As my friend Lindsey, married and in her thirties, recently remarked, “I’m sure glad I wasn’t much of a Christian when I started dating my husband!
” Whether over coffee in my kitchen or on the hallowed ground of women’s small groups, I hear these murmurs constantly.
However, for me, as the years passed, I wondered if this was true. It seemed that in every other area of life God requires my active participation.
Finding a job, making friends, doing ministry, and going to seminary all required me to take some action. If I did something beyond praying and waiting, did that mean I was taking over for men and sinfully thwarting God’s design for marriage?
You can’t maintain 10 flirty friendships and expect to make space in your heart for one awesome husband or wife.
But you can start somewhere—slowly, and casually—and trust God to lead you into more.
If you’ve maintained boundaries and treated your date with respect, you’ve protected him or her from false and premature intimacy. And when you find him or her, chances are, none of those other guys or gals you’ve casually dated will matter much in the light of your spouse. You can’t have the attention of multiple dates and still be pursuing a God-honoring relationship with one.
He didn’t get necessarily smarter–he got more experienced. Sometimes we all need a little practice with figuring out what we really want–not in terms of our “ideal spouse” but a real flesh-and-blood human.
“Do you think Christian girls make dating too serious? “I need a buffer of at least five dates before I’m thinking of any future at all! What if you completely jettison the idea of finding your husband or wife via dating, at least for the first five dates?
But perhaps like Ruth, God wants you to take some action. In fact, it may require greater faith in God for you to take a risk, be vulnerable and perhaps learn some new skills that will help you better relate to those around you.
Perhaps instead of telling women to simply wait and pray, we need to be teaching women how to be open, friendly, and available, so that men are more encouraged to step out and ask girls out?
What if dating is about getting to know someone and gauging interest, not lifelong compatibility?