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.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Can a Couple with Religious Differences have a Successful Relationship or Marriage?

Dear Aunt Dara,
A good friend of mine told me about her dilemma with her current boyfriend who she has been dating for a year.  They are both in their 20s.  From what she says he is a great guy but the only problem is that his mother really does not like her.  She is a catholic and he is part of a protestant church that is very strict (women can't wear pants, fake nails and hair, makeup, jewelry, men and women can't sit next to each other at church, etc.)  She and her boyfriend decided to go on a vacation together alone, and his mother was very upset about it to the point that she told all the church members that she was ruining her son.  I too was shocked when she told me this because I would never go to another state or country with a young man by myself who is not my husband.  However, from what I see his mother doesn't like her because she is not the simple and humble type of girl she wants for her son.  She is my friend but I have to be honest—she doesn't dress or act like a modest Christian woman.  Also, it seems as if the relationship is causing the young man to rebel against his mother and the church, because he even told her that if they decided to get married he wouldn't mind getting married in the catholic church.  As a born again believer, I was always taught that marriage is a union between two people recognized by God.  This union is supposed to put both families together on a common ground.  Your religion really plays an important role in your morals and character.  This is what will shape the relationship between you and the other person.  If their morals don't mesh together, there will be problems down the road and that's what I think will happen between my friend and her boyfriend.  Do you think two people of completely different religions can have a successful relationship or marriage, and do you think it is a good idea for these two to stay together?  I feel like telling her to move on.  I just feel like she is with him because it is making her interesting for the moment.  I feel like she is setting herself up for failure.  What do you think?

Her Friend

Dear Friend,

If your friend and her boyfriend are still together, I suggest that you completely stay out of it and let the two of them work this thing out together.  Nobody appreciates a friend trying to give helpful advice about their romantic relationship.  You may see disaster ahead for your friend and her relationship as you described it, but you should NOT tell her that she should move on.  This doesn't involve you and you don't know all the facts.  (For additional information on giving relationship advice to a friend, please refer to “Giving Marital or Relationship Advice to a Friend” that I posted on 7-31-2012 at http://askauntdara.blogspot.com/.)  You could, however, express your concerns about your friend's behavior, such as how she chooses to dress or act in an unchristian way.

Do I think that two people of completely different religions can have a successful relationship and marriage?  No, I do not.  I have never seen it work out well, and I have seen a lot of marriages.  Sometimes one partner is successful in converting the other, and in those situations the relationship/marriage has a chance of being successful and happy.  However, one should never enter a marriage hoping to be able to convert their spouse.  It rarely works out that way.

God Bless,
Aunt Dara

Thursday, May 4, 2017

She Finds it Difficult to Stop Kissing

Dear Aunt Dara,

I once thought that my first kiss would be on my wedding day, when the priest will officially announce us as husband and wife and say, "Now you may kiss the bride."  I always thought that a kiss is a very beautiful and intimate thing, but people around me think that a kiss is just a kiss, and a lot of them have had their first kiss.  I do not want to put a kiss onto a pedestal, but I thought that sharing something so intimate will easily lead into something further than that, and it is good not to have it so casually...

I am now in a relationship with a very nice man.  When we started the relationship, he said that we need to set clear boundaries, have accountable friends aside of each other, and most importantly, focus on God in our relationship.  I think we did start it right.  He is very respectful and we have a loving relationship.

Fast forward, just a few weeks ago, we were having lunch together.  He would be going home soon, so he hugged me close.  Then, he started to try to kiss me, and at first I avoided them.  However, I could not deny that I also really want to kiss him.  I have the urge too.  After some time, I allowed him to kiss me on my lips.  It was not long that we started to make out.  After he went home, I was still floating and did not believe I really did that.  My first kiss!  Not on my wedding day!  And I consented!

When he visited me afterwards, he said we should not make this a norm, and said he honestly felt very aroused because of it.  If we continued, it would be hard for us to be satisfied and would just want to go further, sliding on the slippery slope of sin.  So we repented and prayed together.  However, a few days after that we did it again.  I felt guilty, and admittedly it did not feel bad, and I felt guiltier because of it.  A few days afterwards, when he tried to make out with me again, I tried to stop him by telling him no.  However, he continued to kiss while hugging me close.  After some time, I gave up because again, I also have the urge and it did not feel bad.  After that time, he said that he realized I did not want to do it at first but he already felt too lustful to stop.  He said that next time if he started, slap him or hit him to stop it.

