Waiting for Gods timing can be super stressful. We’ve all heard the saying, “The right thing at the wrong time is the wrong thing.” But how do you know if you are running ahead of God or if you are letting Him unfold your love story?
The Importance of Proper Timing
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 reminds us that “to everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven…a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing…a time to love, and a time to hate” There is a special beauty when Gods timing is followed.
He has made everything beautiful in its time. (v. 11)
Some things cannot be rushed
Consider babies. Did you know that there is no pill to speed up the process of fetal development? There are pills to hasten birth, there are procedures to speed delivery, but the baby’s developmental speed is either unaffected or even delayed by these treatments. And the more premature the birth, the greater the difficulty of survival becomes.
Relationships are very similar. Too often young people become entangled in a relationship before they are ready. But how do you know if you’re ready? How do you know if you are following your timing or Gods timing?
6 Objective Criteria for knowing Gods timing
Let’s look at some criteria that can help you know Gods timing and move forward in wisdom or back off from pursuing a relationship with confidence and peace.
And remember, when you wait for Gods timing, be encouraged by the promise that you will receive “exceeding abundantly above all that you ask or think” Eph 3:20 because “No good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” Therefore, as David exclaims “blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.” Ps 84:12
1. Parental consent
knows you like your parents. Even if you think they don’t understand
you and have horrible judgment about who you should go out with,
involving your parents in the decision to court will be a blessing to
you in the long run. God often speaks through authorities so if you are
wondering about Gods timing, He will use your parents and other godly
mentors to direct you.
It may seem old fashioned to ask the guy who is showing interest in you to talk to your folks first, but it’s worth the hassle and awkwardness. Why? Because the Bible promises that it will be.
“Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. Ephesians 6:2-3
Making the blessing of your parents a prerequisite to moving forward is a way to honor them and you are promised that it will go well for you. The opposite is also true. If you scoff at your parent’s reservations and go forward pursuing your own agenda, things will not go well. This is an important starting point for determining Gods timing.
2. Compatibility of faith and life
The saying “opposites attract” might happen sometimes, but is that really a good thing? The Bible says not to be unequally yoked.
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 2 Cor 6:14
because a Christian marries another Christian doesn’t mean it will
always result positively. Research has proven that the more similar two
people are - the better and longer lasting their marriage is, especially
in key areas. Being equally yoked includes so much more.
Check out the 7 Categories to assess compatibility in the areas that really count.
is an unfortunate truth that thousands are mated but not matched. If
you are wondering if it's Gods timing for you to move forward but you
two have drastically different answers to these questions, it would be
wise to push pause until there is compatibility or cut off the
3. Is it genuine love
The old saying, “Good things come to those who wait” still rings true. If something is worth having, it’s worth waiting for.
As Bill Gothard says, “One of the most powerful evidences of genuine love is its ability to overcome the limitations of time.”
He explains that when a young man tells a girl he loves her but there are valid reasons the marriage should be put off to the future, he will not become impatient and his love will not diminish during the waiting period. His love will deepen. On the other hand, the relationship that is not based on genuine love will grow cold and be weakened if postponed. So a time of waiting is a valid and valuable test of genuine love.
“And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had for her.” Genesis 29:20
Genuine love cannot wait to give. Selfish love cannot wait to get.
Reasons why Gods timing may be to postpone marriage
4. Mature Character
my Dad always says, “character is not made in a crisis, it is only then
displayed.” In marriage, you’ll have plenty of crisis’ that will reveal
your character and your spouse’s character. The responsibility of work,
maintaining a home, raising a family, being involved at church,
relating to drama in extended family, making financial deadlines, etc
will put pressure on you and your spouse. These pressures will either be
something that will bond you together or tear you apart depending on
your responses to them.
As Emmerson Eggerich demonstrates in his Love and Respect Marriage seminar, when a skunk is provoked, it will spray a very obnoxious stench. When a rose is stepped on, its fragrance fills the air. The pressure only revealed what was inside.
The more immature you are when you get married, the more of a crash course you’ll have in character growth. Most likely, there will be hurts and wounds that will zap the joy and fulfillment of marriage. It’s way better to develop a mature character beforehand. When it comes to knowing Gods timing, this category should not be overlooked.
Do this Character Evaluation Game to assess your boyfriend/girlfriend's character.
When you do this fun little exercise, Gods timing will become more clear.
5. Financial Responsibility
If you want to know who a person really is, check out their financial history. Jesus says, "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." Matthew 6:21
The way you spend your money reveals what your heart is set on.
Ask any married couple - rich, middle class or poor, and they'll tell you that money management plays an important role in their marriage. Did you know money is mentioned in the Bible over 800 times?
God goes so far as to call a man who does not provide adequate support for his family "worse than an infidel" (1 Timothy 5:8)
"But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel."1 Tim 5:8
it's not just the man who should be financially responsible. The
following questions should be used to evaluate both parties in the
relationship in order to assess Gods timing in your relationship.
6. Realistic Expectations
root cause for many marital problems today is not infidelity or
financial strain, but rather unrealistic expectations. This is the last
category of criteria for knowing God's timing. Unfortunately with the
help of Hollywood, Disney, as well as romance novels and pornography
many have a warped idea of what to expect in marriage. Often the dreams
and expectations that many marriage partners have built up over the
years come crashing down the first night or week of marriage. Though
some may try to overlook the disappointments and hope that things will
get better, they often get worse because they had unrealistic
expectations of what marriage was all about. So here are several
important factors to consider so that you can have accurate
These six categories will help guide you in knowing if it really is Gods timing for you to move forward in your relationship or put on the brakes and get more ducks in a row.
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