Here are 3 signs God is telling you to let go of an ideal so he can bless you with a real relationship.
1. If You Have Turned Someone in Your Past into a Symbolic Placeholder for the Spouse You Long for, This Is a Sign God Is Telling You to Let Go of This Ideal So He Can Bless You with Someone Real
When used as an adjective, the definition of the word “ideal” is “satisfying one’s conception of what is perfect; most suitable.” So when I use the phrase “ideal relationship,” I’m referring to those thoughts that we have when we imagine the future spouse our hearts long for.
What often happens, however, is that our hearts want to put a face on this longing we have for this ideal relationship. Many times people get stuck thinking about someone in their past not because they truly love that person or because their relationship with that person was so great. Rather, they get stuck thinking about that one person because they are using that person as the symbolic placeholder for the relationship desires in their heart.
In other words, we often think about someone from our past because there is no one else to think about. It’s kind of like being really hungry when you have no food in the house except fried chicken – the only thing you are going to be thinking about is that fried chicken. Your hunger for food is causing you to think about the only available option for food. Likewise, when you have a hunger for a marriage, your heart will often attach this longing to the most recent person you had a relationship with.
This same principle can be seen when people made idol statues out of earthly materials. Their hearts were made to worship the true God, but they misplaced this desire on false gods. Since they could not see the true God, they took what they could see and made a god out of it. Habakkuk 2:18 states, “What profit is an idol when its maker has shaped it, a metal image, a teacher of lies? For its maker trusts in his own creation when he makes speechless idols!”
Idol makers took what they had and made something up in their own minds and then they put their trust in that made up ideal god. Likewise, we often take the past relationship we had and make something up in our minds to satisfy our longing for our ideal relationship.
Just as we all must forsake our false idols so we can embrace the one true God through Jesus Christ, so too must we let go of our ideal relationship desires so we can embrace the real blessings God has for us. So if your longing for a spouse is being placed on someone in your past who is clearly not meant to be your spouse, this is a sign you need to let go of this ideal so God can then bless you with someone real.
2. If Your Mind Has Become Drunk on Relationship Ideals, This Is a Sign God Is Telling You to Let Go of This So He Can Bless You in Reality
When someone is drunk, they have a false perception of the world around them because of the chemical imbalances happening inside of them. This same thing can happen when we allow ourselves to get imbalanced through a relationship ideal.
For example, when someone fills their mind with porn, they will be drunk on lust, causing them to see people as sexual objects rather than real people. When someone get’s drunk on romance, they will be unable to appreciate real acts of daily kindness and love because their minds have been so filled with over-the-top romantic ideals.
Notice the call to be sober minded in 1 Peter 4:7, “The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers.” 1 Peter 5:6-8 also states:
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”
Ultimately an intoxicated mind must be made sober for the sake of our prayers and connection with God. If we live in a fantasy world, we will miss out on the real blessings from God all around us.
But these principles also apply to relationships. If you are not sober minded because you are intoxicated with unrealistic ideals, you will miss the beauty of real relationships just like a drunk person misses the beauty of the real world around them.
3. If Your Relationship Ideals Are Creating an Impenetrable Wall Around Your Heart, This Is a Sign God Is Telling You to Let This Go So He Can Bless You with Something Real
It’s a good thing to learn what goes into having a healthy marriage. It’s a necessary step to take time in singleness to really study what the Bible says about relationships if you want to do it God’s way. In Proverbs 4:23, it’s not suggested that we guard our hearts. We are commanded to guard our hearts, and to do that we must follow God’s rules for relationships.
What start out as a good endeavor to guard your heart from unnecessary pain, however, can eventually turn into building a wall that protects you from the necessary pain required to experience true love. Love will never intentionally harm you, but when you love anyone you will always get hurt to some degree because everyone is sinful. Look at how God loves us. His love is perfect, but we sin against him and mistreat him. But he does not guard himself by refusing to love imperfect people. Rather, he chooses to experience the necessary pain required when you love an imperfect person.
Likewise, if you have created a never-ending list of qualities someone needs to have as a way of guaranteeing you will never get hurt, you will always remain single because that perfect person who will never hurt you does not exist outside of Jesus Christ.
You should seek to date and then marry someone who wants to be like Jesus. But you are never going to find someone literally perfect like Jesus in every way. There are standards you must not compromise on, but if your standards have gone beyond the actual biblical requirements for marriage (which are not as complicated as many people make them to be) then your ideals will keep you single forever.
If you want to know what the Bible actually requires to have a blessed marriage one day, you can read my article called 3 Qualities Your Future Spouse Needs to Have.