I am a single psychiatrist who counsels wounded people, and I’ve done something I felt was necessary for the good of a broken family. I started some casual, out-of-office meetings with the difficult ex-husband of one of my patients in order to calm their hostilities for the sake of their daughter. I was sure it needed to be done, and since I saw good results, I believe it was the right thing to do. But that man has changed over the months I’ve been meeting with him for dinner. Now I, a Christian, have found myself falling in love with a man who is not a believer.
I know people go through this every day. Many times they marry despite their spiritual differences, and I have witnessed the fallout. I can’t marry this man, but I can’t bear the thought of never seeing him again. Maybe it’s just my imagination, but he seems to be walking closer to Christ in some ways than many Christians I know. What if God has drawn me to meet with him just for such a time?
You don’t need me to tell you that, first, your sessions should have always taken place at your place of business, and second, you should have maintained a patient-physician relationship. Meeting under more casual circumstances can break down the professionalism that might have protected you emotionally. This is also why I recommend against a Christian and a nonChristian dating. I’m sure the Christian always feels she can lead that nonChristian to Christ. I can tell you from an experience much earlier in my life that this doesn’t often happen. When a Christian marries a nonChristian, there is no joined spirit, because a true Christian is filled by the Holy Spirit and Christ is her first love. A nonChristian husband (or vice versa) can’t understand this dedication to an unseen Spirit, and eventually the spirit in the unbeliever begins to resent, and even hate, the Spirit in the believer. Others might have different experiences, but that was mine, and I cannot state strongly enough that this mixing of lives can cause great pain and isolation.
I know it will be difficult for you, but until and unless your friend truly discovers Christ and accepts Him as Lord of his life, he should begin seeing another therapist, and you should never be in close proximity to him without friends nearby to help you remain accountable.
May this man be drawn to the reality of Christ in the near future, and until and unless that happens, may you maintain the strength you need to abide in Christ.