Recently, I was posed a similar question (slight details changed) to the one below. I have posted this to help encourage women who are currently in a newer dating relationship (or considering a dating relationship) and might be struggling with some similar thoughts. Marriage is a wonderful gift from God, and one of the highest committments you may endeavor after salvation. I challenge you to use your time in a dating relationship to seek the Lord and His word regularly, ask for Godly counsel often, and evaluate your relationship frequently.

Question:

Hey Joy —  I’m seeing someone and have been for almost  three months. We’re starting to get more serious and intentional in talking about marriage and family. I really want to glorify God in this relationship. However, nothing has been like I expected. Even though I know that our relationship shouldn’t be merely roses and butterflies, I guess I thought there would be more of that and less working through things. We’ve been working through a lot. But at the same time I think that we’re taking a pretty realistic approach to our relationship.

I find that my emotions have been all over the map. I used to think I was a pretty stable person, now I’m not so sure. I’ve cried more over him and our relationship than any other single thing. I do believe God is leading our relationship. I care about him, and I know he cares about me … but I realized recently that I don’t *feel* that he cares for me even though I *know* he does. It’s odd. Sometimes I feel like I absolutely need him and other times I don’t. I’m glad he’s there, I’m content to be with him, but I don’t feel wildly excited.

We usually see each other 5 to 6 days a week . I didn’t see him for four days in a row recently. I missed him, but I wasn’t passionately excited about the thought of seeing him again, and I wasn’t that way when I did see him. I was glad to see him and just look at him and rest in being with him, but I wasn’t ecstatic.

I think I’m starting to be scared by how deeply I care for him. Maybe part of that stems from me not feeling his affection for me, even though I know it’s there? I’m also starting to realize just what a big deal what we’re considering is. Marriage. Family. Forever.

I don’t know if any of that makes sense, or if you can relate to it, but if you don’t mind sharing your thoughts/impressions maybe it would help me. I’m not used to feeling out of control and I totally am in this case.

Answer:

I really appreciate your compliment in desiring my thoughts on the matter. I am thankful that you desire to glorify God in all of your life. I am glad to hear that your relationship isn’t solely focused on emotions and flutters- but on asking real questions and contemplating issues that you will face in the future. Keep asking loads of questions. Ask for wisdom all the time! Read your Bible, pray a ton. Next to salvation this is the biggest decision you will ever make. Your primary job outside of loving your God will be to be a helpmate for your future husband. You had better know you can submit to him joyfully before you commit to marriage with him for a lifetime. So, ultimately, I am proud of you!

Okay, let’s get to your questions:

Again, I am working off some of my experience here, but this is my two cents: Plenty of people have barely known someone before they were married and have had perfectly fulfilling marriages. It is interesting that the only biblical commandment that we are given in regards to who to marry is to marry a believer. That is all. All else is secondary. Of course, certain types of men will make better husbands than others. If this guy is a believer, if you believe he is the type of man you are willing to follow in marriage for the next 50 years then this is the primary biblical precedent placed upon you. Marriage isn’t primarily about how you feel about someone, rather it is a daily choice to deny yourself for the good of another person. It is choosing to love them like Christ loved you, and forcing your feelings (should they be otherwise) to follow suit. Feelings will often fool you, especially women (and especially during pregnancy with all those raging hormones, watch out!) so constantly act on the truth of scripture, renewing your mind in it. Repeat scripture aloud and follow it. However, with that also said- you don’t need to marry any guy who professes to be a believer. You are commanded to submit to your husband- so life is going to be better for you if you can find someone with whom you are crazy in love with his walk with the Lord. Shaun was seriously one of the wisest men I knew. I loved the Jesus that was constantly shining out of him. I would get all giddy excited because I consistently saw him serving the church in a way I couldn’t wait to follow and personally walk alongside of him in. I watched Shaun read the Bible daily, pray on his knees, share the gospel, heard of his character from old friends and new. Through and through he exemplified someone I trusted and knew I could wholeheartedly follow. Our doctrine was almost exactly similar. Our worship traditions were very similar. Our study of the word (commentaries, books, sermons) were from the same pastors and godly men. Our future desires in life were along the same lines (i.e. we were both open to missions work, church planting, teaching at a university) When we had disagreements- it was primarily over unmet expectations and selfishness. e.g. I wanted Shaun to talk more. I wished Shaun would wear different clothes. Shaun wished I would share more of my stuff (material possessions) with my sister. Shaun wished I wasn’t a procrastinator.

These type of arguments are normal- they are two sinners working through their differences of opinion. We are two very different personalities and people- so we will have differences and conflict. This is good though, we compliment each other in marriage. Yet, I would warn you to be on guard if your conflicts and disagreements are solely about doctrinal issues and ministry desires. These are foundational issues that you need to be in agreement about. You can work through unmet expectations and selfishness. You can submit to his selfish preferences (the Lord can handle him). It is much harder to work through doctrinal differences and to submit to an opposing doctrine.

So, in conclusion, it is ok if you aren’t crazy excited every time you see this guy. You can choose to love anyone. But I would also be a tad concerned if you aren’t excited about him a good bit of the time. When you are dating you are both putting on your best behavior. You have time to make yourselves look physically attractive, you can meet over a nice dinner and have prepared pleasant conversation to talk through.  If you are already bickering during the easiest time to like each other, it is something to be concerned about. You can work through these issues in marriage, but why not marry someone with whom these issues may not be as difficult. There are plenty of guys out there- do not settle! Marriage and family are huge commitments, make this decision worthwhile! Ask yourself tough questions: Am I argumentative? Am I being selfish? Am I hard to get along with? If the answer to any of these is yes, then repent! If you do not see yourself responding this way to this guy, perhaps you need to decide if there is another guy that might better compliment you in marriage.

If you feel that you have a good foundation and are just working through selfish differences, work to resolve your conflicts. Pray, pray, pray. Ask your parents and those you trust around you if they would also pray about this guy’s character and whether they think you two can glorify God better as a married couple than you both being single.

What other dating questions do you have? Feel free to leave a comment or gmail me: joymichelleprice

Thanks for reading!

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