The Perfect Partner: Finding What My Heart's Desires
Rate the Difficulty of Honest Dating:
God Brought Us Together 5 Months After
After so much heart break in bad relationships, I'd finally gave up. I realized that I was no GoOD at picking out a mate for my life. A failed marriage and multiple failed relationships left me torn to pieces and wondering why I couldn't get it right. I was tired of hearing "I love you, but..." I could never understand how love could fail. 1 Corinthians 13:8 say Love never fails. SO why did it keep failing me. My last nightmare left me at rock bottom, so I dedicated myself to studying what the true definition of love really is. My life changed forever! I had fully submitted myself to learning and understanding the truth of God's ways, and before I knew it, God was speaking to me directly. Draw near to the Lord and He will draw near to you... James 4:8. IT WORKS! God began teaching me that He IS the definition of love, and until I knew who He was and how He loved me, I wouldn't be able to personally enact true love in my life. One February evening, I got all nice and comfortable in my bubble bath, and had a nice, long talk with God. I was asking Him what He wanted me to have in a partner, and what kind of partner He wanted me to be. Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself also in the LORD; and he shall give you the desires of your heart. As God began showing me His desires for me... they became my desires! If we are SOOOO wrapped up in God and His will, how could our desires be anything but what God wants for us? I know this may seem really out there for some of you, but below, you will find everything I began writing as I felt Him putting on my heart.
(At the bottom, I will share my testimony of how it actually worked in my life.)
My Husband and I
I'll begin by saying that I was always open to new friendships with those who were totally dependant upon God for everything in their life, and with those who actually understood what a PERSONAL relationship with God is. This was my biggest requirement! If we did not agree on this, all else will not fall into place.
What is God's Desire for Me in Regards to a Partner?
I desire all of the following, and in the following order:
1. A friend
2. A worship & Bible study partner
3. Someone to talk to
4. An activity partner
5. A date
6. A serious relationship
7. A successful COVENANT marriage.
I tend to like to explain myself thoroughly, so please read on and bear with me. If you think I'm a little overboard with the "spirituality thing", that I'm taking it a bit too seriously... I won't apologize because this is who I am. I am, first and foremost, a disciple of Jesus, and I pray that God gives me the strength to continue to be one, publicly, every day. I can honestly say that I'm tired of getting asked out on dates by guys around town, and all they really want to do is go out to eat... and then to a bar. Why does everything "fun" have to consist of alcohol these days? I mean, I don't mind sipping on a glass of wine over dinner, but seriously? There are far more better places to go on a date then a bar where people are stupid drunk, and where discretion becomes an after thought. Also, here's a tip folks, if you ask someone to a bar... you might as well hold up a neon orange sign saying I expect you to have sex with me tonight!!!! (soap box moment) Anyway.... Let me explain further:
1) A Friend
In Job 2:11, 3 of Job's friends heard of his grief and traveled just to mourn with their friend in his time of loss. Job had friends who, while he was completely torn, held his hand and plainly told him, "But as for me, I would seek God, And to God I would commit my cause." Job 6:8. (I know Job's friends really didn't get what God was doing, but they still had the hearts of a true friend.) "A faithful friend is the medicine of life." Ecclesiasticus 6:16. I desire a friend not because we "like" each other, but rather because God loves both of us, and God's 2nd greatest command is to LOVE EACH OTHER. Matthew 22:39 "And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
2) A Worship & Bible Study Partner
I have such a deep and complete, as complete as I can humanly understand, love for my Father, that I desire nothing more than to share the intimate relationship I have with Him with another. To, on a daily basis, share with a special person who loves God as much as I do, everything that our Father has shared with me... and vice versa. I desire to sing out loud with my horrid voice, but know that I have a partner in Christ who is singing just as passionately with all of their heart, and we can make a sweet noise unto the Lord our God. (oh... I just got chills while writing that. LOL!) Acts 2:42 "And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers." I desire a partner in Christ who can help with the "sharpening of my sword". Someone to hold me accountable in my relationship with our Dad, and again... vice versa.
