Fri | Oct 7, 2022

In love with my fourth cousin

Published:Tuesday | March 22, 2016 | 1:55 PM- I.L.

Dear Joan,

I am somewhat embarrassed to talk about this, but I need your advice. I find myself in a situation that some of my relatives and friends are frowning upon. I am very much in love with my fourth cousin and he feels the same way about me.

The truth is that I can't pinpoint a time when our feelings towards each other changed. We both like the same things and we go out a lot. He is fun to be around and makes me laugh a lot. It started out as me being very comfortable with him. There was no hint of intimacy between us. However, one day we were clowning around at his house. He told me a really funny joke and I started laughing so hard I collapsed atop him. We were both laughing away until we both stopped and started staring in each other's eyes. Before I knew it, his head was bending closer to mine and we were kissing passionately.

Since then, we have been kissing a lot, but we haven't made love. I guess people are noticing that there is something different about our relationship because two of my first cousins told me that it is foolhardy to pursue a relationship like that. Is it a sin for me to be with my fourth cousin?

Dear I.L.,

You are the only one who can decide what to do in this situation. What I can tell you is that biblically, it would not be a sin for you to be with your fourth cousin should you both decide to get married and live a godly life.

In the Bible, there are numerous stories of the children of Israel marrying their cousins - this way the bloodline remains pure.

I can understand what your other closer cousins are thinking though as whether it's second, third or fourth family reunions always sees some of these showing up.

Ask yourself these questions - Is your love strong enough to deal with the negative feedback you will receive? Are you sure the 'love fever' hasn't arisen because you have been spending too much time with each other?

Let this be a guide as you make up your mind in what you really want to do.

Blessings.

Should tongues be spoken

without an interpreter?

Dear Joan,

I am a young Christian and I am confused about something. Sometimes in church, we see people rising out of their seats jumping, dancing and saying some strange words. I guess that's what you call tongues. However, they go on and on and most of us are just looking at them not having a clue what they are talking about.

I read in 1st Corinthians 14:27 that if any man speak in an unknown tongue, there should be at least one who can interpret. Most times, the service is prolonged as they take a long time before they can settle down and we are all still in the dark regarding what was said.

What do you think? should they be silent unless there is someone to interpret?

Dear J.K.,

Congrats on surrendering your life to the Lord. It is the best decision you will ever make. To be honest, I have been to a lot of churches observing members speaking in tongues and I have yet to hear any interpretation. At the risk of having anyone being upset with me, I agree with the scripture you have quoted. The spirit is subject to man and not man to the spirit. Wisdom should be exercised in everything that is done. Allowing service to go on until 11 or 12 midnight with the excuse that the spirit took over is not wisdom.

What you can do is have a talk with your pastor, share your opinion, and hear what he has to say.

Blessings.

n Do you have an issue in church and need guidance? Send questions to

familyandreligion@gleanerjm.com.