5 Ways to Discern between Godly Love for Someone and Godless Infatuation
- Rhonda Stoppe Speaker and Author
- 2018 27 Nov
Laura was crazy for Dan. From the first day she met him at the restaurant where she worked, his smile took her breath away. Today was no different as he dropped by to bring her a cup of her favorite coffee before he headed out on a business trip.
After waiting a long time to find someone who was such a catch Laura should have been content, yet something kept tugging at her heart. While Dan was a great guy and a Christian, Laura had come to realize his most important pursuit was not his relationship with Christ. Rather, Dan’s passion was to make money have lots of fun.
I love Dan and I love to have fun so what’s the problem? Laura thought to herself. While Dan was away, she decided to take a hard look at what motivated her love for him. Although she feared what the answer might be, she began by asking God to grant her His wisdom for their relationship.
Can you relate to Laura’s story? I know I can. When I was younger I was head over heels for a guy whose smile turned my world upside down. He was a Christian; he even went to church. But there was something tugging at my heart that wouldn’t allow me to fully commit to him. That something was the Holy Spirit.
I find it interesting––mysterious even, that the Creator of heaven and earth is interested in helping His people find true love with the one who will “spur us on to love and good works” (see Hebrews 10:24).
In the new book I am writing entitled Real Life Romance (Harvest House 2018) I am in awe of how God’s providence appears in love story after love story. One story tells of a break up after God’s prompting, only to find God’s perfect match for them once they surrendered their will for His. (To possibly be included in the book, share how God brought you and your spouse together––or to refer to someone else’s story email: RhondaStoppe@gmail.com.)
I know, I know, it’s scary to think about holding with an open hand a relationship you’re in. You may be thinking, I know he’s not perfect, but I can change him once we’re married.
Or you may be wrongly influenced by our culture’s belief that God’s ultimate goal for you is to make you happy. (In case you just audibly gasped in disbelief, realize God’s desire is your holiness which will be the key to true joy in your life. But that’s for another article.)
Many people are tempted to think, if happily-ever-after with the one I’m infatuated with is what I want, then God’s obliged to give it to me.
So, what’s the truth? How can you know if the one you’re drawn to is a godly love or a godless infatuation? I’m glad you asked. Let’s look at five ways to help you discern:
Seek God first:
It’s so tempting to look at life’s circumstances and attempt to choose a spouse based on your own observation. But Jesus taught, “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).
God grants His perfect provision to any person who set their hearts on eternity, rather than hoping in a person to make them happy. The best marriages come to those who seek first things above rather than things of earth (Colossians 3:2).
If you are sleeping with someone, I can guarantee you are not being Spirit-led. If you want God’s direction to know if your love is “the one” stop having sex with them, repent of your sin, and ask God to show you if your love is genuine or infatuation.
Be willing to walk away from a relationship if the person pressures you to have sex––a clear insight that they’re not walking in the Spirit either.
And let’s be honest. How wise is it to choose a spouse if neither of you are being Spirit led? (I’m sure I’ll get emails from those who think I’m being too legalistic, but God’s Word is the standard not my opinion––nor what the culture is embracing.)
Ask for wisdom:
Have you asked God to grant you His wisdom for your relationship? James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” Listen to what the Bible says about wisdom:
- Say to wisdom, You are my sister, and call insight your intimate friend (Proverbs 7:4)
- But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere (James 3:17)
- For wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her (Proverbs 8:11)
- The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight (Proverbs 9:10)
Seek godly counsel:
The Bible says, “With those who take advice is wisdom” and “Where there is no guidance, a people falls but in an abundance of counselors there is safety” (Proverbs 13:10 and 11:14).
Look to a person who walks near to the Lord and ask them to help you discern whether your relationship is a godly one or mere infatuation. And then be ready to listen and take to heart their insights.
It’s easy to become so wrapped up in the emotion of your own life that you cannot rationally evaluate circumstances. God gave us each other to help.
I can’t tell you how many people my husband and I counsel with who are filled with regret over choices they made because they didn’t seek out godly counselors. Please take to heart Proverbs 19:20, “Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.”
Wait on the Lord:
Waiting is hard, but going ahead of the Lord’s plan or timing will in the end make your life harder.
Psalm 27:14 says: “Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; Wait for the LORD!”
Waiting for the right person to spend life with is a daunting task. However when you realize God is more interested in your relationships than you are, you can learn to trust Him as you keep your eyes on Jesus, remind yourself of His Kingdom purpose for your life, seek His righteousness and wisdom, and listen to godly counsel.
In more than 30 years of ministry, I have observed God’s faithfulness to every person who has set their heart on loving Jesus more than any other person in this life. And if you too live to fall more in love with God every day, He just might lead you to someone else who loves Him too, and you’ll have no regrets.
*To find out more about Rhonda’s new book sign up for Rhonda’s newsletter at NoRegretsWoman.com.
Listen to Rhonda share the sweet love story of the Apostle Peter & His wife.
Rhonda Stoppe is a pastor’s wife, speaker, and author. As the NO REGRETS WOMAN, Rhonda has more than 20 years experience of helping women live life with no regrets. Through humor, and honest communication, she helps women build NO REGRETS LIVES by applying sound teaching from Scripture. Rhonda appears on radio programs, speaks at women’s events, MOPs, and homeschool conventions throughout the nation. Rhonda Stoppe’s book Moms Raising Sons to be Men is mentoring thousands of moms to guide sons toward a no-regrets life. Her new book If My Husband Would Change, I’d Be Happy: And Other Myths Wives Believe is helping countless women build no-regrets marriages.
Photo courtesy: Thinkstockphotos.com
Publication date: January 25, 2017
Rhonda Stoppe is the NO REGRETS WOMAN. With more than 30 years experience of helping women build no-regrets lives. I could have listened to Rhonda talk all night, is what women say about Rhonda’s enthusiastic, humorous, transparent teaching, and zeal as an evangelist.
She’s committed to fulfilling the Titus 2:4 commission by mentoring, teaching and writing books that are inspiring, grounded in Scripture and easy to read––like you're visiting with a friend over coffee.
Rhonda is the author of 6 books and appears on numerous radio programs including Focus on the Family, Family Life Today and Dr. James Dobson’s FamilyTalk, & hosts The No Regrets Hour. She’s an evangelist and speaker at women’s events, College Women’s Chapel, Pastor’s Wives Conferences, MOPs and Homeschool Conventions. Sharing the gospel at her NoRegretsWoman Conference is her sweet spot. Rhonda is a regular contributor for Crosswalk and many other magazines.
Rhonda ministers alongside her husband Steve, who for 20 years has pastored First Baptist Church of Patterson, California. They live out their own Real Life Romance writing books and speaking at their No Regrets Marriage Conferences, but their favorite ministry is their family. They have four grown children and 10 grandchildren. To learn more about Rhonda’s speaking topics, watch her teaching and to book Rhonda for your next event visit: NoRegretsWoman.com