I remember all too well the dating world, praying and searching for that one person that you would spend forever with. I knew exactly what I wanted my husband to be like; I prayed specifically for those things. In my mind, I had a list of all the characteristics that I wanted him to have. The problem was I didn’t make those things a priority when saying “yes” to a date. It was just a date, right? I mean, I am not going to marry that person! My youth pastor used to always tell me, “Every date is a potential mate.” Oh how I wish I would have had the wisdom then that I do now!
It wasn’t until I was living by myself in Nashville that the Lord spoke to my heart that I needed to go deeper in my walk with Him. What I soon came to realize, is all the while I was just dating to date, Jesus wanted me to put my focus on Him first. We can’t love someone else the way Jesus calls us to, unless we love Him first. It was then that I first dove into the Bible study, Experiencing God. This study was so instrumental in getting me in the Word and deepening my walk with the Lord and helping me fall more in love with Him! It wasn’t until I was twenty-six that I married my precious husband, and he was everything I had prayed for! He loves Jesus more than myself and for that I am so thankful.
My heart is burdened for singles today. Unfortunately, the Bible doesn’t give strict guidelines for dating. There are plenty of scriptures (many more than I have listed here) that talk about the role of the husband Ephesians 5:25, I Peter 3:7 and the role of the wife Genesis 2:18, Ephesians 5:33, Titus 2:4 and 2 Corinthians 6:14 tells us not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers.
Today’s society says anything goes while dating and preparing for marriage. I have seen and heard so many justifications that go against scripture and what it says about marriage.
“Financially, living together is just what works for us.”
“I know he/she is not a believer, but I can change that.”
“Why not, everyone else is _______ ” (you fill in the blank)
This blog is nothing new. It’s not a three step process on how to find a mate. What I hope you see is how Jesus is pursuing you and how He wants to be your first love and that love will overflow onto the person you are to marry.
1. God’s Word
First and foremost, you must know that the Bible is sufficient in leading and guiding you, and there is no area in life in which it has no guidance. This stands true even in dating! The deeper you dig into God’s Word, the easier it will be to enter into a dating relationship with someone with Christ at the center. This is your ammunition; train and study before you hit the battlefield.
All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
2. Wise Council
It’s so important to have people in your life that point you to Jesus. People that can stand from afar and watch as you try to maneuver through life and can breathe life into you. People that can hold you accountable as they see you going down a slippery slope and pull you back up. People you can ask the hard questions to and get the hard, sometimes not wanted answers. People that will pray along with you and seek what the Lord has for you.
Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future. Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.
Unfortunately, today’s society has very few boundaries. “If it feels good, do it! Do what makes you happy! Follow your heart!” Here is a public service announcement...as a Christian, life is not about you and what makes you happy. Boundaries are healthy for us in all areas of our lives. When we set boundaries according to God’s Word before we walk into a situation, we don’t have to make quick decisions on what lines up with scripture. We know immediately where our boundaries lie and that we are not crossing them, because it could be damaging or even deadly on the other side. Ultimately, when you are faithful to the Lord, He promises His best for you Psalm 37:4! Now that may look completely different than what you imagine, but His ways are higher than our ways.
"Keep watching and praying that you may not come into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." Mark 14:38
Just know that the Lord has the perfect plan for your life. Run after Him and make Him your first love! Dig into scripture and read about all the characteristics of a godly husband and pray those things specifically over your future mate. Set your standards high and do not waver from your faith. He is faithful in His timing and in His way. Friend, you are a daughter of the one true King, and I know the waiting is hard, but the beauty on the other side is so worth it!
Laura is a pastor's wife, mom to two crazy fun kids, part-time marketing director, loves hanging out in her community and building relationships...oh and loves to laugh!