Recently, I counseled with a young single person about their relationship with a member of the opposite gender. I tried to give them some principles and opinions that I thought might be helpful to other single people. I recognize that I do not have Bible for all of this, but maybe something I say will be of use. Let me know if you have any thoughts or principles to add.
1. Determine the purpose of the relationship
First, in my opinion, any serious relationship between a young lady and a young man should not be just for the purpose of a fun relationship but should be entered into if you believe the person might be a possible husband or wife. I don’t really think you should date/court/etc anyone that you would not consider marrying.
2. Take things slowly
Second, because of that, I think you should be very careful with whom you initiate a serous relationship. I think you need to realize that as soon as you get close and emotions are involved, it is harder to think rationally and to be willing to give up that relationship if there are warning signs. I think it is wise to stay “friends” as long as possible without any kind of special relationship, so that you can get to know them from a distance. This would mean watching, observing, and seeing what kind of person they are for a long time. Often a person that you think is great and Godly is not always what they appear and sometimes a person that you don’t have much time for impresses you over time. That is basically what is being said about potential pastors in 1 Timothy 5:24-25, and that is why God says to lay hands on any man suddenly (or don’t ordain them quickly). I am thankful that I took the time to wait to initiate many relationship, because often a person what not who they seemed to be based on first impressions. In contrast, the more I noticed Teri the more I noted her love for the Lord, her servant’s heart, etc. Even when wee began a friendship, we tried not to allow our relationship to go beyond just a friendship for a long time because we wanted to find out if God was in that relationship before we got more serious.
3. Be the right kind of person
Third, more important than finding a mate is being the kind of mate you should be. Often young people set out to find a husband or wife, but they have the wrong goal. Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” That means to put God first and serve Him. Don’t put finding a husband or wife first or even second. Just serve God and He will add all other things to you that you need, when you need them, including a spouse. Other Godly young people are going to be looking for someone who is busy serving not someone who is just waiting. As you are in the way (Genesis 24:17), doing what you know to do is right, God will lead you and direct you.
4. Get wise counsel
Fourth, because emotions regarding these things can often cloud our judgment, we need to consult with wise counsellors. Those counsellors cannot tell you God’s will, but they can give you counsel and things to consider. They may not be able to say who you should marry but they can tell you why they are concerned about a relationship. I would seriously consider the concerns of Godly people who love you and want your best regarding your future especially in this area of relationships.
5. Surrender yourself to God
Fifth, and most important, you will not know God’s will until you are willing to do His will. Jesus said in John 7:17 “17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” In other words if you are willing to do his will, you will know the doctrine (truth). Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight thyself also in the Lord; And he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” The key is to get so in love with the Lord and be willing to do whatever He wants and He will guide your desires and change your desires to do what He wants you to do. Are you really willing to stay single for the rest of your life if that is what God wants? Sometimes we are so determined to get what we want that we convince ourselves something is God’s will. Are you really willing to wait a long time for a wife or husband? That is the place that I got to as a young man. I wanted to be married, but I felt that I would never find a wife. God led me to Teri soon after I finally said, “God I will be willing to be single if that is what you want,” and I genuinely meant it.
Finally, pray. Often we work, strive, and plan. We try to make things happen instead of giving it to God. When Abraham sent his servant to find a wife for his son Isaac, he realised the need to pray. He had the gifts, he had the blessing of his master, and he had alot to offer, but he needed God’s guidance, so He prayed. I am so glad that as a 16 year old I was challenged to begin praying for my future wife.
God brought an amazing woman into my life over 12 years ago. I give Him all the glory for that. Let me challenge you to seek the Lord. Trust Him with your plans, your future, and your goals. You will not regret it. Psalm 84:11 says, “For the Lord God is a sun and shield: The Lord will give grace and glory: No good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.”