The 700 Club with Pat Robertson


Bring It On: Love, Marriage, and Sex


Love

Sex

 

Marriage

Divorce and Life Afterwards

 

 

I’m currently studying in Turkey, and one day I hope to move here or the Middle East. I met a guy that I’m attracted to, and we share a lot of the same interests; however, he is Muslim. Nothing has started and nothing will, but is it a sin to be attracted to him -- to be attracted to non-Christians?


Let’s face it: he’s a man; you’re a woman. It’s not a sin to be female with a male. But let me tell you, don’t get married to a Muslim. You will be treated as a second class person. They will take the rights away from you. If you have children, they’re liable to take your children away from you. It is a hellish situation for a Christian woman or an American woman to get involved in a marriage with somebody from one of these other cultures that treats women like dirt, and you just don’t need it. You may be physically attracted; but remember, that will happen to you later on. So don’t do it.

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My husband and I have been married for five years, and throughout our marriage, he has had trouble holding down job after job. When something happens, it takes him forever to start looking again. He blames his habits on his dad. We lost an apartment three years ago because of this and have struggled since. How do I get him moving?

Somewhere along the way, he was programmed to fail. His father may have said, “You’re no good, you’ll never make it; you’ll never be a success.” He drilled that into that little boy when he was just growing up. Parents do that, and it’s just horrible. But anyhow, your husband now has a failure complex. He’s afraid to compete, because he’s afraid he’s going to fail. Consequently, he won’t get into business. So he doesn’t start, and therefore he gets fired, therefore he doesn’t want to go try it again. He’s reacting to withdrawal from the pain of that situation. Somehow he’s got to get programmed again.

I had a young man that I dealt with some years ago, who was all down in the dumps. I said to him, “When you were young, your father used to tell you [that] you were a loser, didn’t he?” He said, “Yes.” I said, “Let me tell you something. Your old man’s a liar.” All of a sudden, you could see his shoulders get back.

Somebody’s got to counsel with him to the fact that his old man was a liar. If he doesn’t do that, he will have that forever. There’s nothing that a wife can do to change it, unless you get to the root of the problem.

 

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My husband of five years is addicted to computers and the Internet. So our one-year-old daughter and I are both ignored. We hardly ever communicate, and we’ve lost our family life. I’m now in love with another guy who is unhappy in his marriage, too. We love each other and feel we’re the perfect match, but we’re bound to our families, because of our values. Are we sinning? What should we do?

I know that’s a tough thing, but the answer is yes, that’s a type of adultery. It’s intellectual adultery if nothing else. Your husband has done a terrible thing. But it may be it’s not too late to bring him back. You didn’t say he was addicted to pornography, which is much harder to break. He just likes to mess with computers. What you need to do is to sit down and say, “Listen, I love you. I married you. We have a daughter together. You have responsibilities. I’m going to insist on it, or else I’m going to consider this as construction desertion, and you have deserted me, and I’m going to leave you." I think on a thing like you can say, basically, he has deserted you. But that’s stretching a point, very frankly. Get somebody who is a counselor. There must be some pastor or someone that you can turn to who would sit down and talk to him. But something has got to wake him. This is a stupid thing, to throw away your marriage to sit at some computer keyboard and punch out things on a computer screen. That’s ridiculous.

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I’m a divorced father with a seven-year-old son. I failed miserably the first time I chose a wife. What do you think are the most important qualities I should be looking for this time around? How will I know if I’m making a good decision?

You need a compatible background. I think the most important thing is compatibility in your faith -- that you both are going in the same direction. “Can two walk together except they’d be agreed?” If one is out looking for money, and worldliness, and materialism and acquisition of possessions, and the other is trying to serve mankind and serve God, you’re going to constantly have struggles. So you need to have somebody that shares the dreams of life that you have. I think that’s more important. The second thing, they say opposites attract. That isn’t true. Studies show that if somebody comes from an opposite background than you that there are going to be clashes all the time. You need to find somebody who has a similar background to yours, whatever that background is. I think that’s very important.

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I met a man about a week ago, and he already wants us to get married. We have the same spiritual beliefs, and he says if we keep Jesus in our marriage, it will not fail. I do believe that, but the problem is we’ve only known each other for a week. We don’t want to have a sexual relationship while we’re dating. Is it a smart idea to marry so quickly?

Unless an angel from Heaven comes and tells you to do it, don’t. That guy sounds to me to be terribly unstable. You’d better do some checking with him and who he is, how many wives he had before you, what he’s into. He sounds just totally unstable.

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I’m a 46-year-old divorced woman engaged to a 56-year-old who has been divorced 20 years. His ex-wife continues to interfere in our relationship. Her latest trick is to move right next door to him. It’s been a year, and he still hasn’t moved as he promised. I don’t who to be madder at. How can I get him to end his relationship with her?

I wouldn’t try. Go get somebody else. She’s got first claim on him, and he ought to get back together with her. You ought to be praying that somehow that marriage will come back together again. She wants him, and I don’t why he left her, but whatever it is, she’s got first dibs. She was there first. So why don’t you just kind of quietly move out of that relationship and go someplace else? You will never be free from this lady, because she loves him, and she wants him. She considers that he’s still her husband.

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I’ve recently let Jesus Christ into my life and decided to start living for God. I feel better, but sometimes I’m worried about marriage. It scares me to think about my future wife asking about my past sins. Should I share my ugly past with her if that time comes? I just feel haunted by my past, and I’m afraid to tell anyone except God.

Pat Robertson

God knows about it, and the Bible says, “As far as the east is from the west, that’s how far I’ve taken your sins from you.” It’s gone. It’s cleansed by the blood. The Lord talks about having your conscience cleansed from dead works that you might serve the living God. The answer is, no, you don’t tell all of your sordid past. All you have to do is say, “I lived as a sinner, and I had a wild life.”.

Terry Meeuwsen

Walk in the freedom God has given you.

Pat Robertson

Yes, but, I mean, don’t think you’ve got to tell your spouse every dirty thing you did before you got saved. Don’t even think about it.

