a few thoughts on dating

This is us back in the day...aka: when we were dating.

Lately I’ve gotten several questions about dating. How do you know when you find ‘the one’? What is some advice on dating and God-scripted love stories? I can’t tell you exactly the formula that will work for you, but I can share how God led me.

Well, let me take you back to where it all started…

Silently I sat on my bed by the window, clutching my bible and Passion & Purity by Elisabeth Elliot in my arms. “Daughter, I never promised that you would get married.” I heard Him whisper to my heart. After several months I realized that if God was asking for my dream of getting married, then He had a good reason to do so. So I gave that dream to Him – which sounds a lot easier than it really was for me. How do you really put into words what it means to surrender?

The rest of my highschool days pasted without huge struggles about being single. But soon those days were over and I found myself at a small Christian college. It was here that I struggled a lot with the desire for a relationship. Sometimes my heart ached so badly that I thought it would break from loneliness. It was a season of waiting. There were a few guys that I met on mission trips and various events and I’d ask God, “what about him?”

This is where I advise you to be very careful. Our hearts can be very deceitful. I can’t tell you how many times I thought “I could marry them” or “If they asked me, I would date them”. Don’t let your desires skew your thinking. Seek the Lord and He will reveal the right time. Lots of times He said “no” by never allowing me to see my crush again, or I found out they started dating someone else.

I met Jonathan the Spring semester of my sophomore year at a Bible study where he led worship. He had it all – he was tall, dark, ruggedly handsome, funny, outgoing and played guitar. I liked him more than anyone I’d ever met just from that first encounter. Even so, I didn’t pay him much attention the first few weeks. (He later told me that he probably wouldn’t have been as interested in me if I had. He didn’t want someone who just came to a Bible study to meet guys.) The next few months were spent getting to know each other at the Bible study.

How did I know he was ‘it’? Well, the first sign was our similar passions. Pretty early on he asked me where I thought the Lord was leading me in life – I had never met someone whose God-given passions were the same as mine. Exactly! Second, was the way he pursued me. He was careful, respectful and intentional. Some of the first questions he asked me when we started “talking” were about my salvation and views on the Bible (which made a big impression on me). I knew he was serious about me. He wasn’t just playing around with my heart – he told me that I was the kind of girl he prayed God would give him one day.

Once it became clear that it was almost time to move on to dating, we spent 2 weeks apart with no communication in order to seek the Lord. It was an agonizing 2 weeks for me. In my heart, I knew that I already loved him. Even so, I gave all my hopes for this relationship to the Lord. I didn’t hear a “no” this time. I felt at peace with moving on and I knew that Jonathan was a man that I could trust with my heart. Sure, I had a few doubts here and there as we dated, but they were mostly in regards to the real person I found. I knew that I could not change him, so I had to ask myself if these were imperfections I was willing to live with for the rest of my life. Time and time again, I said yes and fell more deeply in love with this wonderful (and yet very human) man.

Was it scary and overwhelming at times? You bet. Still, in those moments I knew that the Lord was leading me. I had no doubt that I had sought His guidance and He had led me to this man. He chose me and I chose him…and we’ve never looked back.

The things of the heart are deep any mysterious. I don’t know where you are or what your past looks like. I can’t tell you anything but to seek the Lord. He knows our hearts and He knows what we need far better than we do. Trust Him, wait for Him. Your heart may break. Your dreams may shatter. Your soul may ache. Mine did. But there is always a purpose. The plans He has are far better than we can ask or think.

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
– 1 Corinthians 2:9
PS: I know I haven't gotten to some of your questions, but I promise the answers are coming. :)