Years ago, when I was younger (too young), I was in a relationship with a girl of a different faith. Despite our different beliefs, we got along wonderfully. We made one another laugh, we encouraged each other when we were down, and we left God completely out of the relationship.
On a side note, “missionary dating” is not a thing. It is a distraction and an excuse for you to suppress the Holy Spirit. You hope that, by some miracle, your “light” for Jesus will draw them home, as you “minister” to him or her by leading them on. Let’s stop that.
Now, back to my story. One evening, I was home alone. The wind was howling, the freezing rain was pelting the windows, and the winter air was wafting under the door, and I had some scented candles lit for some ambiance.
I had just had a disagreement with my parents about this girl I was seeing who didn’t love Jesus. In spite of all of my reasoning, I just could not get that argument out of my head. To distract myself, I turned on the TV. The first channel that popped up was a Christian broadcasting channel. The first words that came out of that pastor’s mouth were something along the lines of, “You know when you’re disobeying God, so drop that sin, repent, and He will restore you!”
I glared at the TV and shot back, “I am not breaking up with Rebekah!” Instantly, the thunder quaked, the TV shut off, and a breeze blew through my living room, snuffing out the candles. The feeling of conviction and holy fear was overwhelming.
I broke it off with Rebekah.
Maybe you’ve been where I was, or know someone in that situation.
Stop assuming God is in your relationship if you have these three red flags:
- He or she draws out your sexuality over your sanctification. It was extremely easy to “shelf” my Christianity, because Rebekah knew what a teenage boy was after, and I had never been kissed. The human sex drive is a powerful function that God created, for marriage. The world wants us to sell out for a moment of pleasure. If this relationship ever—whether because of infatuation, sexual desire, or mere distraction—causes you to forget and abandon your First Love, God is not glorified, and this relationship is not from Him.
- You find yourself batting away caution on a regular basis. I’ve had it both ways: good and bad, in terms of relationships. With this ungodly relationship, I would enjoy being with this girl, laugh all the way home, and frown as I drifted off to sleep. When I was with the girl who is now my wife, we would worship together in the car; I would cover her and champion purity in our relationship, and I would go to bed at night, feeling closer to my First Love because of Sarah. If you are swatting at foreboding, convicting thoughts, you are in danger of hardening your heart and suppressing the Holy Spirit’s leading.
- Family, friends, and spiritual leaders warn you of the dangers of the relationship. Whether by mere outside perspective, spiritual discernment, or recalling their own past experiences, the godly people in your life who voice some red flags about your relationship are valid voices. They aren’t infatuated with the person, so they aren’t under the influence of adrenaline, dopamine, and serotonin (the chemicals released in your brain when you fall in love).
God renews our minds to want what He wants. And it is so good. Please, don’t sell yourself short. Save yourself for Jesus and watch as He shapes your desires into un-shakeable standards, and then provides the mate to meet those standards!