Just a few days ago, I was very tired after an important deadline, and we had dinner together.  We talked for some time then he hugged me, then after some time he started to kiss me again.  I tried to tell him no, and I tried to pull back, but he held my head and body close to him.  I hit him lightly on his back, as I did not really have the energy.  He then continued to plead to me, please, just for a few moments.  I said no, we have promised not to do it again.  He continued to plead and said how much he wanted it.  It was heart-breaking for me to hear him pleading like that, and it's not like I did not want to do it, but I did not want to compromise anymore, as it would be just a vicious cycle if I gave up again.  As I could not really do anything, I could not tell him off, I could not move much, and I could not back away from him, with all the emotional conflict I had in my mind, I started to cry.  It was really hard to do anything with having someone keep kissing you like that.  Having realized that I cried, he then stopped immediately.  He still said how much he wanted to make out with me, but he did not do anything anymore.  He said that deep down he also knew that it was wrong, and we have talked about this several times, but it was really difficult to resist the temptation.  It's like the Pandora's Box has been opened, so it was really hard not to do it anymore.

How do I deal with this situation?  Am I just making too big a deal out of this?  Is it really just a kiss and just a make-out session?  He is nice and respectful, and I do really like him a lot.  He knows that he is wrong, but I think it is very hard to resist the physical temptation, especially for him.

A very confused girl

Dear Confused Girl,

Of course you have the urge to participate in the hugging and kissing, and it doesn’t feel bad to you.  That’s normal.  That’s the way God created our bodies.  You summed up the concerns when you said that if it continues it will become hard for you both to be satisfied and you will want to go further, sliding down the slippery slope of sin.  When this kissing activity first started, you indicated that you both repented and prayed.  Where was the repentance?  Since he keeps pressuring you into these make-out sessions, it seems that his “repentance” and prayer may have been an attempt on his part to say the things that he thought you wanted to hear.  Even though the two of you have discussed this several times and he knows the danger, he is still initiating these make-out sessions and pressuring you to continue.  You are already at the point of sin.  You are participating in an activity that is causing him to sin and he acknowledges that he feels aroused by the hugging and kissing and admits he feels too lustful to stop.  He is demonstrating that he lacks self-control.  To make matters worse, he is trying to put the responsibility for his behavior on you by telling you to slap him, yet he prevents you from taking control by holding you so close that you cannot move.  I suspect that he is trying to wear you down because he wants more.  He hopes if he keeps hugging and kissing you will reach a point where you will want him to go further. 

So, how are you and your boyfriend focusing on God in your relationship????? 

Twice you said that your boyfriend is respectful, but his actions demonstrate the opposite. He doesn’t respect your “no.”  A gentleman who respects women takes cues from the woman.  He understands that “No” means “NO.”  He stops when she says, “Stop.”  He lets go of her when he feels her pull away.  He does not kiss her if she is resistant, and he does not beg or pressure her for more than what she freely wants to give.  You said that the two of you have a loving relationship, but he is not demonstrating love for you.  He is demonstrating lust.  The kissing always seems to start “after some time” of “close” hugging.  This tells me that the hugs are not brief and his thoughts and motives are not pure.  Therefore, I urge you to do the following: 
1.     Sincerely repent and pray for forgiveness.  Repentance means changing your behavior.  Therefore………
2.     Stop participating in make-out sessions!  They are not safe and they cause him to sin through lust and place you in jeopardy of doing something you will later regret (1 Thessalonians 4:3-7).
3.     Stop placing yourself in situations with him that could lead to sin. 
4.     Avoid hugging.
5.     Avoid being alone with him.
6.     Find yourself a Christian woman that you trust and become accountable to her (James 5:16).
If this man truly loves you, he will respect your wishes and follow these guidelines.  If he resists following these guidelines, you would do best to end the relationship.

God bless,
Aunt Dara

Friday, March 24, 2017

Boy Doesn’t Want to Talk to Her


Dear Aunt Dara,

A guy friend and I used to talk a lot, but now he says he doesn't want to talk to me anymore.  He started talking to me initially because he wanted me to have sex with him with no strings attached.  I told him I wasn't interested in that and he agreed.  We always stayed friends and I even went out with him a couple of times, but nothing sexual ever happened.  A couple of weeks ago he confessed to me that he has been scared to enter into a relationship because he has never been successful in them.  He told he was ready for one now and he seemed very interested to talk to me.  However, my dad saw previous text messages that he sent me on my phone that had sexual content in them and decided to have a talk with his father that same day.  My father told his father that “he needs to teach his son how to respect women."  My friend told me that he doesn’t want to talk to me anymore.  He said that I should take care of myself and told me goodbye. 

