I am a 30-something year old, saved, single mom of an amazingly supercharged seven year old boy.
If it sounds weighty, that’s because it is.
I am also in college full time, I have a full time job, work as a part time reporter and I do a little blogging here and there. What little time I have between all of those roles, is spent trying to maintain my sanity (or what’s left of it.)
Needless to say, my social life is pretty much non existent. The last fun thing I did involved Dave and Busters and a bunch of supercharged seven to eight year olds. I haven’t been on a single date since 2012 and my last (meaningful) relationship ended in 2011. It may sound drab but the truth is I have much peace and contentment in this season of my life – in spite of its highs and lows.
Like most single women, I would love to meet the man God created just for me before the foundation of the world, fall in love, have a small intimate destination wedding and make some babies ;). From time to time I get approached by men who all seem dateable (is that even a word) but I truly have no desire to date. To be honest at times I find myself immediately deflecting conversation because I know the “so are you single?” line is coming. (Trust me, my antenna is on point.)
I’d like to say I haven’t been dating because I don’t have time but that wouldn’t be true. While I do have a pretty full schedule from day to day, fact is, if I met someone that sparked my interest, I would make the time. I simply have no desire to – which must be a mighty move of God considering at one point in my life finding a husband was all I ever thought about. You can read more about that lunacy here.
Suffice it to say, I have found much peace in my single season. I have spent many years making a relationship the focus of my life only to come out broken and with nothing to show. Now that I have a solid relationship with God and am walking in my purpose – the urgency for marriage is just not there and I believe it is because in my soul, I am content. Now this doesn’t mean the desire has gone away. It simply means I am OK with or without it.
I understand that though I may have that peace, not many single women do. I am not ignorant or unsympathetic to their frustration because it is a frustration I know all too well. I try to share some insight whenever I can but most times I come under fire from other women who feel convicted or judged by my saying – seek God, find out his will for your life, walk in your purpose and the husband will come. It’s unbelievable the backlash I get from some sisters who think I am telling them to crucify their flesh, don a habit and join the convent.
That said, I recently read an article written by a young columnist (early 20’s) about overcoming dating angst as a Christian woman. She spoke about the fact that, like most of us, she struggled with maintaining her values, yet she felt as though she was missing out on the fun of being single and free.
My initial reaction was “well why do you need to go out on dates to have fun or experience the freedom of your single season? Just have platonic friendships.”
However, upon further reading… and thinking… I decided that that was an unfair judgement. Young 20 something’s generally have an innate desire to explore their new found adulthood and identity while making sense of the world – dating and everything else included. It’s unrealistic to think because they are saved these natural physiological desires and urges do not exist. Besides, it wasn’t so long ago that I too was 20 and curious, so I had to think long and hard about my aversion to dating and whether dating is right, wrong or even necessary.
I can’t count the number of times I have heard and read messages against dating – typically from other Christian women- which are all usually based on the premise that fornication is a sin and we should avoid ungodly soul ties. We are told that we shouldn’t date aimlessly, that in the kingdom the objective is marriage and as such we should court with purpose. And so many of us unsure how to navigate courtship, because who knows for sure how a situation will turn out, just refrain from dating altogether. Add to that the fact that if we are only encouraged to date with marriage as the goal, this sort of places the ball entirely in the man’s court. So we find ourselves just waiting, praying God will just send “the one” along with an unmistakable confirmation that he is the one and so there is no trial and error dating necessary.
But, there are many women who believe in being proactive and they believe that in order to find the one, dating is necessary because God will not just drop a man on their doorstep. We have to work our faith, they say, because faith without works is dead.
And if I am being fair, that’s a valid viewpoint. If we pray to God for a job we must fill out applications and go on interviews. (Although I can testify that God did bring me jobs I never filled out applications or interviewed for). If we are believing God for increase, we must work our talent, increase our value, market ourselves, tithe and learn and apply all the financial principles for success.
So why then would it be different for women who are saved, Spirit lead and desire a husband?
