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For many people looking to find the perfect relationship with the perfect “significant other,” the dating scene can seem like a painful catastrophe. We live in an imperfect world filled with imperfect people, and we wonder how someone else could make us happy. With a focus like this, it’s virtually impossible to find God’s match for us. When we realize that true happiness is found only in Jesus Christ and ask for His help in the search, our entire focus shifts from us to Him.
God didn’t create us to go through life by ourselves. After He created Adam, He created Eve to rescue Adam from being alone, to complement him, and to be his equal (Genesis 2:18, 21-24). The world may give us crazy, mixed-up messages about what kind of relationships are okay by its standards, but God’s standards for a relationship are always in our best interests.
Happiness doesn’t come from any external sources; it’s a mistake to think that another person can complete us. Jesus is the only one who can perfect and complete us, and fill in all the empty spaces in our lives. Since humans all have quirks and flaws, unrealistic expectations put too much pressure on a relationship. If we want to find our mate, we must be patient and let God guide us. “But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1:4, NKJV).
Too often we see painful, unhappy, dysfunctional relationships, and the common thread is that each person in them is focused on themselves instead of God. He wants us to form happy, healthy relationships, but self-centeredness hinders that from happening. God knows exactly what we’re looking for in a life partner, and putting a relationship with Him first frees Him to begin working in this area on our behalf. “For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:32, 33, NKJV).
Many people pursue a relationship out of fear of being alone or because they don’t like themselves and think someone else can make them feel better. We were created in God’s image and He loves and accepts us just the way we are, imperfections and all. Learning to love, respect, and value ourselves changes our perspective. Letting God’s love flow through us allows us to love others the same way. “Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. We love each other because he loved us first” (1 John 4:18, 19, NLT).
Through our own efforts, finding the one person who’s right for us can be like searching for a needle in a haystack. Listening to dating advice from friends and family can be risky. Without God’s input, the odds are stacked against us, but listening to His directions gives us wisdom to know just how to proceed. “Roll your works upon the Lord [commit and trust them wholly to Him; He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will, and] so shall your plans be established and succeed” (Proverbs 16:3, AMPC). Trusting God on this positions us for success.
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