Should I stay in an “ungodly” relationship if the other person is learning about Christ through me?

Q. I’m conflicted about something. My spirit is torn about it—confused. So, I met this lady while I was still had the power of the world controlling my thoughts and and decision. But I have come to a place where I have a better and intimate relationship with God. She seems motivated my the steps I have been taking in getting closer to God and doing the same. Mind you, we started off as an ungodly relationship. I don’t know what to do, given that I’m more developed in the walk than she is. I teach her the gospel as well, which I really love doing. It helps keep me in check as well. I guess what I really want to know is do I end this relationship or continue. We’re both in our 20s and both learning about Christ in our way. Could someone speak on this?

Thank you for your question. To read between the lines a bit, if I’m not mistaken, when you say that you are in an “ungodly relationship,” I imagine this means you are living together.

If that is so, then it seems to me that you have more than two options. You don’t have to choose between continuing to live together or ending the relationship entirely. You could continue in a serious relationship but re-establish separate living arrangements. It seems to me that this would show the lady in your life that you are serious both about God and about her. But if you continue to stay in an “ungodly” arrangement, then that will suggest to her that you are not really serious about God, no matter what you might say about him, and that she doesn’t actually have to take God all that seriously either.

Indeed, if you truly love this woman (and it sounds as if you do), you will want the very best for her, which means wanting her to be able to love and obey God and live in a way that honors God. I believe that if you explained that to her, and made it very clear that by re-establishing separate living arrangements, you would not be breaking up with her, but rather working to put your relationship on a solid footing from which it could grow into a flourishing, God-honoring relationship, I would expect that she would be happy and encouraged about that. She would see that you really mean everything you have been saying about God, and it would give her joy to know that the gospel is so real that you are prepared to do something risky, difficult, and sacrificial to follow Jesus.

May God lead you and guide you as you take these steps forward. And please write back to let me know how things go! Thank you.

Author: Christopher R Smith

The Rev. Dr. Christopher R. Smith is an an ordained minister, a writer, and a biblical scholar. He was active in parish and student ministry for twenty-five years. He was a consulting editor to the International Bible Society (now Biblica) for The Books of the Bible, an edition of the New International Version (NIV) that presents the biblical books according to their natural literary outlines, without chapters and verses. His Understanding the Books of the Bible study guide series is keyed to this format. He was also a consultant to Tyndale House for the Immerse Bible, an edition of the New Living Translation (NLT) that similarly presents the Scriptures in their natural literary forms, without chapters and verses or section headings. He has a B.A. from Harvard in English and American Literature and Language, a Master of Arts in Theological Studies from Gordon-Conwell, and a Ph.D. in the History of Christian Life and Thought, with a minor concentration in Bible, from Boston College, in the joint program with Andover Newton Theological School.

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