Yesterday, I got asked this question: “How would you know God doesn’t approve of the person you’re dating? Hi
@Eloxie , can you write on this? Would help a lot of people out there.”
My response is not really relationship advice in itself. It is a little broader as it regards how to know whether or not God approves of our choices. Like marriage, there are important choices we need God’s perspective on as we live our lives and so it is important to not a few of us to be sure that our choices are aligned with His. Infact, the more we grow in Him, the more important His opinion becomes. The idea is not to even choose and ask Him to bless. It is to ask Him to lead us to choose. Kinda like the carpenters rule of ‘measure twice, cut once…’
First, let me begin by saying that God is a good, good father and that He is more willing to speak to us than we realise. So His willingness is not in doubt. Let us also settle His capacity. He knows the end from the very beginning so what better person to consult about a decision than Him? So we are agreed that God is willing to speak to us.
Next, what kinds of things does He speak to us about? Our ability to access God is very much a function of our relationship. If we build great relationships with our parents for instance, we can lay it all down to them about all sorts of things, beyond the responsibility driven conversations about bills and fees. It’s the same with God. He desires for us to be so intimate with Him that nothing is off limits.
So let’s get very practical. I like to say that God speaks to us about choices (dating inclusive) that He approves or does not approve of in the very same way He speaks to us everyday. So how does He speak to you? The challenge is often that we do not ask God what He thinks about everything else and only become interested when marriage comes up because it is sooooo important so we expect hearing from him to be esoteric. However, God speaks to us in much the same personalized way as our earthly parents did. Remember how you knew just what your mother’s eye talk signified…from ‘what are you doing there?’ to ”don’t eat that’ to ‘when we get home i will spank you.’ Your neighbor could be right there but she would have no clue because only you understood the code. There is a ‘certainty’ that comes from knowing your mum and what her instructions are that guides your interpretation of the gaze at that time., same way knowing God and His word also helps.
When we get saved, our spirits regain the connection to God that we lost when Adam (and all men in Adam) sinned. However, this channel needs to be built and our spirits need to be trained to hear God and fed to grow. God is ALWAYS speaking but sometimes, our flesh overwhelms the spirit because the spirit is not fed and then we decide from our flesh alone. Some other times, it is ego driven. Both ways, we will not hear God so the choice is up to us to grow spiritually and learn to tune into God’s frequency so we can hear Him. When we do that, we will hear him in mundane things and gain such accuracy and confidence that when it comes to more serious matters, we will not be fretful. God wants to be involved in our lives as we give Him room. His plan really is for His Spirit in us to live through our human faculties and bodies so that we become ‘like’ Him.
So the simple question is does God speak to you at all? He speaks via His word, one scripture suddenly solves the problem for you. For a child of God, peace is a radar. I mean, it may not make sense in your flesh but your spirit will be at ease and your mind will catch up. How many things can one judge in the flesh really? We can do our best to check compatibility, commitment, values and all but things can change in the twinkling of an eye. Only God can tell where He is taking you to and who will be best suited to grow into and with you. How does He speak to you? How do you feel when He is displeased with you? That is how you will feel when you are not with the right person. So, what is your spirit really saying? What is the inner witness you have about this choice? Sometimes God uses third party confirmations. However, as a son, no third party should be saying to you what you and your father have not discussed. No way! Whatever a third party says should be confirmatory, kind of like an AHA!!! After all you live in the same house with your ‘Father’ so you have access to Him.
The Bible is very clear that we were created to have two-way communication with Him. John 10:27 says, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” The most difficult part perhaps of hearing God for ones self is the fact that it takes time to learn to discern God’s voice — and it takes a humble heart. For this reason, many are content to outsource to a ‘woli.’ to see for them.
Imagine how God tells you what to say to someone albeit randomly and it turns out 100 percent accurate? You know how that was delivered to your spirit, so you save it. You know how your spirit lost peace when you refused to forgive, told a lie or you ignored a leading so you know how a misalignment with God is for you. You know how you feel when you are right where God wants you if you have experienced it before. All of these experiences prepare us for when it really matters. Hearing from God is a personalized experience. My parents saying to me ‘We are disappointed in you’ has a totally different impact for me than with any of my siblings. So they will likely deploy it to express displeasure to me. They will find another way to reach my siblings. The principle which is communication is the same but methods are different. Do not let anyone lock you into a single method because that was what worked for them.
Sometimes, everything could look okay and the grace to discern just reveals something you could never have known in the physical in the nick of time. At other times, you could just be praying and meditating and then you just know. There is a ‘confirmatory’ knowledge that enables you take on the doubts in your mind. Overall, God’s will for us is not some unachievable target. Phil. 2:13 says that it is God that works in us both to WILL and DO His pleasure. This means that God works in us so that we even begin to will and desire what brings Him pleasure. This is so amazing because when we get here, our appetite is being adapted so we desire only what God is pleased with. Amazing right?
This has turned out longer than I hoped. If we could shut down some of the noise and listen to our Father, we will make better decisions. We are children of God and we should be led by the spirit of God. (Rom. 8:14)
Isaiah 30:21 says, “Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” Whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left.”