My parents have reminded me since I was a young girl, that they often pray for the man I will end up with. I never truly understood why they did this. I thought it was my decision who I dated, married or if I decided to stay single. Due to my little understanding of this and my naïve heart, I dated who I wanted and I dated too young. It seemed like fun and games, spending time with my “boyfriend”, going out to eat, having double dates, texting all day long. Before getting serious with someone, you can be blinded by the fun and not realize the hole you’re slowly digging yourself into. It could be months before you find out this person is not a believer. And then what happens?
Your first thought may be, like me, “I am a strong believer and will not let the opinions of my significant other diminish my beliefs”. Unfortunately, no matter how strong your faith may be, the bible says very clearly “Do not be deceived; bad company ruins good morals”. In other cases, people believe they can do “missionary dating” which is exactly what it sounds like. Date someone who is not of your belief system, but believe you can change that. Sometimes this interaction does work, and I think that would be amazing to fall in love with someone while teaching them to also love Jesus. But I believe that loving Jesus comes first, and God demanded that we not be unequally yoked with our significant other (2Corinthians 6:14).
God did not create dating to fill a missing gap in your life, he doesn’t want you to abuse the company of another to reduce your loneliness. God wants us to find an equal match and use it to his benefit. If you are feeling lonely, seek Him, if you are tired, seek Him, if you are weary, fearful, sad, hurt, SEEK HIM. Your partner should not replace your love or desire for God. He has a plan for all of us, this includes our person to be. Do not grow weary, continue to seek Him and trust in His plans for you. God has greater things in line for your life then you can even imagine.
You may be thinking I’m jumping the gun here when I’m talking about the future and marriage, especially if you’re only young. But if you can’t see yourself marrying your partner in the slightest, then you're in the wrong place. You are setting your heart up to be hurt or you’re intentionally hurting another. I cannot imagine sitting in church on Sunday morning as a married woman without my husband or having my children ask me “why daddy doesn’t have to go to church”. Relationships whether just friends or more than that, can be very complicated things. We were born to be creatures of comfort and to interact with other humans. I can guarantee you cannot think of one day in your life that you didn’t interact with anyone. Whether via txt or in person, it seems like we can’t go very long without seeking the attention of others. Let’s ensure we are implementing responsible decisions when making our hearts vulnerable to another.
Finding someone special can take time and patience. If you are feeling weary about who you are currently with or maybe discouraged about your lack of companion, I’d advise you to bring these concerns to God. Only He can reveal the truth about your future. Be cautious, guard your heart and let the Lord guide your path.
So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.
2 Timothy 2:22
The Notebook, Titanic, Phantom of the Opera, even The Last Song are all classic tales
of the boy and the girl falling desperately in love. As a little girl, I grew up believing that all I had
to do was have a fairy Godmother hook me up real quick with a cutie prince. The reality of my
Prince Charming hasn’t been so charming. Unfortunately, love isn’t like the movies. Loneliness
is a real thing. It’s tough being the girl who is in love with the mere idea of love. Even if you don’t
bawl your eyes out watching every proposal video ever (I feel no shame), most of us have a
desire to be loved. Ya’ll, I never thought I’d be that super chill girl who was so cool and calm
about being single. Luckily, God is real and I began thanking Him for not making me kiss a frog
or lose a cute glass shoe or ya know, sleep for an eternity… okay that one’s debatable.
I’ve learned a load of things this past year but I’m no dating genius. Believe me, I want to
be with someone, too. You see, that’s the thing. I’ve dealt with a lot of insecurity in my life to the
point where I even compared myself to a fantasy of my own: the perfect Christian girl. She’s got
She’s gentle, kind, caring, speaks with wisdom, and is just the most Godly gal around.
She’s beyond content with her relationship status, while boys’ hearts drop like flies for this gal.
She knows God has a time and reason for everything and never questions it. Honestly, the
whole package. Did I mention she’s drop dead gorgeous? Here’s the thing, I began to believe
more in the fantasy of this girl than I did in the fantasies I grew up watching. This girl doesn’t
even exist. The reality is that I’m a complete mess most of the time but I am not alone in that. I
got to the end of myself and just started admitting it, I want to love someone so bad. I do. When
I decided to be translucent, I realized that every girl around me feels the same way.
You’ve got to remember,
The devil is a liar.
You are not alone.
After that brick wall hit me, my mentor dropped a bomb on my beautiful idea of marriage.
She handed me a bible and said, “Audrey, can you show me where marriage is promised?”
**brain shuts down** WOW OK. Believe it or not, Song of Solomon did not pull through for me
on this one. Neither did Genesis, Galatians, Corinthians, or Ephesians. Nope; Matthew, Mark,
Luke, or John didn’t do the either trick. As scary as it is, marriage isn’t a promise that God has
made to us. Singleness is either there for a lasting season or a lasting reason. Before you
absolutely flip, much like I did, Paul does speak about a peace that will be given to those who
aren’t called to marriage. Marriage and singleness are both equally righteous and both give God
glory. However, I believe that a big part of me has just banked on being married. I was more
concerned with who my future spouse was than how I can uplift my brother in Christ. While not
a promise, a righteous marriage is one of the many gifts we can be given. As much as I love
Thomas Rhett’s “Grave” (disclaimer: I’m obsessed), marriage is not something that will follow us
to Heaven. Idolizing “love” is a serious struggle. We cannot love the gift more than the Giver.
For this reason, that KB so creatively explains,
“Never put God after another man or
another man will become your God and
God will become another man.”
