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Christianity -- Christian Living/the wrong one or just waiting/discernment

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"hi mel and Guyna,
my own family has always been a strong christian family, but neither my husband or myself were raised that way.  we also only have one daughter so every decision we make in God and family is a first for us. our daughter is 14yrs.old and loves and serves the lord in many ways. she is not boy crazy, has a level head and an unusual maturity about her. she's recently started friendship dating and we have been somewhat lenient about the boys not being christian because #1 there are no christian boys around that she shares feelings with. #2 even though i am deeply in love and married to a christian man some of the worst men i ever dated were so called christians. so we decided to let her date some of the boys in jr. high that liked her. nothing really panned out (she's very young anyways)until she met this one boy. he is very nice and respectful so they have been dating for a while.  she told him from the get go that she would not kiss him or anything beyond that and he still stuck around. he met us and has become very involved with our family. knows our friends, everyone (even the christians like him. we asked him to start coming to church with us he said yes. we asked him to go to youth group with our daughter he said yes. he even sits through our church home group. he got a little nervous about going away on a youth retreat, but he said it's not because of the whole God thing which is fine he may just need more time. here's the problem, since we have met him all three of us have been praying for God to shut the door if it's not his will and he hasn't left yet despite the immense pressure we put on him. my husbands just cautiously waiting on God and my daughters still praying. but in me, however, there has always been a small part of me saying don't close it cause he's really a great kid. so finally this time i spent several hours in prayer and God's word try to find his will.  i started reading about isaac and rebekah and also esau and how they would not marry outside the faith, but then i felt like God was saying we all deserve a chance to have a new found faith in Christ. it was confusing so i said to the Lord a simple yes or no will suffice.  not wanting to hear it i glanced upon the word NO!! i came across this word in my reading a couple of other times as well when i asked God to clarify. but, i also at one point in between the no's came upon the story of ruth and how even though she wasn't originally of the faith told naomi i will leave everything and let your God be my God. i told this to my daughter and she said, "well at one point right before i met this boy i felt the lord say,"no boyfriends" but she says she kinda forgot about that and dated this boy because he was really sweet and she liked him". (but, also right before she met him i kept on coming across the same scriptures the lord had given me when he was telling me about my future husband. it was to the point where i said to the lord, "yes God, i know she's going to get married. i know this sounds ridiculous and my discernment is probably way off. i've always struggled despite desperate attempts to clearly know and do God's perfect will in every situation esp. important ones like these. anyway, with all this mess and a pretty strong no resounding in my head (not so much much heart). i told her to break up with him and see what God will do. she was not extremely upset though they have been together now about 51/2 months (like i said she's very level headed).  but of course she's not happy about it. her boyfriend was crying saying why. when she/i clarified the reason to him. he said he understood, but he was really started to enjoy church and still wanted to be around God and her even though he might not meet his standards for her. they both still want to date and see each other, but none of us wants to be outside the will of God and we are trying to stop a worse heartache before it's to late and they become any closer. we all really miss him and don't want him to turn from the faith he's just now discovering, but we are trying to figure out if a clean break is best or should he still hang around under different circumstances for now. i feel so bad for all this boy has had to put up with we just want to do the right thing here. what do we do?"

Answer
Greetings Michelle,

As you have already pointed out, just because someone calls themselves a Christian doesn't necessarily mean that that person is actually a Christian, a true follower of God and Christ.  It wasn't until after Christ's death that outsiders began to refer to the followers of Christ as Christians. (see Acts11:26)

Before this time God and Christ referred to living God's way of life as "The Way."

"Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:  I am the LORD your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you by the way you should go."  Isaiah 48:17

In Acts Paul referred to 'the way' as well.

"I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women."  Acts 22:4


Organized, man-made religion has been for the most part a great detriment to many, many people over the centuries. Instead of listening to God, man-made religions have inserted their own rules for any number of different reasons.  We always encourage everyone to compare the beliefs of any man-made religion with what is actually written in the Bible, asking God for the wisdom to understand rather than depending on what any individual tells them.
The same applies to what is written here.  Don't take our word for it, ask God for wisdom and look it up in the Bible.  This doesn't mean that we are not willing to help and point out scriptures that could be of benefit.  We are always happy to help, we just don't expect you to take our word for it. :)

I am a bit concerned regarding your daughter dating seriously at only 14 yrs old.  If she were my daughter I would encourage her to have lots of friends, both male and female.  Growing up most of my best friends were boys, but we always did things in groups.  There was very little, if any, one on one dating between a boy and a girl until we were all much older.  We always had lots of fun without the pressure of feeling like we were committed to just one person.  Learning to communicate and get along with lots of different personalities and types of people at an early age makes for a well rounded and balanced individual as an adult.  Plus God is very specific about not having sex outside of marriage.  

