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discernment vs. judgement?

Discussion in 'Courting Couples' started by penandpep, May 4, 2021.

  1. penandpep

    penandpep New Member

    United States
    In Relationship
    I could really use some advice! I'm a 33 year old woman dating a 30 year old man; we have been seeing each other for about 5 months. We were both brought up in Christian homes and love the Lord. But I am concerned about some of his behaviors and I don't know if I'm just not showing enough grace/expecting perfection, or if these are warning signs and I should walk away.

    Here is the good and the bad.

    The good:
    • We have a nice time when we're together and share some common interests
    • He is okay with waiting until marriage to have sex
    • I feel secure in the relationship and trust that he would never cheat on me
    • He is very committed to me and not afraid to show his feelings for me
    • We do Bible studies together and try to keep God at the center of our relationship

    The bad:
    • Our intellect and education levels do not seem to match up (I have a doctorate degree, he dropped out of college). This wouldn't matter so much if he respected education and could match my desire for deep conversations and mental stimulation, but his stance on school is that he "doesn't like it". He NEVER asks me anything about my education (I was in school for 9 years so it's a huge part of me) and how I got into my career. He never initiates deep conversations, and if I do he glosses over and the conversation fizzles out after a minute.
    • He has no financial plan, goals, and zero savings
    • His closest friends drink in excess, curse, make sex jokes, and are not Christian obviously. When he is with them, it's not uncommon for him to drink 6 or more beers. He justifies it by saying "it's over a long period of time" (for instance he drank 8 beers over a 6 hour period) and that he "isn't affected/drunk" by the alcohol and would stop before that happens (but how is he not drunk off 8 beers - why is his tolerance that high?). I have witnessed them pressure him into chugging a 1/2 liter bottle of beer before and he says that he doesn't have a problem with that (again because he won't allow himself to get drunk) and doesn't have a problem with sex jokes (says he is not convicted about those things). He has one Christian friend but rarely spends time with him. He says that he is not going to give up his friendships because 1, they are like family and 2, he wants to continue to try to bring them to Christ. However he admitted he rarely brings up God around them and he doesn't seem to live differently than they do, so I think those are cop outs for him actually just liking the lifestyle they live and not wanting to give that up.
    So, I'm not sure if these are things over which I need to call the relationship off or work through them? He said that he would limit his drinking for me, but I find myself wishing he wanted to do that on his own. He says he wants to find more Christian friends, but does not actively try to do so. I'm just caught between the fact that I do like him and he is Christian and wondering if I'm being to harsh/stringent/or judgmental because I mean I'm not perfect either...and no one will be. Do I stick with him despite a lack of mental stimulation and these other concerns? Or do I go and look for something better suited for me? I worry that I won't find a Christian man who is willing to wait until marriage for sex, controls their drinking, mentally stimulates me, has a financial plan, etc. It seems unrealistic and like I'll have to compromise one or more of those things no matter what. Help!
    We teamed up with Faith Counseling. Can they help you today?
  2. Sketcher

    Sketcher Born Imperishable

    So, to preface this, I know a lot more about men than I do about relationships. But you're asking if this man is worth continuing to be with, so here's my take:
    You don't have deep conversations about the common interests that you share?

    Is it possible that he has interests that he could have deep conversations about which you do not share, or that you have not discovered yet?

    Also, he's willing to date you, but he might not be comfortable with continuing to go back to the difference between you two in education credentials. That might seem to widen the gap between you or hit him over the head with the fact that higher education didn't work out for him for whatever reason. But he has a soul, and you have a soul, and attempting to concentrate there may be better for the sake of the relationship.

    After all, for men in many vocations, they need to leave work at the office. Their wives either wouldn't understand or wouldn't be interested in or may (especially for soldiers or first responders) be traumatized by the stories that are from that part of their lives, which is a huge part. Some wives can take it, some can engage with it, but many cannot. My point is that there's a lot that men and women can't or don't talk about.
    That is a problem. He needs to get that together ASAP. It's not that hard.

    That's not easy to avoid if you don't want to be a shut-in. Take away the drinking and that's a typical day at work for a lot of guys. A better test of whether or not the language would be a problem for the family is:
    • Does he use his crude humor around you when you are alone together, if you have told him you are uncomfortable with it?
    • Does he honor you in public, or tell crude jokes about you to his friends when you are around?
    • When he is around children, does he censor himself?
    Now, this isn't to say that it's perfectly OK to do as you described or that he shouldn't also fellowship with Christian men. But if he respects you, and respects and protects what children have to hear, this needn't be a dealbreaker.

    Assuming what you told us about yourself and what you relayed about him are both true, it sounds like he cares about you. You both are following Jesus in terms of abstinence, and he seems to treasure you. He's willing to crack open a Bible with you and pray with you. You're 33, he's 30, and he chose you rather than younger women. He seems to be willing to give this a try despite the academic gap. If he respects you and if he works on himself, this might go well.

    I'd say work on the relationship. See if you two can connect in ways you haven't considered. The financial stuff is the closest thing to a real red flag that I can see from my own perspective, and that can be fixed after reading a couple of books.
    Last edited: May 11, 2021
  3. quietpraiyze

    quietpraiyze In The Secret Place

    I think you need to get honest with yourself about what you really want. Are you really considering this man to be marriage material?
    Marriage is monotonous, day in and day out.
    Whatever you are seeing in the relationship is going to magnify in marriage. Can you really live with that?

    The guy has been laying out one NEGATIVE after another and you just keep accepting. Can you really live without intellectual stimulation because I know how big of a deal that is and I couldn't do it.

    It sounds like he does have a financial plan and you're it. If he's not bringing any finances to the table then it's "you". You're the financial plan.

    Based on what you've shared, I think his drinking and socializing (friends) is really who he is. If you want him then you're going to have to accept all of that as well. Is that what you want?

    Do you really think this is the best that God can do for you?

    I hate to say it but this sounds so typical of what happens with Christian women that I know of. The guy says he's a Christian, puts in some "church" and bible time but there's never really any FRUIT because you know "nobody's perfect" *rolling eyes*. Don't fall for that.

    What you're looking for in a mate is VERY realistic but you are going to have to pull up your standard or maybe get one to find what you're truly looking for.

    I'm sorry but you can't tell me that this man is the desire of your heart. God is more than this and as His Daughter so are you...

    James 1:5 Amplified Bible
    If any of you lacks wisdom [to guide him through a decision or circumstance], he is to ask of [our benevolent] God, who gives to everyone generously and without rebuke or blame, and it will be given to him.
  4. bèlla

    bèlla ❤️ Supporter

    United States
    In Relationship
    I couldn't build a future with a man lacking vision and preparedness. How he treats himself and behaves outside of my presence gives insight on what I can expect. If he had no compunction to do it on his own; why would I assume he'd do it on my behalf?

    More importantly, the elephant in the room is his current state. You know his circumstances. If you choose to remain you're taking him as-is with the understanding he may not change.

    The bigger question is can you live with this and respect him in light of his failings? If you offset his shortcomings that may be enough in his mind. Are you okay with that?