"Cassie, we missed you and Colin at church last night," Sara told her friend as they walked down the steps of Fairfield High after their last class.
"We went to a party at his friend's house," Cassie replied. "Since he started playing football he's gained lots of friends. Everybody's your friend when you're playing on a winning team."
"Will you guys be coming to the Audio Adrenaline concert on Saturday?"
"No, we'll be busy that night."
"I hardly ever see you in church anymore, Cassie. You used to come all the time. Doesn't Colin want to attend church?"
"He has other things to do. He's very busy. Besides, he doesn't feel like we have to go to church to worship God. After all, God is everywhere."
"So how do you worship God?" Sara questioned. "Do you read the Bible together and pray?"
Cassie hadn't expected such a direct question from her friend. "Uh . . . no, but I still pray, and I'm sure Colin does too, in his own way."
Just then Colin pulled up in his car to pick up Cassie. With a great sense of relief Cassie climbed in and shut the door. "Bye, Sara."
The next morning in their biology class, Cassie and Sara were paired up to dissect a frog--much to Cassie's dismay.
I hope she doesn't ask me any more questions!
"Cassie, I've heard a rumor that you have a good chance of being elected as homecoming queen," Sara commented.
"Dating Colin has many benefits, Sara," Cassie replied. "You've got to admit that he's the best-looking guy in school. As the team captain he's sure to be chosen as king. Therefore, I will probably be picked as queen. It's sort of a tradition."
"Well, you certainly are a very attractive couple," their teacher, Mr. Bradley, remarked. "However, I would suggest you girls concentrate on your frog right now. You can discuss your love life after school."
Later that day, Sara asked Cassie the one question that Cassie had most hoped to avoid.
"So, how long has Colin been a Christian?"
Cassie didn't know what to say. She had never asked Colin if he had ever accepted Jesus as his Savior.
"I'm not sure," she quietly replied.
"He is a Christian, isn't he, Cassie?" Sara probed further. "Have you guys ever talked about the Lord?"
"Well, if you must know, the topic has never come up."
"So, you're dating a guy who doesn't know the Lord. Are you two getting serious?"
"Well, we've talked about being together after we graduate," Cassie replied.
"'Being together'--what does that mean?" Sara was increasingly concerned about her friend's relationship. "Are you planning to live together?"
"Maybe . . . I don't know, Sara. Why do you keep asking me all these questions?" Cassie's embarrassed annoyance was beginning to show.
"Cassie, that's wrong, and you know it!"
"No, I don't!" Cassie insisted. "Everyone lives together before they get married. It's sort of like the next step when you love each other."
"But you know the Bible says that sex outside marriage is a sin," Sara said firmly. "And it also says that you shouldn't be ‘yoked together with unbelievers.'"*
"What's that supposed to mean?" Cassie replied angrily. "Nobody talks like that anymore. That kind of language is so out of date it's practically fossilized. Besides, Colin explained it to me. He told me that sex outside marriage was wrong in the old days because if the man left, the woman would have nothing--no rights, no job, no money. But women have rights now. So, if a guy leaves, the woman just goes on working and living her life."
"So you think Jesus is out of date?" Sara asked. "You think that God changed His mind about what's right and wrong just because someone says He did?"
"Look, I'm tired of talking about this!"
"Cassie, God put His laws in the Bible to protect us. If Colin left you, do you really think that you'd just go on living your life as if nothing had ever happened between you two?"
"I don't know," Cassie responded. "I'm getting so confused. When Colin explained it to me it all made sense. Besides, I don't want to break up with him. I'll never find another guy that's so hot!"
"Looks aren't everything, Cassie."
"Yeah, but he's popular, and now I get invited to lots of parties, and we have a great time together. You have to admit that we're the best-looking couple in school," Cassie said proudly.
"Looks and popularity don't matter when you don't know where you're headed," Sara told her.
"I'm not discussing this with you anymore," Cassie said angrily.
"Okay, but answer one question for me," Sara replied. "Do you have peace in your heart about your relationship with Colin and your plans to live together?"
Cassie walked away without saying a word. But for the next few days she couldn't get that question out of her mind. It popped up at the strangest times--like when Colin was kissing her. She tried to ignore that uncomfortable feeling she got every time she thought about Sara's question, but it just wouldn't go away. In fact, it seemed to get worse every time she was with Colin.
Finally, Colin asked her, "What's wrong with you, Cassie? You never seem happy anymore when we're together."
"I was thinking, Colin," she replied. "Why don't we go to church on Sunday?"
"Why would I want to go to church?" Colin responded. "I've got better things to do than to listen to someone preach!"
"Have you ever asked Jesus to come into your heart and forgive your sins?" Cassie asked, hoping to hear him confirm her hope that he was a Christian.
"Look, Cassie, if you want to go to church, then just go! I don't need it!"
On Sunday night at the session for teens, Cassie sat in the last row and listened to a young woman tell her story.
"I should never have gotten involved with a guy who wasn't a Christian. I thought somehow I could bring him to the Lord. But all I got was a broken heart and a lot of regrets. I hope that none of you make the mistake I did."
Cassie's eyes filled with tears. "God, this is a very hard decision for me to make," she prayed. "Please help me."
Sara sat down next to her friend. "I know that God's been dealing with you about your relationship with Colin," she whispered. "I've been praying for you." She put her arm around Cassie. "God wants the best for you, Cassie. He really does."
Cassie sobbed. "Deep down inside I know I have to break up with Colin, but it's such a hard thing to do!"
"God will help you, Cassie," Sara said gently. "And I'll be here for you whenever you need to talk or cry on my shoulder."
"You promise that you will?"
"Yes, I do. Best friends help each other during the rough times."
"Okay, God," Cassie whispered. "I choose Your way. Please help me."
Immediately, Cassie felt a sense of peace inside.
"Do you think that God's smiling at me now, Sara?"
"Absolutely!" Sara replied.
By Nancy A. Stevens
* 2 Corinthians 6:14