Here are 4 biblical rules to protect your soul from getting hurt in a relationship.
1. Choose Your Circle Wisely
Are you looking for “the diamond in the rough,” “a needle in a haystack,” or that “one in a million” type of person?
Rather than find “a diamond in the rough,” you’ll have a lot better luck finding a diamond where they process diamonds. If you want to find a needle, perhaps ask a seamstress rather than looking through a pile of hay.
In other words, where you look directly affects what you find. People spend time with people who are similar to them. Healthy people spend time with healthy people, unhealthy people spend time with unhealthy people, mature Christians spend time with other mature Christians, and so on.
For good or bad, eventually you are going to get attached to someone in your social circle. Friends are often the gateway into romance. If your circle is healthy, you have a better chance of connecting romantically with someone in a healthy way.
When Moses was giving Israel instructions about warfare, he said, “And the officers shall speak further to the people, and say, ‘Is there any man who is fearful and fainthearted? Let him go back to his house, lest he make the heart of his fellows melt like his own’” (Deuteronomy 20:8). You become like the people you spend time with. Therefore, choose your circle carefully.
2. Don’t Start a Journey You Know You Can’t Finish Right Now
Perhaps the most common way people hurt their souls in relationships is by getting into a relationship when they know it’s doomed to fail even before it begins. In other words, dating someone before you are in a season where you could get married is very unwise.
I’m not saying you must know you want to marry the person you are choosing to date. Rather, I’m saying if you know you are not prepared to get married in the near future if you did meet the right person, then you should not start dating at all. As Jesus said:
For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’” (Luke 14:28-30)
When you date without being able to marry, it’s like preparing a meal you are not able to eat. You will be putting in effort, you will smell the pleasing aromas, you will see the delicious food, and you will want to eat it. If you date long enough, eventually you will give into temptation. In other words, you will start acting married even though you are not.
The only way to date in a way that does not damage your soul is to date towards marriage. If you know you will not marry this person, don’t date. If you know you cannot marry this person in the near future (around 1 to 2ish years in my opinion), don’t date.
Only date when you know you could finish the journey if God does show you this is the right person for you.
3. Accept that You Won’t Be the Exception When It Comes to Messing Around with Unbelievers in Romance
Anytime I make an article with biblical principles, someone always gives a specific example with all kinds of minute details explaining how there could be an exception to this rule. And to that I say, yes, in most cases there is some rare exception.
But here’s another principle that will serve you well, “Never assume you are the exception to the rule.” Whenever we try to be the exception to the rule, usually we just get burned by the rule.
This is especially prevalent when it comes to Christians trying to date unbelievers. Every Christian who goes down that road says to themselves, “I know this is unwise, but I think I’m the exception this time.” Perhaps this is why Paul said things like:
Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company ruins good morals.’” (1 Corinthians 15:33)
“Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.” (Galatians 6:7)
“Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
Paul told us not to be deceived in instances like these because so many of us will want to deceive ourselves, imagining that we are the exception to the rule.
If you want to protect your soul from a hurtful relationship, accept that you are not the exception.
4. Choose Character Over Charisma
Most people say, “I really like that person. I wonder if they are a Christian?” It’s better to say, “That person is a mature Christian. I wonder if we could like each other romantically?”
Proverbs 31:30, “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Romans 16:18, “For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.”
Charisma without character will lead you into something that feels good now but which will cost you a lot of pain later.
Don’t look for charisma and then character. Look for character first and then see if you can build a romantic connection. This will help you guard your soul from a hurtful relationship.
Related Article: 4 Biblical Rules You Must Follow If You Want to Find True Love
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