3) Someone to talk to
I am terrible at making "small talk". If we get on a subject that matters... we'll have a great full discussion. But if it's all small talk... you'll probably hear crickets when those awkward silences arise. "Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing." 1 Thessalonians 5:11. I am a writer and a BIG TIME thinker. I ponder on things ALL THE TIME, and would love to bounce ideas and thoughts off of another who understands just how cool our Dad is. I have some non-believer friends who think I am a bit "out there", so it gets a bit discouraging when I want to speak about how amazed of God I am, and they are just like "Oh yeah... well that's nice." To be able to share the amazement I have inside of me, to encourage and be encouraged, and to grow spiritually with another = AWESOMENESS!
4) An Activity Partner
One word... FELLOWSHIP!! I need it, and I want it. I enjoy many things of this life. I do believe it was God's original intention for us to be in perfect harmony with Him, to be in continuous communication and relation with Him, and He made this beautiful world for us to enjoy and be happy in. I love outdoor activities. Most sports (usually rather playing them... not claiming to be very talented, but its fun); tennis, bike riding, roller blading, walking (or just sitting at) the lake front, the zoo, the park, etc. I enjoy indoor activities as well. Board games, Wii with my children, movies, cooking, crafts. I LOVE MUSIC. I listen to it every chance I get. I write it (well, lyrics anyway), I feel it, I live it, and it's one of my favorite way to communicate and worship my Father. All these things, I desire to share with another, and do together. Genesis 2:18 "And the Lord God said, 'It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him." I do believe that we are not meant to go through this life alone. God may not have marriage in His will for everyone, but even still, we humans need like-minded fellowship. 2 Corinthians 6:14 "Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?"
5) A Date
"Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity." 1 Timothy 5:1-2. My heart desires a man who is respectful to, not only others, but to me and my body. I do not want a man who wants me for what my body can offer him. One day my body will change, get old, and looks will wear away. What happens if he doesn't like my body any longer? Will I still be safe with him? I want a man who is so in love with my God and who my God has made me, that he will respect my body, allowing purity to remain. After friendship is established, after we both know where the other stands in their walk/relationship with God, after prayer for God's will and direction, then I would love to begin a journey towards #6. But I don't want to give anyone my body, before it is their's to treasure. And I do desire to be treasured. Love can wait to give, but Lust can't wait to get.
6) A Serious Relationship
This is one I thought about for a while the night it was written. God really showed me where my faults were in the past, and has corrected me and given me a new, positive way of looking at patience. Patience was NEVER my strongest virtue. LOL! If you only knew the old me... Anyway, I'm just going to leave that at that. I've been shown the error of my ways, and am thankful that God has opened my eyes, so that I may learn from my past mistakes so I won't make them again. When I used to hear the term "long term relationship", I used to think it was so stupid. You either love the person or you don't. Well, God helped me see it in a different way last night. If #1-5 above has already been established... you should know the other person pretty well. So what's the point in maintaining a long term relationship before moving into marriage? How about... having enough time to GROW TOGETHER in CHRIST.(I know this is a DUH for some of you... But I'm just now jumping on this train, okay?!!) How cool would it be to do a study of the ENTIRE Bible with a significant other, before taking the step of making a covenant vow. "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that need not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the truth." 2 Timothy 2:15. Sure one or maybe even both parties may understand what a covenant relationship is, they may already be close with God, they may have studied the Bible front to back many times, but... I honestly believe doing it together, sharing something so unbelievably intimate and spiritual, could only lead to a rock solid foundation in Christ for the relationship.
7) A Successful COVENANT Marriage
- Yes, I would like all of the following: someone who makes me laugh (A LOT), brings a smile to my face when just thinking of them, loves my children and cares for their well being, someone who will help me grow them in the Word of God, someone who likes the same kind of music, activities, etc. as I do, someone who likes my family...
