“You can’t have my heart unless you get it from the one who owns it.”
Lately, the topic of marriage and God-led relationships have not only been on my heart, but also the topic of many conversations between my friends and I. This conversation is a very interesting one, especially coming from a male and female perspective. I’m not really sure why God decided to give this topic to me, but I’m willing to learn and soak up every inch of information He gives me. After years of several failed situations, or “situationships”-as I call them, I finally realized things weren’t working out because I was trying to find my mate the world’s way. And we all know anything done the world’s way is the quickest way to have your life fall apart. **Side note: situationships are relationships we put ourselves in where things are extremely complicated and we know we shouldn’t be in them because we feel God trying to pull us out, but we are too stubborn to end it.**
When my last situation ended, I sat back one day and evaluated all the things that were wrong during that relationship. Once again, I found myself dealing with another sorta-kinda saved Christian guy who had his morals all mixed up. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not perfect and I’m not looking for someone who is. In Romans 3:23 it says, “for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” I just know I deserve a man who is after God’s own heart, genuinely. No fakes, no lukewarmness, not just someone who can regurgitate scriptures without truly understanding Kingdom living. Just a man that loves God, aspires to be like Him and wants to work for the Kingdom. I realized that I settled just to fill a void that only God, Himself, could fill. I settled for less than God’s best for me all because I was too impatient to wait for the person He created just for me. Visually, it reminded me of a child trying to force a triangle block into a hole only a circle could fit in. I also realized that while I was trying to keep him happy and pleased with me, I made him my idol-pushing my relationship with God aside. I compromised my anointing for something that I knew, from the beginning, wasn’t for me. It was so wrong, but sadly, I wanted it and I stayed in it for far too long. I constantly asked God to show me and give me a clear sign that he was the one. And even though He was giving me every clear signal that I was in a situation I shouldn’t be in, I was trying my hardest to make it work. Sometimes, we are working too hard to hold together the very thing God, Himself, is tearing apart. That relationship was spiritually and physically draining. So much to the point where I knew there had to be more. No matter how hard I tried to pretend, something just didn’t feel right. I had been constantly seeking God to give me a clear indication on whether or not this was something He prepared for me, but I tried my hardest to ignore the dysfunction within the relationship (which should have been a clear indication that it wasn’t for me.)
After the relationship finally ended, I got to the point where I tried to figure out what was wrong with me. I decided that I was going to fix everything that I did to contribute to the relationship failing. Until one day, God stopped me in my tracks. He asked me why I was so adamant on bettering myself for a man instead of asking Him to rid things from me to get closer to Him. He didn’t want me to better myself just to make room for a man in my life, but rather rid my life of all things that didn’t allow me to completely and honestly live for Him. I loved the idea of being in a relationship and perfecting myself more than I loved the idea of being in a more intimate relationship with God. I had my priorities all wrong. I was trying to become a better woman for a man instead of for the one who created man. About two weeks after we broke it off, I remember laying in bed reading a blog by Heather Lindsey entitled, “Happy Birthday to My Ex,” and I remember feeling like God was talking directly to me through her. Here’s an excerpt from that post that really spoke to me:
“I know maybe you hoped that things would work out, but it’s not that you weren’t good enough, it’s that your very purpose and plan that was predesigned before the earth didn’t include that relationship. No matter how many times you replay in your mind what you could have done differently, it wouldn’t have mattered– things happened exactly how they were supposed to happen… Did you know that He allowed that door to be closed in your heart because you thought that you were going in the right direction but He had to show you that there was no profit? He had to show you that YOUR will wasn’t lining up with HIS will. I know it was hard, I know it stung a bit, but it’s time to move on.“
There had to be more and it really was time for me to move on. There was something I was missing and had been missing for so long in my past relationships and in my life. You see, I was the girl who always gave the most in a relationship. Now I know it was because I was looking for the love and security that I longed for from God, in a man. All these years I had been dating… with no purpose- may I add. I had the problem of settling and trying to make guys my Adam. (read Heather Lindsey’s blog “Where Is My Adam?!”)I felt that if I saturated them with my churchiness, they would finally realize that their ways were not working and give their lives to Christ.
