When I was single the hardest part for me was all the unknowns. Some really struggle with loneliness in their singleness, others struggle because they like someone who does not like them back, but for me the struggle was more about knowing what God did or did not want me to do.
I would have been sad if he said, “Don’t date,” but I also would have been relieved if he would have said anything that clearly.
You Won’t Ever Know Everything About God’s Plan for You In Dating
What I felt God was telling me during my season of singleness, especially leading up to dating my now wife, was that he was not going to take the risk out of everything by telling me exactly what I should do and what will happen when I do it. I wanted to know if I should date Bethany, if she would say yes, and if this dating experience would end in marriage.
But again, the more I prayed about these things, the more I felt God saying things like, “Would you really want me to tell you everything? Wouldn’t it be more adventurous and enjoyable if you just lived my plan rather than me telling you everything before it happens? Would your future wife like the idea of you only asking her out because you knew she would say yes? Risk is always a part of true love. If you are not willing to risk getting hurt, you are not on the path of true love. Love is always dangerous. Love anyway. ”
So when we are asking these questions about whether or not God wants us to date in general or date this certain person, we have to be careful we are not asking, “How will this turn out if I risk trying to love someone? If I step out in faith, will you bless me exactly the way I want? Show me what will happen if I follow you and then I will follow you.” That’s neither what God wants nor what your future spouse wants.
With all that said, God certainly wants us to pray about everything, including “Does God want me to date?” This article could be a lesson in how to hear God’s voice which would then help you know what God is actually saying to you about dating. In short, God speaks through his word, through the impressions the Holy Spirit puts on your heart, and through the circumstances of your life.
I encourage you to look more into the general topic of how hear to God’s voice, but rather than be so general here, let’s focus more on the “wisdom” side of things. God does speak to us directly and certainly can tell you directly on if you are ready to date or if you should date this certain person or not. If you feel the Holy Spirit leading you a certain way, if you can confirm it in God’s word, and if the circumstances of life also confirm what you are hearing, then go with that.
What follows are some concrete indicators to help you answer questions regarding if God wants you to date in general or date a certain person.
Does God Want Us (Christians) to Date?
If we take the most general question first, “Does God want us to date?” meaning “Is it okay for Christians to date?” then I believe we can answer yes. Dating is not a topic directly discussed in the Bible, but it is not one that is discouraged either.
God calls some Christians to singleness, but he calls the majority of Christians to marriage. The path to marriage is never a one-size-fits-all type of thing. But the path many take in our culture is traditional dating. Since this can lead to a healthy marriage, it’s safe to say God does want you to date if you feel the call towards marriage and not singleness.
Does God Want Me to Date?
While dating is good for Christians who are using it not just for fun or companionship but for finding a spouse, it is much harder to answer the questions “Does God want me to date?”
If you are personally unsure if God wants you to date, answering this question starts with deciding if you even want to be married one day or not. If you have no sexual desire and you feel you would be content without a spouse, it may mean you have the gift of singleness.
If you would be sad about not getting married and you do have a sexual desire, this is a good sign you are probably not called to singleness. We can’t guarantee anything. Certainly some would like to be married who are not. But when God puts a desire for marriage on your heart, it usually means he has called you to marriage.
If you feel you would like to marry one day, the next question to answers is if you are ready for marriage right now?Are you mature enough to handle conflict well that will occur in marriage or do you have a track record of abandoning people as soon as there is a disagreement? Are you a financial wreck and would your debt totally sink your future spouse? Are you addicted to porn or some other sexual sin? Are you still recovering from a previous relationship?
In other words, if you want to answer, “Does God want me to date?” it helps to ask, “Is there any reason God would not want me to date?” If you are walking with God, there are no addictive sins in your life (we all sin, but that’s different from walking in the same sin all the time), and you are at a stage in life where marriage is realistic, this is a strong indicator God does want you to date.
The only other thing I would say is ask other people in your life if they think you are ready to date. You may have answered the questions above false unintentionally because it is very easy for us to not see our own flaws accurately. Sometimes other people can see us from a different angle than we can see ourselves from.
Does God Want Me to Date This Person?
Now for the final question which is the most difficult to answer, “Does God want me to date this person?”
I think the first thing to do is apply the principles in the previous section to the person you are considering dating. What you asked of yourself when you were deciding if you should date in general at this point in life should be asked of the person you are considering dating.
Is he or she a Christian? (God only wants you to date believers.) Does she have a track record of breaking up when things get slightly difficult? Is the guy you like in recovery from an addiction issue? Did he or she just breakup with someone after a serious relationship? Are they just too spiritually immature to be successful in a Christian marriage? In other words, don’t over complicate your assessment of another person. No one is going to be perfect, but if there is a big glaring flaw don’t stick your head in the sand just because you really like that person. Maybe you will be able to date, just not right now.
After you ask these basic questions, the next thing to consider is whether or not that person actually likes you or not. To some of you that seems comically obvious. But I’ve seen many people ask, “Does God want me to date this person?” only to find out this person has already been rejected by the person in question multiple times. God speaks through the circumstances of your life. If the person doesn’t like you, feel free to try to win him or her over for a short season. But if the rejection continues, accept that as God’s answer. He’s saying, “No, I don’t want you to date that person. If I did, you would be dating by now.” He does not want you to date that person if that person does not want to date you. His will always matches reality.
In closing, pray about it but don’t let what you “hear God” saying override what the Bible has already told us that God has truly said. Let what you hear confirm truth in Scripture and let it help you apply it to specifics in your individual life. But never let what you “hear” influence you to do something unbiblical.
Lastly, if you want to date a certain person, both of you are in a place to date in a mature fashion, he or she wants to date you back, and you are not hearing any loud “No’s” from God, then go for it. Who knows what will happen, but there’s nothing wrong with giving it a try and seeing what God will say next.
Does God Want Me to Date Her/Him?
It is not unbiblical to take steps forward even if you don’t know for sure what God is saying. It is only a sin to move forward when you know he is saying not to move forward.
In life, I think it’s safe to say most of the time we will not know what’s ahead. If you always wait to know what will happen before moving, life will be slow and you will certainly miss out on a lot. God may tell you “No” after you move forward, and then at that time respond to what you now know. All you can do is make the best decision with the information you have. When you get new information, then react accordingly. But moving forward is often how God will communicate what he wants.
So if you want to know if God wants you to date him or her, pray, be wise, and do something rather than nothing when there are no reasons not to give it a shot.