I love you. I really do … and that's why I've got to talk to you straight today.
I receive a lot of prayer requests, emails, and blog comments about people's dating relationships. Sometimes they are going great. Other times, they aren't. If you are in a dating relationship that isn't working out, this post is for you today.
Beloved, I want to talk to you about a tough subject: your dating relationship.
This particular line of conversation is something that very few people want to talk about. But, I hope you'll bear with me anyway.
Here's the thing:
The prayer requests I receive often go like this:
“Please pray for me and so-and-so, that we would finally get married and live a happy life together.”
“Please pray for a heart change for Mr. Almost, so he would marry me quickly and Father's will would be done.”
Insert any number of very heartfelt variations on these words here.
Related: Prayer to Find a Husband or Wife
The problem with that is–and I really, really don't like to be the one to say this, but my heart goes out to you!–
Beloved, if your dating relationship isn't working out, it is entirely possible that that relationship is NOT Father's will for you.
And unfortunately, I think it's safe to say that if your dating relationship isn't working out, it's usually because it's not Father's will for you to marry that person.
(Notice I said “dating relationship,” not “marriage.” Marriage is a totally different subject, and not one I'm addressing here. This post is only for people who are not married, but who want to be.)
I know it's hard to even think the thought that the person you love/want might not be for you.
Even thinking it can hurt … and I am certainly not the expert on your situation specifically. Also, please notice that I said “usually,” not “definitely.” There are exceptions.
But, still, it is very often the case–I think it's okay to even say “usually the case”–that, when things aren't working out with a dating relationship, it's usually because it's not God's will in the first place.
I'm sorry. I know that can be hard to think about. But, much of the time, it's still true.
How can I say that?
Sweet friend, we serve a great, big God who is better, kinder, nicer, and more protective than we could ever imagine. And whether you feel like it or not at this moment, He cares about you more than you could ever even care about yourself.
That means He cares about you and everything about you. He cares about what matters to you. He cares how you feel right now. But because He is bigger …
… and because He knows everything …
… He can look at the big picture and see exactly how every part of your life should turn out.
He can also see how every aspect of your life would turn out if you made XYZ choice.
He knows what things would look like for you if you married that man. He knows how your life would turn out if you married that woman.
And friend, if it were His will for you, His hand would be on it. God's grace makes things work. And the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, self-control, etc.
If Holy Spirit were present in something, He would be manifesting Himself–and there would be love, joy, peace, and all the other fruit of the Spirit in the situation. If those fruits are absent, Holy Spirit isn't there. If there's no flow, God's not in it.
That doesn't mean you won't ever have problems in a dating relationship.
I know people who have had brief breakups and then ended up together eventually after all. I'm sure you do too. In those situations, it may have been a timing issue. They seem to be all right now. So if you're not together with someone right now, then yes, it's still possible God could bring you back together.
But from what I personally have seen, those relationships are the exception, not the norm.
There's no formula. I can't give you a percentage of time when a relationship isn't God. BUT …
Because it's such an incredibly sensitive issue, with life-altering consequences …
I strongly encourage you to pray a different way.
Here's how I encourage you to pray:
“Lord, if this person is the spouse You have for me, then bring us back together in Your way and Your time. And if this is not the spouse You have for me, then please separate us and end every aspect of our relationship that doesn't please You.”
In other words, instead of praying to get your way, pray for Jesus' Lordship. Pray for His Kingdom to come and His will to be done on earth as it is in Heaven.
I know it can be hard to change the way you pray–especially when your heart is involved.
When you love someone, it can be terrifying to even imagine living without them. But remember, if this person IS God's will for you, then this prayer won't hurt a thing. And if this person isn't God's best for you, it's only because He has someone in mind who is SO much better:
- A godly spouse.
- Someone filled with godly dreams, thoughts, and desires.
- A man for you ladies, or a wife for you brothers, who will seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.
- A spouse who will honor you and love you sacrificially.
- A true partner in every sense of the word.
Don't you want a spouse like that?
And even more, isn't the Lordship of Jesus worth making a little change in the way you pray?
My friend, please. Trust Jesus with your need for a spouse, and wait on His timing and His person.
The person you're dating may be the right one–but he/she may not be. If you insist on having this person, not only do you open a door to the enemy, but you might actually get what you ask for–and have your life ruined.
Only Jesus knows.
So will you submit your dating relationship to Jesus?
Will you ask Him to do what's best for you, and then let Him work? Will you ask Him to bring you the right person, and deliver you from the wrong person?
If you will, He will.