4 Signs You Might Be Settling (But Shouldn’t)

Courtney Couch

We’re all born with an ache in our heart for something greater. It's easy to look to anything else to fill that void, especially relationships. We get emotionally attached in relationships because there's something about another person who values us which seems to validate our existence.

The reason I believe this is because I battled with it for nearly my entire life. For years, I thought the only way I could finally be happy would be if I found a husband who loved Jesus. A year ago, Jesus finally showed me what I'm about to share with you.

When you are willing to settle for immediate fulfillment instead of being patient for promise, you start complaining instead of encouraging.

4 Signs You Might Be Settling (But Shouldn’t)

1. You’ve started saying “At least…”

It’s easy to feel like you’re doing something wrong when you’re trying to keep up with friends your own age. Of course, you’re going to have friends who get married young and begin having kids while you’re still in school or just starting out in your job, and comparing yourself to them will make you feel like you’re falling behind. When you are willing to settle, comparisons become a slippery slope. Instead of valuing your boyfriend or girlfriend for their character, you start comparing them to other people and using the phrase “At least he/she doesn’t …” on a consistent basis.

2. You talk about being alone all the time.

Why would Satan or your flesh give you a desire for a godly marriage? Of course it's a God-given desire! The trouble comes when we feel alone, we're tired of feeling that way, and we obsess over it. I can tell you right now, I am not ready to be a good gift to my future spouse if the consistent topic of conversation when I’m in a group of my friends is complaining about my singleness.

If I'm surrounding myself with conversations about being single, talking about it all the time, and encouraging those kind of conversations with every single person I know, what am I doing other than rooting discontent deeper and deeper into my heart?

Jesus convicted me a long time ago that every time I dominated my conversations with complaints, I told Him loudly, “I don’t trust You. I don’t believe You. I can’t take You at Your word.”

3. You’re comfortable.

You know that the person you’re with does not lead you to make good decisions or encourage you to follow Jesus, or you know that person isn’t who you’re going to marry, but you’ve been together such a long time that you don’t want to miss an opportunity. This isn’t comfort; it’s willfully choosing ignorance! If your partner isn’t helping you, they’re hindering you. If the person you are dating does love Jesus, but you know that marriage isn’t going to happen, stop leading them along or hoping for a change of heart. Be willing to make the tough call when you know the relationship isn’t right for you.

4. You’ve said, “If they would change…”

I grew up hearing from my dad, “If a man says he’ll change for you, run in the opposite direction.” Of course, I laughed at that growing up, but I think the concept holds merit. The only force of change that I believe in is a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. If a man or woman is willing to change the way they behave before marriage, they will be willing to change their behavior after the wedding day, too. Jesus changes our character, and I believe a relationship with Him is the strongest motivator there is. Perry Noble, has said time and time again, “The only person able to sustain the weight of your worship is Jesus.” If I am a man’s motivation for change, I will crumble under the weight of his worship.

Be willing to make the tough call when you know the relationship isn’t right for you.

When God promises in Ephesians 3 that He is able to give us more than we could ask or imagine, He’s not saying, “I will give you way more than you could imagine, unless you want a great spouse. I’m going to give you a mediocre husband or wife just so you will love Me more.” The real question has nothing to do with the kind of person you are dating, and it has everything to do with the kind of person you are.

Are you willing to trust God for His promises? Knowing, loving, and following Jesus doesn’t mean that you will not experience impatience from time to time. The reason I have joy and contentment when I look at my future isn’t because I’m choosing ignorant bliss. You and I can have joy because we believe God when He promises in Psalm 37:4, “Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Not only that, I believe this verse also means that God has the power to change the desires of my heart. If a godly marriage is still a desire of mine, I can live in contentment because I trust God to fulfill His promises to me.

A great place to figure out dating and marriage is in a NewSpring Group. Learn from others and take next steps together. Go to www.newspring.cc/groups to learn more.

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