Do you worry about meeting someone who seems great but then you just end up wasting time with them because God doesn’t want you with this person?
Here are 4 biblical ways you can avoid getting connected to the wrong person and wasting your time with them.
1. Early in the Relationship Connection, Express Your Desire to Avoid Premarital Sex
When you express your desire to want to honor God with your sexuality before marriage, this won’t be a shock to a real Christian. That is just a basic biblical command all true Christians want to follow (1 Corinthians 6:18). But if you say this to someone who is just pretending to obey the Bible, they will leave you quickly because they will not be willing to wait until marriage for sex. If they leave you, this is good. If you stayed with them, you would be wasting your time anyways because this is not who God wants you with.
If you want someone who will honor the marriage bed in marriage (Hebrews 13:4), you need to find someone who wants to honor the marriage bed in singleness. People don’t magically change once they get married. In fact, they usually just become more of the type of person they already were.
For example, if someone was responsible and hard working in singleness, they will become even more responsible and hardworking when they get married and start a family because the new demands will call them to a higher standard. However, if someone was lazy and irresponsible in singleness and they get married and have kids, the new demands will only highlight their laziness and lack of a work ethic even more.
Likewise, if someone wants to have sex before marriage, they will want the thrill of sexual sin during marriage too. While sexual sin is not the unforgiveable relationship sin, it often is a very clear visible dividing line between people who actually want to serve God and people who just say they want to serve God.
So if you want to avoid wasting time with someone, talk about your sexual ethics within the first few dates with them. This will weed out the fake Christians really fast.
2. Get Clear on the Biblical Requirements for a Spouse
A lot of people have a list of requirements, but few people actually know what the Bible requires for Christians when it comes to choosing a spouse.
I believe there are basically three biblical requirements someone needs to have if you are a Christian:
- They need to be a Christian too. 1 Corinthians 7:39 clearly states Christians can only marry other people who are also “in the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 6:14 also states Christians must not be unequally yoked. When 1 Corinthians 7:16 says a believing wife should not leave a believing husband, that is not justification to marry an unbeliever. Rather, this was Paul giving instructions to people who were unbelievers when they were married and then became a believer after they already married an unbeliever. The bible never contradicts itself.
- They need to be visibly producing the fruits of the Spirit because this is a mark of a true Christian. Anyone can claim to be a Christian. And we can’t know someone’s heart. So the Bible says we are to asses people by their actions. Christians will not be perfect, but they will be bearing fruit that is evidence of their true salvation (Galatians 5:22-26, Matthew 7:20).
- They need to be prepared to fulfill the biblical role of a husband or wife in marriage. Not every true Christian is ready for marriage. Marriage requires the man and woman to transition into being a husband and wife, which brings with it certain obligations and requirements (Ephesians 5:21-33, 1 Corinthians 7:1-5, 1 Peter 3:1-7).
Everyone will have more requirements on their personal list, which is fine. But you can avoid wasting time with someone by making sure this person at least checks these three minimum biblical boxes for marriage.
3. Trust What People Say (Until They Give You a Reason Not to), But Also Verify What They Say By Looking for Supporting Evidence
Inevitably, anytime I make a video about guarding your heart, someone comments, “Well how can you connect with someone if you never open up?” And when I make a video about opening your heart, someone says, “This is bad advice. The Bible says to guard your hearts.”
It can be confusing in singleness to know who you should trust and who you should not. One way to simplify things is to accept there are many steps in between not opening up at all and totally opening completely. In wisdom, you should trust people in an increasing way the more evidence you see of their trustworthiness.
If you assume everyone is a liar, you will never get to know trustworthy people. If you assume everyone is trustworthy, you will get taken advantage and waste time with people you shouldn’t be with. So start by trusting people at an appropriate level but also verify what they are saying as you spend more time with them. Pay attention to the details they are saying and don’t ignore it when evidence disproves their previous words. As Romans 16:17-20 explains, someone can deceive you with words. But when you see their obedience to the Lord that matches their words, then you know they are trustworthy.
I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. 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. For your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you, but I want you to be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.” (Romans 16:17-20)
4. Make Clarity, Not Marriage, the Goal of Dating
If you try to marry the person you are dating, you could be trying to marry the wrong person. Dating should be used as a tool meant to help you figure out what God wants for you and this person you are dating.
Through dating, you should be trying to figure out if God wants you to break up and go your separate ways or if you should get married and move forward together. When you have a bad goal for dating and you are making it your aim to marry this person no matter what you see through dating them, you will often end up wasting time with someone God does not want you with.
As Jeremiah 33:3 states, “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.”
Here’s an article where I talk more about the goal of dating: Marriage Should Not Be the Goal of Christian Dating.