Pastor Kevin Sanders

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

Romantic Tunnel Vision

I’d like to talk about a mistake many singles make in searching for love.

Let me first introduce the concept of “tunnel vision.” The idea is you look at something with a constricted or narrow view, as if looking down a tunnel. You only see limited options or possibilities.

Some singles are guilty of “romantic tunnel vision”—fixating on only one person as a potential love interest. I frequently made this mistake in my younger days.

I’m not talking about faithfulness within a relationship. I’m talking about what happens while still in that “searching” stage.

It goes something like this:

*You meet someone you like. He or she is attractive, funny, smart, and all those other good qualities you’ve been hoping to find.

*You spend all your time thinking about this new person and don’t notice any other members of the opposite sex.

*It becomes clear this relationship isn’t going to happen—he/she is not interested or not available.

*Christians add another twist to this: they pray to God and ask Him to intervene—as if the Almighty will force the object of your desire to like you.

*You remain fixated on “Mr./Ms. Not-Going-To-Happen,” refusing to let go. For guys this means you don’t pursue anyone else. For girls it means you ignore other potential suitors.

*The end result is a lot of wasted time—time which you could have used exploring other possibilities.

Sound familiar?

How can we avoid this trap? I’ll give different answers for guys and girls.

Guys:
I remember a guy asking me if it’s OK to pray about a girl he likes. “Sure,” I answered, “but you better talk to her and see if she’s interested. Otherwise you are wasting your prayers.”

If you like a girl, tell her and court her. Just move on if you get rejected—don’t dwell on it. At least you tried, and at least you know.

Girls:
Occasionally a girl will ask me how to know if a guy likes her—as if there are some subtle hints she should be reading. Here is my answer: Never make assumptions. We men are not that complicated. If a guy likes you, he’ll tell you and do anything he can to win your heart.

It’s fine to spend time around a guy you like. But it’s time to move on if he doesn’t clearly demonstrate intent to court you. Be open to other suitors.

Final Thought:
There are plenty of singles out there to choose from. It just doesn’t seem like it when you see the world through a tunnel.

8 Comments

  1. good insights and practical but allow me to share some insights and love stories that talk about God’s intervention and the spiritual aspect in courtship.

    On prayer, i’ve known some men who really prayed and fasted for their wives before they even dated them even if they were busted for so many times.I consider those men as very persistent and full of faith. Through their persistent prayer, fasting and action, God granted them the desires of their hearts and they are now happily married with those girls who busted them so many times.

    I also read a diary (which was published as a book) of a wife of a known evangelist in the US in the 80’s. In her diary, she wrote that the Holy Spirit spoke to her that he would become her husband (but of course she didn’t tell it to the man, she told about it after their wedding day which is a wise thing to do). The man was always surrounded by attractive girls but she trusted what God had told her that that man would be her husband. After 4 yrs, she was noticed by that evangelist without even flirting to him…she just made herself busy in God’s kingdom while trusting God’s word. He wrote her, they dated, were engaged and married.

    If, the person you’re praying for is not really for you, prayer is not even wasted because in prayer, God can still direct u that that person is not really for u. I’ve experienced it personally in my past relationship.

    Our prayer matters to God…there is no wasted prayer. We may not get our desired answer but God still listens and he is willing to direct us to the right direction/person. So it is always important to pray, “Lord, is he/ she your will for me?” and spend more time in the word of God and have the patience to wait.

    in line with that last statement, i saw some interesting passages in my devotion, Mark 4:26-29

    In “harvesting” a relationship, there’s a time to plant (plant good things to a person , a time to wait and a time to “harvest” a relationship). You don’t know that it will grow one day. And in times of “planting”, u need to water it with prayer and trust in God and u need to wait for it to grow until the time for “harvest”.

    Here’s another real story to warn us in choosing the right partner:

    There was this woman of God from the US who shared her love story in our church years ago and in that message,i came to realize in my teenage life that God is really concerned with whom we’re going to marry.

    That woman shared that the Holy Spirit has been speaking in her heart that she should not marry that guy even if he was a church musician but she ignored the prompting of the Holy Spirit so she continued with their plan of wedding. She said, “Lord,everything is prepared for our wedding…its a shame if i would postpone the wedding. She said, even while walking in the isle during her wedding day, God was still speaking to her not to continue with the wedding but she didn’t listen.

