My boyfriend didn’t serve a mission, but I did. I love him and I feel like we’re very compatible and I can see that he loves the Lord very much, which is important to me. My mom, however, has made some comments about him not going on a mission. She keeps implying that if he really loved the Lord then he would have served, or that because I served and he didn’t, he’s not worthy of me. Maybe I am blinded by love, but I think she’s out of line. Do you and others think what she is saying is true? If I serve a mission am I selling myself short if I don’t date or marry someone else who also served a mission?
There are all sorts of reasons to reject someone based on their past choices. But does your guy love the Lord now, and can you see that?
Your mother knows that missionary service is a priesthood duty in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and a blessing to all who serve, and you can’t fault her for wanting that for you, her future son-in-law and your future family. But not all young men, for whatever reason, serve missions — and that doesn’t make them unfit prospective husbands.
Make the conversation with your mom more about who he is, not who he was, or what he does and not what he did. This will help her to see him how you see him. Remember, moms care a lot, and even if you think your mom’s caring is “out of line,” work with it. Because at its core, it’s a great thing.
Ultimately, however, you’ll want to be the one who prayerfully chooses the best partner for you. Other people’s opinions (i.e., your mom’s, your friends’, mine, the people who comment on this article) can’t compare to your inner and private feelings about him. Trust those feelings, trust yourself and trust God.
A friend of mine recently made a similar decision about a guy who hadn’t yet graduated from college. She has her degree and because he doesn’t have his everyone said he wasn’t “good enough” for her. But because she’s gotten to know him and sees how he approaches work, and those around him, she sees that what he lacks in formal education he makes up for in his desire to serve, his willingness to forgive, his devotion to her and his family, and his love of God. All good things for you to consider, too.
Missionary service is wonderful and important and something the Lord asks his sons to do, as you know. But with decisions like these, don’t automatically discount him for what he seems to lack. Be prayerful and trust the Spirit.
Advice columnist Angela Trusty answers questions about a variety of topics, including the Mormon young single adult experience. She is published weekly in the Deseret News and Washington Times. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: angelatrusty