Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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A sixteen year old high school boy asked me if it is alright for him to get to know a girl who is two years older than him, although he is not considering getting married to her now.

I think before answering the question about age difference in marriage we need to concentrate on the priorities in the life of a teenager.

Address with him the fact that at his age he is not ready financially, socially nor psychologically for marriage. To like or have feelings for a girl now is only the first step towards sin. Since marriage is not an option at the time being, this relationship might start with 'feelings', then private phone conversations, then a tendency to know this person more intimately all of which might lead to sin.

Talk to this youth about the importance of securing his future and concentrating on his schoolwork. Talk to him about the life of purity and how to preserve himself from temptations. He should keep himself busy with spiritual readings; sports and hobbies that would help him refrain from thinking of girls at this time.
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