Dealing with Doubt and Discouragement

This is the last article in my series on Christian Dating Myths. Addressing Myth #5: There are no good guys out there or there must be something wrong with me.

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Dating is hard. It is hard to meet people. And when you meet people, it is hard to make a meaningful two-way connection. It is filled with insecurities, rejections, nerves, anticipations, loneliness etc. In my dating years, there were multiple occasions I cried out with questions like “Am I ever going to meet someone?” or “Is there something wrong with me?”

When faced with what feels like failure it is natural to be filled with doubt. And yet sometimes Christian teaching leads us to feel shame about our doubt or perhaps worse, to believe our doubt.

There are three points I’d like to make about this.

  • Christians are not immune to discouragement. Don’t fall for the Christian dating myth, that if you were more spiritually mature, then the loneliness of singlehood would not affect you. The fact that you feel lonely is not a measurement of your spiritual maturity. Like the Psalmists, we are free to express our disappointment, confusion and longings to God and others. And also like the Psalmists, through faith we can remind ourselves to have hope and faith; we can trust in a good and loving God who is constantly at work in our lives and is for our good (Romans 8).
  • You are worthy of God’s blessing. Christians sometimes believe that God is waiting for you to “fix” yourself or “God is still working on you” before He blesses you with marriage. No matter what your past, your flaws or brokenness, you are worthy of God’s blessing. He determined that when he sent Jesus to die for you. (John 3:16)  When you begin to wonder what is wrong with you, remind yourself that you are a daughter/son of God, that He deemed you worthy of His love, so surely you are worthy of a human’s love as well. Someone can love you in the midst of your brokenness, just as you can love someone in the midst of theirs.  And just as you are not perfect, so are the people you are dating. In dating show others grace, be hopeful and remind yourself that if there are guys God has chosen as his own, then surely there is a good chance there is a great catch out there for you. Your mission is to find them and be available to them.
  • Believe God’s best for you. When you are lonely, discouraged, fearful and disappointed, it is hard to believe that God wants to bless you. It takes confidence in his love for you and that you deserve what He has promised. Act confidently in his desire to bless you. Be faithful to do what he has called you to do in order pursue His best for you. Trust in his plan for your life, even when it isn’t matching up to your hopes.

Having doubt is normal, but pray God would fill you with confidence, trust and peace in His goodness. This can only come from knowing Him.  You can know Him better through His word, prayer, fellowship, honesty, obedience and faith. Perhaps God wants to use your desire for marriage and your discouragement in dating, to grow your confidence in Him and yourself; as successful dating requires you to believe that you are worth dating and that there are also people worth dating. It challenges our basic beliefs about ourselves, others and God’s goodness.

For some other thoughts on these ideas check out these two videos:

Matt Chandler on Contentment in Singlehood

Henry Cloud Video on Believing there are No Good Prospects for Dating

Sometimes when you are extremely discouraged you may need an outsider resource to help you. If so, please call me. I love what I do as a counselor, helping those climb out of the pit of discouragement.

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