Godly Dating Principle #4: Set a Pace for the Race.
“Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.” ~Song of Solomon 8:4
The tendency when we begin a new relationship is to press the pedal to the metal and forge ahead at full speed! This is a fun and exciting phase of a budding romance, but we should never let Paul’s simple yet wise words in 1 Corinthians 3:14 escape us, “Love is patient…”
Love IS patient. Just like a marathon runner knows to set a slow and steady pace to sustain the long race ahead, we should also set a similar pace to sustain us over the course of a developing relationship. But often we attempt to go too fast too soon, which any runner knows, is a recipe for disaster!
We need to let God set the pace for the race. This pace will strike a balance between enjoying the emotional experience and keeping a clear head in allowing the relationship to grow and develop over a period of time. This is not easy to do, especially when emotions are running high. But when we continually seek God in prayer and ask for the fruits of His Spirit to manifest in our lives, patience and self-control will help us along.
Here are a few practical tips to ensure your relationship is progressing at a healthy pace:
- Set a limit to the number of days a week you see each other for the first few months of the relationship. This helps to maintain a level of mystery and allows you to explore the person over a period of time, rather than all at once.
- Be intentional about spending time in public places and with groups of people. This will help you manage the number of intense hours of one-on-one time spent together. It will also help you get to know and observe each other in different settings.
- Communicate openly about the pace at which you are progressing. Check in periodically with each other and share how you feel about where you’re at. Make adjustments as you see fit.
In the end, there is no hard rule about how much time it takes until you know whether a person is a fit for marriage, or not. For some it can be 3 months, while for others is can take years. The point is, stay plugged into God daily and allow the Holy Spirit to lead the pace, especially in the early phases of a new relationship. He will give you red, yellow and green lights along the way if you are asking and listening to Him for guidance!
**This the fourth principle of Godly Dating out of a 10-part series. Please join in the conversation and share your thoughts, questions and comments! And stay tuned for next week’s Godly Dating Principle #5: Be Intentional. See you then!