Problem #1 with that.. I, alone, don’t have the power to save anyone and make them change their life. Only God can do that.
Problem #2 God said that a man should be the head of the relationship and the man I’m in a relationship with should be leading me closer to Christ, not closer to himself. If He is not lead by Christ and doesn’t know Him the way he should, there’s no way he can lead me closer to someone He is not familiar with.
Problem #3 Getting into that relationship was honestly my problem in the first place. The Bible speaks about how oil and water don’t mix and how those who are followers of Christ should not fellowship with those who are followers of the world. 2 Corinthians 6: 14-15 says, “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever?“
These three issues, if nothing else, should have been clear indications to me that the situation I was about to put myself in didn’t have God or His will anywhere in it.
So let’s get into the definitions and differences of courting and dating.
For one, dating is done through the flesh. When a man is physically attracted to a woman or vice versa, he initiates conversation between them. It’s a man-made “situation” that is a reaction of feelings and emotions. And we all know that people change from day-to-day as well as their feelings and emotions. Often, people date with no destination in sight. They are just “hanging out” and “chilling” to see where things go. Lord knows I have found myself in plenty of these “it’s complicated” kinds of situations where putting a title on the situation was just as hard as launching a rocket into outer space. Guys who operate in the flesh see you from the outer perspective and react based off of how their bodies make them feel… you deserve so much more than that.
Courting, on the other hand, is something that is ordained by God and isn’t done the world’s way. It can go as far as no physical touch, kissing, holding hands, etc. because the main focus is to eventually unite two spiritual people through a covenant by God. Although this may not be true for each couple, the most important thing is to seek God on everything involving the relationship and how He wants it done. When two people are courting, they are connected spiritually and are growing together to glorify God. Courting also has the promise between two people to avoid any sexual temptation. Another important part of why courting works is because it is between two people who are equally yoked, love and honor God and have submitted to doing things His way. They both have the understanding that the purpose of this stage in their relationship is to see if it is in God’s will for them to marry. A dating relationship is usually based only on what the dating couple presently knows about each other. In contrast, a Biblical courtship is based on what God knows about each partner and His plans for their future. The biggest thing for me about courting is that is has purpose.. and not any purpose, it has God’s purpose all up and through it.
Like I said before, courting is a promise to each other and God to resist temptation and experience the blessing of purity within the relationship. When I turned 13, my daddy placed a purity ring on my wedding finger. This ring symbolized my promise to God, myself and my daddy that I would remain sexually pure and chastened until the day that he (my daddy) would remove the ring from my finger and my husband would replace it with my wedding ring. And eight years later, that promise is still the same. 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 says, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God.” My mother always says that because of my faithfulness to God through my purity, He would reward me greatly. I have always been honest with a guy when we were in the “talking stage” that I am a virgin and will remain that way until I get married. And although they respect that in the beginning, there have been many who have tried to test me and see if I really meant what I said. In a courtship, this is an issue that I will not have to worry about because the guy that God sends me will have made the same promise to God for himself. Each day, I ask God to help me be an open and willing vessel for Him to use for the upbuilding of His Kingdom. Because of this, my body does not belong to me and I do not hold the right to give to someone else that which does not even belong to me. And besides that, sex just brings a lot of emotional, messy stuff that I don’t have time for. So until a man receives the blessing from God and my Earthly father, and we are married, we will not have sex until there is a ring on my finger and a covenant made under God. This does not just include sexual intercourse, it also includes any sexual grabbing and touching or any other lustful aggression. That’s just plain out disrespectful and the quickest way to get dismissed. I’m a princess, a daughter of the King. Recognize it and respect it, please.
And that’s why I don’t date. The type of dating with no purpose and no plan is the kind that I don’t have time for. I’ve had my fair share of guys who aren’t ready for what I’m trying to give or aren’t okay with the fact that I won’t let them entertain me along with others. They are inconsistent, have commitment issues, don’t like putting titles on things, aren’t ready to be tied down because they just got out of a bad relationship, and think it’s a must to test drive the car before you buy it… seriously? a car? smh.
