How to find the Love of your life!

Online dating websites seem to be the topic of much discussion today. I’m constantly bombarded with questions asking if I had tried it or will I try it. A Christian colleague recently asked me what did I think about online dating. He was freshly out of a bad relationship and had went back to his old habit of online dating. As I sat there and listened to story after humorous story of stalkers, weirdos, hook-ups, and heartbreaks–not to mention the money he spent for the service–his hope and faith seemed to lie in a few people he knew that had gottten married dating online.

I must say I am taken aback every time a Christian brother or sister goes the route of dating websites. Now they even have so called Christian dating websites. Website Christian Mingle is heavily targeting the Christian market. Makes one wonder if it is really concerned about the single Christian or is it preying on the vulnerability of Christians to push another dating website? A purported 84% of the population consider themselves Christian. Christendom means different things to different people: some are conservative in their beliefs and some are very liberal. What’s more, there are those who claim the title “Christian” but lifestyles are disturbingly contrary.

With such a wide array of different beliefs and attitudes towards Christianity, saints who put themselves in a position of online dating are setting themselves up as plenty of fish in a sea of sharks! Pun intended : ). This is dangerous water to tread as 1 peter 5:8 states “…Your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour ” (NKJV). Sure there are some resulting marriages perhaps, but that’s the minority, not the majority! The question is, how long will they last? Several of my Christian friends and acquaintances have tried online dating. Quite frankly, more than not. And what’s interesting is their stories all seem to correlate with one another–not the happily ever after ending at all.

Take Gina for instance (name changed to protect identity). As Gina and I conversed about online dating her objective was to debunk my partial theory. She proceeded to elaborate anecdotes of men she met and dated online. Emphatically proclaiming a few “good” men wined and dined her, flew her to see them or lavished her with gifts. Shockingly, some were married! She deemed to paint a very glamorous picture of her mail suitors. Gina said she frequently dated lots of men online and was having fun.

Something was telling me that there was more to the stories than she was willing to admit. So I proceeded from a different angle–catching her off guard–delving more into her behavior; what was in fact causing her to date so many men, online or otherwise? That’s when Pandora’s Box opened! The picture was not as pretty as she painted it to be after all.

In our session it was concluded that Gina did not even know what a healthy relationship looked like and freely admitted that the men who gave her those fabulous gifts ALL expected sexual favors in return. When she didn’t comply they all abandoned her. Even the ones she did have sex with eventually left her. After further probing she confessed that it had left her feeling angry and hurt. Furthermore, she realized the root of her problem was loneliness.

By conversation’s end, Gina was soaked in tears. Turns out, God had been trying to get her attention for some time. Ain’t God good! Needless to say, Gina changed her perspective on dating websites and is now on the road to recovery. Hallelujah!

The internet is the devil’s playground. He is particularly on the hunt, hiding behind the computer screen to viciously attack those who live for Christ.

Moreover, as Christians if we desire a mate shouldn’t our first response be to go to God and ask in prayer (Matthew 21:22), then patiently wait on Him? Shouldn’t we put our faith in God opposed to the internet? Surely He can pick a better mate for us than we can for ourselves.

Women are most vulnerable in this area. So many women in the church desire husbands and may feel like they have the career, the house, the car and all they are missing is a husband. Many I know have prayed earnestly for a mate and many are struggling with loneliness. But are you really ready for that divine mate? Are you really ready for God to answer your prayer for a husband/wife right now?

Let’s take a test to find out:
(Simply answer yes or no).

1. Is God priority in your life over your career, money, friends, sports?

2. Do you make it a priority every day to talk to and meditate with God?

3. Do you have a reciprocal relationship with God or do you order demands and requests and expect God to comply?

4. Do you go to God only when you are in trouble or when you need something? Moreover, is God an afterthought?

5. Do you get upset when you feel like God doesn’t answer your prayers– lashing out in anger and temper tantrums? “Why me’s” and “You dont love me’s”?

6. Is your desire for a mate stronger than your desire for a personal, intimate relationship with God?

7. Are you sold out for Christ? Is He truly the Love of your life?

8. Do you desire to be constantly in the presence of God worshiping Him, loving on Him. Meeting with Him in His Sanctuary?

9. Do you talk to Him (prayer) and listen to what He has to say back to you (Bible reading) even though it may not be what you want to hear or do?

10. Do you go to God first when problems arise or do you seek counsel from momma, family, or friends?

If you answered “no” to any one of these questions maybe it’s time to reevaluate your Love walk. The Bible says that we as Christians are the Bride (Rev 19:7-9), so then if we are the bride…Christ is our husband.
If you say you love God then you have a committed, covenant relationship with Him right? Ok, if Christ is your husband, how are you nurturing this relationship? Are you giving God your first fruits? Do you acknowledge and honor God upon waking? Is God the the apple of your eye as He says we are to Him (Zechariah 2:8)?

I’m going to conclude Part 1 here. I felt God had so much to say regarding this subject that while writing it it became quite lengthy. We will recommence with the second part tomorrow.

God is the Resolution

As a new year is beckoning us one can’t help but ponder the challenges, obstacles, twisting and winding roads that have met us. Some are still paralyzed perhaps, by this past year’s events. Maybe you have experienced a personal loss; whether it was the loss of a loved one, career, home or quite simply…hope. You may be tempted to carry into the new year the burdens of yesterday; a quite heavy load that oft times seem impossible to carry. Sometimes even wondering where was God through those sleepless nights and unbearable days.

According to Matthew 28:20 God says “…Lo I am with you always.” He was right there by your side! So I ask you, my brothers and sisters to perhaps think about your situations from a different perspective. Was there a common theme related to the pain, struggle, and hardship you endured this past year? Perhaps there was an area in your life God needed to bring to your attention. Maybe God allowed it to prune, refine, and complete you.

The theme that was a constant challenge in my life this past year was in the area of relationships. It seemed like I was being attacked on every side and in every aspect of my relationships; whether personal, family, or professional. After tirelessly, and frustratingly trying to work things out in my own strength I was humbled to my knees in prayer. God began to show me things about myself that I had not submitted to His will. In each relationship God used the other person to show me a mirror reflection of myself! The traits that I often had problems with in others were some of the same traits God was trying to perfect in me. Wow! And, on the other hand, I also struggled with character traits in others that were the extreme opposite of mine! Nonetheless, I could see how God allowed those situations to make me aware of my own behavior. When I realized the things that I was doing out of habit, stubbornness, or selfishness it was truly a wake up call! It wasn’t comfortable going through that season but I’m glad that I did! I learned a lot from those experiences and am very thankful God showed me what was in my own heart!

So I now ask you to revisit your trials and tests from the previous year. Now that you are looking at them through spiritual glasses, were there trying areas in your life where maybe God was building your character or maturing you spiritually? Spiritual growth often comes in the form of pain. It’s in those tough times that you learn how to depend on God. You strengthen your faith muscle when God delivers you out of trial after trial! Hallelujah! That’s how you get your spiritual wings and begin to fly! The more trials overcome, the closer you are to being free. Let’s go into the new year soaring!

~HaPpy NeW YeAr!

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