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I am a Christian, and I just found out that my girlfriend is Wiccan. We should probably break up, but I’m just afraid I’ll ruin the chance of leading her to Christ. I love her, but should I still end the relationship? What should I do?

The Bible says, “What fellowship has Christ with Belial?” And Belial is another name for the devil. Those who are involved in witchcraft, demons, evil spirits—Wiccans, they think they’re good. They’re white witches, and it’s okay, but it’s not. Get out before it gets you. You say, “Well, I’m strong.” Well, you may be, but I would break it off. I think it’s a big mistake. And you say, “Well, I’m going to lead her to the Lord.” Well, maybe. But as long as you’ve got a romantic relationship, and there is a bond between you, you’re joining yourself to somebody who has in turn joined to the devil. And I don’t think that’s too good an idea.

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My wife is constantly flirting with men. I know she's harmless with her comments, but lately I'm beginning to have my doubts. How can I let her know she's hurting my feelings? I want her to stop, but I don't want to appear insecure in our marriage?

I think you had better tell her, 'Look, dear, do you have any idea what this is doing to me?' The reason that women flirt is that it builds their self-esteem. It is an ego thing. I am attractive to men and I can put some moves on and these guys really go for me. It starts out harmless, but there will be some men who will think it is more than a casual flirtation. They are going to start hitting hard. Next thing you know, Mrs. Flirty wife will find herself mixed up in an affair.

You need to tell her. Husbands and wives have got to be frank. You have got to say, 'Listen, I understand what you are doing, and I understand that what you need is self-affirmation. I love you. I will affirm you all you need, but what you are doing hurts me, because I committed my life to you with vows and you've committed your life to me. You don't belong to all of the men you happen to see along the way. You belong to me, and I belong to you. We are committed each other. You need to go over what it is that you have done.' Forsaking all others is what at least some of the vows say.

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I was married for 23 years when my husband left me and our children. He says he never loved me. Now he seems as happy as can be, boasting that he cant wait to find quote the one. Is it wrong for me to pray that his new relationships fail? Im still deeply hurt. Is there healing for me?

There is if you let it go. Your husband is deeply, emotionally flawed. There is no question. And you should regard him as somebody who is slightly mentally morally sick. Anybody who does this kind of thing and says, “Oh, I never loved you, and I’m going to find the one.” It’s absurd. So if somebody is flawed, and he obviously is, you don’t need to have resentment, nor do you have to pray that he’ll be fouled up in his next. You leave all that in God’s hands. And believe you, God will bring plenty of bad things in his life without you helping. So just let it go and praise God and say, “Lord, I love you.” Fill your life with the goodness of the Lord.

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If a couple has never consummated their marriage, are they considered married in the eyes of God? A friend of mine recently had her marriage annulled and said that it was okay since they hadn’t had sex. Is this true?

The church has certainly acknowledged annulments in terms of a marriage that was never consummated. You can’t really have a true marriage. “For this cause shall a man leave his mother and father and cleave to his wife, and the twain shall be one flesh.” That obviously has to do with the sexual bond, which is, again, for companionship, fellowship and also procreation of the race. If one partner or party is unable to consummate the marriage, the church has certainly acknowledged. I believe they are correct in saying, “Well, that marriage never really was bonded, and therefore it could be annulled.” I don’t see anything wrong with that.

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My husband is 24, and he worked with an 18-year-old girl. She just left to go back to college, but she still calls and writes to him on a regular basis. He’s never had a friend like this. When I say I don’t like it, he says I should trust him. Am I just paranoid or should he put a stop to this relationship?

He should put a stop, but I’m not sure nagging him is the way to do it. The trouble is this girl has got an attachment to him. It’s easy for a kid her age to get a crush on somebody that’s older, and that’s what’s happening. That crush is going to want to express itself in more than platonic ways sooner or later, and he’s going to be enticed, because he is, I guess, a virile male. It may be that you can find some friend of his who would say, “Look, Charlie, this thing isn’t right, and you’ve got to break it off.” Adultery can be physical [but] it can also be mental. It can emotional. It can be an emotional tie, which is just as bad, in my opinion.

 

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I occasionally work late with my coworker. We both are happily married. As we left together late one night, he walked me to my car. As I opened my door, he leaned over and kissed me on the mouth. He walked away as if nothing happened. Should I tell my husband?

You don't want the husband storming into the office and physically assaulting the guy and getting arrested. It wasn't your fault. You didn't do anything. It was unexpected. This guy is trying to see what he can get away with. You don't need some philanderer hitting on you. This is a classic example of sexual harassment. It shouldn't happen.

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Pat, my husband has not told me that he loves me in months. When I ask him about it, he says people that need to hear "I love you" must be insecure about their marriages. Now I find I don't say much anymore either because I am tired of having my feelings hurt. How many times should we say and hear "I love you"?

There are a lot of ways that you can say 'I love you.' look at his nonverbal communication. What does he do for you? Does he bring you presents? Does he take you out? Does he hug you? Does he wash the dishes or do something that shows affection? Or does he totally ignore you? It is a question of a lot of activities besides just coming out and saying, 'I love you, dear. I love you, dear. I love you, dear.'

Nevertheless, all of us need to understand that those words are very important. Unfortunately, that term has gotten to be cheapened. You hear 'love you, love you, love you, love you,' and it doesn't mean anything. If it is said, it should mean something. It has great meaning.

I think couples should understand the emotional needs of each other. That is one of the big things about marriage is communication. So many people don't try to understand the needs of the other party. What does the wife need? What does the husband need? What are they doing? What is surrounding them that would cause them to feel the way they do? Put yourself in the other person's place.

Maybe marriage counseling wouldn't hurt. But before you call in the cops, why don't you just make a list of the nice things that he does, and at the same time do the same thing. You don't have to be verbal, but start doing some things and surround him with love. Don't be 'my feelings are hurt' kind of thing. Keep on giving and loving and see what happens. You can elicit responses from people if you give the right moment. You are showing it, and I think it will work out. If not, get marriage counseling. It doesn't sound like it is terribly serious, but do what you can.

