Recently I wrote a post about guarding your heart from the impurities of the world, and keeping our hearts solely in the hands of the Lord.
I believe that our hearts have a major role in romantic relationships with others and that God has called each of us to protect and guard our hearts all throughout our lives. When our hearts are only in His hands, we can trust that He will bring along the right spouse at the right time. Rather than searching ourselves and giving a piece of our hearts away to every guy or girl that comes along, it is so much better to let the Lord be the only Keeper of our hearts and to let Him work out the plans for our lives. That doesn't mean that we shouldn't necessarily "date" and only marry the first person we meet. Yes, maybe the first person we meet is the one that God has planned for us to marry, but there is also a good chance that the first person we meet is not the one for us. Rather, wouldn't it be better if we didn't spend all of our time as singles diving in and out of relationships, but using our time to serve and glorify Jesus Christ?
And if God brings along a person in the midst of a life devoted to Him, something beautiful will happen.
I know with certainty that the words that I'm writing will be considered foreign and strange to many of those who read this. I know that the majority of the world won't agree or follow the ways that I am writing about and that most may never see anything wrong with the modern ways of dating today. I am not writing to condemn you, to place any kind of guilt on your heart, or to necessarily say that dating is wrong. I am writing to share some ideas that the Lord has shared with me over the past few years. He began revealing many of these ideas several years ago and then confirmed and furthered along these ideas with a book by Joshua Harris, titled "I Kissed Dating Goodbye". Call me strange, but I am so, so glad that I have decided to not pursue dating during the teenage years and to wait on the one that God has for me in His right timing.
I am writing this post to share some of the ideas that God has given me, in the hopes of encouraging and inspiring others whom He has spoken to as well.
With that being said, I am single and not ready to mingle. Here's why:
1. Above all else, GUARD YOUR HEART, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23
Jesus has my heart. My heart is His, my life is His, and I have given the key to my heart, the wellspring of life, over to Him. Therefore, I have decided that my heart will beat for Jesus and that I won't let it beat for anyone or anything else. When impurities come and knock on the door of my heart, I must learn to stand firm in His love and keep the doors locked. When I guard my heart at all times, I am protecting all of my life, for every little thing I do stems from the condition of my heart. In order to truly love the Lord God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength, I must protect my heart from all of the ways of the world, from any and every impurity that could creep in and clutter my heart. This may mean waiting to have a relationship in order to keep Jesus first. This may mean waiting on the one whom God has entrusted to help me protect my heart, a man who is willing to put Jesus first above everything. When my heart is guarded, I am protected from the impurities that are no doubt a part of many of today's relationships--lust, compromise, selfishness, sexual immorality, the heartbreak of a hard breakup--and I can live life freely for Christ alone. So run after Him. Seek Him only. Ladies, if God provides a man while living in step with Him, and he is willing to only pursue Jesus in order to pursue you, what a joy that would be!
2. TRUST IN THE LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6
Trusting in the Lord's timing may be difficult, but it's all so worth it. As I mentioned above, sometimes waiting for the right one at the right time is necessary in order to completely guard my heart and learn to keep Jesus first in everything. But in order to wait, I must trust that the Lord is working for good and that His timing is best. His ways won't always make sense. His will and ways surpass all understanding. But what I love about the character and ways of God is that they are rooted in His deep, never-ending love. So when He closes a door, He does it because He loves us. When He opens a door, He does it because He loves us. He can open doors that no man can shut and close doors that no man can open. He is good. So let's trust in His timing. Let's submit to Him completely. And by doing so, in the exact right time, when we are ready, we will know when we're prepared for a relationship. We will know when God has brought the right one along. It will be the best time.
3. There is a time for everything, and A SEASON FOR EVERY ACTIVITY under the heavens... Ecclesiastes 3:1
I believe that singleness is a season of life that God desires for me, and every one of us, to embrace. To be single is a wonderful gift that is so often looked down upon in today's society. Sadly, singleness is commonly viewed as a burden, rather than a gift. But for the majority who will marry, singleness will not last forever. It is a season that should not be taken lightly. It is the only time during our lives that we do not have to worry about the problems and stresses that come with marriage. We can use the time to fully focus on Jesus and grow closer to Him. It is a time to serve, to grow and mature, and to prepare to be a godly spouse. Why waste time off and on in relationships during the teenage years when I can be focusing on growing closer to Jesus? Why date for the fun of it when I can be using my time more wisely as I focus on my studies in school, or work, or anything else that God has brought into my life so far? Why not use this time wisely and prepare for the future? I need to learn how to cook a meal. I need to learn how to clean a house, how to drive a car, how to talk to people, and how to prepare to live life as I would in the future. There is no better time to attain these skills, to prepare for the future, and to focus and serve Jesus in the waiting years than now. Singleness is a gift.
4. FLEE THE EVIL DESIRES OF YOUTH and pursue righteousness, faith, love and
peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 2 Timothy 2:22
So as I prepare to be a godly wife and focus on the season that God has me in right now, I want to set aside all the sinful desires of youth. I want to set aside the idea of dating for fun and I want to prepare myself for the day, if it's His Will, for me to walk into a relationship with intention: the intention to marry. Again, that doesn't mean that the first guy I meet will necessarily be the one I marry. Marriage is a lifetime commitment that should not be taken lightly. But rather, I should prepare to go into a relationship with someone who I could see myself marrying. I should have the intention of marrying if God so allows it in the process of the relationship. Once you enter into a relationship, I don't want to be the one to state exactly what you should or should not do, but I believe that it varies from couple to couple. So keep your standards high. Focus on friendships. Don't step outside of the boundaries created. Save intimacy for the God-designed institution of marriage. Learn to mature in your relationship with Christ and love and serve others. Serve with the one God brings to your life. See how they are in their best and in their worst. But seek Jesus first, and as you both continuously focus on Him, everything will fall into place.
I am single and not ready to mingle. As I focus on Jesus and guard my heart from the deadly effects of sin, as I trust in the Lord's timing and prepare in the season of life I'm in now to be the godly woman God has designed for me to be, as I live out relationships for the purpose of commitment rather than intimacy, one day God will reveal the right person under the right time and circumstance. There's no need to take matters into my own hands when His plans contain something so much bigger and so much more lovely than the ideas of romance movie scriptwriters.
Just trust Him.
He is planning something beautiful.