BUT WHAT I DESIRE IS: A friend who understands what love really is. Not the Webster Dictonary's definition of love, but rather... God's definition of love. "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" Romans 5:8. In Christ's death, He entered into a marital vow... a covenant, if you will... with all those who accept His proposal. In this marriage I have with my Savior, no matter how many times I have cheated on Him with this world, He welcomes me back with open arms. No matter how many times I have chosen not to listen and made things worse for myself, no matter how much pain I cause Him... He picks me up off my face and holds me until my pain subsides. No matter how selfish I can be, He is patient, kind, and not quick to anger. We sinners beat the skin off of Jesus, someone who had never done a wrong thing in their 33 years of life. Then, we paraded Him through town, laughing and spiting at Him. Nailed Him to a criminal's cross of shame to watch as the life drained from His body, all the while we were spitting, cursing, mocking, and laughing at the very one who in return said, I LOVE YOU and I'M DOING THIS FOR YOU. That's what love is! No matter how stressful a marriage can get, how much the other person may be annoying you, how badly they hurt your feelings, if they cheat on you, if they sin against you, etc... Nothing should end a covenant vow. (There are some cases for separation, but even that is Biblical. It speaks of separating to focus on God and His will, then coming back together before too long.) And if we can't make that kind of commitment going into it, then I won't make it at all. We are to love as Christ loves, and NOTHING will end His covenant vow He made with us for our salvation. So nothing should end a covenant vow two children of God make to each other and to God while standing in front of God Himself. In a human marriage, one strengthened by God Himself, I do believe it is possible to love each other as God loves us, BUT the biggest notation to make is... WE SHOULD NOT LOVE EACH OTHER WITH OUR OWN LOVE, RATHER WE NEED TO LOVE EACH OTHER WITH THE STRENGTH OF GOD'S PERFECT LOVE. We humans are not capable of such love, but with the strength God gives us... He can be our love for us!!!!!! Just so you know where I stand on the matter, love is a VERB. It's an ACTION word... Not a touchy, feely word that has to do with the emotions you feel. The butterflies you get in your stomach, the flutter you feel in your chest....it's NOT love. That is excitement, joy, and happiness. Those are the blessings you receive from taking ACTION and loving someone, or them taking ACTION and loving you. Love is what you DO for the other person... Not how you FEEL about them. Otherwise Jesus wouldn't have commanded us to love our enemies. We can control our actions, but have you ever been able to stop yourself from being sad after someone you cared about died?... Have you really ever been able to live by the phrase "sticks and stone may break my bones, but words will never hurt me"? Yeah right! We can't help what feelings or emotions come naturally. So if Christ demands for us to love... Then love is not a feeling. You can have feelings of love, but they all stem from an action. Please do not be confused with feelings of lust. That is very different.
***Just so we are clear... I HATE DIVORCE. It hurts hearts, it hurts children, it hurts minds, it makes life/finances/future relationships difficult, etc. forever. I even hate having the title of "being divorced". I had always felt like a failure. I USED to think it was a scarlet letter that followed me around, but I do NOW understand that we cannot force the other person in the marriage to do what is right in God's eyes. Also, my Dad will not punish me for something that was not in my control. Even if it were in my control, my God is faithful to forgive and let live. If we humans LOVE like God loves us... with God's love... divorce would never even be a thought to be had.
