Was it a lack of faith? If you prayed in a more biblical way, would God have given you that relationship? And if God knew you would not end up with this person, why did he let you fall in love with them to begin with?
In humility, we do need to accept that sometimes we won’t always know why God does or does not allow certain things to happen (James 4:6). Even when we lack knowledge about God’s reasoning, we can submit to the truth that his ways are higher and better than our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9). We can trust he is our loving Father who has a good plan for our lives and relationships (Philippians 1:6).
And yet, as time goes on, there often emerges many common reasons for why God does not give some people the relationships they wanted. By thinking about some of these possibilities, it can strengthen your faith during the confusion and help you push forward into what God does have for you rather than wasting time worrying about what God does not have for you.
Therefore, here are 4 possible reasons for why God said “no” to a relationship you really wanted.
1. This Person Is Not Who You Think They Are
When there are gaps in our knowledge about someone, one danger is that our minds tend to fill in the blanks. We may see one thing about this person and then infer ten more things that could be true or false.
For example, you may see the fact that this person attends church regularly. You then start to think about this person and imagine that they are a strong Christian, that their life is in order, that they have the same views as you about resisting premarital sex, that they want to raise children in a godly way, and that they want to honor the Lord with all their life. The only fact you know, however, is that they go to church regularly. Everything else is just your imagination at this point. Perhaps this person is none of these things. Or perhaps they are these things but their personality is so different than yours you two would be miserable together.
If you think someone would be perfect for you but God does not put you two together, there’s something you don’t know that God does. I’m not saying this person always has some crazy dark secret or is a terrible person. Sometimes they are just not the type of person you think they are in personality, life goals, and socially.
All we can see is the outside, but God can see the inside (1 Samuel 16:7).
2. The Relationship Would Be Good for the Person You Are Now But Unbelievably Bad for Your Future Self
Even when everything makes sense now and we don’t understand why God is saying no, it’s helpful to remember that God is outside of time and space and can see things in the future you cannot see for yourself.
God isn’t just thinking about who you are now, about the plans he has for you now, and about the tasks he has for you now. Maybe you and this person would make a great team right now. But in the future, a lot can change. Oftentimes God saves us from problems we didn’t even know he was saving us from.
To the married couple who wants a divorce, Paul writes, “For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?” (1 Corinthians 7:16). Just as Paul was reminding the married that they do not know how their faithfulness will affect their spouse, single people can also trust that they do not know how their actions would turn out with someone they wish they could be with.
God knows the future. We don’t. We can trust that God is not just considering who we are today but also who we will become in the future. This is why it’s so important to follow the Lord’s leading in choosing a spouse. You might be able to pick someone right for the person you are now, but only God can pick someone who will be right for you throughout your whole life and through all the changes that will happen in the decades ahead.
3. The Pain of This No Will Help Push You Towards Becoming the Person God Made You to Be
Perhaps one of the cruelest and most selfish things a parent could do would be to never say “no” and to always say “yes” to their child. It’s an immature view of love to think “no” means hate and “yes” means love. If a parent always said yes to every request from their child, this parent would be doing this for themselves because they don’t want to experience the pain of saying “no” to their child even though “no” is sometimes the right and loving answer.
For example, when Mary and Martha asked Jesus to come to heal Lazarus, he said no (John 11:4-6). And this was not easy for Jesus. Even though he knew he would raise Lazarus from the dead, Jesus still wept for him and for those who grieved his death (John 11:35). But Jesus knew he had to say “no” because his goal is not to always do what we want but to always do what is best for us. As Jesus said in John 11:14-15, “Lazarus has died, and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe.” Through saying “no” to healing Lazarus and letting him die, Jesus was actually doing something much better for everyone.
Likewise, there’s always purpose in the pain God allows to happen to his people. Perhaps through this pain caused by this relationship “no” from God, he may be pushing you towards a deeper transformation, changing you into the person he’s made you to be.
4. You and This Person Will Both Be Happier in a Different Relationship
Lamentations 3:25, “The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.” When you get married to the person God has for you, you will be so grateful he said “no” to all those other relationships you thought you wanted.
It often takes time to see the good plan of the Lord unfold. Be faithful. In time, if you wait on the Lord, you will experience the good he has planned for you.