Here are 5 common things that will happen when God is leading you to date someone from your local church.
1. God May Be Leading You to Date Someone from Your Church If There Is Observable Evidence that You Two Have Feelings for Each Other
Church is perhaps the most common place that Christians single imagine meeting someone. This is natural and good in my opinion because in theory church is the most likely place you will meet other Christian singles like yourself. But one danger that comes along with this belief that you will meet someone at church is that it will be easy to imagine that every eligible Christian single person you meet at church is your future spouse.
The reason I used the phrase “observable evidence” is because oftentimes people see someone at church and then start asking God about this person. They may have never even talked to this person or their interactions may be limited to just a few small instances, but they then are seeking the Lord’s answer to the question, “Will this person and I date?” Sometimes they even ask, “Is this my future spouse?”
While God can do anything, what he normally does is lead you to gather more evidence in the real world to help you answer these types of question. God does not make it a practice to just tell us the future. That would remove the need to walk by faith. Rather, God will often answer your questions about relationships by helping you take the necessary steps to get those questions answered with observable evidence.
As Proverbs 1:5 states, “Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance . . .” Living wisely means you base your beliefs on something more than just a feeling or an intuition you sense within yourself. You must “hear” and “understand” the evidence to gain learning and guidance.
If you have never talked to someone and have no real evidence that you two have a connection besides a few moments where you two made eye contact, this is probably not a sign God is leading you to date this person. It is also not a sign God is saying no. There is no sign yet because there is no observable evidence yet.
But if you have actually connected with this person in real ways, through talking and spending time together and now you have tangible evidence that you two actually do have feelings for each other, then that is good evidence the Lord is leading you to date each other.
2. God May Be Leading You to Date Someone from Your Church If This Relationship Opportunity Is Worth the Risk of the Awkwardness That Could Come If Things Don’t Work Out
Dating someone from your church has many advantages. Ideally it is a positive because you both have a common Christian community, shared beliefs (which is why you both attend that particular church), and opportunities to form a healthy foundation before dating.
On the other hand, however, there are some negatives too. One major downside to dating someone from your local church is that if it does not work out, there is a potential for drama and awkwardness to be there every time you go to church. Of course that does have to happen. Two mature Christians can date and then break up and then not act childish or rude to each other. But even if things end on a good note, things still ended and it can be awkward to see someone you dated before, especially if one you starts dating someone else from that church. For these reasons I recommend moving a bit slower when dating someone from church to truly make sure dating is needed to figure out your future together. Sometimes through friendship you can know if someone is not good for you.
It’s also wise to be more certain about mutual feelings before fully expressing your feelings for someone because if you share your feelings and the other person does not feel the same way, you are now making things awkward for that person. You don’t want to make yourself a distraction for this person when they are simply going to church to worship God or to make this person feel uncomfortable at church. As Philippians 2:4 states, “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
None of these negatives are reasons not to try to date someone from church. They are just reasons to take things a bit slower and to really count the cost before expressing your feelings for someone at your church. Many times you will sense that it is worth the risk to give a relationship a try. It’s just something to consider and pray about with the Lord. He will not usually tell you what will happen, but he will often tell you when it’s worth the risk to at least give it a try.
3. God May Be Leading You to Date Someone from Your Church If Your Friendship with This Person Has Gone Beyond Healthy Boundaries for Friendship
Ideally a relationship at church forms because a single man and single woman became friends and then their relationship blossomed into something more. I usually discourage just going up to someone you don’t know at church and asking them on a date. I think that is the wrong message to send at church because it then makes it seem that you are only at church to find a date. I’m not against a man and woman just going on a date. They don’t need to be friends for a long time before dating. I just think it is unwise to make this a practice at your local church because the point of going to church is not to find a date but to grow in the Lord, worship him, and serve other believers. Meeting someone is just a secondary possible benefit.
But if you have formed a healthy friendship with someone of the opposite sex, one of two things will happen. You two will eventually start dating other people and your friendship will dwindle, or you two will start dating each other. I don’t believe single men and women are built to have long-term close friendships with each other in most cases. Friendship is possible, I just think that close friendship over long periods of time almost always leads to hurt feelings because eventually one of those people will start dating someone else and then their friendship will change.
All that to say, if you are in a friendship with someone of the opposite sex and you are growing together, eventually your friendship will get maxed out and morph into something much deeper than just a friendship. Even if you just call yourselves friends, you will know when you are actually something more. If you are to that limit with someone, I believe you should commit more to each other and progress into dating to see if marriage is a possibility. Otherwise you will just be in an odd friendship that is more emotionally intimate than healthy friendships should be. Or one of you will get your feelings hurt because one of you will meet someone else eventually.
Song of Solomon 8:4 states, “I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that you not stir up or awaken love until it pleases.” While this verse is usually used to help guard one’s heart, it should also be noted that you can actually suppress love if it is awakened when it should be awakened. This verse does not say to never awaken love. It just says to make sure it’s the right time. If it’s the right time in your friendship, don’t suppress it.
4. God May Be Leading You to Date Someone from Your Church If Your Mutual Friends Are Confirming Your Observations That You Two Like Each Other
It’s always helpful when you can get an outside opinion about your feelings for someone. Ultimately we all are responsible for making our own choices, but in wisdom and humility we should also listen to the advice of others with an open mind. In the end you may disagree with someone and make a different choice than they are advising, but even this process of disagreeing will help you think through things more thoroughly to become even more clear about what you sense the Lord is leading you to do.
Ideally, in a healthy local church, there will be people who know you and this person you are thinking about. These mutual friends can then confirm if you are viewing this situation correctly. As Proverbs 15:22 states, “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.”
5. God May Be Leading You to Date Someone from Your Church If Your Service Together Has Shown You What a Great Ministry Team You Would Make Together
It seems God enjoys to send people out in twos. As Luke 10:1 states, “After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go.” Mark 6:7 also says, “And he called the twelve and began to send them out two by two . . .”
So if God has given you the opportunity to serve alongside of someone from your local church that you have feelings for and it is clear you would make a great ministry team together, this could mean the Lord is sending you two out together.