Q: I recently met a guy on a Christian dating app. He’s a Christian, and we have a lot of things in common — including the way we met Jesus. We have been conversing through FaceTime and texting for one and a half months. He’s serious and invested in our relationship. He tells me that he wants to fly to my city from America and wants me to meet his mother. We pray together and talk about God and many other topics. I’m concerned about this because he started talking about marrying me and moving to America very fast. Is this a good thing? How do I know if he’s my partner from God or not?
A: Deciding who you want to spend the rest of your life with is a very serious decision. Especially when you’re thinking about moving to another country to be with somebody — these are very serious questions, and you don’t want to make the wrong decision.
You need to know what you want. The part of your question that immediately caught my attention was where you said, “I’m concerned….” If you’re already having concerns about this relationship, this is not a situation you want to move into too quickly. For example, even though I knew Rick was to be my God-called husband, and he knew I was to be his God-called wife, we still had a time of engagement. And all three of our sons were engaged for at least one year before they married. Marriage is never something you rush into quickly!
This is especially the case when all you know about your potential husband is what he tells you about himself. Also, if I’m a friend of yours and he comes to dinner with us, he’s going to be on his best behavior, and you still won’t know exactly who he really is. Again, you have to know what you want. You don’t want to be pressured into making a decision — you want to make that decision out of a joyful and peaceful place in your heart. It’s also nice when you have your spiritual and biological mothers and fathers around you to have them in agreement with you about what you ought to do when deciding who to marry.
If you’re a believer, the Holy Spirit is inside you. According to John 16:13, the Bible says, “However, when he, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.” Notice where it says, “…He will guide you into all truth….” Ask yourself, How important do I think marriage is? It’s pretty important, right? These are just the kind of decisions the Holy Spirit wants to help you make — He wants to guide you into the truth!
Let me give you an example. Before I married Rick, another man came into my life. I never had anyone pay attention like that to me before, and as a young girl, I loved the attention! I also had this terrible skin condition at that time, but for some reason, this man thought I was pretty, showed me kindness, and displayed interest in me. However, the Holy Spirit spoke to me right away, saying, He is not the right one, but I didn’t want to listen to the Holy Spirit. For six months I refused to listen to Him, but I eventually got the courage to talk to that man and tell him I couldn’t continue the relationship.
Why am I telling you this story? Because the Holy Spirit, God the Father, cares about all your decisions and doesn’t want you to make a wrong decision, especially one as serious as this. He promised you through His Word that He will guide you, but you have to be humble enough to listen.
Practically speaking, I’d say to you about this person you don’t know very well: Do not move quickly. I can’t tell you what to do, but I think wisdom says, Don’t move too soon, and listen to your own heart. You already said this situation began to concern you, so do not ignore that! God is not trying to keep something from you, He’s trying to protect and bless you.
I know of a certain story about online dating. I don’t have anything against online dating, per se, but I know one woman who developed an interest in a man on the Internet, and he seemed like the greatest thing ever. He eventually came over to meet her, and when he did, she immediately knew he was crazy, and she ran from him as fast as she could.
You want to make rational decisions, even though you have emotions that could try to sway you about the choice you should make. But especially when you get married, you have to make a lot of rational decisions. Marriage is a commitment to that other person, whether you feel romantic or not. Life is real. People have problems, and when you marry someone, you’re bringing all your faults and shortcomings into the marriage, and your spouse is bringing all his faults and shortcomings into the marriage as well. A successful, healthy, and happy marriage takes a real commitment. So you must think about what you’re doing, put your emotions aside, listen to the Holy Spirit, and make a rational decision.