The Dating Game!
To date or not to date has been a common question. It should be simple, but yet it’s become very complex. There are serial daters and then there are those who simply don’t date. I myself have experienced and witnessed both and the best so far is simply not dating. You may say that sounds crazy, but before you go on a judgmental rant let me explain why.
As a child, I always dreamed of being someone’s bride. Being a wife who would always have someone in their life to love and be loved by. There is nothing wrong with that, but my parents and guardians dropped the ball when they didn’t tell me how to know whose bride I should be. I can say I’ve spent much of my life in my feelings, dating to be nice, and dating to be selfish just hoping that one of the guys would be “The One.” It wasn’t until I had enough counterfeits that I realized, this is not the life God chose for me to live.
The greatest dating advice I've ever received was to ask God to reveal my mate, so I wouldn't be taking or having bits and pieces of my heart and soul taken by those who aren't the one. The recovery process of a broken heart is so draining and sometimes enabling for a person who is constantly being taken advantage of or vice versa. Just imagine how much healthier and happier we would be if we simply asked God yes or no before getting in too deep. It's amazing how we often skip over this and say we need to date numerous people to determine who the one is, but just as God reveals desires, gifts, and plans for our life he will reveal the spouse he has for you if that's a desire that's been planted in your heart.
I think of Isaac and Rebekah. Let’s take a look at the search for Isaac’s bride which ultimately wasn’t a search. In Genesis 24, Abraham asked his servant to go out and find Isaac a bride.
The Lord, the God of heaven, who took me from my father's house and from the land of my kindred, and who spoke to me and swore to me, ‘To your offspring I will give this land,’ he will send his angel before you, and you shall take a wife for my son from there. 8 But if the woman is not willing to follow you, then you will be free from this oath of mine; only you must not take my son back there.” 9 So the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master and swore to him concerning this matter.
10 Then the servant took ten of his master's camels and departed, taking all sorts of choice gifts from his master; and he arose and went toMesopotamia[a] to the city of Nahor. 11 And he made the camels kneel down outside the city by the well of water at the time of evening, the time when women go out to draw water. 12 And he said, “O Lord, God of my master Abraham, please grant me success today and show steadfast love to my master Abraham. 13 Behold, I am standing by the spring of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water. 14 Let the young woman to whom I shall say, ‘Please let down your jar that I may drink,’ and who shall say, ‘Drink, and I will water your camels’—let her be the one whom you have appointed for your servant Isaac. By this[b] I shall know that you have shown steadfast love to my master.”
15 Before he had finished speaking, behold, Rebekah, who was born to Bethuel the son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham's brother, came out with her water jar on her shoulder. 16 The young woman was very attractive in appearance, a maiden[c] whom no man had known. She went down to the spring and filled her jar and came up. 17 Then the servant ran to meet her and said, “Please give me a little water to drink from your jar.” 18 She said, “Drink, my lord.” And she quickly let down her jar upon her hand and gave him a drink. 19 When she had finished giving him a drink, she said, “I will draw water for your camels also, until they have finished drinking.” 20 So she quickly emptied her jar into the trough and ran again to the well to draw water, and she drew for all his camels.
In this excerpt, Abraham has sent his servant to find his son, Isaac, a wife. In verse 7, we see that Abraham first recognized the covenant he had with God and declared God’s promise and believed in God’s faithfulness towards him and his family. He let his servant know that God would go before him and send his angels to assist with identifying Isaac’s wife. What’s even more beautiful about this story is what Abraham’s servant did in verses 12-14. He prayed to God and asked him to reveal Isaac’s wife to him. Verse 15 just solidifies how amazing our God is because he answered the servant before he even finished speaking. Could it be that God just needed the servant to trust and believe in him enough for him to move on his behalf??? We later find that Rebekah ends up being the one God chose for Isaac.
This provides a clear picture of how we don't have to live a trial and error lifestyle. Remember every relationship will prepare you for marriage, so don’t think you have to date in order to know who God envisioned for you. We simply should be like Abraham and his servant. Declare the promise God made, ask for insight, and believe that God is faithful enough to deliver. Just imagine how many failed relationships would have been avoided if we followed these simple steps. Just like we seek God for other things we need to make sure we don’t restrict God by saying, “I can ask about a job decision, but he won’t tell me about my spouse.” Remember every aspect of your life is meant to help you fulfill the purpose God has for your life, that includes your spouse. Your marriage will be a ministry itself and what you and your spouse accomplish individually will only come together to enhance the plan God has for both of your lives. I pray this challenges you to be more intentional about seeking God for EVERYTHING and allowing him to operate freely in every aspect of your life…even when identifying your spouse!
Now I’m sure many of you are wondering whether or not this has worked for me, and I will gladly say Yes! I know who my spouse is, but just like all matters of life there is a preparation season for me and that person, so please don’t think that the revelation of that person means it’s time to run to the altar and exchange vows. Once you receive revelation, allow God to teach you how to pray for that person because once you begin to try to do things on your own, you are trying to take control of what’s meant to be lead by God. Remember God knows his perfect timing and we must trust that he will connect us to our spouse when both individuals are made whole in Christ and ready for each other.