Sitting across the table from my beautiful friend in the quaint coffee shop, my worry mounted. She was sharing details about her new whirlwind relationship that had begun a couple months earlier.

“I finally met that guy I’ve been talking to on the Internet. After calling and text messaging constantly for the last two months, we decided to take it the next level—so we met half way last weekend. It was amazing. He’s perfect for me! He is so kind, smart, funny, dynamic … he is too good to be true!”

Exactly! I thought to myself.

“And did I mention he is financially secure? Not that money is important.” Her apparent excitement said the opposite.

“Is he a Christian?”

“We met at an online matchmaking site!”

“Is everyone on that a Christian?”

“Well … he hasn’t really been going to church—but he definitely loves God.”

Saddam Hussein claims to love God. “How do you know that?”

“He told me so! I just know God brought us together.”

“You’ve only known him for two months. Why do you think God brought him into your life?” I had to pinch myself under the table not to sound condescending.

“Because … it just feels so right when we talk. We have so much in common. He really loves me.” Oh, oh. I can see we’re in trouble now. …

“So … since he’s such a great Christian guy, I’m sure he didn’t try to get you to sleep with him. I mean, he’s protecting your purity and all, right?” I had a bad feeling about this guy already. My cynicism was beginning to show.

“Well … he’s not legalistic about it. I mean, we are adults and he said as long as we’re committed to each other it’s the same as being married.” Her own convictions had seemingly evaporated overnight.

“So if you know each other so well, what are his weaknesses?” Besides not being a Christian, trying to get you into bed at the first chance, and being a liar.

“He might be just a little bit compulsive. Is it normal for a guy to ask you to take off your shoes before you get into his car? But I guess I don’t mind too much … he has so many other great qualities, what could be so bad about that?”

I’d had conversations like this with women dozens of times. In fact, for most of my own life, I was the one lying to myself. If anyone knew the lies women tell themselves to justify getting into bad relationships that led to bad marriages, it was me. And now, my precious friend, the one with whom I had discussed these lies with over and over, was falling into to them much too easily. I began to pray that she would see the truth before it was too late.

What about you? If you are still trying to hold out for God’s best but you find yourself identifying with some of the conversation above, read on. It’s not too late for you to begin identifying the lies you tell yourself so that you can avoid an empty marriage and shattered dreams.

LIE #1:  A Christian man must be God’s best choice of a mate for me.

First of all, just because a man calls himself a Christian doesn’t mean a thing about his spiritual condition. Hitler probably professed to be a nice guy. What really shows a man’s faith is action—not trying to get you into bed until you are both wearing a ring; initiating his own personal relationship with God and encouraging yours as well; and especially holding his feelings back in the relationship to allow God to lead. God’s choice of a mate for you is going to be a godly man, and if you listen, God will tell you through an active prayer life and the counsel of other godly influences whether this is the one He has picked out for  you.