9 Lies Christian Singles Believe About Dating & Marriage
Expectations are everything when it comes to relationships because everybody has them! You have expectations about how a partner should treat you, talk to you, and serve you. You have expectations about how the toothpaste is squeezed and which way the toilet paper rolls. You have expectations about where you spend the holidays and how often you should hang out with friends. You have expectations about what time “normal” people go to bed and get up in the morning. You get the idea. You have expectations about everything and unmet expectations over time in a relationship can lead to feelings of hopelessness.
The problem I see with many relationships these days is that two people enter the relationship without considering or discussing their expectations with each other. Obviously this is a recipe for disappointment and disaster. And before you think that a quick discussion of expectations will clear the air and allow two people to meet in the middle, you must realize that our expectations are driven by beliefs. Beliefs that are often deeply ingrained and deeply personal, which is why people usually aren’t open to abandoning or changing their expectations. Now imagine that a person has unrealistic expectations because they are operating by false beliefs…yeah, that can be a setup for failure. So let’s talk about 10 Lies Christian Singles Believe About Dating and Marriage so we can adjust some wrong beliefs and get rid of unrealistic expectations.
Lie #1 – I Deserve a Spouse Because I Have a Desire for Marriage
Just because a desire isn’t ungodly doesn’t necessarily mean it is God’s plan for your life right now…or ever. We were absolutely created for relationships and most singles have a desire for marriage one day. That doesn’t mean you deserve it and that doesn’t mean this should be your highest pursuit. Psalm 37:4 says to, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Be careful you don’t read this passage as a methodology where “you delight” and then “God gives” you want you want. Your focus is delighting in Him and when you do your heart’s desires will begin to line up with God’s will for your life.
Lie #2 – I’m the Exception
Maybe you know “a friend” who may not say this specifically but lives it out daily in their lives. “ I know the Bible says ____________________, but that won’t be the case for me.” I call this an Exception Theology. I know the Bible says sex is reserved for marriage BUT it’s not that big of a deal. I know the Bible says we are stewards of our money and body BUT I’ll spend my money how I want and “my body my choice.” I know statistics should that cohabitating couples are less likely to marry and more likely to divorce if they marry BUT we’re saving a lot of money but living together. What areas of your life and relationships are you operating as if you’re the exception to the rule?
Lie #3 – God Can’t Satisfy Me As Much As This Sin
This lie started in the Garden of Eden with the serpent convincing Eve that God was withholding the fruit on the special tree because He didn’t want her to be like Him. Another way of saying this is, “God is holding out on me.” Whenever you continue to walk in disobedience to God in an area of your life, it’s because you believe that whatever God can offer is not as good as what you are getting through this choice. This is a faith issue and won’t be resolved unless you address your lack of trust in Him.
Lie #4 – Biblical “Womanhood” is About Marriage
Some women idolize marriage as the end goal of life. They believe that remaining unmarried to be settling for some second rate life. They view purpose as being tied to marriage and family. God has uniquely designed every person for a purpose but that purpose should exist before they ever marry and continue if they were to marry and be widowed. Purpose can’t begin and end based on marital status. It may be that marriage is a part of your life purpose but a woman can lead a godly and purposeful life outside of the institution of marriage.
Lie #5 – Once I Get Married Sexual Immorality Won’t Be An Issue
Riiiiiiiight! (insert eye roll) Whatever sexual issues you have as a single will be not be satisfied but actually magnified in marriage. Marriage will expose the areas of your life that you have not dealt with because of the closeness of relationship and the consistent proximity of your spouse. If you feel “sexually frustrated” because you are a celibate single, imagine the level of frustration you’ll have in marriage when you are lying next to the warm body of the person who is supposed to be the focus of your sexual expression but isn’t interested in having sex with you. THAT’S SEXUAL FRUSTRATION! If you have a pornography issue as a single, that won’t go away when you marry. If you have a masturbation issue as a single, you will often default to that in marriage when your spouse isn’t receptive to your sexual initiations. The pursuit of purity should be the goal of both singles and married individuals.
Lie #6 – Their Past is Their Past, I Don’t Need to Know
Hopefully any person you are considering for marriage will be a person who is actively growing and maturing both spiritually and emotionally. If this is the case then you have good reason to believe that who they are becoming and will be in the future are better versions of who they are now. That said, you would be unwise to completely ignore their past because past performance is often a good indicator of future potential. The tendencies, habits, and choices a person has made in the past are usually driven by their set of beliefs. If these beliefs aren’t fundamentally change in some way there is a high likelihood that they will make similar choices in the future. We all have the potential for positive change, but don’t ignore past patterns. They will likely repeat in the future.
Lie #7 – They’ll Be Different When We’re Married
If they are a selfish single they will be a selfish spouse. If they have an addictive personality now, that will continue into marriage. If they handle their finances poorly now, they will do so with both of your money when married. If they are high maintenance now, the maintenance fees will probably increase. You have to make sure you are able to live with the person they are now for the rest of your life even if they never change. Now the hope is that they will grow and mature but you can’t count on that in case they don’t. The only thing that will likely be different when you marry is your sex life if you are currently having sex prior to marriage. Some of the things they do now will stop once you are married because sex while dating is a performance and married sex is meant for connection and intimacy.
Lie #8 – Because of My Obedience, God Owes Me
Many Christians believe that their obedience to God guarantees some reward or blessing from God in return. The reality is that due to your sin you actually Owe God. Because He is rich in mercy and grace He decided to eliminate that debt through the payment of His son on the cross. God doesn’t owe you anything. Many singles pursue God with a belief that God will then need to bless them on the back end of their obedience with a wonderful spouse.
Lie #9 – His or Her Lack of Faith Won’t Pull Me Down
Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived and yet even he missed this one. He ignored God’s warning not to marry pagan women and eventually walked away from his faith. A healthy relationship is founded on shared values. A person who does not share your level of faith will not value the same things you value. There will always be pressure to compromise your values when you are in a relationship with someone who values different things.
Your beliefs will drive your expectations so wrong beliefs will lead to unhealthy or unrealistic expectations. Where do your beliefs about dating and marriage not line up with God’s Word? Where have you compromised in relationships in the past because you were operating with faulty beliefs? What are the unhealthy areas of your current relationship where you know you’ve been settling? Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.
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