Issues of Life

Reader Questions: I Just Found Out My Unbelieving Boyfriend Smokes. What Do I Do?


This conversation has been shared with permission from the Reader.  I have tried to simplify our correspondence as much as possible, as it was a rather lengthy chat as I tried to get to the crux of the matter.  I hope you are blessed as you read.  Feel free to share your comments below.

Dear Ufuomaee

Thank you for letting me share.
I am a Christian girl and I love God, its him first in my life. I have a boyfriend who is a church goer, not born again. I gave up trying to change him knowing fully well that I cañt change a person, but I pray for him every single time I open my mouth to pray_( which is very often)
Recently I had a dream, that he was doing drugs, I ignored it because he doesn’t even smoke. So I just told him for telling sake, and he confessed to me that he smoked the day before. I don’t know wat to do. I don’t know if he can ever change, or if he is only going to get worse, am so confused and worried for him

Dear Reader,

There are two things here.  Your relationship with this guy, and his relationship with God – his salvation.  I understand that you recognise that his relationship with God and salvation must trump your relationship with him.  I am guessing that is what you are concerned about and is most important to you.  In that case, you need to keep praying for him and listen to him to understand him more, so you can give him the best counsel and support.

I have a couple of questions about your relationship with him though.  How old are both of you?  How long have you known each other and how long have you been dating?

Reader: I am 19, he is 25.  We have known each other for getting to three years, we started dating about six months ago, he is actually my first boyfriend

Ufuomaee: So, how would you define your relationship with him? Worldly or Godly? And why?

Reader: Well, I won’t define it as worldly.  Because there is little or no thought of immorality, either sexual or otherwise, on my side.  But I can’t say the same for him because, I always remind him of my standards.  I wouldn’t also define it as Godly, cos am the only one who talks about God, u get.  Our discussions are pure and no sexual talk and all of that.

Ufuomaee: So, where is your unity? Why are you in this relationship?

Reader: He loves me, and I love him

Ufuomaee: Love? How do you know it is love?

Reader: I know, ufuoma, wen I want the best for a person even if he is not going to get married to me. I dong care, I just want him to be fine. When I feel like taking his pains so he will be OK. Someone am willing to give a lot for, I know love in the boom of Corinthians, and for me, this is it.

Ufuomaee: So, would you accept his proposal to marry if he asks you, while still not saved?

Reader: Sincerely, I would be very confused, so much that it would take a clear yes from God for me to say yes.  Am just here, hoping and praying that the Holy spirit listens to me and convicts him.

Ufuomaee: If you are confused, you won’t know if God says Yes.  Do you know if God said “Yes” to your relationship? Did you ask His blessing or counsel before you decided to date this guy?

Reader: Yes I did. And I had a lot of dreams.

Ufuomaee: And God said Yes?

Reader: Well I can’t say for sure if it was God saying yes.  I just gave a condition, like Gideon did, and the condition was met.  That was y I said yes.  He asked me out for a long time, two years actually, so I had a date in mind, and I told God that if he was still there till that date, then I would take it as a yes from him, that if he doesn’t want us to be together, he should take him away by any means.

Ufuomaee: Thanks for your honesty.  I don’t think that was a good test.  Imagine if someone used that test with Cancer…whether or not to fight it.

I just want you to be aware that your relationship with this guy is critical to a lot of things.  You are either working with God or against Him. You need to be sure that you want God’s will more, and are able to discern and heed His counsel.  But you’re in a relationship with this man, and in a relationship with God.  Are you still listening to God’s leading? Are you sensitive to obey if He were to say NO?

Reader: I didn’t feel anything or see anything or hear anything that meant no from him.  Even in my dreams, where he speaks to me the most.  I am, I know that I love God more than any more and I would want to obey him

Ufuomaee: Okay… so, what is your real concern now?  What do you think the dream about your boyfriend taking drugs is about?  Do you know if that was his first time smoking?

Reader: I don’t know.  If I hadn’t told him about the dream, maybe he wouldn’t have ever told me.

Ufuomaee: I am thinking the same thing.  So, what does he bring to your relationship? How does he make your happy?

Reader: Well he is very understanding for one.  He tells me hard truths even when he knows am going to scold him.  He is more mature, has had more experiences so when am in a mess, HD helps me navigate through it.  He very easily forgives me, am the Queen of over reaction.

Ufuomaee: Lol!  He is a good friend.  Can’t you remain just a good friend?  Are you looking to get married in a year’s time?

