For all my single/dating Christian ladies, seeking marriage….
As I was exiting my car today I glanced down and noticed Craig had left his devotional in the passanger seat. I bent over to pick it up and in doing so, notecards started spilling out of the notebook. They hadn’t completely fallen out and when I opened it to fix them, I happened to notice my name on the top card. When reading the card a wave of warmth and ease came over me, and EVERY annoying thing Craig does on an hourly basis completely escaped my mind. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to brag on my husband just a little bit but more so, I hope to ENCOURAGE all of my single/dating friends out there. This post is for my fellow Christian women currently out in the dating world, that one-day desire to be married. I prayed intently while writing this, so here goes nothing.
I know what it’s like to SO desperately crave affection, attention and that somebody to share your days with, on a daily basis. Outside of spending time with the Lord, that human relationship and touch seemed to be all I thought about. Media and society did not help with this either because cute couples are EVERYWHERE, seriously it was so annoying. I felt like such an outsider and in this world if you were single, then there must be something wrong with you. I don’t know how many times people have actually said that to my face. There is NO shame in singleness and in some ways, I really enjoyed that time in my life. I can’t tell you how many hours I spent in the word at night, happily sipping my sleepytime tea. Still, I had that deep longing and ache for connectedness so much, that it drove me into the arms of men that didn’t share my same beliefs or desires. From my experience, dating different types of men is a crucial part in dating process because you never really know what you like or don’t, until you get out there and figure it out. I mean, I have some friends that were high school sweethearts and are STILL happily married, go them. Let’s be real though, this is rare and not how it normally goes.
I wrote a blog post, on my old very embarrassing blog, a few months before I met Craig addressing this same topic. What’s funny about it is, EVERYTHING I wrote a few weeks later I would completely throw out the window. I’ll make sure to paste it below, it’s worth a laugh/read and a serious facepalm on my part. After I wrote that post, I met a guy who made me completely forget my worth, beliefs and morals when I was around him. You know that T-Swift song “Red”, it perfectly explained our “relationship.” (I told Craig explicitly NOT to read this post, we’ll see if he abides.) My ex, was 30 years old, a musician/singer, wildly attractive and a Christian. His bachelor pad was always dim lit with candles or Christmas lights and any date we ever had was never in public. I started noticing right away the number of various women he was pictured with on his Instagram and how much time he spent on the app daily, liking other women’s photos. Seriously, he had trails of women, like that should have been a HUGE RED FLAG for me. When we were apart, these things weren’t really adding up to and it always left me feeling the need to walk away. Although, when we were together again, I enjoyed just being in the moment, the warmth of another person and he took full advantage of that. When I would go to ask him certain deep heart questions he would kiss me with a playful face, trying to get me to stop talking and I would. When I discussed my desire to abstain until marriage, he nodded and about a few hours later was taking off my shirt. He even had a “Christian” tattooed half sleeve on one of his arms and on his bicep was a tattoo of Jesus. As he was attempting to unbutton my pants, Jesus was staring at me right in the face, I KID YOU NOT! He came and went as he pleased, into my life and I had completely forgotten my value in Christ, it was wrapped up entirely in him. I ended things but it wasn’t until I finally met Craig. This was just one of many relationships that I had been in that I was literally destroying my own soul. Even before I accepted Jesus into my heart, I always had a desire for a God fearing man. I knew I wanted kids, I wanted them to be raised in the church and wanted him to be the spiritual head of our home. Somehow, I always seem to forget this part when choosing guys I wanted to date or always thought, maybe they can grow into this man. I CAN CHANGE THEM, I’ll bear my cross and endure it. First, let me acknowledge the immense amount of pride and the false sense of reality with my thought process. We’re ALL sinners in need of a Saviour and I wanted to control the relationship. I felt that they were the broken ones primarily needing fixing, how skewed and completely wrong I was. No wonder they always had terrible outcomes.
Y’all, I cant tell you how long I prayed for Craig, even in the midst of that tornado of a relationship. You know what’s funny? A few months into our relationship I remember thinking, WHY did I pray/want this? lol In my life, I never really had a man constructively call me out on my sin and have me looker deeper at my own heart. It was a hilarious moment, he was discussing my narcissistic behavior on social media and in that moment, I saw red and wanted to punch him dead in the face! How dare he point out my flaws, who does he think he is?! I needed a few hours to process this and calm down but I clearly remember something in my head saying, “this is what you felt you wanted and CLEARLY need.” We complement each other well, on our own individual strengths and weaknesses.
I have a few particular points I’d like to close with, in sharing all of this with you. First, DO NOT SETTLE if you desire to be in a relationship. Seriously, I didn’t even take my own advice in the first post but now having the husband I do, I mean it now more than ever. There are certain things that you should compromise on: music, movies, food preferences, sports teams, recreational activities, possibly losing some friendships, where to spend holidays, daily routines and what church you decide to attend together. There are some crucial things you should NEVER compromise, like your faith and deeeeeeep heart desires that the Lord has clearly placed there. Do NOT let the fear of rejection, steer you away from your desire for marriage. Do NOT let the fear of loneliness, drive you into sexual temptation/sin when you desire to abide in his Word and seek purity. Believe me, Craig and I failed miserably in this area while dating but Craig ALWAYS redirected our path and lead us towards purity. Do NOT let your fear of isolation, push you away from your desire to have a family. I know intentional dating seems ancient and most people freak out if you even mention anything a few steps ahead but it was a blessing for me. Trust me when I say, it’s better to be up-front and honest with your intentions, than to waste months walking on egg-shells figuring out where the person is at, before you decide to open up about these things. Friendships are always the best way to start any relationship, it’s easy to see if you have similar interests without the pressure of dating. Craig and I met online, so we didn’t have that casual luxury. On our first date though, I laid it all out there. I felt so burnt by the douche with the great eyes and tattoos, which was mostly my own fault, I seriously felt I had nothing to lose. I expressed my intentions for dating, my hope for the future, my childhood drama and the redeeming work of Christ in my life. I thought for sure he would run but my openness and willingness to take that leap turned out to be something that drew him closer. My last and final point to this dating/marriage spiel is to remember that your future spouse is not there to complete you. You are complete and made whole by Christ, there is nothing you should want more than to be in relationship, with him. You may or may not find your spouse but know it’s all in HIS plan and HIS timing for your life. We live our life to glorify him, and as hard as it may be to put aside our desires, we just have to trust that he knows what’s best for us! Keep the faith, sister. KEEP YOURSELF BUSY, it’s easy to fixate ourselves on what we want instead of going out to do kingdom work. Serve in the church, join a bible study or community group, help with children’s ministry, join the worship team or volunteer at local shelters. That’s the perfect place to meet wonderful men, occupy those lonely weekend nights and build friendships. I’m in the current waiting period to become a mother, so I FEEL you on this, I’ve had to FORCE myself out in the community. Sad right? IT should be my heart’s desire to go out and serve but I’d rather mope at home because I don’t have a baby, instead. Going to talk a LOT about contentment in my new post and all the Lord is showing me, so look out!
I’d love to tag team with my husband on a post to talk about Christ-centered dating, and our experience, if anyone would be interested! Also, we LOVE mentoring couples in the dating process. We tag-team it, I mentor the woman and he mentors the male and we just walk alongside y’all through life! We all need a little guidance, we’re still mentored and seek counsel often! If you are interested in either one, comment below or shoot me a private message! 🙂
(Here’s the post from a few years back….. That Matt Chandler blurb from his sermon is actually still really great!)
I know that was a lot but thanks for reading. If you have any comments, critique or additional questions, leave them in the comment box!