Pastor Kevin Sanders

"He must increase, but I must decrease." -John 3:30

Love: The One Absolutely Essential Question

I believe there is one absolutely essential question when it comes to dating/courtship.

Here it is:

Is this the person I want to marry?

It’s just that simple.  The goal, after all, is supposed to be finding a lifetime commitment.

Think about it:

If you are not ready to ask this question, then you really have no business dating in the first place (maybe you are too young).

If the answer to this question is “no,” (this is not the guy or girl you want to marry) then you need to stop pursuing the relationship and move on—there’s no use wasting time, energy, and emotion.

If you have been dating for months (or years) and still don’t know, it’s time to get serious and make a decision (either marry or break up).  Note to the ladies: if a man isn’t talking about marriage after a reasonable amount of time (let’s say six months or a year), it’s a really bad sign.

If (after a period of courtship) the answer is “yes,” it’s time to pray and seek godly counsel.  If the Lord gives His approval, it’s time to start making wedding plans.

I’m arguing for intentionality.  I see many young people waste a lot of time and energy in relationships that aren’t going anywhere.  I also see many of them acting as though being a boyfriend/girlfriend is an end in and of itself.

Let’s not play games with our hearts and the hearts of others.  This is neither godly nor wise.



  1. Agree. I was just thinking about posting something like this after a question asked by one of our young people. But maybe later this week and I will link you too. God bless you po.

  2. I think that when one is young, one tends to get into relationships, more for experience and experiment. the problem with that is that even if your intentions weren’t serious, when the relationship ends, it would still hurt. So, doing this, you only accumulate emotional baggage and pain, and causes hurt to others too.

  3. “love and marriage,
    go together like
    a horse and carriage
    that was told
    by mother-
    you can’t have one
    without the other!”

  4. how about the other way around?

    instead of, “Is this the person I want to marry? “

    “am I the person he or she would want to marry?”

    yup this article, this insight saves us all the trouble of unnecessary, unwanted heartache.

    Yup, I’d Simply ask that question-“is this who I want to marry?”

    I also ask me-“am I the one he or she wants?”

    life is simple 🙂

  5. How would you know if the person you are dating/or having a relationship now is really the one that you should marry? We got standards while we are still searching but we couldn’t really know the true skin of the person till we’ve known him/her for years. And eventhough things go perfectly for you both, still it doesn’t necessary mean you’ll end up together. I am not disagreeing with what you said, I definitely agree, but my question is, what if you find the right person while you’re still on college, would you let the chance pass to fall in love with him/her? And what if, you are in perfectly right age, but can’t find the right person?

  6. Liz,
    I usually encourage students to at least wait until their later years of college–that way graduation is not too far off and he/she could marry in a reasonable amount of time.

    It takes prayer to know if you are marrying a good match. But it I disagree that it takes “years” to know someone. It doesn’t take years to know if you want to commit your life to someone.

  7. To Liz,

    I think you just know it when you meet the right one even if you haven’t known him for long. God tells you. You just know it.

    If you’ve reached the right age for marrying but haven’t found that one that fits yet then just patiently wait.

  8. What if you don’t want to get married anytime soon? I mean, you might not want to waste your time in a relationship that isn’t going anywhere, but I don’t understand why Christians are so stuck on marriage. It just seems silly to me to think that it’s a bad sign if a guy isn’t talking about marriage within a few months. You may not know what you want quite yet…or what God wants. Yes, you should pray, but these things can take time. I think rather than asking, “Is this someone I want to marry?” you should think, “Is this someone I could never marry?” If the answer is yes, then it makes sense to me to break up with him/her. But I can’t imagine that everyone is certain enough to know what they want as far as marriage is concerned withing a few months (especially men!).

  9. Akirah,

    If you don’t want to get married any time soon, I honestly don’t see the point of being in a serious relationship. Relationships with no direction are simply an open invitation to heartbreak, sexual temptation, etc. God’s ultimate plan for men/women is marriage, not boyfriend/girlfriend. God’s mind hasn’t changed on this.

