I wrote in my last post that my strong opinion is that dating many people is far better than staying home, at least when it comes to likely success in getting married. It’s simply a matter of numbers.
But dating comes with difficulties. I know from experience that the more that you date and don’t meet the right one, the easier it is to become discouraged and to doubt God’s love for you and good plans for your life. Each failed relationship is also another opportunity to doubt yourself.
Dating many people also brings greater opportunity to fall into sin. With each relationship that you think will last, there is the temptation to demonstrate your affection and commitment to that person. And each time the relationship ends, regret. For those of us who are single into our thirties (and forties and fifties) who have dated, it is almost impossible to make it to marriage without having some regrets about past actions in past relationships. If I had known it wasn’t going to work out from the beginning, we think, I would not have gone so far.
As time goes on, we can feel ashamed, dirty, and sinful. We already feel bad about ourselves for not having found the right one, and now we feel doubly bad for our past. Not only can these negative feelings be a further barrier to a new relationship, they can cause a separation in our relationship with God. I have gone too far this time, God cannot forgive me.
But God understands who we are and what we have done.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:15-15 ESV)
No matter where you are, or what you have done in those relationships, you can still draw near to the throne of grace with confidence. God loves you and is always ready to receive you back.