Q: My boyfriend says he believes in Jesus, but he has some bad habits he doesn’t want to get rid of, and this worries me since we’re beginning to get serious. Do you think he’s really a Christian, or is he just trying to impress me? — M.F.
A: Only God knows our hearts, and only God knows whether your boyfriend is sincere when he says he believes in Jesus. The Bible says, “The Lord searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought” (1 Chronicles 28:9).
You’re right, however, to be concerned about the sincerity of his commitment, because when we give ourselves to Christ our lives will inevitably change. That doesn’t mean we’ll suddenly become perfect or that every bad habit will immediately be rooted out. But it does mean we won’t be satisfied with our old ways of living. The Bible says, “If anyone is in Christ … the old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Instead of living for ourselves, we’ll want to live for Christ. Instead of putting our own desires first, we’ll want to put God’s will first. In fact, if there is no change in our lives, our “faith” may not be faith at all. The Bible says, “As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead” (James 2:26).
Pray for your boyfriend, that God will convict him of his need to commit his life without reserve to Jesus. Ask God also to give you the courage to confront him with his need to take Christ seriously. And if he refuses, I urge you to end your relationship with him. God knows your needs, and you can trust him to bring across your path the perfect person he has chosen for your life’s partner.
Write to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201 or go to BillyGraham.org.