I still think about him almost every day.  I am trying my best to focus on myself but he always pops into my mind.  I really still want us to be friends, but I don't want to get burned if I try to talk to him.  I have this strong urge to speak to him and apologize for what happened.  I didn't mean for it to turn out this way.  Should I apologize to him?  If so, how should I go about doing it?  Should I really be friends with him?  Was he really ever my friend?  Do you even think he likes me enough to talk to me again?

Wanting Friendship 

Dear Wanting Friendship,

You asked my opinion about whether or not you should contact this young man to apologize and whether or not you should continue a friendship with him.  My opinion is that you should do neither for the following reasons:

1.  Your father does not want you to have anything to do with this young man.
2.  The young man himself told you that he doesn't want to talk to you anymore.
3.  You didn't do anything that requires an apology from you.

It's doubtful that you ever had or could ever have a meaningful friendship with this young man.  I say this because his first contact with you was a request for sex.  Men who respect women do not ask for sex first thing, and a man who does not respect women can never be a friend to a woman.  You would be wise to use this as a learning experience and avoid getting involved with men of this type in the future.  When your father found those text messages, he did what any other loving, responsible father would have done—he took immediate steps to protect his daughter.  Your father did the right thing, and he is giving you good advice.  Listen to him.  

God bless,
Aunt Dara


Hello Aunt Dara,

I do not know if you remember a couple of months ago my dad got angry with a young man who wanted to have sex with me and that boy told me he never wanted to talk to me anymore.  Well he is now talking to me and the strangest thing is he admits that what my father did was best for him.  Also he seems way more interested to speak with me and he even told me he wants to take me out on a date.  The craziest thing is I am starting to get very big feelings for him.  What should I do?   

Wanting Friendship 

Dear Wanting Friendship,

Thanks for writing to me again.  I am glad to get an update on this situation, and I am glad that the young man has expressed recognition that your father was right.  However, I want to remind you that men who are interested in sex will say anything they think you want to hear, so be cautious with him.  The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior, and his past behavior toward you has not been honorable.  A person's true character is not what he tells you it is.  His true character is what he has consistently demonstrated over time.  Trust is something that has to be earned.  Take it slowly and allow time for him to demonstrate that he has changed.  In the meantime, I would suggest that you avoid any situation in which you may be alone with him.  Don't allow yourself to be put into any situation in which he may seduce you or take advantage of you sexually.  Also, just because a man shows you attention, that is not an indication that he is the right one for you.  Lonely people crave attention, and predators can always sense that.  Be careful.  Don't let yourself confuse the good feelings you get when someone shows you attention with love.

God bless,
Aunt Dara

Monday, February 20, 2017

Worried about His Wife’s Mixed Gender Sleeping Arrangement on a Trip without Him

Dear Aunt Dara, 

I would value some advice.  My lovely and attractive Christian wife is very friendly with another (non-Christian but very nice) lady who is into mountain hiking.  As a result, my wife goes to visit her in the mountains for a long weekend every year.  Up to now this has just involved day-trips out in the snow from a fixed base.  But this year the friend is planning a stay all night in mountain, in huts with mixed-sex dorms.  Having looked online, these are generally where men and women sleep right next to each other on one long sleeping platform.  I do not feel at all comfortable about this, but am I just being worrying needlessly?  My wife says it is okay.  She said the mountaineering community seem to do it all the time, but I just don’t feel right about it and I don’t feel right about my wife doing this.  As a man, I frankly cannot see why men would stop thinking like men do about women, just because they are up a mountain!  Additionally, I just don’t feel it is right to be sleeping together with other men in this way.  I am told that no undressing occurs, but I cannot believe there is a firm guarantee of that!  I trust my wife, but we just don’t seem to be on the same page on this topic!  Am I just being silly in my unhappiness about this situation?  I would appreciate your considered thoughts.  

