Take care of your pets.
God is concerned for all His creation, including the animals He created (Psalm 147:9). And although He wants us to dominate the animals of the earth (Genesis 1:28), He also wants us to be kind and take reasonable care of them. This includes being kind to any animal that helps us earn a living such as a horse or mule (Deuteronomy 25:4). God has allowed some animals to be domesticated as pets—but with that comes responsibility to properly care for them.
The Bible also mentions God’s love for the birds. He feeds them (Luke 12:24) and is fully aware of their entire lives:
Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. —Matthew 10:29
. . . not one [sparrow] is forgotten before God. —Luke 12:6
There are also wild animals on the earth that can kill us (Leviticus 26:22). This is a result of the fall of man, but they will be restored to their original state during the millennium:
And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the kid . . . —Isaiah 11:6
Over the last several months, I have engaged in a considerable amount of personal growth and development in various aspects of my life. About five months ago, I must have perked up just enough to God’s calling when a co-worker invited me to [a well-known highly pharisaical denomination], and I have been attending every Sunday since. I have been studying the Bible regularly with one of the ministry interns, and it has been an amazing experience.
My question concerns my relationship with my girlfriend of over three years. Since studying the Bible and confronting my sins, the worldly nature of our relationship has changed substantially. We continue to date, and I would say that I am more in love with her now than ever before, even though we have hit quite a few speed bumps over the last couple of months. She is a professed atheist, and the more I try to convince her to at least give God a chance, the more she pushes back. It is understandable to me that she feels this way as I shared the same sentiments for over ten years since abandoning what little faith I had as a Catholic.
I know that I am supposed to be patient and that much of what I have discussed with her is foolishness to her ears. What is God’s word for our future together?
You are in a very scary situation that needs rectifying immediately. As you move from your pagan lifestyle to a Christ-centered lifestyle, you must make certain tough adjustments. By trusting Jesus, you are trusting God’s Word. And God’s Word says you should not be dating a non-Christian.
Do not be bound together with unbelievers; . . . for what fellowship has light with darkness? —2 Corinthians 6:14
Therefore, since you can never marry a non-Christian, you need to break off the relationship and treat your girlfriend as you would any other non-Christian, as difficult as that may be. To continue the relationship, you would be risking more than you could ever imagine. We receive, almost daily, emails citing problems stemming from believers who are married to non-believers.
Hopefully, God will answer your prayers and reveal Himself to her. But even if that happens, don’t necessarily take it as a green light to immediately start dating again. Both of you would need some time to build a solid spiritual foundation before considering marriage.
As a side note, the Bible says that a wise man has many counselors.
Where there is no guidance the people fall,
But in abundance of counselors there is victory. —Proverbs 11:14
Without consultation, plans are frustrated,
But with many counselors they succeed. —Provers 15:22
We would suggest that you find additional sources of solid spiritual input to help you understand and mature in your new Christian walk. To rely solely on that particular denomination, or any denomination for that matter, may not be the best for your long-term spiritual growth.
For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God. —Acts 20:27
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Scripture taken from the New American Standard Bible, copyright The Lockman Foundation 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977. Used by permission.
Answers to questions in GML are intended to be supplementary and in the spirit of Proverbs 11:14, 15:22, and 26:26, which calls for believers to seek counsel from more than one person. Therefore, it is not recommended that any decision be based solely on GML’s answer, but rather it be considered one of several counselors when determining a course of action.Compass International, Inc. www.compass.org