I am breaking this entry into several parts. One post will not suffice for an issue as controversial as this.
Let me start this off by saying– I know I can go around the world and back but I can never find the words to describe the overflow of joy in my heart being out of the dating scene (as the world knows it) and knowing that I am in the marriage the Lord has for me. It is only but fitting to dedicate this entry to my husband, Jeff. Happy 6th Anniversary, Mahal! You are God’s greatest gift to me, next to my eternal security in Him. 🙂
For close to a decade now, I have been ministering to a number of young adults with a wide array of relationship issues with the opposite sex. I know I’m not a love guru. I am more than that. I am redeemed by the Lord Himself when He took me out of this scene and allowed me to see the things that He has better in store for me. (Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”) So that merits me to minister to them even as I have been there and as the Lord continually equips me to.
I could pull from my sleeves all the several excuses for my former perspective in dating: like my long running sentiments of having a dysfunctional family of origin, my ultra liberated university I went to for college, the endless drama of the environment convincing people around the globe that we are all needy of a romantic relationship. Everything else. Fact is, these things could be factors, but at the end of the day, it is the choices that I make that defines me. Thus, it is but right to share insights such as this to the dating public and advocate a better way to live life claiming God’s promises along the way.
The dating scene is the ultimate roller coaster ride. You prettify yourself to attract the other, the better foot forward. Hopeful yet clueless of what the future holds for the both of you. But definitely, there is some degree of expectation in your head of what you want. Who doesn’t want the perfect relationship anyway? What’s wrong in the picture is, it all points to our selfish cause. Which is but our tendency. We are selfish beings apart from our Lord. It’s “all about me” syndrome doesn’t just prevail in the dating area but life in general. Whoever has not heard of “survival of the fittest,” “what’s in it for me?” These reflects the sin nature of man.
We all have the tendency to satiate the hunger of our hearts the way we are accustomed to. The factors that I have enumerated may only be a few amongst a probably growing list. The Sacred Romance by Curtis & Eldredge perfectly describes the journey of the heart of man. The enchantment of having a great love is the longing of every person’s heart. That basically drives us to do what we do. We are created with the innate need to be loved and pursued. The richness and the powerful truths shared in this book could really shake one’s view about his existence. Philosophers defines romance as man’s longing for transcendence, a desire to be part of something larger than ourselves.
Passion. Man himself was born to be romanced, loved to the very core. That’s what drives people, young and old towards the dating arena. What we carry with us as we hand over our tickets to that gate is what would matter. I, for the longest time have used Josh Harris’ book “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” in my counseling ministry. As negative and appalling the title of the book may sound to many, the principles embraced by it will not just blow you off but would also encourage the reader who would want that “match” the Lord has for Him to start with. It challenges the readers to delay dating until they are convinced not just in their hearts that the person they are considering and praying for would “no doubt” be the one they will meet at the altar (and not just date for the sake of dating) but also are in fact towards getting married soon. It further promotes “The right thing at the wrong time is the wrong thing.” In a world where the norm is “collect and select,” the new attitude that it advocates can be rather infamous. But that is immaterial. God’s ways are not always the most welcomed pieces of advice, but it does prove to be the most effective. It’s like living under the umbrella of God’s protection, you step out of it, you subject yourself to pain and inconvenience of the rain, which usually turns out to be a storm. In hindsight, to follow the principles shared therein is cost-effective, which the wiser bunch of people gets to enjoy for a lifetime.
Up and coming, practical and logical ways to effective dating– I hope to post as one of the follow up entries to this one.