Questions on Relationships

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My boyfriend grew up Reformed Baptist and I grew up WELS and attended Luther Preparatory School and graduated from there, but did not continue on to MLC, because I feel I can serve God in a different way. My question is what are the major differences between Reformed Baptist and WELS? There are big ones that he and I have discussed, but a more defined answer would be very beneficial.

Reformed Baptist churches in the United States, regardless of which association they belong to, usually subscribe to the London Baptist Confession of 1644 or 1689.  Reformed Baptist doctrines that differ from your faith include, among others: Double predestination—the false teaching that in eternity God chose some people to be saved and others to be damned.  Continued.

Why is marriage a better option than living together?

Marriage, like love and procreation, is a life enhancement created by our heavenly Father. He made Eve to complete the creation of man, brought her to Adam, and joined them as husband and wife. The unconditional union of a man and a woman in marriage for as long as they both live is his design Continued.

What scriptural passages might show that a marriage is superior to a parent child relationship?

I do not know the context of the question, so I will not attempt to place one blessing of God above another. Marriage is certainly a blessing from God.  He instituted it, and through it he wants to bless people’s lives.  Through the lifelong union of a man and woman God provides intimate friendship, companionship Continued.

How far is it acceptable to go, sexually, with a Christian partner? I have been dating my boyfriend several years, and though we are not officially engaged, we plan on getting married. We both believe strongly that sex should be reserved until marriage, but what about more physical acts, if done purely out of love for each other and not just for physical gratification?

Competent pastoral counsel normally requires that the person offering counsel knows personally the people being counseled. In a question like yours, this is especially true. You and your boyfriend should be speaking with your pastor. Here I can only share general information that should be of some help to you, but cannot take the place Continued.

What is the Bible's stance on asexuality, the lack of sexual attraction to anyone, or low or absent interest in sexual activity or may it be considered the lack of a sexual orientation? Is it a sin? Is it not right?

There is nothing sinful about “the lack of sexual attraction.”  Because one of the purposes of marriage is to avoid sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 7:2, 9), those who lack sexual desires can find the single life to be good for them.  The apostle Paul recognized that he had been “gifted” (1 Corinthians 7:7) to lead Continued.

What is the synod's stance on asexuality (someone with no sexual attraction)?

Because one of the purposes of marriage is to avoid sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 7:2, 9), those who lack sexual desires can find the single life to be good and appropriate for them.  The apostle Paul recognized that he had been “gifted” (1 Corinthians 7:7) to lead a celibate life, and he considered that to Continued.

How do you as a Christian react to people who irritate and want to use you for their own goodness? I know we should be loving at all times, but sometimes it's tough to deal with certain situations. Any spiritual advice would help.Thanks.

Certainly we want to “be loving at all times,” and sometimes that love will show itself by rebuking people for their sins (Matthew 18:15; Galatians 6:1; James 5:20). I do not have the context of your situation, but if you are encountering sinful words, attitudes or actions from people, you can serve them best by Continued.

How you know if God approves of a romantic relationship? I like this person that I work with.

It would be nice if God gave you some kind of sign (cf. Judges 6:36-40), wouldn’t it? What God does though is give you freedom in this area of life. People have freedom to marry or not marry (1 Corinthians 7:1-7). And they have freedom in the relationships they might enter into before marriage. What Continued.

My question is regarding honoring your parents. What do you tell a friend whose parents were verbally and physically (molesting) abusive towards them growing up? Should this friend honor her parents now that she is an adult?

Our Catechism explains that, according to the fourth commandment, “We should fear and love God that we do not dishonor or anger our parents and others in authority, but honor, serve, and obey them, and give them love and respect.” That explanation is based on Scripture passages like Exodus 20:12 and Ephesians 6:3. The fourth Continued.

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