Playing the God-Card in Dating

"God has brouught us together." "God led him/her to me." "God told me he/she is the one."

I always get a little uncomfortable whenever I hear someone say one of these things about their boyfriend or girlfriend. Playing the "God-card" is a pretty powerful thing to say in any situation, but especially in dating.

There are two reasons why it's so powerful (and dangerous) to play the God-card while dating. First, it becomes the ultimate argument-winner and criticism-deflector. If the relationship is God's will, then who can say anything bad about it? All of a sudden, nobody can speak into your life about the relationship because they could potentially be contradicting God.

Second, I believe there's an unspoken phrase in every one of these sentences: "to get married". Really what someone is saying when they play the God-card is "God has brought us get married." I've never known a person who believed God gave them someone just to date. It's always "to get married", and that's a very dangerous place to be. If you believe that God has given someone to you to marry, then it will feel very natural and appropriate to give them all your heart, soul, and body because you two are meant to be together. This has the makings of a really unhealthy dating relationship, with a strong identity shift from an "I" to a "we".

So, whenever I hear someone play the God-card, I usually ask two questions. First is "What exactly do you mean by that?" People can get really uncomfortable when they are pushed to define what they really mean. It's much easier to use a Christian cliche than have to explain it. Second, I like to ask "What are other areas of your life where you hear God this confidently?" I'm surprised at the number of youth I talk to who don't hear from God clearly about other things, but are confident that God has told them who they're supposed to be dating.

So, be very careful how you use God's name to bless or endorse your relationship. This is the type of situation that the Third Commandment is really taking about. ("You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God" or in other translations "taking the Lord's name in vain" -Exodus 20:7) Often dating couples misuse God's name by attributing to Him what is really their own wants and desires.

Walk closely with God and seek His will for all your relationships and circumstances, not just the ones you really want to work out.