You know the conversation. We've all had it. Sitting on the couch with a fellow gal pal, we bring up the #1 girl topic in girl discussion repertoire. The love life.
"Do you like anyone?"
Maybe your friend blushes as a special guy comes to mind. Maybe she brushes it off, pretending she could care less about dating. Maybe she's a little down over the various boy-related woes that pervade the female world... "I haven't found the right guy." "I don't know if he's the right guy." Or, better yet, "I thought I found the right guy, but..."
A few weeks ago, I was enjoying similar "girl talk" with a friend of mine who responded in a way that took me off guard.
"I don't know if I'm wife material."
Hold up. This came out of the mouth of a gorgeous, smart, kind-hearted, powerful young woman of appropriate age and in perfect mental health. Not wife material??? I was, in short, befuddled.
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"I just don't know if I'm meant to get married. I mean it's not like I don't like the idea. I'm just really content being single right now."
Somehow, the fact that she was not pining over the elusive "Mr. Right" had made my friend question if she was really cut out for the whole marriage thing. She didn't feel "excited enough" about it. My response to her (after reasoning with myself)?
"That is SO healthy."
Wait. What? NOT wanting to get married is healthy? Shock. Horror. Yes, well, please peel your hand away from your gaping mouth and let me explain.
I got married at 19. I was not one of those girls who believed (or acted like) finding a husband was in fact the very meaning of this cosmic journey called "life." Sure, I had my moments. I had crushes and daydreamed like the best of them. I cried (a little) in "P.S. I Love You" and prayed to God for my Mr. Darcy. I was even casually looking for "the one" when I set foot on my private Christian college campus. And I was blessed enough to find him the first week of school. Even moreso, I was blessed that we actually lasted.
Because I wasn't the only one. There were many gals "on the prowl" throughout my journey as a young, eligible, future wife. Some of these girls rushed their way into marriages that failed for reasons I am not privy to (and I therefore do not judge). Some of them are still in the dating scene, mastering the process of elimination. And some of them are still single, waiting, and wondering.
The first set are a cautionary tale. Though my heart breaks for them, they have shown me that sometimes we can want a good thing a little too much. And I have seen time and time again that often, the girls who get "Mr. Right" dropped into their laps are the ones who didn't "need" to find him.
It's okay to date. And it's okay to not date. Some people need to figure out what they're looking for, what's important to them in a mate, and test the waters. There IS a way to do this maturely rather than messily, and I applaud those who discover it. Some have a built in radar that causes them to say "no" at every turn until their "yes" shows up. I applaud these girls as well. I was one of them.
I believe everyone's journey is different, but our heart posture must be the same. Date (or don't) for the right reasons. Guard your heart. Choose wisely, not wistfully. And never EVER let a relationship be the factor on which your happiness hinges. A man should be one of many variables in what makes you tick, and Jesus should be the constant.
Yes, I just took you to Sunday school. Because what is marriage and all that love and fireworks about anyway apart from Him? A lot of people thought I was crazy for getting engaged to a man I had known only 6 months (and I was still a mere "teenager!!!" to top it off). Why didn't I finish school first? How did I know he was the one? Did God really confirm it or was I just rushing into things because I wanted to be married so badly? Could I even hear God??? These (well, most of these) are valid questions, but not for me.
If anything 18 years of being a single hopeless romantic had taught me, it was that I couldn't say "yes" to the wrong guy even if I wanted to. It's like God had anointed me for being undatable. Every crush I had, every spark - fizzled out the moment my affections were returned, until Jacob came along. But I guess I wasn't really undatable. I was just "reserved" for a husband rather than a boyfriend. God has perfect timing and He decided Jacob and I needed to start our journey THEN. We sought Him above all else and in seeking Him, we found each other. I don't think I'm any more special than anyone else for having not dated. That's just the way it worked out for me. But I am thankful.
When it comes to that "wrong-guy-radar," I can simply tell you this:
Your heart is worth something.
Recognize that worth.
And don't let go.
When someone wants in, you have control over how quickly the door opens - or if it opens at all.
But ask yourself, "Is he worth it?"
Know your tendencies.
Know your boundaries.
But take care.
But be patient.
Be happy, no matter what.
Flourish in EVERY season.
Learn to wait and maybe you will forget you are waiting.
Until one day...
The wait is over.