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How can I get my husband to talk to me? He comes home and never says a word. He won't even discuss the Lord with me. I am so afraid that we are drifting apart.

You know, the greatest problem in marriage is communication. We talk about sex and money, but it is just talking. Men, women like to have somebody talk to them. Think of them in their home, especially with young children. They have got these little kids all day long, or they are out working hard, too. They want some companionship, somebody who will share their joys and their griefs and talk. A lot of guys just come home, ask where dinner is, eat, sit down and watch television, do whatever they do, and go to bed. That is not a marriage.

I don't know what you could do except get a marriage counselor to help with it. If they won't talk, one thing you can do to get their attention is to say, 'If you don't talk to me, I am out of here!' That might wake them up. It is a very difficult thing, but communication in marriage is the most important attribute.

You have to talk, and you have to let people talk, especially when you are raising children. Children want to be listened to. That means you have to take time to listen, because it takes them a while to get out what they want to say. They need to know that you are sitting there patiently--not impatiently--and you want to hear what they have to say.

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I have been looking for single women in nightclubs because there are so few in my church. Do you have advice on how I can meet Christian women?

Go to another church. What do you want to do? You go to a singles bar to pick up ladies who are looking for one-night stands. That isn't exactly where you are going to find the godly types. You might. You might stumble across one in some singles bar. It is possible they are lonely and are looking for somebody, but there are churches that are absolutely loaded with young people. There are churches that have classes for young adults. There are churches that have classes for singles. And they are big, thriving churches. You say you are in a church where there aren't any particularly young people. It sounds like you have got an older congregation. I wasn't being facetious. Go to another church, if that's what your need is, where you will find Christian women.

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I stayed loyal to my wife even though she fought alcoholism and emotional problems. She is now living with another man while our divorce is pending. Our children would like for us to try one more time. Do you think my thirty years of loyalty were enough, and should I move on?

You ought to get a medal: America's Husband of the Year. It is your call on a thing like this. You read in the book of Hosea about somebody who was told to go marry a woman given to harlotry. She went into prostitution and her husband bought her back again. It was a story of God's faithfulness to the people of Israel. That was the symbolism.

There is something seriously wrong with this woman. She has an addictive personality. She needs professional help very badly. She needs to get set free from these things. There might be some demonic involvement, but certainly she has a warped personality.

What do you want to do? I think that you are free to leave if you wish. You have done everything you have to do. Gomer [in the book of Hosea] was out with all of these men, and her husband went and brought her home. That was God's love.

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My husband is in an adulterous relationship. I have forgiven him, but he says although he loves me, that 20 percent of his affection is still with this other woman. He doesn't want to divorce me, but wants to include our 8-year-old child in his relationship with this other woman and her kids. My husband is not saved and not open to the Word. What can I do?

Adultery is flaunted openly. I have heard of people who have brought their girlfriends on a family vacation. It is one of those things that you have to tell him, 'Look, I love you, but I am not going to stand for it. I will not permit this to happen and corrode my life and the life of my child. Either you give up this other relationship, or we are going to be separated. I will file for divorce. 'I just don't think there is any other way. God can do a miracle and you should be open to the miracle. 'I love you. I will welcome you back. I hope our marriage resumes. I want us to stay together as a family. But I can't have this. I don't think any woman should have to submit herself to this kind of indignity. I know in history, certainly in the continent, England, and other places, this seemed to be more common than we would like to think. I guess as well in South America and Spain. They have girlfriends. The wife and children are one part of their life; the girlfriends are another. But I don't think in a Christian situation that should be.

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My Christian husband insists on traveling out of state, against my wishes, to attend a bachelor party with non-Christians in Las Vegas. He says there will be no pornography or sinful activity there. I still think he shouldn't go. Who is right?

The bachelor parties are normally orgies. They have strippers and lap dancers. A lot of people get drunk and there are dirty jokes. The answer is that there is just no way that someone is having a bachelor party in Las Vegas. If he is really all that holy and righteous, let him do it someplace else. But these bachelor parties are usually bacchanal revels. I don't know if you can keep your husband from doing it, but you can certainly protest strongly. He says there is going to be no pornography. He's living in a fantasy world. Maybe you have got a friend who is a little bit more worldy-wise who could say to him, 'Look. Here is what you are going into. You are supposed to be a Christian. You shouldn't have anything to do with this.' Wives can't exercise but so much authority over their husband.

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Pat, you and Dede obviously have had a successful marriage. What, in your opinion, are the keys to keeping a marriage loving and lasting?

The first thing is having a sympathetic and understanding husband. The second thing is to keep communication open. Seriously, you have to be frank and honest and talk to each other, and you have to love each other. You have to let annoyances roll off your back. You can't make a big deal of it. You have to realize that the two of you are in it together. You are to build a foundation between the two of you. You build it in love and understanding, but at the same time, you work at it. Husbands need to be nice to their wives. They need to try to bless them, and they need to try to be understanding. I think it is important to understand women. That is not an easy job!

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I feel led by the Lord to help infertile couples and have recently finished a successful surrogacy. I would like to do more. This seems to be causing a great deal of controversy and other people are saying my actions are an act of adultery. Since I did not engage in sexual activity, is being a surrogate adultery?

Surrogate is the idea that you implant an embryo. There isn't anything wrong with that. Look back at Abraham and Sarah. Sarah says, 'I can't have a child. I am infertile. Take my maidservant and you have a child by her.' That apparently was OK. In our way of looking at things, that would have been adultery. In terms of having an embryo implanted where you take a child to term, this must be very, very hard on a person emotionally to feel that child within them and feel all of the quickening of life, to give birth, and then give the child away. That's what I think you are talking about. That is a sacrifice. To say it is a sin would be terrible. There is certainly nothing sinful about it.