Thanks and God bless,
Country Boy 

Dear Country Boy,

No, you are not being silly.  You are being wise and sensible.  The Bible tells us to avoid even the very appearance of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22), and that would certainly apply to this situation.  Even if nothing happened between these individuals sharing sleeping quarters, at the very least it would give rise to the possibility of immorality and damage your wife's Christian influence.  A Christian must always guard ones’ reputation and demonstrate a life of purity by not placing oneself in situations that will give others a reason to accuse one of sin (1 Timothy 5:22; 1 Peter 2:11-12). 
A Christian woman must remain chaste and obey her husband (Titus 2:5).  Please reason with your wife and explain your concerns.  Hopefully, she will change her mind.

God bless,
Aunt Dara

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Her Boyfriend Thinks that God Doesn’t Want Them to be Together

Dear Aunt Dara,

I was seeing a man for a little while; he was a man of God.  He went to Church 3-4 times a week.  He helped me change and look at things completely different - in a positive way.  When I met him, I was in a bad place mentally.  I had recently gotten out of an emotionally, verbally, mentally abusive relationship.  I was broken and ruined and then I meet this new man.  I'll call him “Joe.”  I feel like God put Joe in my life for a reason.  I don't think how we met was coincidence or perfect timing.  I truly believe that God put him in my life to help me heal, to better myself, to help put me on the right track and to be the person I was put on earth to be.  We got along great, but then one day, Joe sent me a message saying that God doesn't want us to be together anymore.  I was completely blindsided.  I was heartbroken and I still am a little bit.  I thought he was sent by God to help me, but not to be temporary.  It doesn't make sense.  Why God would do this; why He would let me meet this wonderful man who has helped me let my guard down, to believe in love again, yet tell that same person we aren't meant for each other?  I was just finally learning how to trust and believe in love again - then this happens.  I don't understand.  I asked him why.  I asked Joe what I did that caused him (or God) to no longer want to be in my life.  He said, "If God wants us to be together, He will give signs on us reconnecting."  Now here's why I'm a little confused:  All three of my ex-boyfriends have come back and asked for another chance, yet I don't think any of them were the one to spend my life with.  I know the devil sends us people to throw us off track, but I firmly believe Joe wasn't that.  I need some advice because I'm so confused and I honestly am heartbroken because Joe said he has strong feelings for me and wants to be with me, but God doesn't what him to be with me.  Why?  What kind of sign will we receive, or better yet, what kind of sign will Joe receive if I am meant for him?  How will I know if the next man I meet is "the one?"  I had two previous boyfriends that I believed were truly the one, yet they didn't work out either.  Please help me see the light which is dimming slowly.  Thank you and I appreciate you taking the time to read my post.

Totally Confused

Dear Totally Confused,

I can see that you are feeling very sad and confused, and that is quite understandable.  Joe’s behavior is confusing.  God’s behavior, however, is not.  God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33).  God knows exactly what He is doing, and God does not make mistakes.  Humans do make mistakes, and one of the most common mistakes that we make is believing that God is directly sending us signs and messages.  Apparently, Joe believes that he has received a message from God regarding you, but many people have mistakenly believed that they were receiving messages from God and have made mistakes that they have long regretted because they followed what they believed was a message from God.  The Bible tells us, “The heart is deceitful above all things” (Jeremiah 17:9).  The Bible tells us that in times past God spoke to individuals through various ways (such as directly, audibly, in dreams, in visions, through prophets, and other ways), but now He speaks to us through the words of Jesus and the Bible which is the inspired word of God (Hebrews 1:1-2, 2 Peter 1:21).  It’s very easy to misinterpret our own thoughts, feelings, or dreams as being messages from God, and just as easy to misinterpret events as being signs from God.  Despite what Joe says, he really has no way of knowing that God does not want you to be together, and it’s highly doubtful that God will send him or you a “sign” that you are meant for each other. 

Similarly, I think that it is a mistake to believe that God has chosen “the one” that we are meant to be with, as many Christians seem to believe.  Although that may be true in some circumstances (Isaac and Rebekah come to mind in Genesis chapter 24), that is certainly not the way it is for most, nor is this idea taught in Scripture.  God can bless any relationship between a Christian man and woman who seek the Lord first.  So, why did God bring Joe into your life?  For the reasons you mentioned:  to help you to heal and to help you believe in love again.  Joe was God’s gift to you for that purpose.  Maybe Joe will be in your life longer, and maybe not.  If not, then be assured that God will take care of you and bring another person into your life, if that is His will.  However, if someone is removed from your life, realize that it may be for the best and let him go.  Give this time.  If it is meant to be, it will be in the natural course of time—not because God sends him or you a message or a sign.

God bless,
Aunt Dara