    As to your second point: I’m not saying a man should be ready to propose within a few months (though it does happen). But if he’s been courting you for a few months and there’s no clear signal that it is headed for marriage, it is a bad sign–trust me on this. If a man doesn’t know what he wants after six months to a year, he probably never will.

    I’ve met women who stay in a relationship for months (or years), and only have wasted time to show for their investment–this is what happen when there is no clear direction.

    There may be exceptions to what I’ve said, but I think they are few and far between.

  10. I understand. I definitely don’t think there’s a point to being in a serious relationship if you know you don’t want to get married to that person OR married anytime soon. However, I’ve seen so many Christians place too much emphasis on marriage way too early in a relationship and they’ve been hurt.

    But, I guess it’s all a matter of opinion. Personally, I think that casual dating can be a very good thing, but I know a lot of Christians don’t agree with me on this.

    Thanks for your response!

  11. It depends on how you define “casual dating.” I think it is fine to go on friendly dates to have fun and meet new people. I do this myself.

    But at some point you have to start deciding if you want to pursue something serious or not.

  12. I think there is a fuzzy line that separates between “going out as friends” or “evaluating whether somebody is a suitable marriage partner”. Many people go out without realising which side of the fuzzy line they stand on, and which side of the fuzzy line the other person imagines himself/herself to be on.

    People can go out and do things as friends without it actually being a “date”; and people can go on dates. (I say this from experience – I have gone out with friends for the sake of enjoying time with friends, while the other party expected stronger romantic interest than what I did. Not that this happens to me a lot, but it has happened.)

    But I agree – if you know that it is a “date”, then be purposeful about it.

  13. Anonymous,
    I agree with you, and I don’t have a problem with friendly “dates” or just going out for fun. What I have a problem with is being weeks (or months) into a relationship without a clear direction.

  14. hi kuya kevin.. I just recently bought your book and found it very interesting.. I really learned a lot.. But I have a problem right now.. It makes me confused sometimes because everytime I go to church I always wish that the one I’m seeing in front would be my future spouse someday.. he is a member of the praise and worship team.. sometimes i tend to look around that group and wish to meet one of them (any) and get to know them because I feel that I would be secured if I marry a Christian guy (that I will meet in my church) someday.. i really hate this feeling because there are times that i lose concentration to God because of being attracted with someone, i tend to look at him (or them and choose which one) and he attracted me in some way.. please help me kuya kevin,, I need some of your opinions.. thanks so much!

  15. Nica,

    I’m honored that you bought the book and enjoyed it.

    Let’s get to your question:

    First, remember there’s nothing wrong with liking someone or being attracted to him. God is not threatened by this–remember, it is God who said we shouldn’t be alone. Being attracted to a single guy who is a committed Christian is a good thing.

    You can put some effort into meeting them. Don’t make the first move, but you can hang out in some of their social circles. If they are interested, they’ll put some effort into getting to know you.

    Just be patient, prayerful, and wise in your search.

    One word of caution: remember to put your security in Christ more than anything else.

    Hope this helps.

  16. kuya kevin do you think there’s nothing wrong with what Im feeling? I don’t want to be attracted while worshipping God in that church but I can’t help it.. Sometimes I felt like daydreaming that God will give me that man in front.. I’m still in college.. I felt that the enemy bothers me in some way, destructing me..

  17. Nica,
    I think what you are feeling is 100% normal. When this happens, just refocus your mind on God and confess to Him that you trust Him completely. But don’t feel guilty over what you are experiencing.

  18. hi kuya kevin.. thanks a lot!!.. I just don’t want to lose my relationship with God.. take care always!!

  19. hi kuya kevin, we are looking forward for more upcoming books ha!!

  20. Another book? Well, I’ll talk about that in my next post (re: resolutions), but don’t count on it this year.

  21. lemme add to this long list of comments by asking. When a young woman doesnt feel anything for anyone, any guy in particular – like feelings of attachment, does it mean she is probably for singlehood?

    oh, that young woman is me 🙂

  22. Well, it’s kind of hard for me to say since I don’t know you. Who knows–maybe you just haven’t met the right guys.

  23. thanks, it just feels weird sometimes. Just making sure nothings wrong with me

  24. brief but very well said…:)

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