Just what you need right? Another dating article. More advice on what to do or not do to find "the one." Don't worry I'm right there with you and this is something I've been intentionally thinking through because I know what it's like and I didn't want to offer just another article of advice. While these are just my own thoughts and prayerfully considered words, I wanted to offer hope, truth and wisdom. I don't want to tiptoe around this subject of dating or pacify what's going on in our society of dating, but rather hit it head on to inspire you to fight for what God has for you. We can't keep letting the enemy interfere in our stories. So I hope to offer from my human heart some Godly wisdom.
Something I've come to realize is that we have to be willing to trust God fully with our love story. We don't know who God has for us and our desire to date and find love is natural. However, God knows all aspects of our story and he knows the perfect timing for it to play out. He knows what we need to accomplish while single. He knows when we need a partner to continue kingdom work. He knows that we need someone who's God dreams align with ours so that we can both fulfill the call God has on our lives. There are so many times I thought a guy was right or had a crush on a guy only to later realize there was a reason it wasn't working out. It boiled down to different dreams and God had bigger plans for us both that we couldn't compromise when truly seeking His will.
I'm sure this is something you've heard before, but we have to strive to be whole people first. I don't mean this in the cliche "when your whole, you'll find him" way. This doesn't mean we have to be perfect before we get in a relationship. We just need to keep our focus on God and be willing to get uncomfortable to work on ourselves to become fulfilled by God's love. If we are willing to work out the pain and hurt now, it will be better when find ourselves in a relationship. When someone pushes a button that triggers that old pain, now you will know how to deal with it better. We also have to keep our feelings in check. Feelings are indicators, but should never be drivers. When we let feelings run our lives we get emotionally exhausted. Our feeling of loneliness shouldn't drive us to texting someone we shouldn't or damaging our self esteem, but it should indicate that we aren't being fulfilled in a way that only God can fulfill us. In that moment we need to seek after God to find His love for us. We need to dive into His Word and seek Him in prayer to figure out what's really bothering us deep down. This takes a lot of discipline, but it's worth it.
God doesn't want us to settle and He doesn't want us to be fulfilled by anyone other than Him. He created us for relationship so we naturally desire that love and affection from someone. We have to be willing to recognize when someone else or the desire for someone else has taken God's place. It's subtle and it's deceiving because there's a very real enemy who doesn't want God first in our lives and wants us to think we are okay in our desires (referring back to letting our feelings rule- feelings are okay but them driving isn't). However, if we are feeling frustrated, lonely, depressed, anxious or mad at our situation then that's an indicator that we've gotten off balance. We should be filtering our feelings through the fruits of the spirit and anything opposite of those isn't from God and should alert us that we need to see what God says about how we are feeling.
I know, I know it's really hard and this may sound harsh. But I believe that if you're reading this that God has incredible plans for you and He has so much more planned for your life than you could imagine (Eph. 3:14-21)! If you could see the story He is writing and the person He has for you then you would be okay with how it turns out. But we don't know how it turns out and we have to have faith by trusting that God knows what He is doing in our lives. He wants us to change lives for the kingdom and ultimately win souls for Christ. He knows what you need to learn in order to become the person He created you to be. He knows where we got off balance and the things we need healing from in our lives. He also doesn't want us comparing our story to someone else's because it will steal our joy. We don't know their story or what they went through to get to that moment. There's no secret formula to getting a relationship. You can't follow what someone else did to get the same result. You just have to seek God with all you have and trust his plans.
Trust me I know this all too well. I thought if I just followed what all the married people did when they were dating that I would magically find the right guy. I found several guys, but they weren't the right guy and that's when I began to realize that this is MY story that God is writing not rewriting THEIR story so of course there's no one size fits all. But how great is that? Our God loves us so much that He writes individual stories for every single one of us. If that isn't a testimony of His greatness, then I don't know what is. It's hard enough to write one blog each week, I can't imagine God writing billions of stories every second of every day. When people say the cliche things that singles tend to hear, I know it can be frustrating. I've heard my share of singles advice as well and in the moment it doesn't make it easier and actually makes it feel impossible. But I've realized when I take a step back that there's some truth and good intentions underlying if we're willing to look at it through Gods eyes.
When it gets hard and hurts that's when you need to surround yourself with Godly friends and seek God's love despite how you feel. You need good people around you that will extend God's love and not jump on the "being single is awful" band wagon. I've been on both sides of that because I'm just as guilty as the next for letting my feelings rule and letting the weight of my life situation break me. But I'm writing this now not because I have it perfectly, but because I'm cheering you on from the same side. I'm cheering you on because I see what God is doing in so many lives and the wholeness and healing he is bringing.
So instead of this being another article of cliche things you hear that you must do, I wanted it to be a voice of hope and encouragement to hang in there and to be strong. Be willing to get uncomfortable to find healing from your past. Be willing to find Godly counsel to get wisdom in this season. Be willing to struggle through it and not let feelings drive but rather be indicators to seek God. Be willing to give someone a chance and be willing to break it off if you know it's not aligning with God's plan for your life. Be willing to take a risk and be willing to face the hurt to find healing. I'm praying for you friend and I'm in the same season. Don't worry there's light at the end of the tunnel. God's got this!
Father, I thank you for my season of singleness. Even when I can't see it, I know you have a plan for me and a spouse. I know you can do immeasurably more than I can think, or imagine. I trust your timing and I will actively seek you first. Lord I pray a bold prayer now that if anything is taking your place in my life that you would reveal it to me and help me be brave enough to let it go so you can be first in my life. Help my emotions not to drive but be indicators to turn to you. Help me to be fully fulfilled by you and become a whole person. Thank you for the future spouse you have for me. In your name, Amen.