What should you do when you begin to like someone that you know you should not like? How can you guard your heart from having feelings for someone you know is not good for you?
Here are 3 tips on how to guard your heart when you like someone you know you should not like.
Clearly Define Why You Should Not Like This Person
The first step is to clearly define what the problem really is with liking this person. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that Christians cannot have romantic feelings. God has made men and women to desire one another. So liking someone is really not a problem.
However, the Bible does give lots of warnings about how these desires can be expressed in sinful ways. If you like someone who is already married, that is not okay. If you want to be married to an unbeliever, that is not okay. If you like someone in an idolatrous way, that is not okay. If you like someone who is abusive, that is not okay. If you like someone who would lead you away from Christ and into a worldly lifestyle, that is not okay.
So the first step is to define what the problem is with liking this person. If there is not biblical or practical reason to resist these feelings for this person, then perhaps you should consider moving towards this person rather than a way from this person.
To gauge whether or not someone is mature enough to be a relationship with you, these resources may be helpful:
Normally step 1 will be enough to help you overcome your feelings for someone you know you should not like. When we clearly define the biblical or practical reason of why we should not like this person, often times our minds take back control and our emotions begin to feel the way they should again. When you can mentally accept the logical reasons of why you should not be with this person, usually you feelings for this person fade.
If they do not begin to fade, you may need to also clearly define why you do like this person.
Clearly Define Why You Do Like This Person
After you have defined the reason why you should not like someone, the next step is to define why you do like this person. By identifying what is causing your feelings, you will be better equipped to stop those feelings. While feelings can be very mysterious at times, there are always reason for why we feel the way we do.
Are you spending too much time with this person at work? Are you having too many vulnerable conversations with this person? Are you physically attracted to his or her appearance? Do you like this person just because they are the only option in your life right now? Do they remind you of someone that you miss? Did you have a sexual experience with this person? Do you respect some parts of their character even though there are others parts that are red flags?
By clearly identifying why you like this person even though you know you should not like him or her, you will be better equipped to get your feelings under control and guard your heart.
Repent of Any Sin and Put Up New Boundaries
The last step to stop liking someone you know you shouldn’t like is by repenting of any sins that you committed and setting up new boundaries to protect your heart going forward.
The reason you have to identify why you like someone even though you know you shouldn’t is so you can repent of any sin. If you like this person because of sinful reason like coveting your neighbor’s wife, lust, idolatry, or because you crossed emotional or physical boundaries, the only way to move past these sins and stop your feelings is by repenting.
When we confess our sins to God and we turn and walk away from sin and towards him, our feelings will eventually follow. We have to choose our objective reality and our subjective experiences will follow. So if you know you should not like someone because they are not a mature Christian, then you must repent by putting up healthy boundaries in your life between you and this person.
When you objectively turn away from this person, your subjective feelings will eventually change. You must lead your feelings. You must not let your feelings lead you. They will follow you eventually, but you first need to just make the right choice. The feelings will come after that.
The Best Way Is to Avoid This From Happening at All
In closing, the best way to not like someone you know God does not want you to be with is to stop those feelings from starting at all. It is much easier to guard your heart from getting connecting to someone rather than stopping those feelings because you already are connected.
To protect your heart from getting connected to the wrong person at all, you have to be proactive and guard your heart. Don’t think you are so strong you could never start liking someone who you know is not good for you. If you, as a Christian single person, spend all your time with people who do not love God, it is only a matter of time before you begin having feelings for someone like this. Serve everyone you can as a Christian, but guard your heart by surrounding yourself with fellow Christians seeking to glorify God just like you are.