Reader: No.  Even in 4 years time.  I would want that, to remain a good friend

Ufuomaee: So… I think that’s what you need to do, so that you are not a stumbling block to him coming to know God.  Can I ask a sensitive question?

Reader: Mmmm, ok.

Ufuomaee: Do you kiss?

Reader: Yes we do

Ufuomaee: Do you touch private parts? including breasts?

Reader: No we don’t.

Ufuomaee: So, he doesn’t quarve you while kissing?

Reader: I stop his hands.  And he stops.

Ufuomaee: Okay… how long do you think that will last?  You’re six months in…with no plans to marry within 4 years.

Reader: I don’t know, I just believe that I need a lot of Gods grace, and my boundaries.  I can’t tell if we are going to mess up tomorrow or next year or whenever, I just beg God to please help me.

Ufuomaee: It isn’t going to last.  He isn’t a man who is submitted to God.  He will not put up with it for four years…and it is more likely that you will be the one to succumb.  By kissing, you are already compromising your relationship.

There’s no need to be doing something wrong and asking God to help you.  What you are doing, being emotionally involved with a man who is not surrendered to God is wrong and dangerous…  Asking God to give you grace to play with fire is foolish.  As much as you love him, you have to think of three things.

1. You matter!  By that I mean, you have to do what is best for YOU.  Jesus said, LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOUR AS YOU LOVE YOURSELF.  If you don’t love yourself, how can you love your neighbour…?  By loving yourself, you have to know and CHOOSE what is good for you first.
2. Tomorrow matters!  Don’t think only of how you feel today or short term.  You need to think about your future… You need to think about the kind of man that deserves to have your submission, love and respect.  And the kind of man that is ready to love you with God’s holy and unconditional love.  A man of the world CANNOT no matter how sincerely he loves you.
3. Eternity matters!  Yes, you are in the flesh now, and the body demands a lot… physically, mentally, sexually and emotionally…  But eternity matters.  You need to deny your flesh and submit to the Spirit in order to grow spiritually.  You cannot afford to be carnal!  It is costly.  Not just in the things you suffer in this life, but in the next.  So, while you are concerned about his salvation…be concerned for yours too.

Take the log out of your eye first.  You are concerned about an unbeliever who smokes… Smoking is the least of his problems.  You, as a Christian, are indulging him in the flesh, and giving him the impression that your faith is not that important to you…  Holiness in relationships is not simply about not having sex.

It is going to be hard to stand for Christ, when you think by being in a relationship with him you can lead him to Christ, but you are on dangerous ground.  It is better you decide to break off the relationship and just be friends, and keep praying for him, and being a LIGHT to him.

Let your eye be single.  Your single focus IF YOU LOVE HIM, is that he may be saved!  If he isn’t saved, you should not be surprised by ANYTHING he does!!!  You can’t expect holiness from unbelievers.

Reader: I don’t think I Want to just go and say its over,  I think I want to emotionally detach from him first.  So help me God.  Because if I just breakup, trust me with one or two pleadings, am back.  Is my approach to detaching OK?

Ufuomaee: I don’t know.  It could be more painful.  Pray and listen to God.  Love is Wise.  Always.  It isn’t wise to play with temptation.  EVER!

Thanks for being sincere and honest.  God bless and help you!  By the way, if you haven’t read this post, I’d recommend it: 8 WAYS TO KNOW YOU ARE DATING NO ONE SPECIAL.

Sincerely, Ufuoma.

Photo credit: http://www.unsplash.com

Got questions?  Email me@ufuomaee.com.

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2 replies »

  1. Dear reader “It is written” will never contradict “God said”. We often believe we’ve heard from God, but what we’ve actually heard is the voice of our own desires, especially when they contradict the bible. I’m sorry to say, but i think you know deep down inside that it wasn’t God who spoke to you about going ahead with the relationship, especially because His word tells us not to be unequally yoked with an unbeliever. Most times God will not speak in the way we expect because the bible is already clear on the situation – like this situation. I encourage you to do the right thing now as the Holy Spirit is convicting you, because there might be something down the line God is trying to protect you from.

    I’m sorry to be so blunt, but i hope you take it as a sign of love, but relationships by the world’s standard bring nothing but pain and brokenness that people spend a lifetime trying to correct. I really wish you had waited for God’s best, because even if you end things now, this relationship and whatever negative impact it has on you will forever be part of your story.

    The world says it’s ok to date for fun, but as Kingdom children we date with purpose.

    I pray you have the grace to do what you have to do.

    Liked by 1 person

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