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Isaac Bondzie wrote:

Hi, guys —

I am 19 years old and in a relationship which I strongly believe could lead to marriage.

  • Is it right for me as a Christian to be in a relationship at this time?
  • Secondly, if I have kissed her or had sex with her, is this forgivable since there is a high probability of me marrying her?

Isaac

  { At age 19, is this appropriate dating behavior for a Christian and can this be forgiven? }

Mary Ann replied:

Isaac,

It is morally wrong to have marital intercourse before marriage. All sins are forgivable, with true repentance.

You need to look at dating relationships in an adult way. We should not seriously date people that we wouldn't consider marrying.

Mary Ann

Mike replied:

Dear Isaac,

I'll let my colleagues speak for themselves but here's my two cents.

I have a niece who is 21 so can relate to an extent.

Besides, academic studies and work, your focus should be making and building friendships and getting involved in various sports and social activities. One of the sad things about your generation, is there is a cultural tendency for teenagers to grow up too fast.

Having sexual relationships and Marriage go hand in hand. As my mother told me before she passed away:

"Marriage and raising a family is a life-time commitment."

Her point was, it is not one of those things you take casually. It should not be seen as:

"I'll try it, and if I like it, we will have a family."

This attitude is one of the reasons, I believe, the divorce rate is so high in the United States.

Marriage is a lifetime commitment that:

  1. requires the husband to give 100 percent of himself to his wife and their children and
  2. requires his wife to give 100 percent of herself to her husband and their children.

When lived out correctly, it can bring:

  • great joy
  • great memories
  • great stories
  • many new family members, and
  • new friends and neighbors.

Yes, it has its pains and sacrifices, but certainly not to the extent that the mainstream T.V. and media portray it.

It mimics Jesus' lifetime sacrifice for us and our salvation.

  • Do you know this girlfriend enough to know whether she is willing to make this type of lifetime sacrifice?

I'm not discouraging Marriage at all; 90 percent of the population are called to the married life;
it's God's plan for many. The key is understanding the commitment involved so you don't end up as a casualty of divorce.

Any sin is always forgivable and you should bring it to Confession, especially, if you have had sexual relations with her before marriage, as the conjugal embrace is intended within marriage, not outside of it. Concupiscence at your age can be a struggle, but it's worth waiting. If this is a tough area for you, check out our FAQ page.

I do have a concern that your previous sexual relationships with this girlfriend will distort your objectivity of what is best for both of you: You'll tend to think with your emotions (or what makes you feel good) rather than with your head.

Seeing you are a Christian, I would encourage you to pray the Rosary on a regular basis.
It is a Scriptural prayer where we meditate on the life of Jesus and Mary, his Mother.

Ask Our Lord for His guidance and seek female friendships who are willing to wait for marriage and have solid Catholic values.

I also recommend you talk to your local priest or pastor about this issue. He may have some ideas of parish ministries where you can develop some fine female friendships ... and who knows : )

Hope this helps,

Mike

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