How Dating Humbled Me
Godly, socially adept men seem to be extinct, which makes dating hard.
Too many disappointments, let-downs, or occasions of being “ghosted” have left their mark on the masses of Christian women and the general response is despair or cries of, “Where have all the good men gone?” I’ve even done this. I’ve been embittered and hopeless after one too many heartaches. I’ve blamed men for being too cowardly, too selfish, or, in some seasons of my life, too elusive.
Let us grieve, but, friend, we err the moment we allow this disappointment to rob us of our joy of living. So how can a Christian woman be victorious in her dating life, whether or not she remains single?
As I’ve pressed deeper into my walk with Christ, I was convicted that this is one area of my life I’ve been excluding Him. I invite Him into my prayers for my career, my family, my friends’ problems, but praying about dating? Subconsciously, I left Him out of it for years because if I prayed it, then I was acknowledging what I wanted, and I might not get it. But the truth is that He wants to be included in every part of our life (even dating!) and He can handle our disappointment.
I’ve started praying specifically for wisdom and opportunity. While the knights in shining armor haven’t started riding over the horizon in hordes, I feel my heart and my perspective is changing. I’m not bitter anymore. Am I still weary and frustrated sometimes? You betcha. I still wonder where the good men have gone, but my hope isn’t found in whether a guy texts me back or wondering whether a relationship will work out.
2 Corinthians 4:8-10 says,
We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.
Obviously, this verse is not really about singleness. But the truth that our hope is not in our circumstances can be applied to our daily lives (yes, even dating!) as we try to be faithful and remember where to take a stand—not in the moment, or our feelings, but in the Truth.
If you are like me, you have been hurt in the past and it makes you wary and weary. Currently, there is a very pleasant guy who has expressed interest and, at first blush, we have little in common. After one date, I decided to politely end it and even drafted up what I would say on my phone. It was vague, tactful, safe.
I was prompted by the following excuses:
“I don’t think he’s a strong believer because He’s not constantly talking about Jesus like I am.”
“I don’t think I’m the type of girl he’s looking for anyway. I’m too talkative.”
“He’s too into his career right now.”
Let me be clear: if someone is openly rejecting Christ or living a lifestyle that is not in accordance with Scripture and has no interest in changing, don’t date them. However, that is not my situation. Past hurts have hardened me, made me eager to close off relationship potentials before they got off the ground because I wanted control. If I ended it first, if I threw up that barrier, then this was an unhealthy way to remain safe and unaffected.
As Christians, this method of fear is not how we are called to live, thus, this is not how we are called to date. I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that I am just not good at dating. I get uneasy at the thought of having my heart broken again, so I start to find a reason to avoid the very thing I am praying for. But, this humiliation has been so healing for my soul.
When I decided not to cancel the second date, I wasn’t doing it out of the hope that this man is the fulfillment of my dreams. But as I am praying and inviting Christ in, this small silly thing is a step of obedience. I have been humbled and I am acknowledging that I cannot see or control the future, that I trust Him to be there, one step at a time.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7
By surrendering it, I am:
Relieving the pressure I am putting on one guy for one (or two or three!) dates.
Opening my heart to the possibility of an answer to my prayers
Reclaiming the joy of living that is independent of dating
Acknowledging my own limitations that I truly cannot know someone’s heart without getting to know them first!
Moving slowly. I want to move fast because the sooner I get to know a guy, the sooner I can know if he’s going to hurt me or not. Instead, I should remain patient and, tread carefully, but also trust in God’s protection rather than my own ability to quickly read and discern someone’s motives.
Overall, inviting Christ into my dating life has taught me a greater dependency on Him. Whether or not you “date” or court or whatever your approach to romance is, invite Christ in. Ask Him to search and convict you, and then obey. Be expectant! I promise it will be worth it.
Have you invited God into your dating life or current relationship?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
In 2018, Payden earned her B.A. in English from Regent University and is now pursuing her M.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Oklahoma State University. A road trip aficionado, Payden can be found traveling the beautiful U.S. when her nose is not stuck in a textbook. She has a desire to help other women see the freedom and fullness that comes in living a life abandoned to Christ, and wants to spend every waking minute pursuing God's call on her life. You can find her on Instagram at @payd.in.full.