Pre-sin, Adam and Eve never questioned who they were made for and Who they were
made from. They loved each other but never even questioned if God was above it all. By the
three of these, their world was made whole. Then, sin crashed the party creating in us a “hole,”
a black hole that constantly needs and desires more. We’re going to constantly want love but it
cannot be all that we want. God is the only thing that can truly satisfy my craving because He is
boundless (shocking, I know; chocolate is not boundless). Finding a blue-eyed babe won’t fix
my desire to be loved. The desire in our hearts cannot be satisfied by marriage. Love is greater
than we can understand. Love is a real Man, one who died to tell me He loves me.
Do I often forget literally all of this and still feel lonely and search other places for
contentment? Great question! Absolutely. This is why it is so vital to seek Him daily. Memorize
scripture. Pray and talk to God. As He says in Psalm 34, “Come, my children, listen to me; I will
teach you the fear of the Lord.” In seeking Him, we will “lack nothing, no good thing.”
A single Cinderella can be satisfied, too. Ultimately, Cinderella tried her best to
hide her brokenness. In the end, Prince Charming loved her within every bit of it. Broken
is the new beautiful, babe.
With every bit of love,
When God created us, he created us with a desire for relationships. We are relational people because that is how God wired us to be. Look at Adam and Eve. God created Adam first and God saw that Adam was lonely, and created all the animals and gave Adam the authority to rule over them. But God still saw that it wasn’t good.
“So Adam gave names to all the cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field . But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him.”-Genesis 2:20
Adam needed a helper that complimented him, and when God created Eve, she also needed someone to compliment her. You see, since the beginning, God designed us to have the desire to want a relationship. Sometimes our society wants to say, “Dating is bad, don’t date.” Reality is, it isn’t a bad thing! When you date God’s way, it is a beautiful thing.
Many people in their time of singleness think that being in this stage of life of waiting on the Lord is a burden and a waste of time. This is far from the truth! Time spent waiting on God, is time never wasted. I used to view singleness with a bitter heart and I never thought that God would ever bring me the man He created for me. But I remember my Bible teacher telling me that singleness should not be looked down upon. Rather think of it as time to devote yourself to Christ, to completely seek Him, and to serve Him in every capacity you can.
I want you to know that the Lord is always faithful and He keeps all His promises!
“God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?” -Numbers 23:19
Do not be discouraged in the season God has placed you. Always remember that through this time, God is preparing your heart and molding you for a relationship. God knows the desires of your heart and what you long for. But He also knows what you need and do not need in a future husband. He knows you better than anyone else in this world, because He is the one who created your emotions, your soul, and your heart. Your entire being was created in his very hands! I know it’s hard to understand why God has us in the season of waiting on Him, but be encouraged to know that His timing is always perfect.
“ Delight yourself also in the Lord, and he shall give you the desires of your heart.” Psalms 37:4
Written by: Kimberly Matute
Photo credit: Amanda Hammitt and Debra Hart Photography
I didn’t start dating until college. Yep. That’s right. My first ever time out with a boy happened in college. In fact, other than my fiancé, I’ve only ever dated one other guy. I chose not to date in high school because, truthfully, I didn’t believe I, or the guys around me, were ready to date. In my high school years, God taught my a really important truth about purity and dating that shaped the way I chose to approach any relationship with a guy.
That truth is found in Ephesians 5:25-33
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[g] her with the washing of water by the word. 27 He did this to present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and blameless. 28 In the same way, husbands are to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hates his own flesh but provides and cares for it, just as Christ does for the church, 30 since we are members of His body.
31 For this reason a man will leave
his father and mother
and be joined to his wife,
and the two will become one flesh.
32 This mystery is profound, but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 To sum up, each one of you is to love his wife as himself, and the wife is to respect her husband.
God places a very high standard for marriages to the point that the author of the passage goes as far to say that a man should love his wife just like Christ loved the church (his people). Christ completely emptied Himself of Himself while on earth and ultimately died in the place of His bride (that’s us!) to make her spotless. In the same way, a husband should love His wife so far beyond how he loves himself and this will be reflected in his actions toward her and how he encourages her walk with God.
I believe we as Christians often sell ourselves short in the idea of purity and dating. Purity goes so much deeper than the popular Christian mind set of, “sex is bad until marriage so don’t do it.” That mindset then leaves believers asking the ever so popular question of “how far is too far?” or, better put, how close to the line can I get without crossing it?
1 Peter 1:14-16 says:
“…do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
See, I think many believers don’t quite grasp these two passages in Ephesians and 1 Peter.
Purity is so much deeper than just not being intimate before marriage. Our purity is designed to go hand in hand with the holiness of God and ultimately our future marriages are designed to be the greatest testimony of the sacrificial love of God here on earth. We as women of God, the spotless bride of Christ, are called to be holy as Christ is holy. We are called to a totally different level of living than those around us.
During my high school years when it seemed everyone else around me had someone, I clung onto that truth and instead of dating just for the sake of dating, I kept, and still do keep, my focus on the fact that ultimately marriage is supposed to be a picture of Christ’s love for the church and unless a man was ready to encourage me in holiness and treasure me in a sacrificial way that mirrors the love of Jesus, then he wasn’t for me.
I want to encourage you, wherever you are with the dating scene, to remember your worth. God sees us as a beautiful, spotless bride if we trust in the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, the perfect groom, who, through the ultimate display of love, laid down his life for his treasured bride. No matter what we have or haven’t done nothing can change that in the eyes of God. We are dearly loved and treasured women through the love of Jesus who are called to live holy lives. Whether you choose to date or wait, look for the man who recognizes and treasures this amazing truth about you! You are worth it.
Written by: Kristen Porterfield
Photo Credit: Brittany and Nicholas Liberto