… and I could use a little advice.
My best friend since high school (and roommate now in college) haven’t always agreed on everything. Even though we’ve both spent our entire lives in Catholic school and raised (for the most part) Catholic, she isn’t practicing and has major issues with Church teaching. Every once in a while we’ll get into a debate about such things. One issue that often seems to come up is abstaining from sex until marriage. And since she knows how strongly I feel about this issue, I felt a little betrayed when she came to me last night to say that she and her boyfriend have become sexually active.
She and her boyfriend have been together for less than a year, but myself and all of my friends agree that they’re perfect for each other. Even our atheist friend who doesn’t “believe” in marriage agrees that she would be very mad if the two of them don’t get married someday. Her boyfriend is my close friend, too, and I’ve always felt that he was a guy with a lot of integrity (who would make a great daddy!). I really am looking forward to attending their wedding someday.
When my friend was talking to me last night, she said that she really, truly felt that what she did was the right thing to do. She had been deliberating over it, thinking about it, talking to God about it, and talking with her boyfriend about it. She says that they both intend to marry each other, and that even if something happened (pregnancy, specifically), he would never desert her and would be as loving a father as he could. She says she sees no difference between what they have now and a real marriage besides the ceremony. If they really do love each other that much and are open to procreation (in a sense), she says that she sees no reason why God would be against it. She said she believes that God was, in fact, a part of it.
As a practicing Catholic, I’m not sure how to handle this. When we were discussing it last night, my emotions weren’t exactly helping me think it through. Since I believe that having sex outside of marriage is a grave sin, I can’t help but think of this as harmful for both of them (though whether or not it’s mortal isn’t in my place to judge). But am I overreacting? If there doesn’t turn out to be any worldly consequences (and I sure do hope it all goes well), do I still have a reason to quarrel with her over the abstract concept of “the state of her soul” and the sin she doesn’t believe exists in this situation? Because frankly, I’m at a loss for any counterarguments and I can’t say I truly understand any of this myself.
I do suppose debating doesn’t have a strong chance of changing her belief. But she’s my best friend, I’m worried about her, and I want her to make good decisions for herself.
Any sort of advice or comments are welcome on this. I was sort of hoping that there might be someone here who has a personal experience, regarding either my situation or hers, that they could share to help me wrap my brain around this.