Dr. Jim discusses confusion over God bringing someone into one’s life. How do you know what is the Will of God when in a relationship?
Sometimes I receive a number of emails in a relatively short time that contain a recurring theme. Such is the case with many recent emails received.
Why would God bring someone into your life but it not work out?
The scenario is presented that the person is totally sure that God brought a certain person into their lives, BUT. Then follows a variety of descriptions of why it is not working out. They are confused as to why God would bring someone into their life and then it not work out. It is a painful experience and gives rise to many doubts.
God works in many different ways. He does NOT check with me in how He can or should work. While there may be a variety of ways for Him to work in our lives, there are some things that jump out when I read many of these emails.
Desires getting ahead of reality
With sensitivity, I am led to share that in most of the cases presented to me it appears to be a case of someone’s desires getting ahead of reality. God is supernatural but He works with us in the natural. He can and does touch our lives to bring us into healthy connections. It is when we rush ahead of Him that we invite trouble.
What to look for in a Christian Relationship according to the will of God.
Internet dating contributes to this occurrence often. Just from looking at a picture and profile, exchanging a few emails or phone calls, and before they actually meet – the emotions race ahead to ‘assuming’ that this is the one that God called for their mate. Either God is making a LOT of mistakes (NOT), or people are jumping to the wrong assumption.
Allow time of confirmation
I invite you to consider one important premise about knowing God’s will that has helped me immensely. When one believes that God is moving or bringing someone or something to happen, it is very important to allow a time of confirmation. This confirmation can come from many sources, but must not be out of a ‘feeling.’ I say this because one already has the ‘feelings’ or they would not be giving it consideration.
Confirmation: From where?
The confirmations that I am speaking of can come by:
- Sharing what is going on with a mature Christian and invite their prayers and input.
- Considering God’s principles and how they are applying to this situation. God does not contradict Himself! Ever!! God will not lead someone into your life to be your mate if they are still married OR still going through a divorce. In my own opinion, I do not believe that He would lead someone to be a mate if they have not had ample time to reconcile themselves to God and restore health into their emotions, mind, and spirit.
- Taking your time. Time confirms many things. Continue to develop the relationship and ask God to surface anything that is positive, or negative, about the relationship that you need to know. There are many who rush to marriage after only 1 to 6 months of a relationship. God can work in these situations but it handicaps Him and the couple to rush.
- Asking God’s Spirit to provide the way that God wants you to use to receive confirmation.
God does care about all His children, their needs and desires. So many find out the hard way that what they perceived was God’s leading turned out to be nothing more than a great package and strong desires.
Allow a relationship to mature
Time IS your ally and not your enemy. Please believe me when I say that it is far better to take some time to mature and confirm a relationship than to marry and find out it was a mistake. We love our ‘instant’ society but this is NOT the place to practice it.
I am asking the Lord to guide and bless you in your relationships according to God’s will.
Heavenly Father, I thank You for Your grace which You so generously, and continuously, bless us with. You are worthy of all praise and all glory.
I lift my hands in humble worship and adoration. Bless and empower my words and thoughts today, O Lord that they may be pleasing to you, my Rock and my Redeemer.
Romans 12:9-10 Don’t just pretend that You love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Stand on the side of the good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.
1 Peter 4:8 Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.
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Guide and direct our relationship
I pray that You continue to guide our footsteps and our lives as we walk in agreement, according to Your will.
I trust that our new relationship is a blessing from You, O Lord and I pray that You guide us and show us what we need to know.
Open the eyes of my heart, Father God, and reveal anything that is not of You. May I not go into this relationship love-blind but rather spirit-wise.
Proverbs 13:20 He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.
Corinthians 6:14 “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?”
Draw us closer
Bless our relationship and draw us both even closer to You and to your will for our lives. May I never be unequally yoked.
Lord, teach and guide us that we will always seek You first in everything we do. May our love be fill with genuine affection and may we honor each other at all times.
1 Peter 3:7 In the same way, You husbands must give honor to Your wives. Treat her with understanding as You live together. She may be weaker than You are, but she is Your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. If You don’t treat her as You should, Your prayers will not be heard.
Proverbs 31:10,11 Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is worth more than precious rubies. Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life.
Bond us together
Bless our lives in our journey together and fill us with Your Glory. May we be bonded together, Lord, in the type of love Your Son Jesus showed on the cross.
Let our lives be a wonderful reflection of Your grace, as we abide in it forever. In Jesus’ name, I humbly pray, Amen.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
If God doesn’t approve of the person you’re dating, believe me He will let you know.
Sometimes we pray for answers we are not fully prepared for. Trusting God’s will means trusting that He knows what’s best for us even if it means we have to part ways with people we are not quite ready to part ways with.
Sometimes we feel it in our spirit that someone is not a good mate for us, but for some reason we allow ourselves to stay in an unfulfilling relationship.
Some of us ask God to show us a sign whether something or someone is good or bad for us. The funny part is, God may have given us plenty of signs , before we even prayed that prayer.
Whether the signs are there or not, there’s only one way to know for sure, and that’s prayer.
If you’re praying for God’s will, eventually their true colors will show. But you can’t pray for God to reveal these things to you and then disregard them when He shows you this person is not the one for you.
One of my relationships, I REALLY wanted to work. So when we began to have our share of problems, I began to pray.
I asked God to show me whether or not this person was the one for me. If not, I prayed that He would remove him from my life. Well, it didn’t take long for God to show me at all.
A day after praying that prayer, my ex told me that he felt we should call it quits. Not quite the answer I was expecting from God. But His will is always best. Too bad I didn’t believe that at that time.
