They Do Exist.

Playing The God Card

Editor’s Note: Breaking up is hard. Seeing a guy for awhile and finding the words to explain why you don’t want to pursue the relationship can be even harder sometimes. I know. No one wants to hurt anyone’s feelings, and often, the God Card seems like a reasonable way out, right? Wrong. The God Card isn’t honest or helpful. Just because you know and God knows that a specific person isn’t right for you, doesn’t mean the God Card are the words you choose to explain why you won’t be seeing him again. Practice thinking about why you “know” that God doesn’t want you to date someone. No attraction? Different future paths? Conflicting interests? Perceiving life differently? He’s just not “it?” Those are the words to use. <3 Today's post is written by Renee Fisher, author of Not Another Dating Book. She blogs here! – Lauren

It all started out with a tweet to eHarmony.

Back me up on this, @eHarmony. A guy (or girl) should tell you if there is no chemistry instead of playing the God card.

Let me tell you up front. I’ve used this excuse before during my online dating experiences at eHarmony. So I’m not sayin, I’m just sayin.

When I forked over the $250 for a years subscription to eHarmony I figured–yes, finally I won’t be single anymore. But I wasn’t thinking that I was going to meet my husband. I had done enough online dating to know it was purely to learn dating experience. The man I was looking for (excuse me God, was looking for me) didn’t exist.

Be Honest

Photo by sacredlotus on Flickr

I was bitter.
Jaded.

I had been single for twelve years, ten months, and twenty-four days before my husband asked me to marry him.

I even wrote a book in all my angst. We met after I finished writing it and then God made me (excuse me, my editor) rewrite the dang thing.

To say I’m passionate about relationships is an understatement. Since I was 15 I told God my husband was late. Verrrrry late. I wanted desperately to get married and have lots of married sex.

Yes, I waited if you’re asking.

Not that it matters. Because the world–Christians included–seem to have the same standards. Sad.

But that’s not my point.

My point is this: I never had the guts to tell someone to his face why I was breaking up with him. No guy rarely made it past the first date. My standards were picky, yes, but I was also deeply insecure. Insecure about my weight, about the fact that my relationship with God seemed to surpass most. I could quote almost the entire Bible. I was insecure that God was laughing at me thinking I knew too much and for that He would make me wait.

So while I was waiting. I learned a lot. A LOT. A lot. A LOT.

Like how to tell if a guy really values you. Like how I want to be treated. Like how honesty really is (almost) the best policy. Tears help too!

I’d rather have a guy tell me to my face instead of lying and then a week find out that he’s dating the only girlfriend I told about him.

Yeah. That happened to me.

Don’t play the God card.

I learned my lesson in the most painful of all ways. The girl I confided in about this guy I liked? She was in leadership, and I took the time to seek her out because I needed prayer. It was like the worst double-edged sword ever to teach me one thing–I finally had confidence. I knew my worth. That’s why I was so hurt. Instead of slinking away I told them off–to their faces. Now, I’m not proud of the way I handled things–but we’ve since reconciled.

If you remember one line from this entire post, it’s this: never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever play the God card. Even if it feels like those are the only words you have. Wrestle through it, find the words, and tell the person why you’re not into him or her. Or simply tell them that you aren’t. Without the God card.

But only if you have the guts. It takes a real person to be truly honest.

If you really struggle on saying no to men, or turning them down, Lauren Dubinsky has answered a question on turning down a guy’s advances without hurting his feelings HERE. If you met a great guy who wants to date you, but you don’t want to turn him down sounded like a Christian snob, Lauren also wrote a post on that HERE.


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21 Responses

  1. Kathleen

    While I agree 100% with being open and honest, I also don't think it's always wrong to play the God Card, as the author puts it. I have turned down jobs and ministry opportunities before based ONLY on God saying "no". Sometimes we WANT to do something, but we know in our hearts that this is not what God wants for us. Is it not possible to be totally into a guy but know it's wrong and have no other reason than that you have no peace about it? I would rather have a guy tell me, "I think you're great but I'm feeling anxiety about this because I know that God wants something different for my life right now" than "you're just not it". I have been told "you're just not it" before and that emphasizes the feeling of not being "enough" rather than "I respect you, I honour you, and because of that I want to follow the peace of God and not my own desires." No?

    Oftentimes, we don't like the God Card because it truly is a cop-out. But what about when it's not?

    May 22, 2012 at 2:45 pm

  2. I understand not using God as an excuse for the real reasons it won’t work, but I’m friends with a guy where we both prayed about pursuing each other and I felt like I was supposed to wait and he felt God say no…. (With confirmation from people) With no other reason besides the fact that God said it. I know now that of anything were to happen between us, it would have to be a God-thing. So I’d say, don’t use the God card – except for when that’s the only reason you have. And explain further than just that God said no… Cus if ou don’t, speculation sucks.

