How to Be the Healthiest You as You Prepare for Marriage
Recently I spoke with a young man I’ll call Steve who shared with me his main issue with dating: He’s afraid.
After going through a bad breakup, he struggles to trust and wonders if it’s even possible to have a relationship where he won’t be hurt again.
Yet in the midst of his fear, he’s come to a realization that is truly amazing.
“I have to give God a chance,” he told me. “And someone else, too—as God heals my heart.”
With the Holy Spirit’s help, Steve realized he didn’t even want to try another romantic relationship because he felt it wasn’t going to work out.
How many single people find themselves in this same category? Far too many!
Some people date because they are achingly lonely, which is not a healthy starting position.
Others keep trying to find someone…but in their hearts, they aren’t ready to commit. Like Steve, they don’t fully trust that God has an amazing human being out there who will honor and love them forever.
And others decide not to date at all for fear of being rejected again.
If you recognize yourself in any of these descriptions, this truth is for you:
Your heavenly Father has great plans for you, and those plans start with the realization of your heart condition.
In my book, Becoming the One, I talk about three important steps that help us look inward and become the incredible people we want to be—the healthy, heart-ready individuals who will naturally attract the kind of lifelong mates we want to find.
These three steps also apply to married couples struggling to maintain hope for their future. When they discover and walk in the lifestyle I am about to describe, their marriages become healthy and satisfying.
Is it time for your heart to heal? These steps will help you:
1. Receive God’s unconditional love for you.
That may sound like a simple first step, but it’s actually the most important.
God’s love is what enables you to love yourself and start seeing yourself the way He sees you. Through His love, you are empowered to take good care of your heart and emotions and understand how intricately and wonderfully you are made.
His love is also the foundation, the starting point, of your love for Him. The Bible says we love Him because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).
Those two points—loving God and loving ourselves—allow us to love others in a very selfless way.
A significant part of loving God is falling in love with His Word.
We follow what the Bible says not because we feel obligated—but because true love lives inside us, and it joyfully desires to please God in all things.
If we don’t honor what His Word says, we won’t be able to move into the next level of commitment and blessing He has for our lives. That’s how important His Word is.
Love for God and His Word is birthed within us as we experience His deep, real, abiding love for us. His love is the answer to all the sore places inside our hearts.
2. To find healing for your heart, seek help from God and other people.
In Steve’s case, he had to let go of fear. One of the first steps for him was understanding that the root of his fear came from rejection and past relationships that made him feel unwanted.
In response to those feelings, he’d built walls so he wouldn’t be hurt again. But those walls backfired. He no longer trusted that God had good plans for him in the area of relationships, and he started to feel lonely.
All of us have been hurt in different ways, and forgiveness is an important key when it comes to healing our hearts.
We need to let go of the pain and forgive the person or people who hurt us. This includes forgiving ourselves.
We also need to keep in mind:
When we’ve been hurt or gone through trauma, we need God to show us the areas in our hearts that need healing.
Why? Because it can be difficult to know what’s real.
Steve was so convinced he would be hurt again that he began to lose hope. But was his assumption about his situation true? No, it wasn’t.
Sometimes we need another person to guide us in the healing process because we don’t know exactly what’s going on. This person can lovingly show us, “You believe a lie in this area. This is what the truth is.”
God is in the business of healing hearts. He won’t leave us as orphans—alone and defenseless. He will come and save us.
“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” (John 14:18)
Finally, we need to escape the denial trap.
When we’ve been hurt, it’s really easy to assume it’s the other person who needs healing, not us. “Look at what they did to me! They have no idea how much they hurt me, so the fault clearly lies with them.”
We might admit we need to change a few things in our lives…but some of us would much rather pray for the other person to change.
Becoming the one focuses on the work that needs to be done inside us, not “them.” It’s about becoming healthy ourselves so we can know God’s love for us and make wise decisions about the future.
Which leads to our next point:
3. Find out who you really are. Not who you are according to the world, but according to your Maker.
This is the aspect of identity and self-awareness most people have trouble with. “Who am I? Do I belong? Am I wanted? Am I protected? Am I safe?”
How can a lack of identity affect you?
My friend Steve didn’t realize he was one of God’s dearly loved children (Eph. 5:1). He didn’t see how much God loved him and how safe he was with God. As a result, he acted like someone who was alone. He assumed he had to protect himself, so he built walls to keep people out—and those walls worked so well that he began to struggle with loneliness.
You need to know who God made you to be, because this allows you to see yourself clearly and helps you be the best version of yourself.
The following truth points will help you discover who you really are in Christ. Repeat these out loud to yourself as declarations of identity:
I am not alone (Isa. 41:10).
I am not fighting alone (Deut. 20:4).
The Creator of the entire world wants to keep me safe (Ps. 138:7).
I am loved (1 John 4:16).
I am chosen (Eph. 1:4).
I am beautiful to God (Song 4:7).
I have worth and value to God (Isa. 40:11).
Your true identity overflows with freedom—freedom to be successful and authentic because your Creator and Savior died for you, to help you see yourself the way He sees you.
The more you realize the truth about who God is and who you are, the freer you will be in every aspect of your life. Finding the right person, falling in love, and living the life God has for you will be that much easier—because you have learned how to become the one.
Interested in reading more? Here are a few other articles on related topics:
For more information on sex, marriage, and finding the person who is right for you, get a copy of Becoming the One by Salomé Roat. Click here to learn more.