By Hope Bolinger, Crosswalk.com
Editor’s Note: Crosswalk's Singles Advice is an advice column for singles featuring an anonymous question from a Crosswalk.com reader with a thoughtful, biblical reply from one of our single contributors.
I met a guy on a dating app. We shared a lot in common, and even wanted to pursue a monogamous relationship in the future. Long story short, we took things a little too far.
When he asked me after our most recent date, “What next?” I joked and said, “Marriage.”
Ever since then, he hasn’t returned my calls or texts. I wanted to honor God, but now I feel so miserable because I took things too far and still have feelings for this guy who ghosted me. Please advise!
Thank you so much for reaching out! I’m so sorry that this relationship has caused you so much hurt and regret. As someone ghosted by a guy who I thought would be my future husband, I’ll try to offer the best advice I can.
Remember, God Still Loves You
Even when we fall into sin and take relationships too far, he allows for us to come back to him, and runs to us with open arms (Luke 15:11-32).
What does taking a relationship too far mean?
Often we can associate sex before marriage as taking something too far, because God has ordained sex only to be for marriage. But can we take things too far without having sex? Yes. Taking something too far is essentially physically or emotionally giving yourself to someone you shouldn’t. You might not even hold hands with someone and can still take something too far.
Sin does carry consequences, and you may be feeling the after effects of taking the relationship too far right now, but know that whatever you did, you have not lost the love and grace of God.
Some of the first steps of healing come from taking steps toward repentance.
Repentance from impurity takes us confessing to other believers about how we’ve stepped out of line or taken something too far, confess to God, ask God to search us and show us areas of our lives where we’ve sinned and have overlooked, and seeking forgiveness for those whom we’ve wronged.
God’s grace allows us to have conviction when we’ve messed up, but we need to take the steps above before we can move on to healing.
Remember, God Loves You More Than Ghosts Do
By ghosts, I mean people who ghost us. People who make promises of lifelong relationships and then end up disappointing us by refusing to call back, procure a ring for an engagement, or divorce us.
God promises to never leave us nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6). The men and women we date can’t promise the same. They may intend to pursue a wholesome, godly relationship with us, but mankind falls into sin and will sometimes choose the easier option of escaping the relationship instead of working things out.
On a personal note, I met a guy who I thought I would marry. For four years, he led me to believe the same thing, went on several dates, texted every day, etc., and we shared a lot in common (Christian values, similar beliefs, etc.). Until he finally admitted, years later, “I never really liked you in a romantic sense. I just felt pressure from my friends to date someone, so you were the scapegoat to get them off my back.”
OK, he said it a little nicer than that, but that’s what I heard when he ghosted me after four years.
God doesn’t work like that.
He works with us to continue to grow our relationship, even when we hit snags or obstacles (1 Peter 2:2). He doesn’t give up or ghost us when anything gets difficult.
Remember, God Heals
The severing of relationships hurts like crazy. Humans beings are engineered for relationship, so when one breaks off, we feel the after effects. We still feel affection for the one who hurt us or left us.
Especially when we take things too far and become one flesh with the other partner (Genesis 2:24), when you tear apart that bond, you scar and experience brutal agony.
As you feel this intense pain, remember you worship a God who heals. Yes, it takes time, and may require a period of singleness, reflection, and a lot of time in prayer, but God heals.
God has often used painful experiences to bring glory (Genesis 50:20).
Something beautiful can still come out of this. Perhaps other Christians who took a relationship too far and were promptly abandoned will find solace in your story. Because you have endured this pain, you can help guide them through steps of healing.
You feel intense pain now, but even during this, God is still working. God can heal and restore us, and God will never abandon us.
Spend time with the Creator who loves you. If he intends for you to enter a marriage with another human being in the future, then he will provide that person, but for now, spend time with Him.
Know that when other humans abandon you, that God never will. God doesn’t ghost people.
Hope Bolinger is a literary agent at C.Y.L.E. and a graduate of Taylor University's professional writing program. More than 450 of her works have been featured in various publications ranging from Writer's Digest to Keys for Kids. She has worked for various publishing companies, magazines, newspapers, and literary agencies and has edited the work of authors such as Jerry B. Jenkins and Michelle Medlock Adams. Her column "Hope's Hacks," tips and tricks to avoid writer's block, reaches 6,000+ readers weekly and is featured monthly on Cyle Young's blog. Her modern-day Daniel, Blaze, (Illuminate YA) released in June, and they contracted the sequel Den for July 2020. Find out more about her here.
Disclaimer: any single editor replying to reader questions through this advice column is a Christian seeking God's direction through his Word. We are not trained psychologists or licensed professionals. As we explore issues with you, we will seek God's guidance through prayer and the Bible.
Have a question? If you have a question about anything related to living the single life, please email [email protected] (selected questions will be addressed anonymously). While we cannot answer every question, we hope you'll find encouragement in this column.
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