Perhaps one of the best and most confusing piece of Christian dating advice is “never settle.” In one sense, the wisdom of this advice is self-evident. As Christians, God has given us standards we must not compromise on and which the Holy Spirit will empower us to follow. We must also remember how good God is and thus we must not lose faith and start to date or marry someone we know God does not actually want us to be with.
On the other hand, however, this advice of “never settle” can cause some Christians to create unrealistic and impossible demands that no human can meet. While we as Christians must look to Jesus as our ultimate example, we must also not expect to find someone as good as Jesus himself. Jesus died on the cross and rose again precisely because none of us are good enough in our own strength to truly please God.
So here are 4 signs that the Holy Spirit is actually trying to prevent you from settling for the wrong person.
1. If God the Holy Spirit Is Convicting You in Your Heart that He Does Not Want You with This Person, This Is a Sign He Is Trying to Protect You from Settling
To some of you this first point might seem so obvious that it is not even worth mentioning. But the reality is, we more often than not already know what God is saying to us, we are just too afraid to admit this to ourselves because we so badly wish God was not saying what he is saying.
In other words, you must never ignore what you sense God telling you about a certain relationship. And one of the primary ways God speaks is through the conviction of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. Don’t just assume you are hearing God wrong and that you are just nervous for no reason. It is certainly wise to get confirmation and to not make big decisions on a whim based upon mixed feelings that come and go.
But if you know in your heart what the Holy Spirit is actually saying but you have been putting it off because you are hoping your feelings will change, eventually you must just submit to what the Lord is saying.
As Jesus said in John 10:27, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”
2. If God Has Not Given You a Healthy Excitement About Someone Who Likes You, This Is a Sign He Is Trying to Protect You from Marrying the Wrong Person
When you read through the Song of Solomon, you can see that God did design emotions and feelings to be an important part of a romantic relationship. In Song of Solomon 2:2, the man says, “As a lily among brambles, so is my love among the young women.” In the next verse the woman responded by saying, “As an apple tree among the trees of the forest, so is my beloved among the young men” (Song of Solomon 2:3).
To our modern ears, this may sound more like two gardeners talking to each other, but trust me, in the times of Solomon this was pure romance. They are both saying to each other that compared to all the other men and women out there, they only want each other.
My point is, when God does want you with someone, eventually your emotions will cooperate. It might not happen right away. It’s wise to get to know someone to see if your feelings might grow. But eventually, if God wants you with someone, you will have a healthy emotional excitement about this person. If those feelings never come, this is a sign the Holy Spirit is trying to protect you from settling.
3. A Prolonged Season of Saying “No” to People Who Like You But Are Not Walking with the Lord Is a Sign God Is Protecting You from Settling for the Wrong Person
Relationships are hard for everyone, but for Christians it is especially hard to find someone because there will always be less people living in the light of Christ than there are people living in darkness. As Jesus said in Matthew 7:13-14:
Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
While this is referring to salvation, the implications of these verses on relationships means that Christians will have a smaller amount of fellow Christians to date and marry. Therefore, we should expect to have long seasons of having to say “No” to people who want to date us or that we want to date but who are not walking in the light. If we date people who are not walking with the Lord, this is settling for less than God’s best.
4. If God Is Highlighting Sinful Seeds in Someone’s Life that You Know Will Grow Into Huge Problems in the Future, This Is a Sign God Is Trying to Protect You from Settling for the Wrong Person
The Holy Spirit will not lead us to judge people, but he will give us healthy discernment. Life is always progressive, meaning that who you are today will not be who you are tomorrow. We are constantly changing bit by bit. We will either be changing for good or for evil, but we will never remain exactly the same in life.
This is important to accept because if you see a small sin issue in someone’s life now, you must remember that this will not remain a small issue forever. Eventually those seeds of sin will grow into wild weeds that will completely take over. As Galatians 6:7 teaches us, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.”
Therefore, if the Holy Spirit is showing you concerning issues in someone’s life that you know will only get worse and worse as time goes on, he is showing you these things now as a sign to prevent you from settling.