I’m dating (a couple) guys. Some of them are ready to settle down, but I have a serious fear of divorce. Because of that fear, my time frame for dating/marriage isn’t theirs and they’re turned off by this. I really do want to get married in the next few years or so… and I don’t want to miss out on great Christian guys in the here and now. How do I get over this fear and move into committing to a relationship?
First of all, we need to take a second and make note of awesome it is that you are actually taking control of your dating life and actively going after what you want. That is so awesome and I really hope that whatever lead to it spreads through Christianity like a wildfire because, dang, this whole Christians being scared of dating thing is getting about ridiculous. You are way ahead of the game.
You are definitely asking the right question, “what can I do?” Not “why is God punishing me?” or “what is wrong with all these guys?” You are acknowledging that you can do something about your problem, and that puts you in a great position to actually solve it. All you need is to find the right strategy.
You can’t overcome a fear with another fear. God does not give us a spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7). In fact, God’s love drives out fear (1 John 4:18). So answering a fear, which does not come from God but from the enemy, with another fear that comes from the same place isn’t going to work. In Mark 3, Jesus points out that the devil does not drive out the devil. You cannot defeat a fear of commitment with a fear of missing out.
You need to look at the core of this fear. Maybe you are a child of divorce and that traumatized you, that makes sense. It could just be a general fear of the future, or of things not working out. None of those are insane unfounded fears. The lies that derail us almost never are.
Most fears about the future have the same foundational lie: God might not come through for me. That common foundation is one of the reasons that fears cannot counteract each other. You are scared that you might get married, God won’t come through for you and you get divorced. You can’t get over that by being scared that you will wait too long, God won’t come through for you, and you will miss out on a great guy. The base fear is the same in both instances, and they will feed each other.
The thing that overcomes fear is faith. Follow God in earnest and don’t panic. You don’t need to panic that your timetable is wrong and get married before you’re ready. You need to the faith that God will bring the right person in His perfect timing. You don’t need to worry that your marriage will fall apart out of nowhere and you will get divorced. If you follow God into marriage, then you will follow God through it and He will sustain you.
Look at your life and your mindset, and be honest about finding those dark corners that make you think God might leave you high and dry. If you have an older believer that you trust, they will be a fantastic help in that process. Once you drag that lie out into the light of day, it will whither and die. That is the way forward, and you can totally do it.
-Matt from The Bridge