strong and sexual sin is very difficult to stop once it has begun.  You ask what to do to forget about his past.  Then focus on the present.  Focus on the positive; look for the good (Philippians 4:8).  It's there.  This man loves God and loves you...AND he has been celibate for 7 years!  Remember those things each time Satan tries to remind you that this man is not a virgin, and stop thinking that since he did not save himself for you that you have been cheated from your dream of marrying a virgin.  He has been saving himself for you for the last 7 years.

Will he compare you to the other woman?  I don't know, and neither do you, so ask him.  He will understand that you may be feeling insecure in that regard.  Let him reassure you that he loves you and desires you.  Also, realize that as his wife you will be able to give him something that the other woman never did and never could—sexual fulfillment without guilt.  That will make you very, very desirable to him.

God bless,
Aunt Dara

Part Three

Dear Aunt Dara,

Thank you once again for your reply and support.  They mean a lot to me!  I really don't want to lose my boyfriend just because of that.  I believe God is teaching me to learn to trust in Him.  Perhaps I've placed too much importance on marrying a virgin that I've failed to see the other blessings that God has given me.  I want to truly love the man God led me to.  I think it will take me some time to fully untie the knot in my heart and I will continue to turn to God for strength!  I am considering sharing how I feel with my boyfriend, but I'm worried about how he will take it and if it will do any permanent and serious damage to our relationship.  Thanks again Aunt Dara for all your time and prayers.  I feel less alone.   :)

God bless,
Struggling Girlfriend

Dear Struggling Girlfriend,

Thanks for letting me know how you are doing.  There would be no harm in sharing with him that you have a problem and you need his prayers.  You don't even have to name the problem.  I would suggest that you start with that.  However, if you still feel the need to discuss it directly with him, perhaps it would decrease the chances of causing any permanent or serious damage if you approach it with an attitude of humility, acknowledging that you have a problem and you need his prayers and assistance to overcome it.

God bless,
Aunt Dara

Friday, June 17, 2016

Building a Relationship with a Perfectionistic Parent

Dear Aunt Dara,

You have never met anyone like my father.  He is an entrepreneur and is into various business ventures.  He has more LLC's than I have pairs of shoes.  Nobody gets along with him.  You do what he says the way he says to do it.  He has a guy working for him who is just there to smooth over employees and rehire guys he didn't mean to fire.


Growing up with him, we had weekly meetings to discuss my objectives for the week.  These felt like board meetings and I had to send him e-mail updates when he was traveling.  He bought me some exercise equipment, and told me that he wanted me to work out 3-4 times a week.  I wrote him a Fathers' Day essay and he made me correct it.  It was a family crisis if I made a B on my report card.  He said my career plans to major in child psychology and help children are no good.  He said I should just do that as volunteer work and use "my brains" do something more lucrative because he won't bankroll my planned degree.  He says my siblings are idiots and washouts, and I am the only child he has who is worth anything.  There are times when he is just impossible.  How do you please this man and have a relationship with him?

Thanks,
Exasperated Daughter 

Dear Daughter,

From the description that you have given, your dad is an ultra-perfectionist.  The problem with a parent who is a perfectionist is that he has unrealistically high standards that no child would be able to meet all the time.  I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but here it is.  You will never be able to please him in everything all the time.  There will always be things about you of which he will disapprove. 

So, how do you have a relationship with him now that you are an adult?  Stop trying to live your life to please him.  It's your life the decisions that affect you are yours to make.  However, do not argue with him.  In his mind he is trying to be helpful and to shape you into the image of you that only exists in his perfectionistic mind.  When he offers you unsolicited advice or criticism, listen very carefully to what he says (he really does mean well) and then say, "Thanks, I will give that some thought."  If you want to really impress him and build a positive relationship, say, "Thanks for caring about me and wanting me to do the right thing.  I will think about everything you said."

Regarding your college major:  Your father cannot live his life through you.  You have to be happy with your chosen career because you are the one who will be dealing with that line of work, day in and day out for years to come.  While it is true that other careers are more lucrative than child psychology, there are many more rewards to a career than a paycheck.  If he is worried that you want to get a degree that won't be using your brain, tell him that a child psychologist must have a doctorate degree in psychology.  Even a psychotherapist must have a minimum of a master's degree.  Either way, you must have a high degree of intelligence to go into the mental health field.  If your earning potential is his main concern, tell him that child psychiatrists make a lot of money because they are medical doctors.  He might be willing to bankroll your medical school so he can brag about his daughter being a doctor.

God bless,
Aunt Dara

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Should Distance and Time be Issues in a Relationship?

Dear Aunt Dara,

I am a recent college graduate who has to choose between my dream job across the country or my current relationship.  Although we have only been together for 5 months, I am in love with my boyfriend, and we have talked about getting engaged within a year.  I have also worked extremely hard throughout college to get this position in and have exhausted my job options in my current location close to my boyfriend.  I am torn in this decision.  I do not want to sacrifice my career for a man, but I truly see a future with this guy.  He is a farmer so is unable to move to a city, forcing us to do long-distance for a year.  However, he keeps saying he is “willing to try” but “does not think it can work out long-distance.”  What should I do? This guy is amazing and I can’t stand the thought of being away from him, but if it is meant to be wouldn’t distance not be an issue?

Sincerely,
Love Struck Career Woman
 

Dear Love Struck, 

You asked, "If it is meant to be wouldn't distance not be an issue?"  I would tend to agree with you on that.  If it is meant to be, he would patiently wait a year and distance would not be an issue.  After all, Jacob waited 7 years for Rachel (Genesis 29:20-28).  Best wishes for you in your new job and continued blessings for your relationship.

God Bless,
Aunt Dara