Being married is good. It is beautiful. It is healthy. But so is being single and ENJOYING it. Someday, you will have a man to cuddle, do Netflix marathons with, and cook experimental dishes for (if you're called to get married - I'm not saying it's required). Someday, you'll be all grown up, dealing with grown up things in your grown up world. Someday, you'll find out what kind of "wife material" you are. But for now, just LIVE WELL. Date Jesus. And don't spend your life striving to find love. Let it find you. You're certainly worth finding.
Written by: Anna
“Until Jesus Christ is the obsession of your heart, you’ll always be looking to mere men to meet needs that only HE can fill. Only when you make Jesus Christ your first LOVE, will you ever be ready for a Love Story that reflects HIS GLORY.”
You can’t love someone if you don’t know them.
You can’t love until you know what love is.
You can’t love someone else if you don’t love yourself first.
You can’t love yourself if you don’t know who created you or why you were created.
Every girl longs to be loved, valued, respected and appreciated by the person they are dating. And there is nothing at all wrong with wanting those things, in fact, they are all three very important and even necessary in a relationship. But first, you have to have a relationship with your Heavenly Father, and know how much HE loves you. You cannot have a relationship with someone you don’t know. Relationships are between two people. And they don’t automatically start off with love, it can develop into love. Which is why it’s so important to have a relationship with Our Heavenly Father and with HIS Son, Jesus, before we can try and have a relationship with another human being.
Because we were all created with the desire and need to love and to be loved, and if we don’t know our identity and our self-worth based on what The Lord says about us, then we will seek for it in our relationships, or in other ways trying to find our self-worth and our value based on what people say about us instead of what The Lord says about us. It is vital to have a relationship with The Lord and know that HIS love is the only perfect love, that only HE can fill that place in our hearts that long to be loved.
The Lord created us to have the need and desire to love and be loved, but not until we realize that the kind of love we need and desire can come from having a relationship with HIM. Which means having a relationship with God, Our Father and realizing how much HE loves us and that our self-worth and identity is based on what HE says about us, not anyone else.
Written by: Jackye
“I know I can’t find a Godly guy, but maybe I can find a good guy.”
This was the lie that I told myself for five years. At a very young age, I made so many compromises with my purity. I was desperately looking for love in all the wrong places, and those choices showed in the people who I dated and the continuous bad choices I made. Little by little, I gave pieces of myself away. I gave my mind, I gave my heart, and eventually I gave myself away physically. I felt as if I had nobody to turn to, nowhere to get direction, and my life was out of control.
The church didn’t help much in this department. I had heard countless sermons regarding “purity,” many of which didn’t give biblical messages. There was one sermon I remember so specifically, and it was probably the message that left me the most broken. I was in high school, and a guy on stage held two toothbrushes in the air. One toothbrush was white and clean. He took the other toothbrush and scrubbed the dirty floor, dipped it in murky water, and he left the toothbrush stained. He looked to all of us in the crowd and yelled, “WHAT TOOTHBRUSH DO YOU WANT TO BE? NOBODY WANTS THE DIRTY TOOTHBRUSH.” I’m assuming this was a “scare tactic.” His underlining message was, “Sex before marriage makes you filthy, and nobody wants a used up, dirty person (toothbrush).
I WAS THE DIRTY TOOTHBRUSH.
After his sermon, I decided that to ask God for a man who was pursuing Christ with passion was too much to ask. I would settle for “good,” and that’s exactly what I did. I serial dated “good people,” and it left me void, empty, and feeling as if there had to be something more to relationships. My sophomore of college year was a huge turning point in my spiritual life. I began passionately pursuing the Lord, walking with him, and leaving my past and brokenness behind. I began to be okay with being single, and I decided that “singleness” was better than “setting.” I was getting ready to leave for Kanakuk Christian Kamp in the hills of Missouri when I wrote in my journal, “I would rather walk alone with you Lord than walk with a man and without you.” Three days later, I met a guy named Wheeler Dupree.
That summer, Wheeler and I began writing letters. We were both camp counselors, and while we were leading the kids, the Lord was also working on our own hearts. We got to know each other in such a unique way, but the entire summer, I kept my past hidden from him. I loved that he was getting to know the girl I had become, and I loved that he was clueless about the girl who I used to be. However, in ministry, God was using my past in a huge way. I was able to reach girls who had never been able to open up about their lives or their purity, and God was using the ashes of my past to help cultivate healing, redemption, and new life. I felt God quietly whispering, “You have to tell him. I am going to use this part of your life in others’ lives forever. He has to know.”
