Kuya Kevin: “Only in fairy tales.”
These two text messages were part of my cell phone “conversation” with a student. This young woman had a boyfriend whose parents strongly objected to their relationship (long story, but suffice to say that his parents would probably never accept her). She wanted to know if their was any hope for their relationship.
I don’t “sugar coat” my words, especially when it comes to pastoral advice/counseling. False hope is a curse, not a blessing. I told her that her boyfriend would simply have to decide if he was willing to deal with his parents’ objections. I know she wanted to hear something more from me, but that was all I could honestly tell her. There was really no right or wrong answer, just choices and consequences.
We were able to meet in person a few days later. I elaborated on what I had communicated through text messaging. I reminded her that it is very difficult for a young man to go against his parents’ wishes, especially since he was still dependent on them (he is also still a student). I did give her some encouragement, assuring her that life would go on if the relationship ended.
This interaction reminded me of a myth that I’ve been meaning to write about:
Love conquers all.
This notion sounds romantic. It is the subject of Shakespearean tragedies, romance novels, and soap operas. Unfortunately, it doesn’t prove true for real life.
There are some issues that being “in love” may never resolve. Family problems, opposing life goals, addiction, different religious beliefs–these are just a few examples of potential relationship killers.
Here is my primary concern: many young people make the mistake of ignoring such problems. “Love conquers all,” they say, and they avoid difficult conversations and choices. Don’t make this mistake. If you are considering a relationship, be 100% honest–eyes wide open. Honestly discuss everything before you get too committed or emotionally involved.
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