On the one hand, you don’t want to get ahead of God. You’ve done that plenty of times before going out on dates with people you barely know, getting all smoochy-kissy-faced and cozy (or worse) on the first date, spending every waking moment talking, texting, and hanging out, planning a future together before you even know each other’s middle names, all the usual stuff. And always with the same results — disappointment, regret, and dashed hopes.
Should you just keep to yourself, hoping God will mysteriously drop Mr./Ms. Right onto your doorstep in some freak encounter. Or maybe He’ll arrange that chance meeting over the banana bin at the grocery store. Reaching for the same bunch at the same, you’ll suddenly look up, your eyes will catch, and you’ll just know (hey, it works in Hollywood, right?). Either way, you tell yourself this time it has to be all God because you’ve made too many mistakes rushing ahead of Him with your own plans before.
On the other hand, what if you miss the boat? In this heroic effort to wait completely on God, the days, months, and maybe years go by while you’ve done everything short of checking yourself in to a monastery. You try to mind your own business, keep your head down, and stay home so you’ll stay out of trouble. But the doorbell never rings, and the produce section never produces. What if there was more you should have done? How do you know for sure?
Before you cruise down the road to enlightenment, check out some reasons why, for you, any date (or mate) at this point in time would be a big mistake.
God has impressed upon you not to get involved with anyone for a (specified or unspecified) reason or length of time
God has instructed you to allow every opportunity for your unmarried ex-spouse to reconcile with you (this is usually the rule, not the exception)
You are not completely healed emotionally from past relationships (including angry, depressed, needy, or bitter)
You are insecure or hoping another person will complete you (emotionally, financially or spiritually) or make you happy
You are not “technically” divorced
You are rebounding from another relationship
You have a history of choosing “losers” and haven’t done anything to figure out why or to stop the cycle
Now we can safely move on to answer the question for the rest of you, to date or not to date?
Isaac & Becky-ultra-radical dating somewhere around 2,000 B.C.: Crack open your bible to Genesis 24 to find some solid clues for solving the dating dilemma. What was good for Isaac and Becky is still good today. Here’s the basic storyline: Isaac was ready to get married (hint) but his dad, Abe, just didn’t jive with the local divas. So, applying his deft computer skills, Abe posted Isaacs’s dating profile on
QualityChristianBabes.com to find a wife for his son. Okay, it wasn’t exactly like that, but he did do the next best thing — he sent one of his trusted workers back to his home country in search of the future bride.
Key Point 1: Isaac and -8:30 P.M. were ready to get married (verse 67). Do you really have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince/princess? If you believe that God has one specific person picked for you to spend your life with (and hopefully you will before this article is over!), what is the point of wasting time, money, energy, emotions, and lip action on the wrong person? W-A-S-T-E is the understatement, and until you’re ready to get married, I suggest you do more K.I.S.S. — ing (keeping it simple stud) — don’t complicate your life with the wrong thing at the wrong time. Trying out as many romantic options as possible to make sure you land on the right one doesn’t make you more ready or more sure — it makes you more used up.
Key Point 2:
The future wife (and husband)-to-be had to be a believer (verse 4). No ifs, ands, or buts; Abe wasn’t going to even give his son the temptation of settling for an unbelieving mate. It was all or nothing because, just like others found out along the way, unbelieving spouses lead their counterparts away from God or make life miserable. Aside from all the problems of marrying an unbeliever (or uncommitted professing believer), the biggest future problem to overcome is this: A spouse who doesn’t love God with their whole fully committed heart can’t love their mate with God’s love. That means their love will be human, selfish, conditional, and potentially temporary.
The person God has selected for you will love you with God’s love and will work at being selfless, unconditional, and God will continually put His unfailing love in his/her heart for you so it won’t give up or stop. That’s a great security!
Key Point 3:
The servant went looking (verse 10). The believers of that time were spread out — it was necessary to search for the right one. It’s not much different today. Truly committed single believers are hard to locate and need to be creative in seeking each other out. Fortunately, we live in some pretty high-tech times with options (watch for article Part II tomorrow).
Still hung up on the “search for” mentality? If you need a job, do you pray about it and then sit home hoping some mega job opportunity will fall in your lap. Like, some big shot employer out there will get wind you need a job and will call with an offer you can’t refuse? In your dreams, dude! God has a part and we have a part. We have to keep our eyes open and be willing to check out the options so God can direct us the ways He wants us to go.
The problem of getting ahead of God in relationships isn’t looking around or making ourselves available, it’s when we force things that aren’t meant to be because we get impatient. Choosing a life mate has to be done very prayerfully and cautiously, ideally with the help of godly counsel in your life, not willfully going ahead with attitudes like, “This one can cook and she doesn’t look too bad either. Good enough. I don’t want to be alone. It’s a go!”
Think of it this way. Men are like keys and women are like locks. There is only one key that fits one lock. When trying to figure out which door your key opens guys, don’t break down the door (gals, if his key doesn’t fit, don’t be looking for a window to sneak him in). If your key doesn’t work (revealed through prayer and patience), someone else owns the key to that lock and you need to try a different door. Don’t force the door open that shouldn’t be opened — you don’t know what’s behind that door! Patiently try the key until you find the right door. Wait on God. Date (see key point #7 for definition) AND Wait — spend searching time around single Christians only. Get to know the other person from a completely objective distance and wait on God.
Copyright © 2006 Julie Ferwerda, Used by permission.
For more great information on how to recognize and wait for God’s best, featuring her own amazing God-orchestrated love story, order Julie’s book, “The Perfect Fit, Piecing Together True Love,” at www.JulieFerwerda.com.