Dating With Discernment by Kristy Lyles: A book review
I am in no way sponsored to recommend this book. I genuinely just enjoyed it and would highly recommend especially to young girls, single ladies or woman who are in the dating phase of life. I wish I had this book in my collection years ago, it truly is filled with such deep insight and encouragement.
At times people allow their deep desire for companionship (or possibly other
selfish motives) to compel them to dive into a romantic connection without first considering the costs. We as humans were created in the image of God who is love. People go to great lengths to satisfy their need for attention, affection, and companionship. Trust me I was guilty of dating men or talking to men I had no business talking to or seeing out of a place of loneliness and insecurity. I really do believe they are truly such a terrible combo. Combine extreme loneliness and severe insecurity and I was highly susceptible to the enemy's traps
It is in the early stage of a potential relationship where discernment proves to be vitally important. Taking the time to prayerfully weigh the sincerity of a persons intention before investing too much time or emotional energy, is the wisest thing a person can do in the best interest of their own
heart. The assumption cannot be that a person will automatically be completely honest about their intentions. Therefore, it is your personal responsibility to use
discernment to see the truth that may be hidden. Only discernment will reveal what a potentially dishonest person may be trying to conceal.
Kristy reminds us that no matter how "perfect" a man may seem, God would never send you someone who would take you outside of His perfect will or go against the commands of His Word.
"Notice in the Book of Genesis, how even Adam,
who had direct communication with and instructions from
God, was influenced by Eve. She was able to convince him
to partake in eating the forbidden fruit and alter his entire
destiny, and ultimately the destiny of mankind.
Who you marry will have the power to either build you, or
bring you down. To pull you closer to God, or push you
further away. To be a help, or a hindrance to fulfilling
your destiny. This is why the dating and courting process is
such an important area to handle spiritually, not just
romantically. Romantic decisions made without discernment
can be detrimental to your destiny." -Kristy Lyles
Kristy explains in depth what discernment is and how to have this discernment about a person or romantic situation.
She goes over 2 key areas
1). discerning who someone truly is and 2). discerning if
God has specifically called them to be a romantic partner
in your life. Both areas require spiritual guidance and
Proverbs 18:15 says “ The heart of the
discerning acquires knowledge, for the ears of the wise seek
it out.” Those with good discernment are consistently
seeking truth. God’s Word is the
absolute authority concerning truth, so being familiar with
His Word is essential to sharpening discernment. The more
knowledgeable you become in God’s Word, the more
your spirit becomes to detecting truth and error.
Charm can be a spirit used to deceive and entangle. This is why many times a person will find it hard to let go and release themselves from a charming individual even after a
relationship with them proves to be unhealthy. Counterfeits
oftentimes have an uncanny ability to consistently lure a
person back into their lives even after having shown
themselves to be disloyal, dishonest, and deceptive. You may
have experienced being repeatedly drawn back into a
relationship with someone you knew was no good for your
heart, but found it difficult to stay away. I have personally watched friends of mine who will say they are so done with someone run back again and again. Their charming words, romantic gestures,
and overall ability to allure causes you to abandon your
logical reasoning and continuously succumb to their
influence. It all clouds your ability to see their true character.
Also don't automatically trust someone because you did in fact meet
them at church, a ministry-related event, or someplace where
God was the obvious focus.
One part of the book that really stood out to me was when Kristy talked about past men that made us feel damaged and diminished our ability to muster up enough hope to believe we can ever find love. I've been there. So heartbroken and wounded feeling hopeless. I remember in the beginning of 2020, going into my 25th year of life, wishing that I would have already been married, that I would not have had to endure heartbreak after heartbreak, closed door after closed door, this is where “God’s strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9), comes to life. Kristy explains that it is when we do not have enough strength to hope for ourselves from our
own will, that God’s power and ability can step in for our
no matter how much true love begins
to seem “unrealistic”; refuse to allow the enemy to steal
your hope, rob you of your faith, and put you at risk of not
being able to please God. Guard your hope as fiercely as
you guard your heart. Shift your attitude from being a literal
“hopeless” romantic, to being a hopeful romantic whose
faith in love does not waver. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation make your requests known unto God. Flashback to that heart aching day in early 2020, I cried out to God asking Him to help me. He led me to turn my Bible right to 2 Corinthians 12 and I read "but He said unto me My grace is sufficient for thee for My strength is made perfect in your weakness".
The thought of being alone forever or losing a relationship with someone
you have grown attached to (even if the relationship has
proven to be unhealthy), can be a scary reality to face. I've definitely been there. It felt at the time like such a catch 22. Like either way was not good. Staying wasn't a good idea, because of the red flags I saw and deep down inside I couldn't ignore them forever, but leaving meant being alone, potentially forever. I realized nothing is worth compromising your standards, or the still small voice you know is God telling you to run and don't look back. Nothing is worth being out of the will of God. The devil will lie to you and tell you, stay it's as good as it will ever get. You will be alone forever if you leave. Don't believe the lies. Peace and God's providence is waiting for you on the other side.
Many times we are “thirsty” because we
are spiritually dehydrated. We are suffering from a loss of
spiritual essential nutrients that is preventing the proper
functioning of our hearts and minds.
One day like me you may become completely exhausted trying to do things your own way and in your own strength. Allow this to finally get you to the point of wanting to
completely surrender your will to His. It is only in a place of complete surrender Kristy says that
we can be delivered from the emotional fatigue and burnout
from looking for love or being in unhealthy relationships. I completely agree.
Matthew 11:28 (KJV) tells us, “Come to me, all you who are
weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Let go of the
need to control your own love life and allow God to be the
authority of the matters of your heart. Surrender the area of
love to God, and “get some rest”.
I can't scratch the surface through this blog post on all the golden nuggets you will find in this book, but you can pick up a copy here at https://www.kristylyles.com/dating-with-discernment
I hope it is as much a blessing to you as it was to me!