Integrating Compassion with the Wisdom of God’s Word


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.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Leisure Activities for Christian Youth

Dear Aunt Dara, 

I lived a typical "born in a Christian family" environment until Christ called me to the evangelical community.  Although I accepted myself as that, until recently I was frequently devoting myself to more and more satanic-underlain activities.  Now, after a recent retreat, God called me to live a more holy life-style.  I've managed to cut out video/computer games, secular music, and re-vamped my drawing style, but now I find myself struggling to find things to fill my time.  As much as I love to read the Bible and pray, are there any activities that I could do without turning from God and would still be benefiting God? 

And at the same time, I've recently found myself in a relationship.  It's with a 15-year-old that I met through the church.  He's been through his share of hardships, and now devotes himself to God as I do.  However, both of us are introverts, so I fear that we'll quickly become awkward around one another.  Mostly, though, my concern is that we'll distract each other from God or do things displeasing to God.  Do you have any advice or pointers for us?

Teenage Revelator

Dear Teenage Revelator,
Congratulations on your decision to turn from activities that draw you away from God and deciding to re-dedicate your life to God.  You will be tempted to return to unholy activities, but keep your eyes fixed on Jesus and let Him lead you into wholesome, godly activities that will keep you on the right path.  There are many activities that a Christian young person can do to bring them closer to God.  Here’s a brief list: Become active in a church youth group, get involved in service activities at your church, volunteer in community service activities (ask your youth pastor or teacher for ideas about opportunities in your community), find something nice or special to do for someone, listen to Christian music, read books by Christian authors, attend a week at a Christian youth camp.  Other activities that Christian teens can do to occupy their time and counteract boredom are: Get involved in sports, exercise, play games, read books, do some research and become an expert in some topic that interests you, learn a foreign language, write poetry or stories, work puzzles, grow a garden, learn to sew, learn to paint or sculpt, learn to play a musical instrument, learn to cook and/or bake, or develop some other hobby that interests you.  As a last resort you could ask your parents or grandparents to tell you stories about their childhood. (Well, maybe not that one.)

Regarding your concerns about how you and your boyfriend may influence each other, avoid being alone with him to reduce temptations.  Get him involved in doing some of the things listed above with you and do things as a group, even though that may be challenging for you as introverts.  Above all, cultivate your relationship with God in addition to Bible study, prayer, and church attendance.  Know that God is always with you, He knows everything about you, He loves you completely, and you can trust Him completely (Psalm 139).  Fall in love with God, and Satan won’t be able to draw you away (James 4: 7-8).

God bless,
Aunt Dara

Monday, May 13, 2013

Unsure about Relationship Because Boyfriend Focuses on Business Matters

Dear Aunt Dara,
I met a wonderful Christian man online.  We have been talking 4 months.  We live in different states but talk by phone daily and he has come to visit me once.  We plan to see each other again in July.  We were born exactly one day apart the same year, so sometimes I feel I am talking to my twin.  We get along great.  We inspire each other and he has all the qualities I want in a man.

Here is the issue: We have begun to get involved in a couple of businesses together and all he seems to want to talk about is business and making money.  I love the friendship we are building, but I'm not sure if he is still romantically interested.  I seem to be the only one to change the subject, and I noticed I am the one initiating our getting together.  I invited him see me both times.  When I asked him last week when I would see him again, he said he was "waiting for an invitation."  I initiate all of our dates on Skype.  I feel I am chasing him and did not realize it until now.  He always responds with enthusiasm when I suggest getting together, but I think I have gone too far.  I need to know his real intentions toward me and the future and cannot seem to find the words.  Why is it so hard? 

Needing Help for a Long-Distance Christian Romance 

Dear Long Distance Romance, 

I think that it is hard for you to find the right words to see if he is still romantically interested in you because you have hopes that he is, but fear that he may not be. When reading your letter, it is difficult to get a feel of your relationship. Is it a romantic relationship, a friendship, a business partnership, or some combination of those three? Women usually feel more comfortable talking about relationships than do men. Perhaps a non-threatening way to approach the topic is to ask, "What is your vision for our future?" If his answer focuses on the business relationship, that should tell you something.

I hope this helps.

God bless,
Aunt Dara