When it comes to relationships, it can be hard to know when God is telling you to keep holding on or when he is saying it is time to let it go. So here are 3 signs that often happen when God is telling you not to give up hope on someone.
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1. If You Really Like Someone and See Lots of Potential in Them But They Are Currently in the Messy Stages of Early Sanctification, This Could Be a Sign God Is Telling You Not to Give Up Hope on This Relationship Yet
This point can be easily abused, so you want to be careful you are not just seeing what you want to see in someone. As Christians, we know there are standards in the Bible that God gives us in love so that we can have healthy relationships that bring glory to him. But it takes a lot of maturity to follow these standards and glorify God. The process of sanctification is that process where God matures his people bit by bit through grace as they submit to him.
This is a messy process, especially early on. When someone turns to Christ and begins living from the new nature he gives them, they die to their old nature; but their old nature is not dead. The sin nature lives on in our human bodies even though we are no longer that old person (Romans 7:20).
For example, Colossians 3:1 says, “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.” Colossians 3:5 then states, “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” And then Colossians 3:12-14 proclaims:
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.”
Colossians 3:1 said someone can be raised with Christ, but then verse 5 says we have to actively put to death the sin nature still inside. And then verses 12-14 explains that we also need to “put on” the good God grants through Christ. Learning to do all this is called being sanctified.
It takes time. There are many mistakes along the way. But one sign that someone is truly a Christian is that they are growing and maturing over time. If someone is in the messy phases of sanctification but you see great potential in them, this could be a sign God is saying not to give up hope. But don’t fool yourself. If someone is just living in sin and not really repenting and growing, this is not someone you should wait for.
Pray for wisdom to know the difference. The Lord will show you what you need to see to decide if this is just plain sinful living or if this person is actually just in the messy phases of early sanctification.
2. God Could Be Telling You Not to Give Up Hope on a Relationship If This Person’s Request for Forgiveness Is Also Marked By True, Consistent Repentance
Sometimes relationships are permanently damaged beyond repair. There are wrongs that can be done that are so hurtful that trust cannot be restored. At other times, someone will hurt you and your feelings will just permanently change towards that person even if the offense they committed against you was not incredibly bad.
To clarify, as Christians we are always called to forgive (Ephesians 4:32). But in relationships, especially dating relationships, you are not required to stay together forever even though you are called to forgive someone no matter what they do. Sometimes when someone hurts you in dating, your feelings just change towards them, and that’s okay even though you must still forgive them. Even in friendships or in family relationships, you are always called to forgive, but sometimes God will also lead you to end that friendship or put new boundaries up with a family member because according to Proverbs 4:23 we are also called to guard our own hearts.
But there are other times where someone does something very painful but God will give you the grace to not only forgive that person but to also reconcile with that person. Reconciliation is when the relationship is restored to what it was before the offense took place. When someone hurts you in dating, reconciliation should not occur unless you want to get back together and there is real repentance.
Real repentance will not just be an “I’m really sorry” text and then that person tries to act like nothing happened. Real repentance will be marked by a request for forgiveness and then it will be followed by action steps of repentance over a consistent period of time.
If you really like someone who hurt you but God is giving you the grace to reconcile and this person is truly repenting, this could be a sign God is telling you not to give up hope on this relationship.
3. If You Both Are Having Problems Together But You Both Want to Put in the Effort to Work It Out, This Could Be a Sign God Is Telling You Not to Give Up Hope on This Relationship
Sometimes issues in a relationship are signs it’s just not meant to be. But other times there are real issues between two people who also really both want to stay together and work it out. God oftentimes puts two people together with problems he wants them to work on together.
If there is just a one-sided desire to work it out, this is not enough. But if you both know there are issues between you two but you also are both willing to do whatever needs to be done to figure things out and make them better, this is a great sign God is telling you not to give up hope on this relationship.
As 1 Peter 4:8 states, “. . . love covers a multitude of sins.”
For more information about my relationship training courses designed specifically for Christian singles who want to meet the one God has for them, along with the 3 months of private email coaching with me, feel free to click here.