Wouldn’t you like to side-step months of disappointing dating experience and just meet God’s best for you? Imagine attracting a healthy, happy, loving, and well-adjusted partner who loves God with all his heart? These 8 questions will help you to know if you are ready to meet your Godly husband or if you are in for more dating heartache. It will also give you some practical advice on how to get into “dating shape” emotionally and spiritually to attract and be attracted to a Godly husband who will be a delight to date and an even greater delight to marry.
Past Experiences Don’t Set Your Future
This may come to a shock to many who have experienced repeated heartache in Christian dating, all the good men are not taken. It doesn’t matter how old you are, I firmly believe that to be the truth. Our dating experiences are- for good or for bad- a reflection of us and where we are in our own emotional, spiritual and psychological health at any given point in time.
I had a list for many years of characteristics I desired in my ideal future spouse. That list included godliness, kindness, selflessness, and calmness. Honestly, I wasn’t that person myself at the time. Until I really started to get serious with my walk with God I attracted similar shallow believers. My low self-esteem attracted men who, although on the surface were macho men with much bravissimo, were equally low in self-esteem. All this caused in my dating life was D-R-A-M-A! Being surrounded by family and friends in very unhappy or broken relationships also lowered my expectations about what a relationship was actually supposed to look like and what I could reasonably expect especially as I got older.
So a few years ago, I decided to start dealing with my own issues. I realized I was carrying a lot of unnecessary emotional baggage and it was controlling my dating life. I invited Godly people to work with me to release all those things. It was hard personal work, but it was worth it. I have been happily married to a pastor for the last 4 years and I am glad I waited (until age 46!) until I was emotionally and spiritually ready.
8 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Dating as a Christian:
So, if you believe God has called you to marriage, it is possible to save yourself years of dating frustration. Please answer these 8 questions honestly and with some deep reflection. If the answer to any is yes, don’t date now. Do the necessary personal work first. You will attract a much healthier man and be rewarded with a secure and loving Christ-centered marriage.
1. Have you noticed a negative pattern in your dating experiences?
For example, are you noticing every time you attract a guy that he comes on strong for a few weeks, you fall hard for him, and then he suddenly becomes cold and unavailable?
2. Are you instantly deeply attracted to someone who at some level feels very familiar but eventually leads to unhappy dating experiences?
3. Do you view yourself negatively?
This requires brutal honesty and a period of quiet reflection. If you feel you are undeserving, damaged, or ugly you will attract someone who will reflect that in some way.
4. Is your relationship with the Lord shallow?
I like this related question asked in my bible study group recently, “when you need help where is the first place you turn to?” For example, is it your bank account, a person, something else, or is it God?
5. Are you marrying focused on getting something?
Marrying because you rounded 35 and now have “baby fever” is an idolatrous motive which will lead you to wrong choices. Marrying to solve lust problems, loneliness or increase your social status is also unlikely to solve the root problem. Who you are before marriage is basically who you are after, marriage will not change your personality. Remember marriage is about giving unconditional love.
6. Do you have no close loving, long-term friendships?
If you don’t currently have the relational skills to maintain a long-term close relationship with friends you will not have the skills needed to maintain a healthy relationship with your spouse.
7. Do you have un-forgiveness or unresolved/ongoing conflict with a parent or guardian from your childhood?
Believe it or not, your parental relationships have a huge impact on your dating choices as an adult.
8. Are not over your ex?
Signs you may not be over them would be: holding unforgiveness; thinking about them often; getting upset when you think about them; and (gulp) stalking them on social media. We are more likely to make a poor choice if we haven’t properly grieved and released a past relationship.
What to do if you are not ready
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you have some work to do to get in “shape” emotionally, psychologically and spiritually to be ready for the ministry of marriage. Serving God and your spouse as a wife will be a ministry. Hold off dating for now while you work on these areas. Spend some time getting closer to the Lord. If there are unresolved childhood or other hurts or you find yourself very isolated, consider working with a Christian psychotherapist or counsellor to unpack and release these things.
Lastly, Sacred Search by Gary Thomas is an excellent book about the Godly purpose of marriage. This book challenged me about my motives for marriage when I was dating. I highly recommend it as you get into “dating shape”.
Let me know please if these questions were helpful for you or if there are other questions you think would also be helpful.
I wasn’t ready for a long time. You can read about my life a bit here.
Key Takeaways: What you attract in your dating life is a reflection of the current state of your emotional, spiritual, psychological and relational health. Eight questions are provided here to help you know how ready you are to meet your God-given spouse, with advice on how to get ready if you are not there yet.
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