This morning I read a very interesting article on Relevant Magazine… “5 Christianese Relationship Cliches to Stop Using”(http://www.relevantmagazine.com/life/relationships/5-christianese-relationship-cliches-stop-using)… I found it interesting because I have said each one and while this article is full of great advice, each of these “Cliches” were very valid and relevant for that particular season of life. They were in no way an excuse for fear as the article suggests. As a single mother of 3 very susceptible children, I must take extra precaution when it comes to dating… In addition, as a woman who has gotten it wrong so many times… I am devoted to following scripture in order to get it right. So allow me to discuss “4 Sayings to Live By As A Single Parent Dating”… Yeah, the original article had 5 but I completely agree with one of them!
“I’m Guarding My Heart” – Proverbs 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
This invaluable nugget of wisdom has rescued me from detrimental relationships. So often as women we give so much more of ourselves then the commitment calls for. One day I am living my life, enjoying every moment then out of nowhere, James appears. James is handsome, serves in the same ministry as I do, is an amazing father and seems to love God passionately… “Could this be you Lord” lol… Without guarding my heart, I open myself up to this man… talking about life and dreams, sharing my deepest secrets, encouraging his dreams and hopes, talking about what our futures together would look like… then I find myself desiring this man… all without ever receiving a commitment from him that he is invested in pursuing anything more than a friendship with me. When the conversation is finally had, I am left hurt, disappointed and wondering, how in the world did I just get “friend zoned”? The truth is, had I guarded my heart, I would not have opened myself up so freely to someone who had not pursued me. I gave the best parts of me away to someone who had never shown interest in receiving them… hoping that he would see the beauty I posses and “fall” for those things. I have learned that when interacting with the opposite sex, I must be on guard… I must use the wisdom that God has given me to protect myself from getting too involved with someone who has not shown a sincere desire for me.
“I’m Just Waiting On God” – Psalm 27:14 Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!
First let me say that I completely agree with the commentary on this statement in the article… But, this is not something that should be eradicated from our speech, especially as a woman expecting her husband. Waiting on God for anything in life does not mean to passively sit by and allow life to slip away from us. One person equated waiting on God for a spouse to expecting a job but not sending out resumes… This is completely against the amazing examples we have been given in the word of God of women in waiting… Ruth, the woman in Song of Solomon… They were excellent examples of women who waited on God… Ruth was not out searching for her man… She was not hitting up all the local spots where singles hung out, she did not spend time on Christian Mingle.com nor was she running around to all the other women asking them if their husbands had any homeboys… Ruth lived her life fully committed to whatever season she was in. This is how we should “wait on God”… Fully engaged in whatever season we are in, serving God with faithfulness and sincerity. There is a difference between being open to a relationship when it comes, and going out searching for one… Marriage is not a cake walk and I want to be fully prepared to handle all the challenges and obstacles that are going to come my way… So, I will wait on God.
“I Need to Focus More on Dating Jesus” – Isaiah 54:5 The Lord All-Powerful, the Holy God of Israel, rules all the earth. He is your creator and husband, and He will rescue you.
Lets keep it 100… Most of the single parents I know (not all) suck at choosing men. I did not have the luxury of ever seeing how a man was supposed to treat a woman. I grew up seeing women devalued, belittled and taken complete advantage of. How can anyone know what to look for if they have never seen what it is they are looking for. There are several scriptures that reference Christ as the Bridegroom and we are the bride… I am no biblical scholar (not by a long shot) but I do know that every word in the Bible has significant meaning and is not just thrown in there to sound good… “Dating” Jesus (which means to invest real quality time in getting to know Him and becoming intimately personal with Him) is how I learned what to expect and what to give in a healthy relationship. He is my first committed relationship… it is in this relationship that I learn to model all other relationships. In “dating” Jesus, I have also learned my own worth and value. Christ has taught me to expect honor and respect… He has shown me that I deserve love and to be reminded of that love often… He has also taught me grace… all of which are extremely valuable in any relationship. If these are areas of struggle for anyone, then I would highly recommend putting the little black book away and picking up the big black book (or whatever color your bible is lol) and spend quality time, getting to know Christ intimately and learning about yourself in the process… cause that’s what dating really is anyway, right?
“I’m Looking For a Spiritual Leader” – Ephesians 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.
OK, so this one really bothered me… Not because there was anything wrong with the statement but simply because I am extremely analytic and one cannot suggest an error in scriptural interpretation without providing proof. The article stated “spiritual “headship” as defined by Scripture, and spiritual “leadership” are two very different things” but did not provide scriptural proof that this statement is true… Based on my knowledge of leadership and being the head of something… The two go hand in hand. Dating, as a woman of God, must have substance and purpose… I do not believe in dating as the world dates, the end result of dating as a man or woman of God should be marriage. Christ is the leader of the Christian church. We follow His lead, we trust Him and depend on Him. In the same way, it is crucial to have a man that we can trust to lead us towards the direction of Christ. As our men follow Christ, we follow them. It is necessary for every Christian to posses the fruits of the Spirit (Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness and Faithfulness) but when thinking of choosing someone to spend the rest of my life with, he must also know how to lead us through the difficult storms that will come and if he can’t physically lead himself, he must have the ability to be led by the Holy Spirit. Not to mention, I am a Spiritual Leader so I can expect my man to be the same… I’m just sayin lol.
The one I left out is “God Will Open the Door, or Close It if It’s Meant to Be.” I left that out because I agree wholeheartedly with the article… we should stop using this phrase. It is an excuse to continue to make poor choices. God has given us the wisdom needed to navigate life. He has also given us everything we need to open and close doors for ourselves. I too once used this as an excuse to hold onto an unhealthy relationship. If a relationship causes you to sin, lose sleep, sink into depression, pull you away from your intimacy with Christ or go against what you believe to be right then it is time to close that door. Stop waiting for a “sign” from God…. And if you want to open a door… smile and bat your eyes… We open doors by simply turning the knob… If there is a man who has shown interest, smile at him and allow things to happen naturally, all while guarding your heart. ~ DeShawne