Timing is everything. If you pick an apple before it’s ripe it will be sour. The same apple, just a few months later, will be sweet. Timing makes a big difference.
Whenever I’m asked whether it is the right time for a person to start dating, my answer is usually the same. If marriage is not an option for you right now, then dating is also not an option for right now. To clarify, if you think you’ll be ready for marriage in one year from now, that means it’s still not the right time for you to date. Once you are ready for marriage then you are ready for dating. Otherwise dating will lead to fornicating. Some say, “I am not ready for marriage but I want to date because I am lonely.” Don’t use someone’s heart to fix your loneliness. If you are lonely, get a dog, pick up a hobby, join a small group, sign up for a gym, develop a prayer life, get yourself some friends, but please don’t get someone’s heart involved just because you are an emotional wreck. Dating is not just for fun, it’s for marriage.Red Flag 🛑 of Dating: When you are ready for dating but you are not ready for marriage. Click To Tweet
Here’s one more piece of advice. I would highly recommend not to start dating until you have gotten over your ex. If you were in a relationship and it did not work out, it’s important to kill that relationship without hurting the person. Kill the horse, not the rider. There is a period of confusion, hurt, and even pain that people go through after a break-up. The temptation of the devil is to go into another relationship quickly, as a Band-Aid for the hurt from your previous relationship. That mistake can be detrimental to your future. I recommend waiting 8-12 months after a break up before you pursue the idea of dating again. That time should be taken to reflect, receive counseling, perhaps even deliverance and inner healing. Just because the relationship is over does not mean you are over it. When a violin stops playing, it doesn’t mean the strings automatically detach.
When you find that it’s your time for a relationship, you must look at the second most important issue in compatibility is the Christ factor. This applies to both your life and the life of the person that you are interested in.
A wife is bound by law as long as her husband lives; but if her husband dies, she is at liberty to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord. 1 Corinthians 7:39
You are at liberty to marry whomever you wish, only in the Lord. God made it clear that both people must be compatible in the Christ factor, meaning if you are in Christ, you can marry whomever you like as long as that person is in Christ as well.Red Flag 🛑 of Dating: The person you like believes in God, but does not follow Christ. Click To Tweet
Paul did not tell people to marry whom they wish as long as they believe in God. Muslims believe in God. Mormons believe in God. Demons believe in God and even tremble at His name, but they are still going to hell. Believing is not enough for marriage; they must follow Jesus. Is the person you want to date in the Lord? Have they repented? Have they been water baptized? Do they attend church and serve as well? Are they a part of a small group? Do they tithe? Do they have a thriving relationship with Jesus? These are all questions you need to ask yourself before jumping into a relationship with someone.
One of the main reasons God wants us to share the same faith in marriage is that it unites us spiritually – which is the deepest intimacy possible. Plus, both of you will have the same source to run to when problems arise. God is pro-marriage; He will always lead each person to become a better spouse.
Once you have the timing and faith issue squared away, you need to think about the character factor. This speaks of the inner life of a man. It’s the part of yourself that only you know, that others don’t. Many people base their opinion about someone on their reputation, instead of their character.Red Flag 🛑 of Dating: When you are dating a person, hoping for God to change them. Click To Tweet
Character is how we treat people, especially people we don’t need. Young men, pay attention to the way the girl talks to her dad and brothers; not long after the wedding she will talk in a similar way to you. Girls, pay attention to the way the guy you like treats his sisters and mom, because not long after the wedding, that’s how you will be treated. Character is how you react when your pride is injured – how you respond when things don’t go your way.Don’t date a person in hopes that marriage will fix them. Click To Tweet
If you don’t have peace about a relationship, PAUSE and PONDER before jumping into it. Many times, your peace is God’s protection. Don’t violate your intuition.
The spirit of a man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all the inner depths of his heart. Proverbs 20:27
Your spirit is the contact point for the Holy Spirit. Learn to discern the voice of the Lord inside of your heart. Now, it’s important that your spirit is connected to God’s Spirit. The Bible tells us not to follow our heart, because it’s deceitful. But when our spirit is reborn and is submitted to God, it becomes a tool God uses to guide you. Rarely, will you hear the audible voice of God when it relates to romantic relationships, but rather a still, small voice is what God will use to guide and protect you. Pay attention to it. Don’t do anything unless you have that kind of peace.Red Flag 🛑 of Dating: When your gut tells you “this is not right.” Click To Tweet
The word coach comes from horse-drawn coaches. These types of vehicles were originally used to transport royalty, but in time they also carried valuables, mail, and common passengers. A “coach” contains something, or someone, who carries a valued person from where they are to where they want to be. Mentors, or spiritual guides, are those coaches. They carry us from where we are, to where we need to go. Almost everyone learns either from mentors or mistakes. Sadly, many don’t even learn from their mistakes. If we don’t listen to mentors, we have to learn from our mistakes.Red Flag 🛑 of Dating: When your mentors don’t support the relationship. Click To Tweet
In Proverbs 11:14 it says, “Where there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” When it comes to dating relationships, it’s important to listen to your mentors. Mentors can be someone like your parents, pastor, or small group leader. If your mentors don’t support the relationship, it’s probably not a good idea. Mentors can see facts, whereas you see things through a cloud of feelings. Even though it’s your decision who to marry; not your parents’ or pastor’s; it would be wise to borrow their wisdom for this decision.
Chemistry, in this case, refers to physical attraction or infatuation. I know I mentioned that we should not use infatuation as a foundation for decision making. While I very much believe that physical attraction is not the most important thing, it still has its place in dating and marriage.Red Flag 🛑 of Dating: Dating someone without being attracted to them. Click To Tweet
I want to be clear; attraction is not lust. Lust is something forbidden. Attraction is the feeling of wanting to be with that person. It’s not love, because love is a choice and sacrifice. It’s more like infatuation, which it’s good to have in the beginning. A relationship can’t be based on that, but you should not start a relationship if you don’t have it at all.
This blog was written by Vladimir Savchuk.
Pastor Vlad is the lead pastor of Hungry Generation Church, an author of “Break Free” and “Single, Ready to Mingle” and a founder of free online school “Vlad’s School.” To download free e-books, sermon series, small group study guides go to vladimirsavchuk.com
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