About two weeks later, my ex called me and said he realized he had made a mistake letting me go.
In spite of everything I had discussed with God, this was still music to my ears.
We talked about how we were going to make our relationship better this time. It truly felt like we were going to be alright this time.
We had a plan this time and for the first time in a long time, we were actually communicating with each other, listening to each other.
I even began to wonder if I had misunderstood what God was trying to tell me about our relationship.
Nevertheless, our relationship got to a point where we were breaking up every other month. This went on for about two years.
Every night I would pray that our relationship would take a turn for the better. Until finally I prayed a different prayer…
This time I asked God to forgive me for going against His better judgement, for being so disobedient, and for not trusting Him with my heart.
You see, all of my headaches, heartaches, and tears could have been avoided IF I was fully prepared for what I was praying for.
What is it that you want God to reveal? Are you going to trust Him even if the answer is not the one you want? I pray that you will.
A prayer for love has to be something you do no a regular basis. Love and relationships are one of the most important aspects of our lives, because our relationships will either lift us up, or tear us down.
Yet praying for love tends to be something that we don’t often do. Maybe we’re afraid to go to God with our love life. Maybe we’re getting discouraged that our prayers aren’t being answered. Or maybe, just maybe, we don’t know how to pray for love.
Prayer For Love Vs. Worry About Love
It took me a while to grasp how to pray for love. Because I’ve always had a tendency to think about love, and worry about love, rather than pray about it.
I’m quick to analyze, figure out, and try to put the pieces together. But it takes me a while to turn to prayer.
I’m realizing that my tendency to over-analyze is the opposite of what God’s word tells me to do. All through Scripture Jesus is challenging us: Don’t just dwell on things, pray about them.
Prayer is the act by which we mentally hand over our problems, concerns, fears, desires, and dreams to someone who actually has the power to control.
And it makes so much sense, because if we’re going to allow these things to fill our brain, we are better off doing it in a way that has the power to impact the things that are weighing us down, rather than simply allowing them to consume us.
If you find yourself consumed by your love life – or lackthereof, here are some ways to mentally and prayerfully hand those things to the One who can actually do something about it. Here are 8 ways to pray for love.
Pray Like This: 8 Prayers For Love
#1: Pray that God would give you a relationship (Matthew 7:7)!
God’s word challenges us to ask and bring our needs before God. Anything and everything. As long as our hearts are aligned with His, there are no limits on what we can ask. What are your deepest needs and desires when it comes to a relationship? What do you need God to do in your relationship? Let Him know.
#2: Pray that He would grant you patience and insight to wait for a good one (Isaiah 40:31).
Waiting on God is never easy, because once again, it is a reminder that we are not in control. But through the time of waiting, ask God to change you, nourish you, and fill you so that you are empowered and prepared to take the next steps when the timing is right.
#3: Pray that He would be working out anything unhealthy in your life (Jeremiah 33:8).
Some of our baggage and sin we can recognize, and some we can’t. As you seek to enhance your love life, be sure to ask God to help you recognize and heal all the things in your life that aren’t lining up with His best. Seek to get to the bottom of your sins, and ask for His healing power to be at work in your life.
#4: Pray that He would shape your heart for nourishing interactions with others (Colossians 3:12-14).
It’s important to learn how to love, rather than simply longing to be loved. When your heart is open to loving and edifying others the way it was meant to, your relationships will be enriched and empowered.
#5: Pray that He would bring healing into your past so that you are free to embrace the present (Philippians 3:13-14).
We are called to move forward, and forget what is behind. Sometimes, it’s easy to get stuck on our past and be paralyzed from living in the present. No matter what kinds of things your past may hold, ask God to be at work in your past so that you are free to live in the moment and embrace your present.
#6: Pray that He would protect your emotional world and give you wisdom of how to set healthy boundaries (Proverbs 4:23).
I talk a lot about guarding our hearts and how to practically do that, but how often do we actually pray about our hearts and emotional worlds? God longs to be a part of our emotions just as much as our spiritual life. He is a holistic God, who longs to interact with our mind, body, and soul. Give Him a chance by opening your emotional life to Him through prayer.
#7: Pray that He would open your eyes to the joy of doing sex His way (Hebrews 13:4).
It’s so easy to focus on what we can’t do before marriage, and end up harboring bitterness and resentment. But what if we were to ask God to open our eyes to doing life His way? What if we were to plead with Him to download His heart onto ours, so that we could truly understand what is best for our lives? Rather than struggling with His plan, let’s ask Him to reveal His heart to ours, particularly in the area of sex and sexuality, so that we can be freed to trust Him without bitterness or regret. (More on this in Chapter 8 of True Love Dates)
#8: Pray that God would be the focus of your life now and forever (Psalm 37:4).
At the end of the day, no matter how we view it, there is no gift that is greater than the Giver. Whether we feel that or not, it doesn’t cease to be true. May we continue to bring this request before God, so that He can turn our hearts to Him as our greatest delight and desire, because perspective has the power to change everything.
This week, rather than focus on your problems, worries, or what you don’t yet have, focus on what you do have: a direct line to the One who controls all things, including your precious heart. It’s time to actually do some real work in the area of our love life and relationships instead of wasting our mental energy away. It’s time to pray for love.
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DEBRA FILETA is a Licensed Professional Counselor, national speaker, relationship expert, and author of Choosing Marriage and True Love Dates. She’s also the host of the hotline style Love + Relationships Podcast. Her popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, reaches millions of people with the message of healthy relationships. Connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!