When God awakens your Adam and tells him that you are the help-meet that was created just for him, it will be clear. Don’t allow a guy to make you an option. YOUR Adam will recognize YOU with no confusion when God sees fit. I’m the kind of person that needs reciprocity, consistency, stability and security. I need to know what to expect from someone each day and none of that comes from dating the world’s way. When courting, you don’t have to worry about dealing with a fake because anything ordained by God will be so authentic. Don’t think that just because a guy can quote a few scriptures, he’s the one God made for you. Remember, the devil knew The Word, too.
Now understand that I’m not saying this because I’m hurt or I’m bitter but because I finally realized it’s not my job to find a mate for myself. In fact, I think I am now happier than I’ve ever been before because I found my peace in Jesus Christ and not in a temporary relationship with a faulty man. My only assignment in this season is to devote the time I have to be about my Father’s business.
God says in His word that He will give us the desires of our hearts if we delight ourselves in Him. He knows that being a wife, first, and then a mother are a few of the things I want for myself out of this beautiful life that He has given me. But for now, I will be content in the season He has me in.
I’m not sure why God has placed courting, relationships and marriage His way so heavily on my heart lately, but I felt the need to share it with you guys. Whatever it is, I will be still, wait patiently and trust that His timing will bring me what I desire far beyond my wildest dreams.
So if you’ve learned nothing else from this just remember, God has a divine plan for the man or woman He wants you to fall in love with and marry. But He will only allow that to happen if you do things His way, the right way. Focus more on getting your life right with God and falling in love with Him. Make sure your spirit is in right alignment with the Spirit of God so you can tell whether someone is worth your time or not.
1. Court, don’t just haphazardly date. Dating has no purpose and no God in it. 2. Cut off the randoms!! Randoms are just the guys you keep around to get a free meal, have a chance to get all dressed up and cute and have someone to text at night. They serve no other purpose in your life but to keep you busy and distracted. Evaluate the company you keep and if you know a guy is not the Adam God has for you, end it. You’re only making it harder for yourself. They are only crowding the space God has created for you to draw closer to Him.
3. Take the time that God has you in a season of solitude to fully devote to him and work on yourself. I, personally, have been working on becoming a Proverbs 31 woman and displaying the different characteristics displayed in this chapter. My friends and I call it “The P31 Project.” From my studies on this chapter, I learned that its teachings are not necessarily about aspiring to live a life of perfection, but rather a life of purpose. That purpose can only be found in and through Jesus Christ. Listed below are the characteristics of a noble woman as defined in The Bible in Proverbs 31.
Characteristics of a Proverbs 31 Woman:
-virtuous: Proverbs 31:10
-faithfulness: Proverbs 31:11
-reverence: Proverbs 31:12
-goodness: Proverbs 31:12
-strength: Proverbs 31:17
-endurance: Proverbs 31:18
-well-rounded: Proverbs 31:19
-charitable: Proverbs 31:20
-provider: Proverbs 31: 21
-well-dressed: Proverbs 31:22
-wife of a good husband: Proverbs 31:23
-honorable: Proverbs 31:25
-wise: Proverbs 31:26
-kind: Proverbs 31:26
-good mother: Proverbs 31: 27
-praiseworthy: Proverbs 31: 28
-attains/excels: Proverbs 31:29
-fears the Lord: Proverbs 31:30
4. But most of all, just be still. God will reveal the man He wants you to be with when He’s ready. So just live your life for Him until that time comes. Focus more on His will for your life and how you can better serve Him and He will give you the desires of your heart. Jesus gave this instruction with a promise: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33. When you set out to have a growing relationship with Christ, the foundation of all decisions, God will provide all that you need or desire. Including the marriage partner prepared by God just for you.
I love to read so here are some books that I am in the process of reading or have read related to this topic. The main book you should be reading, however, is The Bible!!!!!
Just remember God has a plan. Trust it, live it, enjoy it.
Jesus loves you like crazy!!