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My Christian husband continues to smoke marijuana, stay out late, and use bad language. His interest in God is minimal. He said for me to leave if I didn't like it. We have three teenagers to worry about the examples set for them. Should I leave?

I question about that 'Christian' husband. I don't think he is a Christian. I don't think he knows what it is like. If you know Jesus, you will live for Jesus, you will take on the characteristics of Jesus -- you will be teachable and humble and you will be filled with love and you will want to live a holy, godly life. Anyone who is as arrogant as this man, I don't think he has the Lord. I don't know where Christian comes from. He belonged to a church someplace, which doesn't mean a lot to me. I think that's what it amounts to.

Now, this is an unbelieving spouse. Is he making it tough for you to live? I don't know what your financial situation is. You have three kids to take care of. What do the children want to do? Do they want to stay with their daddy and watch him smoke pot and use bad language, or do they want to go with you? How will you support yourself after it is all over? These are practical questions about what you should do. Recognize the consequences of something like this.

More than anything, you should pray for your husband's salvation. More than anything, you should pray for reconciliation, where there will be peace in your home and for God to do a miracle. God is always -- and I say this every time -- God is always on the side of restoration, not of breaking things up. He's always on the side of restoration, so if at all possible, that is what should happen, and perhaps you should give it a try.

If he keeps this up, you can't have your children exposed to marijuana and coarse language. It is being imprinted on their impressionable minds. If you have teenagers who want to leave daddy and go off with mommy someplace and maybe live in reduced circumstances, you had better do a reality check across the board before you jump.

As far as the Scripture goes, I think your husband is making it impossible for you to stay with him. I think he is making it so difficult that he is essentially throwing you out of the house. From a scriptural standpoint, you have a 'right to get out.' But again, think of the consequences.

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You said that men need sex to keep their marriage together. I'm a wife who has been ill with a female problem that causes pain and discomfort during intercourse. I want my marriage to stay together. If what you said is true, what should I do to keep my marriage alive sexually?

Pat Robertson
I think it would be appropriate to visit a gynecologist and see if you can't get whatever is necessary to deal with your problem. I think a healthy marriage involves a healthy sexual relationship between man and woman. The Bible says they will become one flesh. I think there is a joining together of mind and a joining together of spirit and a joining together of body. I think the body is the one we emphasize the most, and that should really be the least important. I think a marriage can survive without sexual activity, but I think if it is possible for you to facilitate, I think you ought to go to a competent gynecologist or somebody who is familiar with hormonal treatments and see what can be done.

Terry Meeuwsen
There are many conditions that can happen to either husband or wife that would make sexual relations impossible.

Pat Robertson
Prostate cancer and operations thereof render men impotent. It is a terrible thing. However, your marriage goes on, and you can still have love and all kinds of affection. The most important joining together is spiritual. You can always pray together, and that is as important as anything.

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My Christian husband is infatuated with (addicted to?) computer pornography. He says it is harmless and educational, but I say it is ruining our sexual intimacy. Who is right and why?

The most powerful human instrument of sexual desire is the mind, not the genitals. To the man addicted to hard-core pornography, real physical sex with a real woman pales beside the mental eroticism found on the Internet. Your husband is comparing you, his wife, to the women he sees on the Internet. These women, like the men and women who appear in pornographic magazines or movies, are carefully chosen for their seductive bodies and glamorous faces. You are being pitted against synthetic beauty, plastic surgery, and trick photography. The women used in pornography commit unspeakable acts, not because they like to do so, but because they are pawns of some of the most evil human beings on the planet. The utter depravity being shown on the Internet is beyond belief, so don't be deceived. There is absolutely nothing educational about computer porn. That is nonsense. Your husband is kidding himself, and he needs to be set free from his addiction to pornography.

Several years ago, a survey in Fortune magazine estimated that approximately 6 percent of the executives in America are sex addicts. Ironically; the survey indicated that a high percentage of these addicts worked as investment bankers and watched pornography while on the job! This is a costly problem in many American corporations since so many workers are surfing the Net, obsessed with obscene materials, engaging in illicit chat-room "conversations," or passing along smutty jokes, instead of concentrating on doing their jobs. Besides the proliferation of filth and perversion, the price tag in dollars and cents for lost work hours is astronomical.

You must help your husband get some Christian counseling immediately. He needs to be delivered from the spirit of lust, which underlies his obsession with pornography, and you need to insist on it. His addiction is destroying the sexual intimacy of your marriage and will ultimately ruin your marriage completely: This is a serious situation. Our counselors report incidents of husbands who prefer pornography to their wives. The wives say, "It is either the porn or me," and the men choose the porn. They would rather have the fantasy world of cybersex than a real relationship. What a travesty of the sexual intimacy God intends married couples to enjoy!

Your husband is committing mental adultery. If he won't repent and seek professional help, you should realize that your marriage is over.

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I’m a Christian woman who would like to get married. I was always taught that the man was supposed to initiate the relationship, but I’m getting tired of waiting. Do you think men would appreciate being pursued? And is it wrong for a woman to take the initiative?

Well, the object is to get them to pursue you until you catch them. And the clever woman knows how to initiate something. And I’m sure I can’t explain to you feminine wiles on this program in a couple of minutes. Use the innate talents that God has given you. First of all, if you’re going to catch fish, you’ve got to go where the fish are. So you need to go where men are who are single. And there are plenty of them out there who would like to meet an attractive lady who shares their values. So go places. And don’t be reluctant to be friendly and see what happens. If a man thinks you’re chasing him, then he’s going to run. So you’ve got to let him think he’s chasing you. But, obviously, you’re going to be in control, ladies.

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My husband was delivered from his porn addiction last year. Now he’s watching all this filthy stuff on prime time television like pro-wrestling and Howard Stern. He says that since he was delivered, he can’t fall back into it again. Is that true? How easy is it for men to slip back into an old habit if they’ve been delivered from it?

