If you are seeking to live for Christ and you are dating a guy who lives for Christ – there will be plenty of opportunities, even for believers, to offer grace to one another. You may mess up at times. He may mess up at times. Especially when one of you is exhausted, hungry, sick, in pain, or you are hormonal. And sometimes there are misunderstandings just because our perspectives are so different.
Of course, the more you stay close to Jesus and allow Him to fill you up – you can walk in His victory over sin, even when the flesh is weak. So that is the goal. But you may stumble and fall and have to humbly repent sometimes.
It’s one thing to stumble. A godly man can deal with his woman stumbling at times. But it is another thing to totally lose all self-control with a man. If you do this in front of your guy, it can be impossible for him to trust you again. Once you cross a certain line – you will scare a healthy man away. And rightly so. He realizes that if you will do this now, before you are married, he can expect more of the same later. And his children can also expect to be treated like this, too. And maybe his parents, and friends, and other people.
So before you do something you are going to really regret – stop. Think. Ask for some time to go cool off. Breathe. Pray. Don’t let the flesh completely take over even though it may really want to at the moment.
What kinds of things would raise big red flags in a guy’s mind? If you do something like:
- Throw things in a dangerous or destructive way.
- Knock things over in a rage.
- Threaten violence against him.
- Hit or shove him in a serious way, trying to hurt him.
- Cuss him out.
- Scream uncontrollably at him in a rage.
- Pick up something as if you are going to try to hurt him with it.
- Threaten to hurt someone else.
- Stalk him online or in person in a way that shows him that you may be dangerous.
- Stomp out of the room and slamming the door so hard that picture frames fall off of the wall.
- Punch a hole in the wall.
If something like this seems tempting to you – whether you are completely alone or you are with someone else – this is not the voice of God speaking into your life that you are hearing! These approaches will only destroy a potentially wonderful relationship. It will be very hard to rebuild trust if you act in some of these ways. Thankfully, if you know Jesus, none of these approaches are necessary and He can give you His Spirit to empower you to respond with gentleness, patience, and self-control.
If you are tempted to act without self-control – take your thoughts before God. Look at your motives. Something is going on in your heart that needs to be urgently addressed with God.
Even if your man is doing something terrible, you have the power – in Jesus – to respond with dignity, poise, respect, honor, and control over your words and behavior. We are not justified to lash out in the flesh even if we are being sinned against. (Now, if someone is trying to rape you or truly physically harm you, then push them if needed and defend yourself and get away to safety. That is not a loss of self-control, that is self-defense.)
The way that you respond to other people reveals who is in control of your life – your old sinful flesh or the Spirit of God (Gal. 5:13:26). Live in the power of the Holy Spirit, dear sisters! Let Him control your hearts and lives. Let His fruit be overwhelmingly evident in your life (Gal. 5:22):
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Note – if your guy completely loses all self-control, that is a red flag to prayerfully consider, as well. It indicates that you can expect more of the same or worse after marriage unless he is willing to do some serious heart work with the Holy Spirit. If your guy does go into some kind of rage, be sure that he repents and shows fruit of repentance for a significant period of time before agreeing to marry. Be sure that he is really changed.