Heart to Heart by Esther Fenty

I want to be married, but Christian guys won’t approach me

Prior to becoming a Christian, I had no problem attracting male partners and had an active sex life but, when I became a Christian, I gave up a burgeoning relationship. I was glad to make the sacrifice, but in recent months I’ve begun wondering if I made the right decision. I love serving God, but I also have aspirations to become a wife and a mother, and am disappointed that since becoming a believer I’ve not been approached by any Christian men or invited on any dates. With my 30th birthday approaching, I’ve become quite concerned about the fact I’m still single, and that there are lots of single women like me in my church. I get non-Christian guys approaching me all the time, but I want to be with a Christian man. However, I am wondering now if I am setting my standards too high, as no Christian men are approaching me whatsoever, and maybe I should start dating some of the non-Christian guys that are approaching me.  What do you think?

Jennifer, London

Esther Fenty says:

I’m pleased that you have chosen to devote yourself to your newfound faith. There doesn’t have to be a dichotomy between serving the Lord and being a wife and mother. However, your anxiety is probably heightened as you see many people in similar situations. As much as our steps are ordered corporately in our local church communities, they’re also ordered individually, so it is possible for you to break the mould.

Having been sexually active previously, you may now find this lack of intimacy particularly difficult. However, you will need to consider whether the desire for a partner is greater than the desire for God and His will in your life. It is possible that God wants to use this waiting period as a time for you to grow closer to Him, to learn more about yourself and to surrender completely to Him, before embarking on a union with someone else. Try to use this time wisely as you pray and wait on God.

Your desire for a partner – and the ticking away of the biological clock – should not override your concerns about the wider issues of marriage, such as a deep love for each other, communication and compatibility, and the oneness of mind and spirit that will help in tough times. (You can work at sexual compatibility once you are married.) Therefore, thinking of the biblical principle of whether two can walk together unless they agree, you will need to consider whether you can share the deep things of your faith with a non-Christian, and whether the children will be brought up in the faith, etc.

It is important that you stick to your principles; you do not have to change your values in order to get married. Neither should you be so anxious to marry a Christian man that you jump into the arms of the first one who asks for a date. Just because someone is a Christian does not mean that you will be compatible. Keep listening to God as you meet other men.

Finally, we are reminded in Philippians 4:6-7: ‘Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus’. Take your anxieties to God, and let Him deal with them as you pursue His purpose for your life.


I feel tempted to start taking drugs again

Before I became a Christian, I had a very bad weed habit, and smoked a joint anytime I felt stressed, depressed or wanted to chill.  When I became a believer, I joined a Christian drug rehabilitation programme, and overcame my reliance on the drug, and replaced my addiction with prayers. However, in recent months, I have battled with a strong pull to start smoking again. It coincides with a time of high stress in my life, including being made redundant and unemployed. I don’t want to go back to smoking weed, and just wondered if you have any advice you can share to help me stay drug-free.

Peter, Birmingham

Esther Fenty says:

I am sorry that you are unemployed. Being made redundant is a form of grief and loss, which brings its own stresses and anxiety. Sometimes, in the midst of crises, when we should be able to cry out to God more through our prayers, that’s when we feel less like praying. It is therefore not surprising that you are feeling this pull to pick up old habits.

I am assuming that you were surrounded by support when you were on the drug rehabilitation programme. You do not say whether you are being supported by your church, or whether you have anyone you can call who can pray with you and help you as before. As well as support from a minister, friend or prayer group, it might be helpful to have some counselling. A trained counsellor will identify whether you need support around the temptation to smoke weed again; how to handle stressful situations, or whether you are experiencing grief and loss about your job. Additionally, you may also need some support with your CV, etc., to prepare you for future employment.

There are a number of agencies who may be able to help you. For example, you could contact the centre that you used before, as they might either be able to help or point you in the right direction. Your GP could recommend counsellors, or you could contact the Association of Christian Counsellors.

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