It was the end of the summer, and Wheeler and I were on a date on one of our “24 hour breaks.” Something came up in conversation, and the Lord prompted me to be open and honest. I was hesitant as tears rolled down my face, and I told Wheeler about the life I lived before I truly started walking with the Lord. I know now that my fear in wanting a Godly man and my fear in telling Wheeler the truth was because I feared rejection. I feared that a good Godly man would never want the “dirty toothbrush.” I realized my fear covered up God’s truth.
Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
My past did not mean that God’s plans were no longer for me. While he doesn’t desire sin in our lives and he GRIEVES when we fall astray, he doesn’t withhold good from us when we return to him. He doesn’t withhold his plans, because we are flawed.
After I finished telling Wheeler my past, he looked at me and said, “That’s who you were, but it’s not who you are.” Through our dating relationship, Wheeler constantly reminded me of 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, a new creation has come! The old has gone, and the new is here!” I married a man who had waited for me, who remained pure. He treated me as Jesus treats all of us, looking at me with eyes of a new creation rather than the sin of our past. THAT is what God calls all of us to in relationships. We are ALL sinners, and we are ALL flawed in our own ways. We are all burdened with brokenness, weaknesses, and shame, but God’s plan and desire for relationships cover it all!
Today, my heart is thankful and rests assured in his word. 1 Peter 4:8 says, “Above all else, LOVE one another deeply, because LOVE covers a multitude of sins.” My sin didn’t define my life, God’s plans for me, or and it didn’t hinder my husband’s love for me. God’s desire for relationships is for our lives to mirror the gospel, the ultimate forgiveness. He calls us to love with complete GRACE!
Written by: Logan Dupree
Relationships…… the subject allgirls like to talk about. In the 21st century having a relationship or entering into a dating relationship can be hard. There is so much pressure to find the perfect guy for you! It starts when we are young… sometimes we want a boyfriend at the age of 5. A true committed relationship is something many girls long to have and the drama that goes with the relationship is sometimes not worth it. We asked you (our readers) what you currently see your friends or yourself struggling with when it came to dating or relationships. We got a lot of feedback!!! I hear ya girl’s dating and relationships are STRESSFUL!!!! But let’s dive into some of them!
Reader: “How long should I stay talking in my current relationship?”
What the heck is talking? Well in modern day terms it is an undefined dating relationship where two people are seeing if they want to put a label on their already formed relationship. I personally hate the phase “were talking”. I think if you are in a talking stage of your relationship that "talking phase" should only last about a month. I think that if a guy truly wants to pursue a relationship with you he will go above and beyond to make his intentions known. He won’t need a year of “talking” to figure out if he wants to date you or not. I think instead of calling it the "talking phrase" we should also be talking to God about it. We should figure out if this relationship will bring us up or down. What is the purpose of dating this individual? In conclusion, I don’t think a long “talking phase” is beneficial before you put a label on it. If you have to stay in that phase for a long time then that is definitely a red flag.
The God Excuse
Reader: Why do guys make their intentions known and then use God as a reason as a way out of the relationship?
Girls I have wondered this myself. However, God may very well have led them to break up with you, but to use God as a scapegoat is wrong. The truth is there is often times another reason they are breaking up with you. There is more to the statement. It is kind of a nicer way to end things in the eyes of the heart breaker. But as women of God we want what is best for our brothers in Christ and we have to respect their decision to end things with us. Does it hurt? Heck Yes! Is the way the broke up with us right? No, they should be truly honest with us. But the truth is we will never know whether God really told that person or not and so there really is no easy answer except TRUST GOD with the outcome of your heartbreak.
I’ve been Waiting Forever
Reader: I have been waiting on my future mate for a long time. Why is God not sending them to me?
I wish I could answer this for you. The only thing I can really say is that God’s timing is perfect. There is a reason that you are still single. Singleness is not easy. It can really stink to be single. But the Bible says “Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires” Songs of Songs 2:7. Savor this time of waiting. This time of waiting is tough and having people tell you to keep waiting isn’t helpful. I know! I have been there. But if there is one thing I can tell you is make the most out of this time. Truly make God your everything and focus on the calling God has for you. I promise it will help in your waiting season.
