Today’s blog post is a reader question I received last week:
“I am currently single but am talking to someone that I’m interested in…..one thing that’s hindering me from moving along and courting him is that I feel like my relationship with Christ isn’t strong. I’ve grown up in the church however I’ve been struggling to develop my own relationship with God. He, on the other hand, has a strong relationship with Christ. And I feel like in order for us to put Christ in the center of our relationship, we as individuals must first have a relationship with Christ. Should I stop talking to him so that I can focus on my walk with God? How do I know if it’s the right move to make to court him? How can I get clarity that it is him that God is leading me to be with? “
First of all, I think it’s great that this reader realized that she needs clarity on whether or not she should take her relationship with this person to the next level instead of rushing into it.
Secondly, it’s very important to do some soul-searching when making a decision like this. When people rush into relationships without first making sure they are grounded, it’s easy for them to lose themselves. That being said, the fact that she recognized that her friend has a “stronger” relationship with Christ than she does may also lead to her becoming dependent on him spiritually and emotionally if she doesn’t take the time to get grounded herself.
Does that mean she should cut off her friendship with the young man she’s been seeing? Not necessarily. It just means she needs to make more time and room in her life to become spiritually and emotionally grounded and that’s okay.
So how do you go about aligning yourself with God, when deciding if you should date?
Know your WHY.
Why is it that you want to have a better relationship with God? Is it because you’re afraid that your romantic relationship is doomed to fail unless you read your Bible and pray every day? Fear won’t keep you consistent in your faith. It’s a very short-term motivator for anything worthwhile.
If you want to be consistent in exercising your faith because you’re humbled by the depth of His love for you and how much He cares for you, you’ll be more motivated to spend time with God and you will even look forward to those moments alone with Him.
Answer this question honestly and if the root of your desire is fear, let me be the first to tell you that God isn’t waiting in the sky to hit your life with lightning bolts of doom if you don’t do what He says. He wants you to want Him. That’s how love works. And He’s willing to stand on the sidelines of your life patiently until you decide that you do. In the meantime, he allows you to see and feel His love for you in a million different ways every day.
2. Figure out WHO you want to be.
Every decision you make (especially the life-altering ones), needs to be evaluated. You need to determine if the decision you are about to make will take you closer to being the person you want to be, or further away. Take some time alone to think about the kind of life YOU want to live, not your parents or church or even the person you’re dating. Decide for yourself. (If you need help with that, I have a resource I can send you. Just sign up for my updates at the bottom of the blog).
Once you have that part figured out, you can have more clarity on whether the other decisions you’re currently making in your life are right for you or not.You will see whether being with this person is going to help you grow, or bring you down.
3. Re-prioritize your time.
Show me how you use your time, and I’ll show you what your priorities are. Once you decide to be more intentional about your relationship with God, take a look at your schedule. Make a list of everything you do every day. What activities can you REPLACE with something more meaningful? Instead of staying up late to watch YouTube videos (guilty! lol), try using 10 minutes of that time to journal. I love journaling, especially when it’s been a while since I talked to God. It helps me sort out my thoughts and tell God what’s really on my mind, and not just what I think He wants me to say. When you spend more time doing things that help you grow, it will be easier to tell if a person belongs in your life.
4. Don’t rush to make a decision until you have peace.
It’s great that this reader realized her relationship with God needed work. She said it was keeping her from taking her relationship to the next step, and that’s okay. You never want to make a potentially life-changing decision until you have peace and clarity that this is the right way to move forward. So I would say to keep focusing on your growth until you feel ready.
Taking time to grow your relationship with God before you enter a relationship with someone shows maturity. The last thing you want is for your boyfriend or girlfriend to become your emotional or spiritual crutch, or to lose yourself in the person you are dating. The person you date should not have more influence over you than God Himself. It’s much healthier to work on your own growth. As you mature, you might discover that you’re even more compatible with the person you are dating, or that it’s best to just be friends.
Either way, your relationship with God and your individual identity will be solid because you took the time to work on you!