"Give God the pen and let Him write your love story."
- Dannah Gresh
Dating is very "relevant" today; many teens and young adults feel the necessity to go from one relationship to another, thinking that it will prepare them for marriage and somehow feel any voids they have. But going from one romantic relationship to the other creates instability in our lives. How will this prepare you for marriage - a vow that lasts "till death do you part?" All it does is promote divorce! That is not what we are called to do with our single years.
“The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried…woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband.”
- 1 Corinthians 7:32-34 (ESV)
Our single years are a time for us to grow and mature in our relationship with God, as He prepares us for our future spouse. However, many of us have the idea that our single years should be spent "trying out" different boyfriends/girlfriends to see how we like them. But with each person you enter into that sort of relationship with, part of your heart follows. I love the illustration that Sarah Mally uses in her book, "Before You Meet Prince Charming." She says to imagine that you baked a cake (let's say in the shape of a heart) for someone really special. As you are waiting to give it to him/her someone comes up and asks for a piece. You think to yourself, "It's just one piece, what can it hurt?" So you decide to share some of the cake. Well, a little later another person comes by, asking if he/she could also have a slice of cake. You are a little more reluctant this time, but after some prodding you consent. Again someone else walks up and asks for a piece, and as you can imagine he/she ends up getting it. As piece after piece is taken, you haven't really looked at the cake - until that special person you made it for comes along. When you do look at it, you're horrified: all that is left is a small crumbled and mutated piece. Our hearts will end up like that cake if we aren't careful.
God has already planned who you are going to be married to (if it is His plan for you to marry). Whether you date or not, in the end you're going to end up with the same person. But will he/she be the first one to have you?
"We believe that God has one perfect man already chosen for us; therefore we have no need to worry ourselves in searching for him. When the time is right, we know God will bring us together. In the meantime, we are not hiding in a closet avoiding all males; we are still living our lives, just without the pressure of having to have a boyfriend."
So if you do wait for God to lead you to the right one, how will you know? And how will you know when to go beyond friendship- to date/court? Here is what Joshua Harris says in "I Kissed Dating Goodbye:"
"The Bible doesn’t provide a one-size-fits-all program for moving from friendship to marriage. Our lives are too different, our circumstances too unique, and our God too creative to have only one formula for romance. The various ways in which God brings men and women together, like the unique designs of snowflakes, are never quite the same. But just as a one-of-a-kind snowflake can only form at a specific temperature and precipitation, a God-honoring romance can only form when we follow godly patterns and principles."
God will lead us where we need to be; He will help us grow into a relationship with the person he has chosen for us. But we need to make sure that we are honoring and seeking after Him. Whether you get married or not, God always needs to be the key factor in your life.
"A girl should get so lost in God that a guy has to seek Him to find her!"
- Dannah Gresh
- Dannah Gresh
Marriage is a sacred vow before God, and we are called to treat that vow with love and honor: before and after marriage. So whether you are waiting for Prince Charming or searching for Sleeping Beauty, remember that God has called us to do it in a manner that is honoring to Him.
"No more dating, I'm just waiting.
Like sleeping beauty, my prince will come for me.
No more dating, I'm just waiting.
'Cause God is writing my love story."
- Barlowgirl, Average Girl