After writing the above out on paper, I decided to stick to it, and I did. I had been asked out on dates different times, and even by some seemingly decent men. But I knew the timing was not God's will yet, and I knew I was not finished understanding what I needed to know about love yet. I kept on in studying the Bible and in prayer. God became my absolute best friend and soul mate (aka spirit mate). Then a hard trial had come, and my faith was tested. I was tested in a situation with a man that I should not have allowed myself to be in, BUT God rescued me. He threw various Bible verses in my mind, and I quickly got out of that situation. I was angry at myself at first for being foolish enough to place myself there to being with, but then God showed me my triumph. I had been tempted in an area of past failure, but this time I was strong enough and mature enough to SUCCEED. God had actually showed me that I was ready to handle more than I thought I was. It was, then, only 5 days later that I first met the man that God had made me for. I did not even see his face, and my spirit jumped inside of me, knowing that everything had just changed. I passed him by, over heard him speaking to his child, and knew that voice as if it were my own. I don't know how to explain it. It's just something you have to experience. I didn't actually look at him, or even see his face until the next day. We had brought our children to the same summer camp, and were both staying as chaperons. Since I had unknowingly helped his younger children fix their breakfast and sat them next to me (my son was with his children's class), he came over, sat down, and introduced himself to me. As soon as our hands meet, I knew he was the same man I had heard the day before. I knew I was looking at the man that God had intended for my life from the beginning.
God does everything in His own amazing way, and it is always for our own GoOD, whether we understand it or not. I found out that this man, and his 4 children, lived over 500 miles away from me. (How could one possibly be tempted by passion or lust with a 500 mile space in between?) You would think that would be a huge road block, but it was actually a HUGE blessing. This actually forced us to take things slowly. We first got to know each other by texting and emailing often. He just so happened to be going through a church challenge where he needed to find an outside prayer partner. The texting soon turned into weekly phone calls where we would pray together. (SIDEBAR: If ever you really want to get to know what is in someone's heart... pray with them often.) Then he started a book/Bible study with a group, and sent me a copy of the book they were going through. He'd asked if I would do the study as well, and we could discuss it together. So, he soon began calling each morning so we could pray together and study together. If you haven't noticed, God has very naturally just taken care of steps 1-3 without me having to do anything except follow His ways and be patient. This whole process lasted about 4 1/2 months, and I was loving every moment of it. I had never gotten to know someone so deeply, or had ever felt more connected.
Now November was here, and Thanksgiving was coming. I had planned an outreach for Thanksgiving Day, and was praying for God to send me a male helper. I would be coming in contact with people I didn't know, and I was a female and alone. I had church members helping me pray for a fellow Christian man who didn't have anything to do on Thanksgiving Day to be able to come help me. The Monday before Thanksgiving, my wonderful man (who knew nothing about it) called to tell me that he would be in town for Thanksgiving. (He was actually born and raised only 30 from where I was born and raised, and most of his family was still there.) GOD ANSWERS PRAYERS PEOPLE! Not only did God send me a Christian man to help, but He sent me the perfect one. I was so filled with joy. I hadn't seen him since mid-July, and now he was going to be there to help me with an outreach for our God. What a way for God to check off step number 4! While he was in town for the weekend, we had dinner, took a walk along the lake front, and had a couple long talks. We really got to enjoy some time together, getting to know each other even better, doing some work together, activites, fellowship, church service, Thanksgiving dinner at his parents' house, etc. And I will say, this is the best part in my opinion, while he did kiss me... he was such a gentleman and did not expect or even try to push anything further than that. I didn't even know men like that still existed!
From that point on, he would fly in once a month. It soon graduated to being able to visit each other every other week. (Thank GoODness we had connections with the airlines. LOL!) I then brought my kids camping near him, and he and his children were camping at the site next to ours. We allowed our families to meet, and become friends. And everything just went from there. We have been married for a year and a half now, and, even though really tough trials hit us head on, I couldn't be happier. Mainly, because I know that God has entrusted me to a really GoOD man who loves God, and treats me so amazingly well... better than he treats himself, no doubt about it. He is patient, kind, generous, loving, caring, gentle, meek (not weak), hard working, faithful until the end, and I could keep going on and on. BUT the point is: When God knows the GoOD way to do something AND we listen to His advice... the outcome is more than we could ever have even dreamed for ourselves! I have been giving SO MUCH MORE that I deserve in my husband, and I pray that God continues His growth in me, so I can bless my husband the way he blesses me.
To God be all the glory, honor, and praise!