It’s about as easy as a dog going back to his vomit. That’s what the Bible says. And the Bible also makes it clear that when a devil is cast out of a man, he wanders about in desert places and he finds seven more worse than himself. And they come back and they find that house swept and vacant, and they come in, in the latter states worse than before. Can you slip back in if you’ve been, quote, “delivered from porn?” You better believe you can. And you watch Howard Stern and some of the nasty stuff that that goes on there, and you’re asking for it. But today, good grief, they’ve got programs that have every thing that you can imagine, all kinds of sexual intercourse and nudity and filthy language. I mean, it’s gross. But he’s free of the Internet. Big deal... The problem is, the devil is very seductive, and we have to realize that he is a seducer. And this is seducing. It’s seductive. He’s got to get free from that. Jesus said we’re supposed to love the Lord our God with all of our heart and all of our soul and all of our strength and all of our mind. And those things have got to be turned unto the Lord.

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“Because of a disease called systemic sclerosis, my husband and I have given up on sexual intimacy. I only have a few more years to live, and I can’t bear the thought of him finding fulfillment with another woman, even after I’m gone. I cry every night thinking he’ll go on with his life without me. Is this jealousy? How can I get rid of these feelings so I can enjoy the remaining time I have with my husband?”

Enjoy the remaining time you have with your husband, and don’t be spending your time worrying about what he’s going to do. If you’re dead, you’re going to be with Jesus, we hope. And if he wants to have a good time here with somebody else, I mean, be happy for him. But he will find somebody else, and he won’t be lonely. You don’t want him to be lonely the rest of his life. I don’t understand about this sclerosis and you can’t have sexual intimacy. I don’t know enough about the medical ramifications of that to say why you can’t, whether this is a voluntary decision or something that the doctors have imposed on you. Enjoy each other. I mean, live life to the fullest with one another. Don’t be worrying what’s going to happen in the future, like, “Five years from now, he’s going to die or I’m going to die.” God might heal you. You might not have that happen. So enjoy it. And the Bible says, “Rejoice always. In everything give thanks. Rejoice always. Again I say rejoice.” Spend your time praising the Lord and enjoying life, whatever’s left of it. And enjoy your husband. Enjoy each other. And I don’t know about this sexual intimacy thing, and you sure better get a second opinion from some doctor. You may be making a bad decision on that one.

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A friend of mine just told me he wanted to be more than friends. The problem is, he’s 22 years old and I’m 34. Is it a good idea to get involved with someone 12 years younger than me? Will our maturity levels eventually even out as we get older, or is the age gap too big?

The age gap will diminish as you get older. Twelve years will become a smaller fraction at 60 than it is at 34. So it’s your call. Is this guy just playing you because he figures that you’re kind of cast away? You didn’t say if you’re divorced or you’re a single mom or who you are. And does that mean that you’re somebody that’s easy or is somebody he really is attracted to? I don’t know enough about his motives or your motives or your needs or desires. There isn’t anything really wrong with it if you love each other and are compatible in a number of areas. But be careful he’s not looking for a mother. If it’s a wife, okay, or girlfriend or whatever. But if he’s looking for a mother and you’re a surrogate mother, look out.

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In my teens, having sex seemed to be the most important thing. As a result, I contracted the herpes virus. Is this God’s way of punishing me? Can I be healed, or am I just another example of what not to end up like?

Kristi Watts

I think, so oftentimes, we tend to blame a lot of things on God. But the wonderful thing about God is that He gives us free will and free choice. We make our choices. But what comes with choice is a great responsibility, good things or bad things, because there’s always consequences. So if we do something irresponsible like maybe have sex frequently, and not just have sex frequently, but unprotected sex, then here are consequences to that. And for this person, it was herpes. Now, I don’t think that God’s punishing you. I just think that you put yourself out there, and that’s what happened. Can God heal you? Totally. You can ask for the Lord to heal you, and He can. But maybe that’s something that you might go through.

Gordon Robertson

I think you reap what you sow, and there are consequences to actions. And some of those consequences tend to live on with us. Now, I think the issue for healing is, “Can you forgive yourself?” A lot of times, when I hear people blaming God for stuff, what’s really behind that is they’re blaming themselves. And are you blaming yourself for your actions in your teen years, young adult years, and now you think you’re cursed forever? You need to get to that point where you understand God’s love and His forgiveness and what Jesus did on the cross. And the same sacrifice that paid for all your sins is the same sacrifice that heals all your diseases. Now, He takes away all the consequences of sin. And the more you dwell on that truth, the more your thought processes change. That’s why Jesus said, “Repent. Change your thinking. For the Kingdom of God is at hand.” That’s how He announced His own ministry. We need to change our thinking to get in line with what He’s done. When we do that, we get out of all this “I’m under a curse, and God is punishing me,” and all that Old Testament covenant stuff, and get into the new covenant, which is “My grace is sufficient for you.” And then you’ll see the answer to your prayer.

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Sometimes my husband is gone for days at a time without calling. He won’t share the access codes for his laptop and cell phone with me, and he has a separate PO box that he doesn’t think I know about. Our bills aren’t getting paid, and we’re about to lose our home. He says a wife should just trust her husband. Is it my right to demand answers?

You’d better believe it’s your right. You’re there together. You aren’t under the foot of your husband. You were taken out of his rib. You’re supposed to walk through life together. And, of course, you share these things. It doesn’t mean you need to meddle in all of his finances, but if you’re not getting your bills paid, you may be on some of those mortgage documents. You may be signing the IRS forms. That, particularly, is devastating if your taxes aren’t being paid, or you said the wrong thing, or they’re declared fraudulent, or something like that, or you just sign blindly. The next thing you know, they’ll come back on you, because your name’s on the document. So, of course, you need to insist that he tell you. And if he doesn’t, you may be coming to the parting of the ways.

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My boyfriend got me pregnant. He left, because he didn’t want to deal with it. Now I’m left with what to do with this child, yet he can just choose to walk away like nothing happened. If the sin was committed by both of us, why does God give the boy the option of choosing to share in the responsibilities of unplanned pregnancies? I don’t have a choice. Is that fair?

