I’ll never forget the night when I wondered if I was ever going to stop crying. All I can remember was going to bed and finally crying myself to sleep. My friend, have you ever had a broken heart? Has the pain been so deep you thought you just wanted to die?

Hurt and pain can come in many different forms, but grief that comes from a broken heart seems to hurt us the most. There can be deep disappointments when relationships don’t work out.

Is it possible to date and not get hurt? Certainly! Is there anything you can do to help prevent heartbreak? Yes. There are lots of things you can do.  However, you are never excluded from heartbreak if you give your heart to someone else.

Unfortunately, we live in a world where many date with reckless abandonment. Godly integrity is often not a part for many relationships today and consequently enormous heartbreak is inevitable. If there was ever a time we needed some basic guidelines in dating, it’s now. If today’s media has become our standard we’re in deep trouble.

Following a few basic truths from God’s Word is the answer to preventing much heartbreak. Whom should you date? How do you date? There is absolutely one essential key in the area of spending time with someone and developing a relationship. If you’re a believer, then it’s important to date a Christian.

God says in His Word, “Do not be unequally yoked” (2 Corinthians 6:14). And since dating often times leads to marriage you don’t ever want to get involved with an unbeliever. Plus, “Bad company corrupts good morals.” You may think that you’re just having fun and you never intend to marry the person you’re dating. I have known people who began dating someone just for fun and ended up marrying them. With deep regret they admit they made a huge mistake. Be careful with whom you’re spending time.

Since respect is a key to a good marriage, respect is vital in a relationship. If you don’t respect whom you’re dating or if they do not respect you, stop the relationship now!

Often women tell me that the man she’s in a relationship with does not respect her, and he pushes her too far in the area of sex. This is an age-old problem that continues to break the hearts of countless women. How do you guard your heart?  One way is by “Fleeing youthful lusts” (2 Timothy 2:22). If you play with fire, you will get burned. Don’t go there.

As a Christian you must have a passion for purity. If you truly have a passion for God, then you should have a passion for purity. Much can be said on this subject, but the key is holiness. The Bible is very clear, “Be ye holy for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16). What are you watching, reading, and viewing online? Does it please God?

If you’re pure in your dating relationships you are less likely to experience as much heartbreak. Always pray about every friendship that you have. Treat everyone as you would like to be treated. Ask for God’s direction in all your relationships.

Keep your relationships pure. Keep your relationships simple.  Keep an open hand with your relationships. Ask the Lord to use you to be one who is pointing all your friends to the Lord. Be honest with yourself, and certainly be honest with whom you’re dating. If the person you’re spending time with is trying to fool you into thinking they’re a Christian, but they’re just trying to steal your heart, ask the Lord to show you who they really are.

A lady shared with me her deep hurt after rushing into marriage. “Please tell anyone who is single to not be blinded into thinking the person they’re dating is a godly person if they’re not. I married my husband much too soon. I thought he was a believer and I know now I was very deceived. It’s much better to be single, than to be in a wrong marriage.”

Is it possible to avoid a broken heart? There’s no guarantee, but there are certainly ways to prevent the hurt from devastating your life. In all your relationships walk in a way that is pleasing to the Lord. Yes, my heart has been broken, but praise God He has been faithful. As I reflect over my past, I’m so grateful for the relationships that didn’t work out.

I tell much more of my story in my book, “I Kissed a Lot of Frogs, but the Prince Hasn’t Come.”

My friend, wait on the Lord. Trust the Lord. Always put your hope, your joy, and your dreams in Christ. When He is first then, single or married, you will have a peace that no person or thing can give.

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