I am twenty-nine, and have known my boyfriend since I was twenty-four…. We have plans to get married, because we get along very well. But recently my mother heard that my boyfriend is very aggressive, which is not true; that his maternal grandmother died from schizophrenia; and that his biological father beat his own sister to death, which I didn’t know and my boyfriend didn’t even know about.

Now I really don’t know what to do, because my mother says that all of those curses are hereditary. I love him very much, but it shocked me to hear these things, and I don’t want my future children to be cursed. But I don’t want to break up with him either. What can I do? 

Dear Friend,

Mothers want the best for their children, but sometimes they can be overprotective. You are twenty-nine years old, and that is certainly old enough to make your own decision and to ask your mother to respect whatever decision you make.

However, anytime that there are doubts about a person’s character, it is best to slow down and proceed with caution. Your mother believes that your boyfriend is very aggressive, but you don’t agree with her. Possibly you don’t agree because you don’t want to believe it. And possibly your mother is mistaken. How can you know what is true? Wait! Wait a while longer to make any definite wedding plans. Wait and give yourself time to really know this man. Wait and observe how he acts when he is angry and how he reacts when he doesn’t get his own way. Observe how he treats other people and how he gets along with his family. Pay attention to any conflicts in his personal life or occupation.

We don’t believe in curses. Nor do we believe that criminal behavior is genetic. However, the illness of schizophrenia does have a genetic component. If your boyfriend’s grandmother was schizophrenic, then he has a higher-than-average chance of developing schizophrenia. If his father was also schizophrenic (which could have led to the violence), then the risk is greater. However, if your boyfriend never lived with any schizophrenic, then the risk is diminished, because there also seems to be an environmental component to the illness. Furthermore, no one dies from schizophrenia, so that misinformation that your mother was told may indicate that other parts of the story are also in doubt. In any case, we recommend that you consult a medical doctor or a genetic counselor before you make a final decision about marriage.

You need supernatural wisdom to help you know what to do, and supernatural strength to help you follow through. We have found that our personal relationship with God, through His Son Jesus Christ, provides that wisdom and strength. If you haven’t yet asked Jesus to be your personal Savior and best friend, we recommend that you take that step today. Don’t wait on a relationship with Jesus. You can trust Him to guide you down the best path for your life.

I wish you well,