In spite of good intentions you may find yourself in a relationship that you can’t see resulting in a good marriage.

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Perhaps you’ve read our articles about finding the right marriage partner or five questions to ask yourself before going out with someone, but now find yourself in a relationship that you can’t see resulting in a good marriage. In contrast to marriage, going out and even engagement are times for testing a relationship and thinking seriously about its future. Though break ups can be difficult (which shows us how careful we should be when starting a relationship in the first place), it can be wise to end a relationship at this point, if we think things will not work out. Once you make your marriage vows, it is a different matter and the Bible is clear that the marriage bond should not be broken.

Think it through

If you feel like breaking up, it is a good idea to think and pray about why you want to do so. Sometimes we can be momentarily frustrated or upset and it is important not to act rashly [1]. At other times we can be seriously worried, either by how we are treated or by what we learn about our boyfriend/girlfriend. There are some definite reasons to break up with someone, for example: if they lie to you, have cheated on you, have different standards, have totally different goals in life or you don’t really think they are living as a Christian. Other reasons can be less easily defined. Some break ups can happen because of indecision on one person’s side or if they need some space to think through whether they can commit to the relationship. It may be sensible to talk things through with people who you trust and who know you both [2] – perhaps your parents, minister or mature Christian friends.

The practicalities

  • Think carefully about your reasons beforehand and be settled in your mind about your course of action – this will help you to be decisive and sure, so that the other person can accept the decision and move on.
  • Be careful not to be pressured into staying in a relationship that you can’t see resulting in a committed marriage. Watch that you don’t change your mind out of pity; your relationship needs to be based on commitment and desire, not pity which can turn into resentment.
  • It is better to break up sooner rather than later, as this should help limit the hurt and disappointment you both may feel.
  • Remember to be as clear and kind as possible; how you treat someone should reflect how you would want to be treated.
  • If you can, try to break up face to face. Don’t “ghost” them – which is essentially just ignoring someone without giving a reason. Even though it seems easier to you; it is unkind, hurtful and will not reflect well on you as a Christian.
  • Be prepared for it to be painful and difficult for both of you.
  • Remember to pray for the person you’re breaking up with. If they are a Christian, pray that they would persevere [3], and if you have broken up with them because they are not, that they would become one.
  • Remember the providence of God. He has a plan for our lives, which is for our good and His glory, though it is not always what we might think [4,5,6].
  1. Proverbs 29:20 “Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.”#
  2. Proverbs 12:15 “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.”
  3. Ephesians 6:18 “praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints…”
  4. Isaiah 55:8-9For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” 
  5. Jeremiah 29:11 ” For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
  6. Romans 8:28 “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”