By Hope Bolinger, Crosswalk.com
Editor’s Note: Crosswalk's Singles Advice is an advice column for singles featuring an anonymous question from a Crosswalk.com reader with a thoughtful, biblical reply from one of our single contributors.
A friend of mine dreamed he met a girl even before meeting her in real life. My friend thought it was a sign from God, however; when the girl came into his life, after years of being together in love, their relationship ended.
The girl he thought was "the one" as a sign from God ended happily with another man. I believe that dreaming of someone before you meet them doesn't necessarily mean it’s from God or that you're going to marry them.
The best way to know is to pray to God, seek guidance, ask if that person is from God, or if she or he is the one you will end up with marrying. What do you think?
Great question! As someone who remembers her dreams vividly, and has often mistaken some as signs from God, I’ll try my best to answer this question.
One can often look to Scripture and see many dreams, or visions, rather, that do come to fruition (All of Daniel 7-12, for instance).
And honestly, looking at the book of Daniel alone, it’s seldom you’ll find a chapter without a dream and an interpretation. We even hear instances of God communicating to nonbelievers through dreams, such as indicated in this article.
So sometimes Christians can interpret dreams as the same thing as the inerrant word of God.
Why Should We Put More Stock in the Word of God Than Dreams?
True, sometimes God does communicate via dreams and visions, but we have to keep in mind the context of most of the dreams and visions we see in the Old and New Testament.
Many of those who received such dreams didn’t have access to Scripture. Abraham, for instance, in Genesis 15:1. Even those in the New Testament, who had access to the Old Testament, didn’t have the complete canonical Bible as we know it today. Dream and visions served as supplementary means for God to communicate his vision, as seen in Acts 10:19-16.
God still does communicate in this way, but not as a primary means. We have his voice right in front of our fingertips, in hardback, through Bible apps, and websites.
Does Scripture Say Anything About Dreams Misleading People?
Somewhat. Although we do see examples in Scripture where God uses dreams to communicate something (for instance, a dream to warn the Wise Men not to go back to Herod, Matthew 2:12), Ecclesiastes 5:7 indicates that most dreams are worthless in terms of interpretation or bearing any weight on our future.
Sometimes dreams can even be deceptive, as indicated in Jeremiah 23:25-27.
Dreams, by definition, are typically our brains attempting to process the events of the day and to sometimes problem solve.
Yes, God is fully capable of sending us messages through dreams, but it’s more likely he’ll convict us through his Word or through speaking with fellow believers.
Final answer to your question:
I can sympathize with your friend, because it would seem like a clear sign from heaven that the friend was the one if they hadn’t even met prior to the dream. But this shows a clear example of why we should test the spirits (1 John 4:1) for anything outside of the inerrant word of God.
Although dreams can be a means of God to communicate a message, they often are pure nonsense, and therefore, shouldn’t carry a great weight in our mind. If we do receive a vivid dream that appears to be from God, we should pray and read Scripture to make sure the dream holds up against the inerrant word of God.
Hope Bolinger is a literary agent at C.Y.L.E. and a recent graduate of Taylor University's professional writing program. More than 450 of her works have been featured in various publications ranging from Writer's Digest to Keys for Kids. She has worked for various publishing companies, magazines, newspapers, and literary agencies and has edited the work of authors such as Jerry B. Jenkins and Michelle Medlock Adams. Her column "Hope's Hacks," tips and tricks to avoid writer's block, reaches 6,000+ readers weekly and is featured monthly on Cyle Young's blog. Her modern-day Daniel, Blaze, (Illuminate YA) released in June, and they contracted the sequel Den for July 2020. Find out more about her here.
Disclaimer: any single editor replying to reader questions through this advice column is a Christian seeking God's direction through his Word. We are not trained psychologists or licensed professionals. As we explore issues with you, we will seek God's guidance through prayer and the Bible.
Have a question? If you have a question about anything related to living the single life, please email [email protected] (selected questions will be addressed anonymously). While we cannot answer every question, we hope you'll find encouragement in this column.
Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Kinga Cichewicz
Hope Bolinger is a literary agent at C.Y.L.E. and a graduate of Taylor University's professional writing program. More than 600 of her works have been featured in various publications ranging from Writer's Digest to Keys for Kids. She has worked for various publishing companies, magazines, newspapers, and literary agencies and has edited the work of authors such as Jerry B. Jenkins and Michelle Medlock Adams. Her column "Hope's Hacks," tips and tricks to avoid writer's block, reaches 6,000+ readers weekly and is featured monthly on Cyle Young's blog. Her modern-day Daniel, Blaze, (Illuminate YA) Den (releasing July 2020), Dear Hero (releasing September 2020), and Dear Henchman (releasing 2021) Find out more about her here.