I will never forget the night that I cried so hard I wondered if I was ever going to stop. All I can remember was finally going to bed and crying myself to sleep. My friend, have you ever had a broken heart? Has the pain been so deep you thought you just wanted to die?

 

Hurt and pain can come in many different forms, but those that come from a broken heart seem to hurt us the most. There can be deep disappointment when relationships don’t work out.

 

Is it possible to date and not get hurt? Certainly. Is there anything you can do to help prevent heartbreak? Yes. There are lots of things that you can do to help.  However you are never excluded from heartbreak if you give your heart to someone. The deeper the relationship, the greater potential for pain or joy.

 

Unfortunately, we live in a world where many date with reckless abandonment. Godly integrity is often not a part of dating, and enormous consequences and heartbreak are inevitable. If there was ever a time we need some basic guidelines in dating, it’s today. If our television sitcoms have become our standard we’re in deep trouble.

 

Following a few basic truths from God’s Word is the answer to preventing much heartbreak. Whom should you date? Whom should you court? Whom should you spend time with? There is absolutely one essential key in the area of dating. If you’re a believer, then you must date a Christian.

 

God says in His Word, “Do not be unequally yoked.” And, since dating often times leads to marriage you don’t ever want to get involved with an unbeliever. Plus, “Bad company corrupts good morals.” You may think that you’re just having fun and you never intend to marry the person you’re dating. I have known people who began dating someone just for fun and ended up marrying them. With deep regret they admit they made a huge mistake. Watch whom you spend time with.

 

The key to a good marriage is respect; therefore one of the biggest goals in dating should be respect. If you don’t respect whom you’re dating, and if they do not respect you, stop the relationship now!

 

Often I hear women tell me that the man does not respect her, and he pushes her too far in the area of sex. This is an age-old problem that continues to break the hearts of countless women. How do you guard your heart?  One way is by “Fleeing youthful lusts.” If you play with fire, you will get burned.

 

As a Christian you must have a passion for purity. If you truly have a passion for God, then you should have a passion for purity. Much can be said on this subject, but the key is holiness. The Bible is very clear, “Be ye holy for I am holy.”  This should affect what you watch, what you read, how you dress, and certainly whom you’re spending time with.

 

Getting to know the opposite sex does not necessarily mean telling all your past. We have often been fooled into thinking that an intimate relationship cannot happen without pouring out your heart about your past. Be very careful about this. If a relationship does not work out, you may be sorry later for what you’ve said.

 

If you’re pure in your dating relationships you are less likely to experience as much heartbreak. Always pray about every friendship that you have. Ask God to show you the direction a relationship should go. Treat them as you would like to be treated.

 

Keep your relationships pure. Keep your relationships simple.  Keep an open hand with your relationships. Ask the Lord to use you to be one who is pointing all your friends to the Lord. Be honest with yourself, and certainly be honest with whom you’re dating. If the person you’re spending time with is trying to fool you into thinking they’re a Christian, but they’re just trying to steal your heart, ask the Lord to show you who they really are.

 

A lady shared with me her deep hurt after rushing into marriage. “Please tell anyone who is single to not be blinded into thinking the person they’re dating is a godly person if they’re not. I married my husband much too soon. I thought he was a believer and I know now I was very deceived. It’s much better to be single, than to be in a wrong marriage.”

 

Is it possible to avoid a broken heart? There is no guarantee. But, there are ways to prevent the hurt from devastating your life. In all your relationships walk in a godly manner pleasing to the Lord. Yes, my heart has been broken many times, but praise God He has been faithful. As I reflect over the past, I am so grateful for relationships that did not work out, because I was headed toward a wrong marriage.

 

My friend, wait on the Lord. Trust the Lord. Always put your hope, your joy, and your dreams in Christ. When He is first then, single or married, you will have a peace that no person or thing can take way.                                                                                                                                                                

Kathleen Hardaway is an author and speaker with a passion to encourage and equip women to be all that God calls them to be.  She exhorts women to never give up, dream big, and live the life God created them to live. She has been featured on At Home Live and Celebration’s television programs. She has also been the guest on Midday Connection and many other radio broadcasts. Kathleen is on staff at Precept Ministries International. She has been the producer and director of Kay Arthur’s nationally syndicated television program, “How Can I Live?” You can visit her website at www.