There are a couple of issues that your letter raises. First of all, what do you do with the child? Well, my clear advice is have the child. If you are capable of raising the child, by all means, do so. If not, find a Christian home that you can allow to adopt this wonderful baby who’d been looking and praying for a child to love. And if you want to get on with your life, do something else. By all means, give the child up, but don’t have an abortion. That’s number one. Number two, it’s just the way our bodies are made. Women are equipped to bear children and to nurture them, and men are supposed to be providers. But, nevertheless, they don’t have the responsibility women do. And it’s just the biological fact of the way we were made. But you said you and your boyfriend both sinned, “how come he gets away with it?” The truth is, he’s not going to get away with sin. You don’t ever get away with sin. You say, “Well, he’s off scot-free.” No, he’s not. He’ll be bearing some consequence sometime along the way. Or if he doesn’t repent, he’s going to wind up a lifetime in Hell. Not a lifetime, but an eternity in Hell. And so there’s always an ultimate punishment. It may not happen in this life, but it will happen. And in his case, the chances are it’ll happen earlier. If he’s this irresponsible in relation to a child that he’s fathered, then he will also be irresponsible in a job, in business and other things, and he will go through a succession of problems that’ll be worse than what you’ve got to deal with. On the other hand, this can be a blessing to you. This little baby can turn your life around. It can be a wonderful, wonderful blessing, and you’ll thank God 20 years down the road that He gave you this marvelous child. Consider the child a blessing from God. But you are learning to repent, and you’re saying, ”God, I sinned. I did something wrong, and I ask your forgiveness.” So, in a sense, before God, you stand righteous, because the Lord has forgiven you. And take what seems to be a problem and turn it into a blessing, and watch what happens.

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My wife’s mother lives in England and was rushed to the hospital recently. We flew over there, but it turned out to be a false alarm. However, my wife decided it would be good to visit her mom for two months out of the year. Two months turned into six months. Now my wife visits me six weeks out of the year. My mother-in-law couldn’t survive a move to the United States. What do we do? Can our marriage survive these long separations?

I can’t tell you what your marriage can survive. But I think your wife is sinning against the Lord doing this. The book of Genesis says, “For this cause shall a man leave his mother and father and cleave to his wife. The twain shall be one flesh.” And they leave their homes where they were, cut those relationships and unite with their spouse. Your wife is really sinning against God. And the truth is, she thinks more of her mother in England than she thinks of you. Can it survive? I wouldn’t give any high odds on survival. And in this case, you can say she’s abandoned you. She’s gone away. You haven’t abandoned her. And if that’s the way she wants to do it, then I think you’re free along the way to find yourself somebody else.

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I was unfaithful to my husband of 20 years. He’s just moved out. He told our daughter he left to heal his emotional wounds. He said he’s forgiven me for my infidelity but doesn’t trust me anymore. What are the chances he’ll ever really heal? Should I wait for him to come back or get on with my life?

Wait for him. Pray for him. Love him. Let him know you love him and that that thing’s going to work out. It will work out. He needs a little time to get over this shock. Well, we leave you today with these words from First Corinthians, chapter 16, “Let all that you do be done with love.”

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I have a friend who is literally shopping for a bride from overseas. He picks a girl from a company list and calls them. He then asks them personal and sexual questions so that he can see if they are, quote, ‘compatible.’ I think this sounds wrong and he’s mistreating this women. What do you think? Is this a valid way of finding a wife?

It sounds like your friend is a voyeur who’s playing games, and he might as well be doing phone sex, what you’re talking about. I see nothing wrong with looking for a bride in some of the countries where there are women who are looking for husbands. But I think the most important compatibility is spiritual, what is the spiritual attitude of somebody. I remember Billy Graham said a few years, and I endorse the statement emphatically, that if you take an unbeliever as a mate, you’ve got the devil for your father-in-law. And you just don’t know what you’re getting from some overseas country. I mean, take something who is an idol worshipper and has demons. I mean, a lot of things can happen. I don’t know exactly what it is. But there are also some beautiful women, very dedicated women, who are living in poverty in places like Russia and the Ukraine, etcetera, who would just love to come to America. But you’ve got to also understand their motives. Are they coming because they want to be Americans, and the minute they get over here and get the right credentials, they’ll go bye-bye? I mean, it’s a dangerous game.

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I’m in love with a wonderful Christian guy who has a lot of close relationships with women. I’ve always been careful not to develop close relationships with members of the opposite sex, but he doesn’t seem to care. Is it okay to have close friends of the opposite sex if you’re in a serious relationship? Could it cause problems down the road?

I don’t exactly know what a “serious” relationship is and what you’re talking about, but certainly the idea of having friends in the opposite sex is perfectly alright. Today, men and women work together, and they don’t have to have those relationships sexual. They could be friendship. There’s nothing with friendship. But friendship, if it gets too close, can deepen into something else, and that’s just the way we are. The term is “propinquity.” Nothing wrong with [having friends]. Of course, not. But if you’re getting ready to get married and you’re engaged, I think I would cut encounters with those in the opposite sex down rather severely or your future mate will begin to be very jealous, and that doesn’t help anything.

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I’ve been married 27 years, but lately I’ve been having a difficult time with submission. Even though I have a good husband, I find myself resisting him on the most mundane things. I fantasize about being on my own and doing things my own way. What’s wrong with me? Is it common to struggle with this once in a while? What can I do to get it out of my system?

I think that’s perfectly normal, but it sounds like you’re bored and you have strivings within you. Just keep in mind the downside of this wonderful adventure you want. If you’re off on your own, you’ve got no husband, and you’re moving along in years, all of a sudden there’s nobody there for you. You say, “What have I done?” Independence is great, but when you’ve been married 27 years and built a life together, living by yourself is no picnic. Now, I would suggest a few things. Apparently your children are grown, if you had any children. Number one, I would suggest you find yourself a creative job if you want. Working nine to five is no picnic, but, nevertheless, there’s something creative to do or something you can do from home. There are literally hundreds of things that can be done with somebody who’s got skills, abilities, and energy. There’s plenty to keep you busy. The other thing I suggest is, you and your husband take off for a while. I mean, lay down the burdens, take a couple of weeks, and have some fun. Renew the romance in your life and so forth. But if you have a stirring to create and do something, well, go do it. You don’t have to leave your husband. Just do it, and it’ll enrich your marriage.

