4 Signs God Is Pruning You to Prepare You for Marriage

John 15:2

Jesus said, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit” (John 15:1-2).

This verse is not specifically about romantic relationships. It is about our relationship with God. However, God desires that we honor him in all areas of our lives, which includes romantic relationships. And all Scripture is God-breathed and useful for teaching in all matters (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Therefore, as we apply the principles in John 15:1-2 to the topic of honoring the Lord in relationships, here are 4 signs God is pruning you to prepare you for your future marriage. 

1. If God Is Removing the Wrong People from Your Life, This Is a Great Sign He’s Pruning You to Prepare You for Marriage

One reason pruning is so good for plants is that it helps the nutrients go to the right places. If a fruit tree has a lot of excess branches that are not bearing any fruit, the tree is still sending nutrients to those non-producing branches. By removing those branches, the tree can send all of its nutrients to those branches that are actually producing fruit – which then creates even more fruit.

This is a powerful analogy for the relationships in our lives. Every relationship we have takes energy from us. If you have too many relationships in your life, it will be difficult for you to go deep with one person God wants you to go deep with.

I’m not saying you need to cut out everyone else from your life so you can just focus on your future spouse. Just as some non-fruit bearing branches still serve a healthy purpose (leaves to bring in nutrients, potential growth in coming seasons, etc.) so too do some non-romantic relationships produce healthy fruit in your life.

However, if you have dead relationships in your life that are sucking energy from you and producing nothing good, this will leave less energy for the right relationships God wants you in.   

2. If God Is Refining Your Motives for Marriage By Removing the Bad and Growing the Good, This Is a Great Sign He’ Pruning You for Marriage

In Jesus’ analogy, he is the vine and the Father is the vinedresser who prunes. To be pruned, this means we must rely on God to do what only he can do in our lives.

Yes, we must participate with our wills. We have to make good choices. But ultimately, we need God, the vinedresser, to help us do what only he can help us do. This is never so clear than when it comes to matters of the heart.

We may be able to change some external behaviors, but as we know, God looks at our inner condition. When we apply this principle to relationships, we have to remember that our motives for marriage matter to God. When we ask God for things, he is more likely to say yes when our intentions are pure. As James 4:2-3 states, “You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.”

The only way to change out motives and heart condition is to remain in Jesus. You can want marriage for bad reasons or good reasons. If you want a spouse to be your god, your main source of happiness, or as a badge of superiority in the eyes of others, God is less likely to bless you with a spouse. However, if you want to be married so you can enjoy this marital partnership, produce children, and please the Lord through reflecting Christ and the church to the world, God is more likely to bless you with a spouse.

After Jesus’ vine analogy, he then states in John 15:7, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” When your heart is aligned with Christ, you will pray God’s will and thus God will do what you ask.

3. If God Is Highlighting Problematic Areas that Might Be Restricting Your Relationship Success, This Is a Great Sign God Is Pruning You to Prepare You for Marriage

You don’t want to assume that you are single because you are doing something wrong. This comes from the false belief that singleness is a punishment, as though it’s a sign of God’s displeasure with you. That is not in the Bible. Singleness and marriage are both gifts from God (1 Corinthians 7:7).

With that said, if you want marriage but it’s not happening, it is certainly possible that you could be doing something that is preventing you from receiving the good God wants to give you. If you talk harshly to the opposite sex, this will keep you single. If you are too guarded because you fear getting hurt, this will keep you single. If you are trying too hard or not hard enough, this will keep you single.

No one but God can tell you if you need to change something in your life to receive what he wants to give you.

4. If God Is Helping You Produce More Good Fruit Even Though Painful Things Are Happening to You in the Area of Relationships, This Is a Great Sign He’s Pruning You to Prepare You for Marriage

To prune means to cut away. When God prunes us, this cutting can be painful. However, when God is doing the cutting, the pain will always result in better things for us, for “every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit” (John 15:2).

So you will know if you are being pruned by what effect the pain is having on you. If something is brining you pain but it’s resulting in more sin or abusive wounds, this is not of God. Resist this, fight back, and seek the Lord’s leading out of this pain.

However, if this pain is bringing healing, clarity, and an ability to go deeper with others, this is the type of effect God’s relationship pruning produces.

Related Article: 5 Disappointments that Need to Happen Before God Reveals The One to You

the one
Now Available in Audiobook!

Published by

Mark Ballenger

ApplyGodsWord.com is the writing ministry of Mark Ballenger. To reach Mark, send him an email anytime: markballenger@applygodsword.com