    After 6 months, she found out that her husband was having an affair with one of the singers of their church. So what happened was…they got divorced…which wasn’t God’s plan in the first place.

    Last thing i wanna share, in love, there are keys that we need…prayer, the word of God, faith in what God is telling you in his word regarding that person, persistent prayer, action, patience in waiting, obedience and submission to God’s will.

    God sees the whole picture so we really need God in this matter. Read Malachi 2:13-16 again for more insights on marriage.

    prayer and God’s word are the most important things in choosing for a relationship aside from many other things and when God speaks, act on it…faith w/o works is dead but when he says no, obey him for he knows the best.

  2. Mariah,

    Yes, there are stories of those whom God directly told who they would marry. But the danger is believing God will do that in every case–He won’t. And for every story like the one you’ve just shared, there are ten stories of those who are still confused because they are waiting for God to choose a spouse for them.


    On prayer, i’ve known some men who really prayed and fasted for their wives before they even dated them even if they were busted for so many times.I consider those men as very persistent and full of faith. Through their persistent prayer, fasting and action, God granted them the desires of their hearts and they are now happily married with those girls who busted them so many times.

    Yes, I’m sure there are such stories. But for every story like this, there are dozens of guys/girls who believed God would give them someone and it didn’t happen–all because they ignored the obvious.

    When I refer to “wasted prayer,” I’m referring to asking God for someone who is clearly not interested.

    This is the problem–someone writes a book and others begin to believe they will have the exact same experience as the author.

  3. i just want to make it clear, I’m not saying that those stories will happen to everyone, Bro Kevin. What I’m trying to point out here is there are stories that happen that way and in those stories, its just a proof that God is real…that God can even speak to a person whom to marry and we should not also close our hearts that it could happen even to this day.

    You said, “This is the problem–someone writes a book and others
    begin to believe they will have the exact same experience as the
    author.”

    — well, i believe that book was written just to let the whole world
    know that God can do great things far more than we could ask or
    imagine and it was just a testimony that God is true to his promise,
    He is real and He answers prayers.

    As for me, i’m not saying that i will have the exact same experience as the author. I just admire that experience but i don’t put God in a box. God can make things happen in so many ways in meeting partners in life.

    And what i know about God is…He is good…He gives good gifts to his children and that includes a good spouse.

    Matthew 7:9-12 The Amplified Bible “Or what man is there of you, if his son asks him for a loaf of bread, will hand him a stone?Or if he asks for a fish, will hand him a serpent? If you then, evil as you are, know how to give good and advantageous gifts to your children, how much more will your Father Who is in heaven [perfect as He is] give good and advantageous things to those who keep on asking Him!

    Ephesians 3:20-21 The Message “God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.”

    Philippians 2:13 It is God who works in us to will and to act according to his good purpose.

    Thanks for giving time to this comment…God bless!

  4. I didn’t mean you believed the same thing would happen to you, but I was just trying to point out what often happens with Christian books on love.

    Blessings

  5. While in this ‘searching’ stage’ -Is it ok for a girl to entertain a few interested guys even if she already likes someone else more than any of them and just waiting for this person she likes to say something or make the move?

    Would entertaining their affection be considered playing with their feelings? IS it ok to keep them as reserve just in case the guy she likes never make the move then she will choose from them? How do men feel about something like this?

    And what if it’s the other way around? If a guy already likes a certain girl but he also flirts with others while waiting for her to make a decision. just in case he gets burned, so these other women are also kind of reserves.

    Does this article condone to this?

  6. Not sure I have an easy answer for you. But I’ll say this: if there hasn’t been a clear commitment made I think it is OK for us to keep our options open.

  7. Kevin says:
    8:52 PM
    “I didn’t mean you believed the same thing would happen to you, but I was just trying to point out what often happens with Christian books on love.Blessings!”

    –Don’t worry, I never thought of that:) I just thought of writing my 2nd comment so that i would not be misunderstand by your readers and to share what i believe. Blessings to you, too.

  8. so that i would not be misunderstood, i mean.

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