I believe in all areas of life the most crucial spiritual abilities for the saved and spirit lead woman (or man) are wisdom and discernment. We need both in order to navigate life and know the will of God for the specifics of our individual lives. This requires daily prayer and meditation so that at all times we can hear the voice of God and be able to know both what he has planned for us and what he wants us to do.
Many of us try to use the scriptures and think because we can back up our actions with a bible verse, then we are in the will of God. While we should always be guided by the Word of God, the fact is without wisdom and discernment we can misapply a scripture that though it is not biblically wrong, it may not be right for our current season.
For example, one of the major responses I get from women who don’t want to lay their husband desires to rest is: “I want to be married and the bible says it is better to marry than to burn.” And while this is true, consider the fact that maybe it is just not your season and while it is better to marry than to burn, God may have other plans for you at this point in your life so you may need to lay aside the burn for marriage for a while, seek him and get in alignment with his will. Bottom line is there are things we need to know that the bible cannot tell us which is why we need the Holy Spirit. Try all you want you will never find a scripture that will tell you if it’s OK to go out with the fine brother from your church who is interested in you. You will need Holy Spirit guidance for that.
That said, I believe dating should be left up to the individual. What is the Holy Spirit saying to you? Are you seeking God before accepting an invitation for a date or are you accepting then seeking God to know if he is the one? I believe there is no right or wrong way to approach dating. As long as you both are responsible and mature, he is aware of your Christian values and you do not place yourself in the position to be unnecessarily tempted then there shouldn’t be a problem. The rest is up to you.
My personal issue is that at this stage of my life, I have been there – done that. I don’t have time to interrupt my busy life to go on a date with a man I may more than likely have no future with, just for the sake of dating. I am not bored, I don’t need a good time, I have friends and family for that.
Perhaps the young 20-something year old sister with no children may want to just have a good time, come what may. As long as she maintains her values and is realistic about her expectations, I see no harm in that.
But for me personally, I have no time or effort to audition a man and I don’t want him auditioning me. (That’s what I believe dating is but we can debate that next post.) The man I go on a date with must have a direct word from God about me and so will I after he approaches me. This is what I’ve prayed for and this is what I believe God will do.
Besides I’ve already been around that I-need-a-husband mountain. Several times. After seeking God, I am clear on what he wants from me in this season and so I am working on that and trusting him to put everything else in place, husband included.
And who knows when that will be? Could be tomorrow, could be five years from now. Matters not to me. But, until I get that Holy Spirit nudge, I have no time to date. I’m too busy being a 30-something year old, saved, single mom of an amazingly supercharged seven year old boy :).
2 thoughts on “On Dating – Why I Don’t and Why You Should or Shouldn’t”
Totally love this post!! You truly have a gift with words. I think you really capture the struggle of the single Christian woman today, and I think you are very balanced in your approach. Too many times people try to foist their personal conviction from the Lord on other individuals as a ‘one size fits all’. God doesn’t operate like that at all. He is so unique, so omniscient; He knows exactly what each one of us needs and when. The key is to be sure to be in alignment with the directly spelled out word of God (no sex before marriage, etc), and be in tune with the Holy Spirit for personal direction regarding things that are not explicitly outlined in the Bible.
Thanks for a great, thoughtful read!
I would be really interested to know your thoughts on male/female friendships. This is a current area of struggle/working through for me. Romantically, I personally am on the same page as you right now. However, I am interested in developing solid, godly friendships with men; I just find that to be really difficult. I don’t feel like the church does a good job of supporting/encouraging male/female friendships. In fact, I find a lot of Christians tend towards extremes. Any thoughts?
Hi Bobbi, thank you for your kind words and I am glad you were blessed by this post.
Personally I see nothing wrong with male/female friendships as long as they are just that, boundaries are clear and there is no confusion on either part as to the nature of the relationship. However, a lot depends on the reason you want to develop these relationships. For me personally, the only relationships I am interested in building are those that will help me in fulfilling God’s purpose for my life and so I daily ask Him to send me the right people and remove the ones I do not need. Pray and ask God to send the right people in your life, make or female. If he is orchestrating your relationships according to his purpose then you won’t have much to worry about 🙂