Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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I'm struggling with making a decision. My boyfriend and I have been dating for about seven months. It started off really well as we both are, with the help of God, good Christians. We have to secretly meet because my parents wouldn't accept him at the moment due to his lack of education. My parents are mistaken in the way they think because the only reason he doesn't attend college is because his dad is ill and so he works to provide for his many siblings. At first, we thought it would be easy, but now we are always tempted; we don't have sex, but we are crossing the lines. I don't want to stray from God. I need advice of what to do, I don't think I can end it because I do love my boyfriend and I don't want to hurt him either, but I need a way to fight these temptations.

You are treading in dangerous waters and will not be strong enough to keep fighting these temptations. Unless you set firm boundaries and distance yourselves from each other, you are both setting yourselves up for a major spiritual fall. First of all, do not refer to this young man as "boyfriend" since this title already signals a sense of entitlement and exclusiveness. Second, if your parents are against this relationship, then you must end it. The more you pursue your desires in secret, the more wrongful passions will be stirred in your minds and hearts and force you to release on thoughts of lust which lack true love. Third, it does not sound as though either of you are consulting with confession fathers. It is important to develop a relationship with a spiritual father to help keep you focused on your goals, which certainly right now should be your chastity and purity. If it is God's will that your relationship becomes suitable for marriage, it will be built on the right principles and not on heated passions. Fourth, are you partaking of the Holy Eucharist? If you are exercising any kind of sexual activity, you should refrain from partaking of the Holy Eucharist until you repent and confess. Finally, if you are both truly serious about this relationship, then you must go through the proper channels and keep everything in the open. Seek God's blessings above all and do not let the devil lead you blindly on a path of deception.
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