Sometimes God’s answer is not a “yes” or a “no” to a relationship question you have but rather God is saying “not yet.”
This “not yet” could mean God will tell you to say “yes” to this opportunity one day or it could mean God is going to lead you to say “no” to this relationship opportunity. But at this point God has you in a season where no action is required because you need more direction from the Lord first.
So here are 3 signs God could be saying “Not yet!” to you about a certain relationship opportunity you are praying about.
1. If You Know You Are in a Season in Life Where God Just Wants You to Focus on Him Right Now, This Is a Sign God Is Saying “Not Yet” About a Relationship
Before we start asking God about a certain person that we are interested in, the first place to start is with our own hearts. God will not lead you to pursue a relationship with someone if your heart is not in a healthy place first.
Before anything good comes into our lives from God, the Lord always puts us through a season of preparation to prepare us to handle this blessing. While a season of intentional singleness is not always what is wanted, sometimes this is what is needed. If you know you are in that place right now, this is a sign God is saying “not yet” about a certain relationship opportunity you are wondering about.
The faster you obey what God is saying to you in this season the faster you will be prepared to move into a new season. So if God is leading you to just focus on him right now, fully embrace this season with the Lord so that you will be ready for the blessings ahead. As Psalm 51:10 states, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.”
2. If You Have Not Formed a Basic Connection with This Person that Would Naturally Prelude a Romantic Connection, This Is a Sign God Is Saying “Not Yet!”
One common definition of the word “prelude” is “an action or event serving as an introduction to something more important.” All romantic relationships have a “prelude.” Whenever you talk to a dating couple or a married couple, there is always a story of how they came together into a more serious relationship.
Some people start out through a friendship. Some people meet each other at an event because one of them just came up and started talking to other person. Some people get set up on a blind date. Some people meet through online dating. But no one ever just instantly starts dating someone or gets married with no backstory.
Sometimes two people just know of each other because they see each other at the same church, they work at the same company, or they attend the same college. If you are in this season of not having any real connection with this person you are interested in, this is a sign God is saying “not yet.” You will know a lot more about what God does or does not want for you two once you actually start talking to this person and interacting with him or her.
If you are in this season, I would recommend following the counsel in Proverbs 18:15, “An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.” Don’t just assume something will or won’t happen with someone when you have not even interacted with this person yet. You will need to acquire more knowledge about this person through actually interacting with him or her before you will know anything of substantial importance.
3. If the Basic Biblical Relationship Questions About This Person Are Still Unanswered, This Is a Sign God Is Saying “Not Yet!”
While many people feel like the Bible is a cumbersome book full of restrictive rules meant to prevent relationships for forming, nothing could be further from the truth. God’s rules are not like barriers in the road stopping progress. Rather, God’s rules are like guard rails along the side of the roads to prevent us from flying off a cliff to our death.
God’s commands are for our good. They are meant to help us prosper and to find more joy than we ever thought possible. Certainly obeying the Lord will require sacrifice, self-control, and faith in the Lord as we say no to things we wish we could say yes to; but in the end God has promised to give us far more than we could ever give up (Matthew 19:29).
These principles apply to God’s rules regarding relationships as well. There are surprisingly very few direct commands in the Bible about romance and relationships. There are no rules regarding age difference between two adults. There are no rules about always choosing singleness or always choosing marriage. There are no rules about how long two people need to date before getting married. And there are no rules about what process two people take on the journey to marriage; which means that as long as no clear commands are broken in the process, people are biblically free to try any method all the way from online dating to a more conservative Christian courting model.
There are few rules though. For example, the Bible is very clear that a believer is only free to marry another believer as 1 Corinthians 7:39 and 2 Corinthians 6:14 states. The Bible is clear that a man and woman are called to fulfill certain biblical roles in the marriage (Ephesians 5:22-33) and thus two single Christians should not marry until they are prepared to fulfill those roles. The Bible says a true Christian will bear the fruits of the Spirit as outlined in Galatians 5:22-24; therefore since Christians are called to marry only true Christians, two singles should see this fruit in one another’s life before dating and certainly before getting married.
Sometimes these important biblical characteristics that are needed for a godly relationship are simply unknown. Perhaps you like someone and are forming a connection with this person but you are unsure if they are a Christian, you are unsure if they are actually living their life for Christ even thought they claim to be a Christian, and you are unsure if this person is spiritually mature enough to honor the Lord in a serious relationship.
Don’t date someone and then try to figure these questions out because at that point you will be forming a bond with this person and thus making it much harder to break up if you do sense this is someone God does not want you with. God may or may not lead you to be with this person you are interested in, but before God does lead you to be with anyone he will guide you to asses this relationship opportunity through a biblical lens.
So if these biblical questions are not answered yet, then God is saying “not yet” to you.