Dealing with a partner who won’t make the final commitment
You have found the love of your life and the relationship is going great. You are both sold out to the Lord and the other person seems to be the perfect fit for you. There is only one thing wrong with the whole picture: your partner is timid or just plain refuses to take the final step in solidifying the relationship.
For one reason or the other, the vital step which leads to marriage is missing.
Each day is another one added to your age and hanging in limbo where your relationship is concerned. Should you hang in there or just call it a day and renew your quest for a life's partner who will commit fully?
Pastor Carlene Bryan of Dominion In Christ International Ministries said if two Christians are in a serious dating relationship and making no concrete future plans with a view to marriage, then "something is fundamentally wrong".
"Either he is operating under a spirit of fear or his mind has not been renewed to the Word of God," she said, sharing that all is not lost.
"The most important thing in a dating relationship is that both people need to place Jesus Christ at the centre of the relationship. That begins with a decision on both their part," she said.
Bryan also had words for the woman in the relationship, as she said many women settle for a partner more out of desperation than being sure that person is the one for her.
"Every Christian woman in a relationship should pray that the Lord shows her the true intentions of her suitor. Is he courting with the intent to marry or is he looking for a sex toy under the guise of dating? How much are you willing to put up with? If he is making excuses to avoid taking the final plunge, could it be that he is using the church as a cover with a mere "form of godliness?" are questions Bryan said she should seek to have answers for before being caught up in a relationship going nowhere.
On the subject of casual dating, Bryan said it is something she doesn't sanction in the church. As 'dating' is not the way of the church. The term she is more comfortable with is 'courting'.
TRAP OF SEXUAL PLEASURE
Sharing what powers her belief, she said it is not a good idea for Christians to date as they often end up being caught in the trap of sexual pleasure, leading to more problems than anything else.
"It was never God's intent for us to practise divorce by dating someone, breaking up with them and go on to find another person. That is the world's way", she argues. "The Christian's way should be to court with the objective to marry. While courting, dating is acceptable as the intention should be to get to know the person and not to use them for "recreational purposes," she asserts.
"Recreational purposes", she said, suggest that couples are engaging in petting and sexual pleasures that are only to be saved for a marital relationship. That is what the world does and shouldn't be the way Christians conduct themselves.
"As Kingdom people, we have to walk in the light of the Word or we are leaving open doors in our relationship for the enemy to destroy it. Once we engage in any sexual activity before marriage, we are making room for the destroyer to create disharmony, division and death.
"This is one of the reasons that some Christian marriages crash for no apparent reason. No one gets away with disobedience! There are unseen forces that barrel in through those open doors with the intent to steal, kill and destroy. This often does not make sense to the natural mind," she said.
Commenting on the long wait for the ultimate commitment and the 'stalling tactics", Bryan said experienced Christians will know that a man will hardly ever make a commitment to a woman who will allow him to "sample the goodies."
"As Christians, we just have to look at how God did things and follow His pattern. God performed the first marriage between Adam and Eve (Genesis 2) so God's plan is for us to be in a marriage covenant and not "playing the field", she advised. "He presented Eve to Adam after He gave Adam a job. A man should get a job and be busy about the Kingdom of God and God will bring him his wife, instead of dating a woman for what he can get," she said.
In conclusion, she said God already knows that a man needs a wife, as Genesis 2:18 clearly says that it is not good for a man to be alone. She urges the woman to exercise faith and patience until the Lord presents her to her partner.