    May 22, 2012 at 3:43 pm

  3. Philip

    This is the first post I’ve read on GWP that I didn’t really like. Maybe it’s just because I’m a guy and I couldn’t follow the train of thought, but I found it rather confusing. I’m assuming that the post is intended to explain why one should not use the God Card, but I dont see any correlation between the personal experiences and the premise. There wasn’t even a clear explanation of what the God Card is. I already had a pretty good idea, but some readers might not, and it’s usually a good idea for the writer to establish their own definition of things. On top of that, there are several statements that went completely over my head. Did I understand correctly that you wanted to get married at 15, and you were upset with God that you weren’t? I can understand if that was the case, but again, how does that relate to the topic at hand? Then, right after that, you say that the world’s and Christian’s standards are the same. What standards are you referring to? In my experience, they are very different. And yes, it does matter that you waited. Congratulations, and good on you! I’m not saying you should not have shared your experiences. I honestly hope I’m the only one that didn’t get the connection, but I do feel like you could improve the structure of your argument.

    May 22, 2012 at 6:12 pm

  4. Kathleen

    I was thinking and praying about this some more and I’d like to go out on a limb and suggest that we don’t use the “God card” enough. Wouldn’t it be amazing to see a generation that leans on God instead of their own understanding and follows His heart instead of their own? Maybe it would look a little bit like when Jesus told His disciples to lay down EVERYTHING – even their FAMILIES and follow Him!

    My heart for the women of today is to walk in the truth of God and not cower to let Him be a real and relevant voice in their life and relationships because they are afraid of hurting someone’s feelings or worse still, stay in a wrong relationship because they have no other reason for leaving other than “God said no”.

    All that said, be honest and don’t cop out. But if God tells you to go, GO! And if someone plays the “God card” on you, remember that His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts!

    May 23, 2012 at 2:13 pm

  5. In my social circle, the term "God card" usually just refers to the idea of a cop-out and has little to do with the influence that God actually has on our choices in relationships. Maybe the confusion has to do with the term "God card". As far as I'm aware…

    God card: "He smells weird and his toes curl kind of funny but I can't tell him that so I'm just going to say that God told me not to date him. (Of course I'm not going to tell him that I haven't prayed about this at all, it's just nicer than telling him about the toes…)."

    God's influence on ending a relationship: "I've been praying about this relationship and what God's will is for us, and he seems to be pointing me in another direction. I don't know why yet, but I trust His will and see where it takes me, even though I still don't know why he doesn't see us being together."

    Both are a little exaggerated, but using the God card really is a low blow. God should be the one guiding our relationship choices, I completely agree, but using God as a cop-out is one of those things that makes people grumble at Christians through gritted teeth.

    Just my two cents. :)

    May 23, 2012 at 2:52 pm

  6. I actually think this is true. We use God way too much to explain our feelings away when it comes to relationships. And quite frankly, we use Him as an excuse. He probably doesn't take too kindly to that. There's very much a difference between going out with someone, liking them a lot, and realizing that's just not who God wants for you and going out with someone you don't necessarily jive with and saying that God has something to do with it. I'm actually not sure that's fair to anybody involved.

    May 24, 2012 at 10:15 am

  7. Scotty

    Should God be a part of your dating life and decisions? Of course.

    Should you every break up with someone and give the reason, "because God told me too"' true or not? Nope.

    I have been broken up with using the God card. And he meant it; he was truly sincere. However, God did not tell ME we couldn't date anymore. Was I a worse Christian for not hearing it? Was I a Delilah-type figure leading him away from God so much that God Himself came down to make sure I was in Dumpsville? These are thoughts that go through your head if you're the one being broken up with. Think about this before you say things like this in a break-up.

    Also, saying "God wants us to break up" could also show a lack of humility. Maybe you should realize that you're doing the best you can to follow God's will, yes, but maybe you got this one wrong. Maybe God gave you room to go either way and you decided you just weren't that into the guy.

    If you can't think of ANY other reason, stick with "I think it would be better for us both if we break up." Period. Anything more is just to justify the decision to yourself or make sure he/she can't get upset with you.

    Simple. Christianese freeing.

    May 24, 2012 at 11:05 am

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  9. Rob

    As a man who has been turned down by the "God doesn't want us to date" line before, let me tell you…whether a person says it sincerely or as a cop-out, the perception that it is a cop-out will always win. I remember being immediately shocked by that line, and in the next minute thinking "Wow…she totally just threw her God under the bus."

    Obviously there are legitimate God-driven reasons not to date someone, but don't just leave it at a blanket "God doesn't want us to date" and use that to block any questions.

    March 6, 2013 at 1:23 pm

  10. nice information, thanks for sharing

    November 29, 2014 at 9:32 pm

  11. Brodie

    Relationship can only be run with the companionship and with the understanding. Couple will with the online essay minions papers will have more compatibility. They should give space to each other. This will allow them to live together for lasting and time less. And more they feel better with each other.

    January 31, 2015 at 2:39 pm

  12. Very informative. Really agree.

    February 5, 2015 at 9:56 pm

  13. The girl I confided in about this guy I liked? She was in leadership, and I took the time to seek her out because I needed prayer. It was like the worst double-edged sword ever to teach me one thing–I finally had confidence. I knew my worth.

    May 13, 2015 at 7:12 am

  14. I’d rather have a guy tell me to my face instead of lying and then a week find out that he’s dating the only girlfriend I told about him.

    May 13, 2015 at 10:35 am

  15. There's very much a difference between going out with someone, liking them a lot, and realizing that's just not who God wants for you and going out with someone you don't necessarily jive with and saying that God has something to do with it. I'm actually not sure that's fair to anybody involved.

    June 22, 2015 at 8:45 am

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