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Using the Bible IRL: Case #9

EDITOR'S NOTE: Answering life questions with biblical principles is what we do every day at 412teens. The Bible has answers to just about any question we can think of (2 Timothy 3:16). If there isn't a direct answer, then we have biblical principles to help us find what's best for each of us personally. Add to that the fact that Holy Spirit was sent to help us make good decisions, and we can count ourselves well-equipped to deal with life (John 14:16, 26, 15:26).

This blog series gives practical examples of how to use the Bible to solve life's daily problems. Hopefully by seeing these cases, you will begin to understand how the Bible indeed has answers (and we can help you find them). Take note of the Bible references and check them for yourself as you read through Heath's answer to the following question.

—Cat, 412teens Editor


From a male questioner: What should I do when I feel like I'm starting to become attracted to someone?

Answer by Heath

Good question.

First off, talk to God about it.

In Jesus, we have access to God and can share every feeling and question with Him. Our relationship to Jesus affects every other relationship we have, so it's important to make sure you are obeying the first and greatest commandment: "Love God with all of your heart, soul, and mind" (Matthew 22:37).

Second, ask yourself, "Why am I attracted to this person?"

Is it because they show you attention? Is it merely based on looks? Or do you feel a connection with her because of her faith? The Bible encourages us to be equally partnered in our relationships (2 Corinthians 6:14). This means we don't get into committed relationships with unbelievers. We also want to be careful of getting into relationships with those who believe in Jesus but disagree with us on major issues. I had a close friendship with a girl in high school and college. She was Catholic, and I was Protestant. While I knew she had a belief in Jesus, her faith was lived out much differently in the Catholic church than mine was. Instead of trying to make either of us change, we continued as friends (and still are 20 years later).

Third, ask yourself, "Am I ready for a relationship?"

Your heart might be saying yes, but are you in a position to be seeking out a potential lifelong partner? As a guy, you want to be responsible when you interact with a young woman's heart and not lead her into a holding pattern of never knowing when or if you'll commit. If you know college/job plans might be taking you in another direction, pursue those big purposes first. Putting your purposes on hold for a "maybe" relationship can lead to great disappointment.

So as you think about all your future plans, consider the words of Proverbs 16:3, "Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established." Stay in regular communication with God about the purpose you see for your life and pray that you will be wise in all your relationships.

When I was 18, I was constantly thinking about having a relationship. However, I wasn't really ready for one. I couldn't afford to be married, and I had some issues in my own spiritual life to figure out. When I was 21, God had done some incredible work in me. I was truly allowing Him first place in my life. That attracted a friendship with Nikki. We were part of a group of friends for about 8 months before I confessed to her my feelings for her and appreciation for her faith in Christ. We were married later that year and have been for 18 years since. If she had known me at 18, she wouldn't have been interested, and, honestly, I know I wasn't ready.

Get to know this girl as a person, as a friend.

In the words of 1 Timothy 5:2, treat her "as a sister" in the faith. If nothing more develops, you haven't ruined the friendship. If something more develops, you haven't weakened your testimony to yourself, her, or others.

—Heath

#relatable?

Are you wondering what to do about a crush? Are you confused on when to start a relationship? Have you tried in the past and it didn't work out? Have you ever waited on a relationship and had good results? Share your story in the comments below!

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By: Heath Tibbetts

Heath served as a youth pastor and speaker for over a decade around the United States. He now serves as a pastor in Northern Illinois with his wife and three teenage kids. Heath enjoys running, going out on dates with his wife, and helping people grow in their walk with Jesus!

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