“Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?” – 2 Corinthians 6:14.

Dating can bring closeness that goes beyond simple companionship. Sharing time and yourself with a boyfriend or girlfriend involves that person becoming a major part of your life. Little by little, you start to define yourself in terms of this relationship. There is a closeness and dare you say, warm and fuzzy love is in the air. You start talking about marriage and that’s when things go south.

The person you want to spend the rest of your life with is not sure they are ready to get married. They’re not sure they are willing to commit themselves to joining with you for the rest of your lives. They also are not sure they buy into your concept of sacrifice and selflessness in marriage or the roles and duties of husband and wife. They read Ephesians 5:22-31 and to be kind, freaked out.  So what do you do now?

You risked your heart. You shared your life. You bought the gifts, made the memories, and dreamed your dreams together — and it hit a pretty big snag. Do you continue anyway or do you break it off and risk being back at square one and lonely. 

Every situation is different and I would not presume to know the answer to that question in every occurrence. I also know that no one begins dating someone hoping to break it off someday. The wiring in most of us has us longing for a lasting relationship that culminates in marriage. We’re looking, sometimes it feels frantically, for love, for affection and security and companionship and commitment and intimacy and help. After all, God seems to want most of us to be married.  For example, Proverbs 18:22 tells us, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD.” 

This doesn’t mean every dating relationship should end in marriage. It is better to suffer the hurt of a breakup than to get married to a person who is not right for you. 

Knowing and embracing God’s design for marriage and dating will help us take healthy next steps in our pursuit of marriage.  I hope you realize that God has never abandoned you, and he will never abandon you.  There’s no circumstance facing you that He’s not engineering to give you deep and durable life and freedom and joy. He loves our lasting joy in Him much more than He loves our temporary comfort today.

God does know what you need, and He’s never too slow to provide it. One way God provides for us through breakups is by making it clear — by whatever means and for whatever reason — this relationship was not His plan for our marriage. 

Trust Him to provide for you each day whether you get married or not. If you do get married, know that He will bring the person you need.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Have you ever broke up with somebody? What was the experience like?
  2. When did you set your dating standards? How well have you stuck to them?
  3. Why is it important to know what God thinks about dating?
  4. How can we know when it is time to break off a relationship? What are some valid reasons for breaking off the relationship?