A Call to Stand Apart


Just Jesus In Your Life

Chapter 13—Relationships

A Young Adult’s Encounter with Ellen White ... on Relationships

I was involved in a relationship that was not right. Some things are “gray issues,” but there are times we really do know that something is wrong. I had the “definitely wrong” conviction about my recent relationship with my boyfriend. Yes, he was a Christian, and I even had some friends who told me we were good for each other. But deep down I knew that this was not where God was leading me. AC 69.1

There were other clues, too, such as the fact that the people closest to me—my family and longtime friends—didn’t approve. They were impressed (as I was but didn’t admit to them) that it was not God’s plan for me to be in this relationship. Foolishly, I listened to those who told me what I wanted to hear because this was what I wanted. I didn’t leave God. I kept praying and tricking myself into thinking this was His will, even though I knew it wasn’t, because I thought this was “true love.” AC 69.2

During this same time I was taking a marriage and family psychology class at one of our Seventh-day Adventist universities. Two of the books the professor used were The Adventist Home and Messages to Young People. This was my first time reading these books all the way through. With each page I turned, I was convicted of the truth that I already knew. I was forced to look beyond our dating relationship and all the mushy romantic stuff that I loved to what really mattered. Was this relationship to God’s glory? No. I could answer that quite easily. AC 69.3

I’ll be honest. I never intended it to go the way it did. You know how easy it is once you’re “in love” with someone to let your physical relationship go farther than you want it to go. AC 70.1

I swore I would never do that. Even if you don’t have sex, you very easily can go beyond what is pure and holy when you are together. Ellen White knew this. That’s why, as I read her messages, my conscience was pricked. She didn’t skip words that needed to be said, such as “Don’t be sneaky,” “Don’t ignore your parents’ counsel,” “Don’t be immodest, impure, or immoral,” and “Out of control.” AC 70.2

I may have scoffed before or thought that I was somehow “stronger” than temptation, but ultimately I found myself in sin. God told me once again through Mrs. White that my physical relationship had gone too far. Through her He also told me that He loves me still and wants to help me start over. AC 70.3

The writings that God gave to His prophet will never be outdated, even if they seem difficult to follow through on or, at times, even impractical. I know from experience that it’s hard to actually carry out God’s guidelines, but He offers us strength. It’s easy to read those promises—or even say them—but when you are right there in the relationship, what do you do? You read something, you’re convicted, and then what? AC 70.4

Even though I messed up so many times, the thing that brought me to victory in this relationship (having it end) was listening, and then making a choice. One practical principle I gleaned by reading Ellen White’s counsel on relationships is Don’t stay alone together at night. It’s easy to rationalize, but eventually God spoke to me through Ellen White and through His Word about things that needed to happen to bring this relationship under His control. AC 70.5

No matter what society does, the wisdom about honoring God in our relationships by practicing purity is always applicable. Ellen White’s counsel on relationships helped me finally see that. AC 70.6

Stephanie, age 21 AC 70.7