My intention in this article is not to lead people needlessly into painful relationship experiences. Don’t get me wrong, if you don’t need to experience rejection, by all means avoid it when you can.
For example, if you know with certainty someone doesn’t like you or you’ve already gotten turned down by someone in the past and nothing has changed since that point, there is no reason to proceed forward just to get rejected again.
But to swing to the other extreme of avoiding rejection at all costs is a sure recipe for a life of isolation. If you want to love someone and be loved in return, you will have to open yourself up and risk getting hurt at some point. Eventually you have to take the plunge.
So how can you know when you should or should not risk rejection? Here are three signs that might help guide you.
If You Like Someone So Much They Are Worth the Risk of Getting Rejected, This Could Be a Sign God Is Telling You to Go for It
To me, the most helpful rule of thumb is that you should risk getting rejected when it’s worth it. All good things in life require elements of risk. No ministry was ever started, no business was ever launched, and no revival ever spread without people taking the necessary risks required for these things to occur. When the possibility of reward is worth the risk of rejection, then this is probably a sign God is telling you to give it a shot.
As the old sports cliché goes, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” In other words, we certainly can’t guarantee if a relationship will actually occur between you and the person you like unless you refuse to risk rejection. If you refuse to risk anything, we can guarantee that you two will never be together. By going for it, you at least give yourself a chance. If you never go for it, you will have no chance.
If You Really Want to Know If God Wants You with Someone, But No Matter What You Try, You can’t Figure Out What God Is Saying, He Could Be Asking You to Risk Rejection
Proverbs 3:5-6, James 1:5, and Psalm 25:4-5 are just a small sample of the many verses throughout the Bible where we are repeatedly told to seek God’s guidance. As I talk about at length in my book called The One: How to Know and Trust God’s Sovereign Plan for Your Future Marriage, there are at least three common ways God speak to his people: Through the Bible, through the Holy Spirit’s impressions on our hearts, and through the actual circumstances of our life.
Many people only try to know the will of God for their life through the first two means of hearing God’s direction. We look in the Scriptures and we pray, but what should you do when no matter how much you read and no matter how often you seek God, you still are unsure of what God wants you to do?
It’s in these cases where God is often telling us to move forward and examine the actual circumstances that occur in your life. Sometimes you won’t know if God wants you to work at that new company unless you apply and actually get hired or rejected. Sometimes you will not know what college God wants you to go to until you start applying and getting acceptance and rejections letters back.
Likewise, when it comes to relationships, sometimes it is impossible to know what God’s will is unless you actually try to do something in real life and then see what happens next. So it could be a sign that God is telling you to risk rejection if you want to be with someone but you are unsure if that person wants to be with you.
God might be telling you to go for it. If you do feel like God is leading you to go for it, don’t mistake that leading as a promise everything will turn out the way you think it should. Sometimes you have to risk rejection to meet your future spouse, but sometimes God leads you to risk rejection so that he can clarify to you that this is not the person he wants you to be with.
So if you are unsure of what God is saying, this could be a sign God is telling you to risk rejection and just see what happens in reality.
If You Know You Have an Unhealthy and Overblown Fear of Rejection that Is Keeping You Single Even Though You Want to Be Married, God Could Be Asking You to Risk Getting Rejected
The reasons for being single are too many to count. Some people are single by choice and are completely content because they feel they can better serve God in singleness rather than in marriage as Paul talks about in 1 Corinthians 7.
Some people are single even though they want to be married simply because it is just not God’s timing. They are doing everything right, it’s not their fault, and it’s just not the season for a relationship.
And at other times there is something specifically blocking the relationship blessing that someone desires from God. Sometimes what is blocking a relationship from occurring in your life is an unhealthy fear of rejection.
Every normal human has some fear of rejection now and then. But when this fear becomes paralyzing and extremely limiting, this is when it can actually keep you single even though you want to glorify God in marriage one day.
So if you have a healthy, biblical desire to be married but your fear of rejection is keeping you frozen in singleness, then this might be a sign God is asking you step out in faith with him and risk getting rejected.
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” – 1 John 4:18