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Our pop culture today, especially media, television, magazines, seem to push this idea that we can all find a soul mate, and that there’s a soul mate out there for everyone. Is there such a thing as a soul mate? And if there is, how do we find it?

The only soul mate I know about is Jesus Christ. He is the mate of our soul, and He’s one. But I do think the Bible says God puts us together in families. And I think the family is God’s ordained plan. That’s what He said about Adam. It isn’t right that man should be alone. But I’ll find a help meet, not a soul mate, but a help meet for him, somebody who can share life’s joys and life’s troubles together. And two are better than one. So that is clearly set up in the very foundation of life This business about a soul mate, I’m not sure about that; but help meet, yes.

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This past weekend my husband and I were cleaning our garage. We got in a fight when my husband found some old love letters I’ve been keeping from a past fiancé. He thinks I should be willing to throw them away, but I think I should keep them, because they’re a part of my past and who I am. What do you think?

You decided to get married to this guy. You didn’t get married to the fiancé. You got married to your husband, and you and he have formed a life together. The part of your life that you’re holding onto is an emotional attachment to somebody you may have had a love affair with. And I don’t know how far it went beyond that, but your husband has every right to say, “You belong to me, and I belong to you. We’ve pledged to each other to live together forever, and I don’t want to share you with some dead guy or some past fiancé.” I think he’s absolutely right. That part of your life needs to be put aside. You don’t hold onto that. I’m sorry. I mean, it may sound like a treasured memento, but I don’t buy that.

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My fiancé’s mother always brings up reasons why I shouldn’t marry her son. She says stuff like, ‘You’d be better off without him,’ and, ‘Don’t let him bring you down.’ I still love him, but I’m not sure how to deal with his mom. Do you think I’m getting myself into a bad situation? Why do you think she’s being this way?

That mom may know that boy better than you do. He may be bad news, and the mother’s trying to warn you. Sometimes mothers are very protective, and they don’t want anybody to take their little baby boy away from them. But that doesn’t sound like what this is. It sounds like this mother knows what she’s talking about, and you’d be well to give heed to her advice.

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I’m getting married in the fall, and my husband and I have been discussing prenuptial agreements. Are prenuptial agreements just for pessimists with big bank accounts, or is it something that every couple should discuss? Is it true that prenuptial agreements are seeds for divorce?

Sort of like all of the above. They can be seeds for divorce. Normally they’re reserved for people who have a lot of money who are marrying somebody who doesn’t have a lot of money and to ward off fortune hunters. For example, assume somebody is a widow who was married previously to a wealthy person who left her a lot of money. So somebody comes along and says, “Wow. The pot of gold, and I want some.” A prenup would keep that from happening, because the money from her former husband should really go to his children, not to some fortune-seeker. So that kind of thing is what’s necessary, especially with any kind of a large estate. I don’t know. If two kids are just starting out in life and you’re getting married and you’re going to share together in life, I don’t know why you need a prenuptial agreement. I really don’t know what it accomplishes. And yes, it could be a seed for divorce.

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I’m married but have a reputation for being unfaithful. Several times I’ve been caught with women under the age of 18, but no charges were ever filed. My wife is very understanding and always forgives me, so why do I keep messing up? Will this plague me for the rest of my life? How do I say ‘no’ to these sexual urges?

The best way to say “no” is to say “no.” That’s for starters. But there may be something more than that. There is such a thing as a spirit of lust, and you may be inhabited by some demonic force, and you need to get delivered from it. There’s also a sexual addiction. You need some professional help on this one. But you need people who love the Lord and who can cast that thing out of you, and it sounds like that’s what you’ve got. Now, it may be that you have an excess of testosterone or something or other. I’m a great believer in good, intelligent endocrinologists. Get a blood test and find out all the various things that are surging around in your body for starters. Then you need to commit your life to Jesus Christ and give Him your heart and mind and your sex organs. Give it all to Him. And then the next thing that I think would be extremely important is to just determine in your own heart of what you’re going to do. You’re not going to keep this up. So you say, “No.” Then, finally, if it has to do with demonic, you need somebody to pray with you and cast this thing out, somebody with discernment.

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My husband is deployed with the military and so are some of the husbands of my friends. My friends are starting to act like "desperate housewives". They’re hanging around other men and joking about taking their wedding rings off until their husbands come back. How do we keep from letting loneliness get the best of us?

You need a group of people who are Christian. You need to have some focus besides your sex life. I was in a Marine detachment that came into camp Otsu in Japan. It was an Army base. The army men had gone to Korea, and we were in a training unit before we went to Korea. And I won’t bore you with all the horror stories, but there were plenty of them. These ladies didn’t wait more than a couple weeks before they were out, because they wanted to go to the club, they wanted to drink, they wanted to have parties, and these Marines were more than willing to accommodate them. And when the husbands came back, it was very wrenching to their families. You’ve got to be true to your husband. You have to do it. Sure there are separations, and separations are painful. But I think support groups are very important, and you need support groups of people who will have Christian morals and Christian ethics and not a group of the desperate housewives that say, “Let’s party and play around. I mean, after all, what are a few drinks? And so I sleep around a little bit while my husband is there. Why will he care?” It happens. I know it happens. I’ve seen it happen. But at the same time, it doesn’t have to happen. That’s how you do it. But it takes strength, and you need to have a support group.

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I have had numerous sexual partners in the past before I committed my life to the Lord. I’ve been saved for over ten years and married to a saved man now for over five years, and my husband and I have remained faithful. What does it mean in the Bible by souls being tied together, and is my soul still tied with those previous sexual partners?

