You can enter into a relationship without God’s help. Millions of people do this every day. But you can’t enter into a godly relationship without God’s help. So I’m not talking about just getting into any relationship. I’m talking about getting into a Christian relationship that will be satisfying to you and glorifying to God.
With that in mind, here are 5 big changes God will often lead you to make before he will bless you with a godly, enjoyable relationship.
1. God Will Help You Change Your Motivations Before He Will Bless You with a Relationship
Many Christians believe that God will bless them with a relationship if they first glorify him. I would not say it like that because to me that makes a relationship the goal of glorifying God. It’s not really glorifying to God if you are only glorifying him to get something else, like a relationship. Rather, God made relationships because they bring him glory.
So God doesn’t want you to glorify him so you can get a relationship. If God has called you to marriage one day, God wants you to pursue a relationship so that you can bring him more glory through that relationship.
Every gift God gives is meant to bring himself more glory (1 Peter 4:10-11). Your relationships should not be the motive of glorifying God. Rather, God’s glory is the motive of your relationships.
2. God Will Help You Become More Christ-Centered in Dating to Bring Him More Glory Before Blessing You with a Relationship
It’s very common for Christians to say that we must do everything for God’s glory. But what does that actually mean? And what does that look like in a practical way when it comes to relationships?
(That’s a huge topic that I’ve unpacked before, so for more info on that you can read, “What Does It Mean to Glorify God?”)
In short, to glorify God means to make his image known. When we reflect God’s character accurately and make the invisible qualities of God visible for the world to see, this is called glorifying God. This truth can be seen most clearly through the incarnation of Jesus Christ. For example, John 1:14 states, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
Because Jesus’ incarnation made the invisible God known to us in a visible way (Colossians 1:15), this brings God glory (Hebrews 1:3). Therefore, if you want to glorify God in your life, what this really means is that you must reflect Christ in your life because this is how we make God’s image visible to others (Romans 8:29). Living like Jesus through the Spirit’s empowerment is how you glorify God.
Therefore, when it comes to glorifying God through a relationship, this means we must have a Christ-centered relationship. This is why in Ephesians 5:21-33, Paul teaches us that marriage is really about reflecting the love relationship between Christ and the church.
How do you speak to the opposite sex? How to you treat someone in your actions? What type of text messages are you sending? To glorify God in your relationships, you have to make choices that reflect the character of Jesus.
3. Before God Blesses You with a Relationship, He Will Help You Change Your Relationship with Your Past
Maybe you’ve had a history of porn addiction, a history of sleeping around, a history of lashing out at those you love, a history of idolizing relationships, a history of being too passive, a history of getting hurt by people you trusted, or something I haven’t mentioned here. The point is, we all have a history.
The past is such a big issue for so many people because it’s something that we can’t do anything about. It’s etched in eternity. It’s done. You can’t change it. Whatever has happened in your past will always be in your past. So what can you do?
The only true solution is to allow God to replace your past with Christ’s past. This is one of the core gifts of the gospel. He who knew no sin became sin for us so that we might become his righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21).
When you know you have all the benefits of Jesus’ perfection added to your account, you can live free and enjoy the blessings God wants to give you by grace and for his glorification.
4. God Will Help You Change from a Me-Centered Love to a Christ-Centered Love Before Blessing You with a Relationship
True, lasting love will only be found when two people decide to love each other out of their love for God. When you love someone because they are lovable to you, you will stop loving them whenever they sin against you. This is not the type of love God requires Christians to have in marriage.
Marriage was designed to reflect Christ and the church. Christ does not stop loving us when we sin against him. Why? Because his love for us is not rooted in our actions or character. His love for us is rooted in himself. He loves because he is love (1 John 4:8).
As 1 John 4:7 teaches us, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.” Notice the command here is to love people. But also notice the motive for love here is rooted in God, not in people.
Likewise, if you want to love someone for your whole life in marriage one day, you have to learn to love people out of your love for God. In marriage, your love will fade if you are being “me-centered” or even “them-centered.”
Lasting love will only be found when we are “Christ-centered” because only he can provide us with the eternal, endless love we want to offer to our spouses.
5. Before God Blesses You with a Relationship, He Will Help You Make a Renewed Commitment to Holy Living
I don’t believe God blesses people with good things, like relationships, because they do good things to earn these blessings. But, I do believe that God waits until we are mature enough to rightly handle the blessings he wants to give us before actually giving them to us.
God’s word is not about ruining our fun. God’s word teaches us how to rightly handle God’s blessings. When we commit to following God’s word, God is then free to bless us with good things because we are then ready to use them for our good and his glory.
As James 1:25 teaches us, “But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.”