Many young people today agree to and accept this concept of having a close friend of the opposite gender. We see this in most of the movies especially Indian movies where the hero is always seen with a girl in tow. They have a romantic episode which appears to be blissful until the villain comes to the scene to mess up things for them. In real life, the villains would be the parents of the characters in the story. Anyway the real situations in life may have a delightful ending or it could even be a morbid one in the long term which is usually the case.
So, is it okay to have a boyfriend or girlfriend? Before answering this question we have to see, in what all ways the evil spirit can influence humans.
Temptation is something that affects everyone in life. This is what is mentioned by St. Paul in Rom. 7 v 17 “…it is the sin living in me”. One may feel like doing some evil which comes to one’s mind repeatedly, usually it is fear of punishment that prevents us from carrying out that evil thought or inspiration. The consequences of our action which may affect our life and the life of our loved ones, the fear of these consequences prevent us from succumbing to our temptations. This depends on one’s spiritual condition. As the spiritual condition improves one may not fall for temptations not because of fear of punishment but because of love for God and His word which is stronger in that person, which comes about as a result of his/her sanctification.
Obsession’ is an excessive interest or desire in anything created by the Creator which includes us humans. The evidence of obsession is visible in the behavior and attitude of the affected persons. One can find young people glued to the phone in endless conversation, sending romantic messages and notes, fantasizing a blissful future life. While all this is going on the real responsibility which is usually academic work takes a beating. Sometimes things could escalate to even the level of Romeo and Juliet situation – suicide. This is obsession – it is the influence of evil spirit in humans which unfortunately affects many young people today. So let us get back to the question at the onset of this article. IS IT OKAY to have a boyfriend or girlfriend? Not at all, it is not okay to have an intimate relationship with a person of the opposite gender, intimate relationship with the opposite gender is only permitted in marriage. It is the working of the evil spirit within humans that causes such relationships. Most people in such relationship will have deep lustful desire for one’s partner and could even fantasize sexual immorality. This is a violation of Scripture (Mt. 5: 27-28).
A man-woman intimate relationship is permitted by God for pro-creation purpose only. This is the sacrament of matrimony. God created humans and the responsibility of “continued creation of humans” i.e ‘pro-creation’ was handed over to humans. The whole purpose of this intimacy between a man and a woman in marriage is to create a conducive environment to bring forth another human life that has to be conceived in love and not in infatuation or obsession or carnal desire. Love by the way is not what we see in movies or read in romantic novels. Love is the ability and willingness to accept suffering for others for their well being not ours. This is what Jesus said “This is my commandment: love one another, as I have loved you. No one can have greater love than to lay down his life for his friends” (Jn 15:12-13). So sacrificing one’s life for others is the real love. The whole purpose of conceiving a new life is to ensure that the child conceived is born “in the image and likeness of God”. So can a relationship that started in obsession resulting in lust, infatuation and carnal desire, bring forth another life in the image and likeness of God? “What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is Spirit” (Jn. 3:6).
How many young men and women enter into relationships with this understanding? Although one may have this intention at the beginning of a relationship as the relationship progress, the real nature of people come out and this is proven by the innumerable marriage break ups happening especially when that relationship was the result of the concerned person’s choice and decisions.
The reason why people are attracted to the opposite gender is primarily because there was a lapse from one’s parents. If a boy lacked proper love from his mother this creates a spiritual void within him. Similarly a girl, whose relationship with the father was not okay from the beginning of her life, will develop a desire to fill this spiritual void by entering into relationships with boys. Until this spiritual void is rectified through inner healing which requires special prayers, this situation will not change and any long term relationship will not be possible for the affected people (i.e. successful marriage). This is why we see that any person breaking up a relationship and entering into another relationship will have difficulty in maintaining even that relationship with others. So it will be a divorce and re-marry situation for many and the cycle continues.