Love is very powerful. It can inspire people. It can encourage people. Love is a beautiful thing.
When two relatively spiritually and emotionally healthy people love each other and are in a relationship, they can be a huge blessing to each other.
They can sharpen each other and bring joy to one another. But no one makes another person grow or become more godly. Each person has to choose how to live and their priorities for himself/herself.
We women sometimes think that if we find a guy who is very broken, we can fix him.
We tell ourselves things like:
- He just needs love./He just needs my love.
- He just needs a good woman like me.
- He came from a terrible family. I can help him and I can make up for all that has happened to him.
- He can be my project.
- I can change him.
- I can make him be a better man.
- I know what he needs. I can help him.
Reality is, this is not true!
Can a good woman fix a broken man?
If we try to change a guy, we will make him miserable. And we will make ourselves miserable, too. We can’t change other people.
Here’s the thing… if someone is very broken, only God can fix him.
Jesus is the only Savior there is.
We sometimes put ourselves up on a pedestal and think that we can do things that only God can do—like rescue, fix, and save people. That’s a big problem. I am definitely not God. It takes the Holy Spirit to bring conviction of sin, a change of mind, a change of heart, and a transformed life that looks more like Jesus.
If we go into a relationship thinking we are going to wave a magic wand and fix all of the guy’s spiritual, emotional, mental, financial, and addictive issues—we are heading for a major disappointment and heartbreak. All we will end up with is a big mess.
If you can’t accept your man for who he is at the moment, it is better not to commit to date him.
If you want your guy to change and you think marriage will change him, you will change him, or having kids will change him and make him better, these are big red flags.
Date or marry a guy because you respect and admire him for who he is even if he never changed.
Please don’t ever date or marry a guy assuming you will fix him and mold him to fit the image you want him to be. He doesn’t want to be your project. He will resent you if you try to control or change him. Then you will resent him for not changing.
If he has a major sin issue in his life now, don’t assume marriage will magically make that disappear. It won’t. It will magnify his flaws and sins and expose them.
Marriage can be wonderful when you have two people who are committed to Christ, humble, and willing to grow in the Lord on their own. Even then, of course, there are challenges. Marriage is a sanctification tool that God can use to help make us more like Christ, IF we are willing to learn from Him.
A few questions to see if you have a healthy relationship
Note: I am assuming that you both follow Christ wholeheartedly and want to have a relationship built on biblical principles.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Can you live with him the way he is right now even with his annoying habits and any known spiritual weaknesses or sin strongholds even if he doesn’t change?
- If you want to turn him into someone else, that is not a good sign.
- Do you have the compulsion to try to correct him, lead him, or manage his life because you think he can’t handle things on his own?
- If you feel the need to be his mama, manager, boss, or handler, that is not a good sign.
- Will you resent him for his friends, his priorities, his preferences, or his lifestyle if you get married and he doesn’t change?
- If you expect him to give up everything else in his life that he loves for you, that is not a good sign.
- Do you expect him to bow to your will and do anything you want?
- If you believe you know best and what you want is all that matters, that is not a good sign.
- Do you see any areas in your own life or in the way you approach your guy in your relationship where you could grow in Christlikeness? Or do you believe you’re doing just fine?
- If you really don’t have any areas where you need to grow spiritually, not a good sign.
- Do you see things you admire a lot in him?
- That’s good
- Do you see a lot of Christlikeness in him and does he have a desire to grow spiritually in the Lord all on his own without you prodding him?
- Also good.
- Do other strong Christians you trust see a lot of good things and godliness in him?
- That can be a very good sign.
- Do you value his perspective, opinion, leadership, and wisdom? Do his values, desires, and plans align with the Bible?
- Very good!
- Does he value your perspective and abilities and bring out the best in you, treating you with honor, love, gentleness, and respect?
- Love that!
- Do you treat him with honor and respect, as well?
- Woohoo! That is awesome!
- Do you treat him like a capable, independent, adult who can take care of his life, work, relationships, and decisions without your help?
- I like this!
- Have you known him for a while to get to know his character even when he is stressed, sick, exhausted, or doesn’t get his way? Does he still act in godly ways even then, for the most part?
- If so, these are very promising signs.
- Do you seek to act in the power of the Holy Spirit even when you don’t get your way, are stressed, sick, exhausted, etc…?
- If so, that is beautiful.
There are no guarantees!
Sometimes what we want are guarantees that if we date or marry someone, everything will work out well. They won’t cheat on us. They won’t hurt us. They will always be strong in their faith.
Reality is that we don’t get guarantees like that. The guarantees we do have are enough, though.
Jesus guarantees He will always be with us and He will give us the wisdom, power, strength, and help we need in any trial we may face.
He can also give us the wisdom and discernment we need as we make decisions about who to date and who to marry if we are willing to seek Him first and we desire to be close to Him and in the center of His will more than anything else.
Much love, dear sisters!