Reader: Where are the good guys at?
They are out there!!!!! I know you know this but do not SETTLE for just any guy. This question kind of goes back to the waiting question. It is really all about God’s timing and the people he allows to come into your life. Keep praying, keep waiting and keep looking for the nice Christian guys. They are there.
Girl’s I hope these answers helped you. There really is no easy answer for any question. The only thing I can really honestly say that will satisfy all of the desires of your heart is JESUS! I know this sounds like a “cliché” answer. However, it is the truth! God can only satisfy all the desires and all of the questions in our heart. He is the one who is in control of our lives. We have to trust him and know that he is with us in the “Dating Saga” stage some of you are in!!!
Stay tuned for more blogs in this series!!!!
Written by: Rebeccah
Husband and Wife duo Jordan and Kemper Baugh are some of today’s up and coming fashion and lifestyle bloggers. With a love for God, each other, Life and Style they have created the website joandkemp.com. Weekly the duo post current fashion trends to inspire readers with their own style. With Jordan’s amazing eye for photography and Kemper’s knack for piecing together fabulous outfits, they make up a dynamite team. Worth More Ministries founder, Rebeccah and writer Jackye got to meet up with them in West Monroe, Louisiana and learn more about their life, faith, style and relationship. We wanted to know what they had to say about relationships and some advice they had to share for our readers on the topic of Dating and relationships. So grab a cup of coffee and join us for the interview.
1. How did you guys meet?
Jordan: We met in elementary school at a play but then we had no contact. I was going to college orientation and Kemper was on the orientation staff at ULM.
Kemper: I figured out who’s group he was in and asked him if he was the guy from the play?
Jordan: I said yes I was and I was really attracted to her and knew I wanted to get to know her better.
Kemper: I slid my number over to him and said call me. (Laughing)
Jordan: Then we started dating. That was the summer of 2013 then we married in the summer of 2014.
2. What did you both look for in relationships?
Jo- I was looking for someone who was constantly striving to be Godly and they also had to make me laugh.
Kemper- I was looking for someone who was Godly and able to lead me closer to Christ. Jordan has exceeded all of my expectations
3. What advice would you give young women today who are dating or thinking about dating?
Kemper- Be careful! When I was young I got myself into situations that cost me a part of my heart I wish I would not have given away. At the time I was not aware of the cost it had on my heart. So I encourage girls to really think about who they spend their time with and to be careful with your heart
Jo- Don’t try to fill the void with boys. Make sure that Jesus sustains your heart. If you had no boyfriend at all would you be okay with that. Would Jesus be enough for you?
4. What are challenges you weren’t aware when dating or married you wish you had known?
Jordan- Knowing that it is not about you. You have to constantly think about what you can do to fulfill your spouse’s needs. You also have to keep their love languages in mind as well. Your spouse might love differently than you.
5. What is the best relationship advice you both were given?
Both: We were given so much good advice.
Jordan- I was given the advice women are like Rivers. They are constantly flowing and things that are placed in the river tend to stick longer. Whereas men are like houses they are compartmentalized.
Kemper- I was told by my mom- in- love that men really need respect. Just like we need love. So that was the best advices I was given. The love and respect cycle and how it works was really great to have been told about.
6. How did your faith play a role in your relationship with one another?
Kemper: It plays a huge part. It is everything about our relationship. It is kind of like a triangle the closer you go to God the closer you grow together. That has really been true for our relationship.
7. How did you both start working together?
Jordan- Well it’s really funny actually. So Kemper came to me saying she wanted to start a fashion blog and needed help setting it up. She had a launch date and everything. I had no idea how to start one. However I knew it needed to be legit and professional. I am a researcher so I looked up how to start a blog, what the best website domains are and also how to take professional pictures and what kind of camera we would need.
I actually got everything set up for the launch date and Kemper had her outfits ready to go and that’s how we started working together. We have definitely made adjustments since starting but we are super pleased with how everything turned out.
8. How do you balance working together and your relationship?
We have a cycle and a method. We have to keep blogging separate from our personal time together. We have to set clear boundaries for specific quality time together.
9. What inspires your work?
It’s whatever outfit or adventure we are feeling that day or what we look at shopping that inspires us.
10. What is your next steps for joandkemp,com
Just continue to grow with it and continue to learn. We want to continue to get grow our vision of Style and fashion. But also to spread God’s love through fashion.