God doesn't micro-manage our lives, regardless of age.  He has given us all free will to choose either His way or the wrong way.  I'm not saying that it isn't okay to ask for God's guidance and help, especially in the beginning when we are first learning His way.  But as we grow in understanding God expects us to learn to listen to Him through His Spirit and to make the right decisions without expecting Him to give us a 'sign' for every decision we make.  Asking for proof doesn't require faith and God wants us to have unwavering faith in Him.

From what you have written here it appears that you asked God for help and then ignored His answer.  I don't mean to sound harsh, we are all learning and each individual has to learn to listen to God.  There are times when we have felt that God was using a baseball bat in order to get His point across to us. LOL

Setting the right example for others is of extreme importance to God.

"Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in the word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity."  1Timothy 4:12

"But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better of him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.....Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven. For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost. "  Matthew 18:6;10-11.

Please encourage your daughter to have many, many friends and discourage her for getting emotionally serious and dating just one boy.  Having said that, you have welcomed this particular boy into your home already.  It would be less than kind to reject him as a friend for your daughter.  Encourage them both to have lots of friends and explain that in doing so they will be learning what they like and don't like in a person.  What they learn now will be part of the foundation for choosing a husband or wife when they are mature enough to do so later on.

And again, we would encourage you and your family to look closely at the beliefs of the religious organization(s) that you belong to and see if they are actually the truth that is written within the Bible.  After many, many years of researching most of the world's man-made religions my husband and I could not find even one that believed in the truths that are written in the Bible.  We decided then that our time would be much more well spent talking to God and studying the Bible rather than sitting in a building listening to someone else speak.

Thank you for your question.  We are always happy to help as we are able.
The Hornes

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Mel and Guyna Horne

Expertise

Anyone can read the Bible but sometimes it helps to have someone assist with the understanding (Acts 8:26-40). Truth comes from God through his holy spirit of truth (Jn. 16:13, 1Cor. 2:12), which is available to anyone who believes, repents and seeks God fervently and wholeheartedly, with humility, faith and persistence (Mat. 7:7, Deu. 4:29, Isa. 66:2, Jas. 4:1-10, Phil. 2:12). Truth is not limited to, or by, mans religious organizations, church traditions, popular beliefs or personal opinions (Jn. 8:32, 14:6). We will try to help anyone who is trying to understand scripture or Christian living. [Please, no homework questions.]

Experience

Over 50 years of personal study of the entire Bible (Deu. 8:3, Mat. 4:4, 2Tim. 3:16, Deu. 4:12, Rev. 22:18). B.A. in Theology with continuing studies in religious history and education (2Tim 2:15, 1Ths. 5:21). Years of informal counseling of young adults, teens, couples, and prisoners, based on scripture and on actual life experience in the world outside of classrooms and church buildings and including a long and happy marriage. After years with religious organizations, we are Non-denominational. Publications:http://thechurchofgodinamerica.com/index.htm; http://www.reocities.com/Athens/Forum/1611/,books on God's Holy Days, Lying, the Sacred Names Doctrine; articles on Terrorism and Islam, the Gospel of Christ, Preparing Yourself for Life in the Kingdom of Christ; What Happens After Death.

Organizations
Organizations are of men, not God. While God may use some of them to facilitate his plan, organizations train their people to follow, not to lead. God was able to create the whole Creation, as we see it, in only six days, because he did not use a committee. Ten years after 9/11, the only thing approved for construction at the New York site was a mosque. We are not affiliated with any denominational or institutional organization. We are members of the body of Christ (Rom. 12:5).

Education/Credentials
"If a man would teach others, he must first teach himself." - Source Unknown. B.A. in Theology, over 50 years of personal study, the last 12 of which have been full time study and research resulting in publication of several books and many articles.

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