“It’s funny how you think you need something but you really don’t. I mean I remember feeling like if I didn’t have this girl I was going to die. But I am not dead, and I feel fine, and I think half the time when I like some girl I am really looking for some kind of redemption, some kind of feeling that I matter or am valuable or am needed, and I don’t think there is a problem with that, but it just makes you realize how much we use each other sometimes.” – Through Painted Desserts by Donald Miller
I’ve been thinking a lot about dating lately. My thoughts don’t really have anything to do with this quote, it was just one that jumped out at me from the book I am reading. Though I suppose I can definitely relate. My thoughts have been fuelled by a few things:
1. It seems like everyone I know is getting married.
2. I think this is the first time since I was 16 that I have been contentedly single.
3. My friend Mike. He asks a lot of good questions. The last time we hung out we were talking about dating and relationships and he asked me if I thought there was something better for Christians. It has inspired a lot of thoughts and discussion since, and I decided it was time to write down some of those thoughts.
I’ll start by saying I first read Joshua Harris’ book “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” when I was in high school. Clearly not much of it stuck, because I have either been in a relationship or “on the prowl” since I was 16. I actually remember thinking “well that sounds great…but not for me” the first time I read it. But I think I’ve changed my mind.
I think there is something better for Christians. As I was telling Mike, whenever I hear stories of people who say “I felt God telling me to marry him” or however they put it, I am skeptical. I always thought, “there is NO WAY God could be telling them that.” I don’t know if I thought it was because he didn’t care or he didn’t have time, or maybe he just didn’t work that way. But then I took time to listen.
Two years ago I was presented with the possibility of pursuing a relationship but decided to take two weeks to pray about it, since that would be the next time I would see this person. I had never really done that before, but it was amazing how clearly God spoke. Those were definitely two of the best weeks of my life, spiritually. I wish I could say that everything worked out perfectly; unfortunately God was making it very clear that I should NOT pursue the relationship, but once I saw the guy again, all of that went out the window and the emotions quickly took over, which subsequently led to me getting hurt.
This got me thinking: why ask for God’s input when we’re not going to listen anyway? Well, how often do we ask our friends for advice, turn around and do the opposite, and then later come crawling back with the words “you were right, I should have listened to you.” I suppose it’s like anything else, where the baby steps are important, too.
Now I know that God actually DOES care and DOES give input. So next time I will hopefully OBEY. I can’t believe it took me 23 years to figure that out. It seems crazy to me now that I could make such a huge decision without consulting the One who knows the number of hairs on my head, the One who knows the plans for my future: plans of hope!
How dare we think we know better than Him?
It pains me to see people getting hurt when relationships don’t work out. Heartbreak SUCKS. There’s no way that is what God intended for us.