Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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I am doing an automotive program starting the fall. Thank God my parents are at peace with it now and I can move on without any regrets or guilt. My monastic desires are still in my heart, but I am not one hundred percent sure, so I'm praying and will see where Christ leads this ship. This thought came to my mind earlier; if God possibly wants marriage for me, that would be a problem, because the girl I might want to marry will most likely have a higher degree than a mechanic, which means her parents would probably want the best for her and will disagree because my level of education is not high enough for their daughter. Worst case scenario: I try to marry a girl that wants to be a doctor. How can I be ready to face challenges that come if I am to pursue the marriage?

I believe that your feelings are inspired by the Holy Spirit, so there is no reason to feel confused. God has equipped you with a certain measure of talents, gifts, and potential. You must use these on your path of salvation, whether it leads to marriage or monasticism. There is no rush to decide on either immediately. What is imperative is that you strive to live to your full potential in the grace of God. You can study automotives and probably simultaneously earn a Bachelor's degree in Business. By doing these two complimentary areas of study, you can widen the scope of possibilities should you decide to own and operate your own shop or dealership in the future. As a potential husband, this higher education will be more appealing to a prospective spouse. If your scores meet the requirements, you may be able to study Mechanical Engineering and specialize in automotives. This would also give you the opportunity to be in a more skillful profession, as well as, and enjoy a trade of your preference. My advice is that you maximize every opportunity now for your studies. The difference of time in these pursuits will probably only add a couple of years overall to your plans. This does not mean that you need to relinquish your desires for monasticism. You can live a life of prayer wherever you are and visit the monastery as often as you can for personal retreats. When you complete your studies and have opportunities to delve into your professional life, you will then be able to confidently decide if you are ready to walk away and embrace the monastic life to its fullest, or if your desire is to serve God in society with a wife and family.

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