Well, I don’t think so. I don’t know about souls being tied together. That’s not a reference in the Bible I’m familiar with. It says that if you’re bound to Jesus, if Jesus is living within you, you’re one with Him. And He said, “Are you going to take the body of Christ and join it to a harlot?” But that’s after you are saved and you’re one with Him. But no, I don’t think you’re bound with those previous sex partners. The thing you need to do is just once and for all confess, “Lord God, I sinned. I did these things before I knew you. Please cleanse it from me. I confess it to you. I put it away. I forsake all this. I forsake Charlie, Bill, James, whoever. I’ve had nothing more to do with them, and I renounce that lifestyle.” And then leave it there. I mean, don’t keep carrying that around with you. Live your life with your husband and enjoy it.

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My husband says he doesn’t think I’m attractive anymore. He points out the women in his adult movies and tells me I should look young and thin like that. I feel ashamed and embarrassed. I’m trying to look better and exercise more, but he says he doesn’t notice a difference. I doubt if I’ll ever look like them. Can I ever win my husband’s affection again?

If he’s already looking at adult movies, he’s hooked on porn. Those nymphets in those porn movies were selected out of thousands to get just the most shapely ones, and the chances are almost all of them have had plastic surgery. They’ve had surgical enhancement. They’ve had also trick photography, so they have everything going for them. To compare a wife to a porn star is an outrage. He’s demeaning you with that. He needs help, and he needs counseling. You will never compete with some movie goddess, especially some porn queen. Don’t try to compete. Your husband clearly, and I mean this, needs counseling. He needs somebody to sit him down and say, “Stop this.” This is an outrageous thing to do to any other human being what he’s doing to you.

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My husband will only show me affection if our children are not around. He won’t even reach out to touch my hand. I don’t want to go overboard in front of our kids, but I would like some physical contact. Is it wrong to show affection in front of the kids? How do I help my husband show more love?

One of the most important things for children is to know their mother and father love each other, and they really get a kick out of the fact that mommy and daddy hug each other and that daddy kisses mommy. It’s a great thing. Now, you don’t have to be doing sex acts in front of them, but the rest of it, in terms of showing that you love each other, says to them, “We have a stable, loving home.” This teaches them what they should do when they get to be adults. So you model out a kind of relationship that they should have. You need to explain that to your husband. If your relationship is cold, icy and standoffish, then the kids will grow up saying, “Well, we shouldn’t touch our spouse in front of children, because it’s kind of a no-no. There’s something bad about it.” You don’t want to have that. You want to show them that physical affection is a perfectly normal thing, and it’s an evidence of the love that you have for your spouse and he for you.

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I’ve been praying for the restoration of my marriage for six years. I was married to my ex-husband for 30 years, and now he’s remarried. He left me because, quote, ‘he wanted a change.’ I seem to be the only one that believes we’re going to get back together. Do you think I’m fooling myself?

It sure sounds like you are. Six years, he’s remarried . . . . The chance of him coming back to you is highly improbable. So if I were counseling you, I’d say, “Get on with your life.” If you’re filled with joy and happiness and you’ve got a successful, satisfying life, it may be that somewhere along the way, if the next spouse dumps him, he may want to come back. But, yes, you’re fooling yourself.

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I had sex before I got married. My wife, however, chose to remain a virgin. When I was single, I never thought having sex is a big deal, but my wife is still bothered by the fact that I had premarital sex. Is there something wrong with her? And what is the point of waiting to have sex until marriage anyway?

Your question raises several issues that I think I need to deal with. First of all, premarital sex, according to the Bible, is called fornication, and the apostle Paul says that this is a sin against your own body. If you’re a Christian, for example, you’re taking the body of Jesus and joining it to, Paul said, a harlot. You’re joining it in an immoral act. We have about 60 or 70-million cases of sexually-transmitted diseases for starters, the worst of which is AIDS, but we’ve got a whole lot of others that can really permanently cripple you. Not to mention the fact you might wind up siring a child, that you can ruin his life, her life or your life. So you’re talking about serious business. So, it is a big deal. But, nevertheless, now you’ve come to marriage, and you’ve said to your wife, “You are my only love. From now on, I’m going to be faithful to you.” Now, that’s the commitment. Your wife needs to realize that you have made a commitment. Whatever philandering you may have done as a youngster, the important thing is that you will be faithful to her for the rest of your lives. But what you did before marriage is not any important thing. To her, it’s very precious. Her virginity was very precious, and we commend her. You should love her for that. You need to honor her for that and not say, “Well, it’s no big deal.” It is a very big deal for somebody like that. Rather say, “Look, I’m giving myself to you, and you are the only one from now on. And please understand that I’m going to be faithful to you as long as we live.” And that should settle it. What’s in the past, you’ve just got to put it under the blood of Jesus and let it go.

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I just recently accepted a marriage proposal from my high school sweetheart. We’ve been separated for ten years, but found each other again online. The problem is I often think about him sexually. Is it wrong to desire someone I see as my husband even though it’s not legal yet?

I don’t think so. After all, you’re going to get married, and I hope you have a sexual relationship. Keep your sexual fantasies to a minimum; otherwise you’re in danger of winding up with some serious problems. The fantasies are going to bear fruit, and you will be in a physical relationship before you’re married. The Bible says it’s better to marry than to burn with lust. If you really think this is the guy, you’ve known each other for years, you want to get married, go ahead and get married. Don’t keep holding it off.

 

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I’m 34 years old and want to start dating again. I don’t get much time to socialize with people in my church, because I have two jobs, so I’m always working. In your point of view, do you think it’s okay to meet people online and start dating?

I’ve always been a little leery of what comes online. People lie. They put pictures of some movie star, when the truth is they weigh 300 pounds and that kind of thing. I think it’s an area that you open up yourself to fraud. Go where Christians are. If you’re a Christian, the Bible says, “What fellowship has Christ with Belial? Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers.” Surely, surely you’re a man, and surely there are many Christian women who would just love to meet a fine Christian man who wants to get serious.

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