How should we handle relationships in the church?

I have been in love with a girl in the church since I was 16 years old and now I'll be 21 this year. We are really good friends; however, I've never said anything or done anything because I don't really know the protocol to handle it. All I know is that dating is disgurished and that is the reason why I have never dated anyone in my life. However, the more time I spend with her, the more I fall in love with her. And I know some of you may be thinking that I am lusting over her body, but when I think of her that is the absolute last thing I am thinking about. 

I don't really have a father figure to turn to in this situation, and I am definitely not ready to tell abouna about this. I figure the best thing would be for me to wait until I graduate college, but even then I doubt that her parents or my mother will be ready for such a big step. Perhaps when I should wait until after I graduate medical school or will that be too late? I want to wait until it's the perfect time, but I don't want to wait too long that I lose my chance with her. What do you think would be the best thing to do in this situation and how should dating be approached in the coptic church? 


  • Dear CopticCross,

    I pray all is well with you. God be with you in your efforts.

    Dating, in the coptic church, has to have the potential prospective of marriage - not meant for fun, nor just " I like him/her, let's just see what happens".

    The best time to start a relationship is when you are stable, and ready to get married in the relative near future. It is understood that it is not because you started the relationship that you will for sure marry that person. You must however, have the objective of the relationship to see whether there is a good chemistry to live a life of marriage with that person.

    Relationships and subsequently marriage is - in my opinion - the most important decision if your life. Marriage is a sacrament in the church for a reason. It is union with you, your spouse and God. It is your helper in your spiritual struggles. You helper to remain in unity with God. One that can grow with you at the same pace. Your partner must be one who completes you and can help you in your spiritual weaknesses - and vice-versa.

    Which brings the following point. Since relationships/marriage are (again in my opinion) the most important decision in your life, you must agree guidance and advice is very much needed prior to entering and pursuing such a commitment. You need to hear God's advice in this matter. Which leads me to ask you, if you really want to pursue this, why aren't you comfortable with sharing this to your father of confession?

    This is an approval that is of very high importance in the steps of pursuing a relationship. One that is often overlooked. Obedience to your father of confession will take you very far. Be sure, God will ensure that you get the perfect spouse shaped for you - whether it be the girl you have in mind or not. I cannot insist more on this point. You may think she is great and perfect for you (she may be indeed), but you must understand that with God : "My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD." Isaiah 55:8.
    In this matter, God may see things completely differently. He may speak to you through your family, through her family, through the bible, through your prayers. But all of this must be brought before your father of confession and so he can guide you and make sense of what you believe God is trying to tell you.

    God bless
  • I think the best think to do in this situation is to pray and to ask for prayer. Perhaps you are afraid to tell abouna because its your first time and i can understand how hard it could be but i'm sure your father can give you a better advice than any of us in here .why? because they know you better than us.This is not sin .Its natural for a person to love and you should know its God who created us this way.It would be sin if we do it with out the will of God..and this will is best told to us by our confession fathers...and becareful there is a love which seems to be real but which is for all the cases its better to discuss the case first with God then your father and parents.
    May God Help you!
  • The priests and servants at my church have almost a saying about dating: "Dating and marriage aren't separate!" What they mean is that dating should be with intent to find someone to marry. Now you see kids as young as 10 having boyfriends and girlfriends and it's... weird. 

    At my church, Abna. Domadious Rizk does a lot of the marriage/premarital counseling. He's told us one of his first questions he asks both the man and woman: "Why do you want to marry her/him?" He told us that if the response is "I love her/him" or "(S)he's perfect," then he tells them to break up. He says the correct response should be "I see Christ in this person." Keep that in mind.
    Also, I'm realizing we are over a year late :-/ Hope all is well.

    Pray for me
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