Here are 5 things that will happen in a relationship when God is telling you to give it more time.
1. A Lack of Clarity About What You Want Is a Sign God Could Be Leading You to Give This Relationship More Time
Perhaps you are talking to someone and it seems like things are headed towards dating but on the inside you are not totally sure you would want to date this person if that opportunity would arise. Or perhaps you are already boyfriend and girlfriend with someone but you are unsure about how you feel in regards to the long-term future with this person. You are enjoying their company, there is no biblical issue that is making you feel guilty for being together, but you still lack that clarity on whether or not you want to be with this person. You don’t want to break up, but you also fear you don’t like this person enough to stay together forever. What should you do?
Questions like these are the point of dating. If you already knew you don’t want to be with this person forever, I believe God would lead you to break up immediately to minimize the hurt that could get worse by staying together longer (Proverbs 4:23). On the other hand, if you already knew God wanted you to marry this person, then I believe God would lead you to take steps towards that outcome.
But when you don’t know what God wants, that’s when you should give the relationship more time. With more time, you will gain more data to consider about this relationship, thus allowing yourself to make a more informed decision.
No matter what happens, keep focused on pursuing the Lord and he will make the rest clear. As Philippians 3:14-16 teaches:
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained.”
2. If Things Are Still Too Early to Know What Will Happen in the Distant Future, This Is a Sign God Is Probably Telling You to Just Give It More Time
When you start connecting with someone or you actually start dating them, it’s natural to ask questions about your distant future together, “Will we get married? Will we get married and have a great marriage? Will we get married and then get divorced? Are we going to breakup in a few months if I do something wrong? What is going to happen?”
Really, this is not just a relationship issue. This is actually a worrying issue. All of us struggle with worrying, which is why in Matthew 6:30-33, Jesus said:
But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
It’s not wrong to wonder what will happen in this relationship or to make plans on how to achieve your goals. But it is wrong to worry. It’s not just a command God made up. God doesn’t want us to worry because God doesn’t want us to torture ourselves like that.
Freedom is found when we can trust God enough today that our doubt does not spill into worrying about tomorrow.
If a relationship is still too new to know about the distant future, trust God in the moment and give it time.
3. If You Are Getting Overwhelmed About All the Possible Outcomes That Could Happen in the Future, God Is Probably Telling You to Just Enjoy the Moment and Give the Relationship More Time
We have a tendency to always be thinking about the next step. For example, perhaps you’ve really liked someone for a longtime and basically made yourself sick wondering if you two would ever get to date one day, but then it finally happens and you two become an official couple. But then you quickly become anxious about what will happen now that you are together. Will you break up soon? Will you last a longtime? What will happen?
We have to learn to enjoy the moments we are in. Yes, it’s good to ask about the future and not be blinded by the moment, but it’s also possible to miss the beauty of each moment because you are so focused on the future. If you are so consumed with the future that you are missing the moment, God is probably telling you to just give this relationship more time, stop looking too far ahead, and start focusing on the person right in front of you.
As Jesus said in Matthew 6:34, “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
4. If You Have Been Having Problems in This Relationship But You Have Just Recently Set Up New Boundaries, This Could Mean God Is Saying to Give It More Time
One question I get a lot goes something like this, “How common is it to have issues early on in a relationship?” Or, “We’ve been struggling with sexual sin. What should we do?”
Questions like this are hard to answer without knowing the level of sin, what you’ve tried already to stop it, or what types of troubles are happening in this relationship. But as a general rule, I believe a healthy relationship doesn’t have to be perfect but it does always need to be adapting and growing.
Even in our individual walks with God, we all sin but the real crux of the issue is are we repenting? Living in sin is different than fighting sin and repenting. So if you have been having a relationship problem together or you have been sinning together, you should either breakup or set up new boundaries to get different results. It’s not an option as a follower of Christ to just live in sin (1 John 1:5-7).
If you have set up new boundaries, it will take some time to see if they are going to work. If they work, great – keep moving forward. If they don’t work – again – either break up or set up new boundaries to solve the issue. Just never settle into dysfunction or sin.
5. If You Sense God Telling You to Give It More Time, Give It More Time
I know this point seems a bit obvious and redundant, but you’d be surprised at how often we humans overcomplicate our lives by simply neglecting to ask God about our questions.
Patience is not easy. In fact, without the Holy Spirit, it’s impossible; for one of the fruits of the Spirit is patience (Galatians 5:22).
I know you may want God’s answer right now, but through you being patient God is accomplishing things you don’t even know about. Anything God does, he does for your good and his glory (Romans 8:28-29).