1. It sounds romantic, but is it responsible?
Meeting someone now and feeling that inexplicable and instant chemistry with a no-hassle decision to marry HAS happened to other people, to other couples. Just not to me. Hearing about other people’s stories can make me feel uneasy. Yet, I actually admire how two people can KNOW that they want to spend the rest of their life together within a short period of time.
While that might sound romantic, I learned that it might not be responsible. Proverbs 14:15 reads, “The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going.” God showed me several areas of my life that need cleaning up, straightening out, and even eliminating altogether. He showed me that this is a great time for me to get to all those things that I told myself (and the Lord) that I would tend to when I had the time. Well, now here we are.
Here are a few projects that I can finally take on:
- Eliminating debt and getting a clear, manageable system to kill it for good!
- Developing the habit of saving money and not touching it.
- Advance my fitness goals.
- Cooking beyond just heating up stuff. (sad but true).
- Redecorating my space.
2. If I’m not doing it now, I will not likely do it when I’m in a relationship.
A few of my girlfriends are dating guys they met online or they’re married for a few years and telling me that marriage isn’t “that big of a deal.” I notice that they’re running into the same issues with money mismanagement, insecurity, problems at work as when they were single. I used to think marriage would change me. And I’m sure it will. But if I know there are things about me that can use fine-tuning, I can ask the Lord to help me dump that baggage. If marriage is in His plan for my life, I’d like to go into it knowing I did everything I could to prepare. I Corinthians 14:40 reads, “Let all things be done decently and in order.”
3. Focus on the friendship first.
God blessed me with godly men who have proven themselves to be good friends, to help and to pray for me and my family. The old way of thinking would be for me to suspiciously assess if that guy would fit into my idea of a good partner. But this decision to not date gives automatic relief from that pressure. Instead, I’ve learned how to cultivate genuine friendships with gentlemen who love the Lord and will be supportive without the ulterior motive of seduction. (Some of ya’ll ladies know what I’m talking about). I learned how to trust within safe boundaries and how to laugh without reservation. Proverbs 7:17 tells us, “A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” God has shown me the precious gift and skill of friendship.
4. Don’t panic when I hit 40.
I felt like my goals are going to take a long time. What if I’m not done by the time I’m 40? [panic]. God eased my heart. He will mold and care for me for as long as it takes, as often as it takes. The trap of a timeline can distract me from the important blessings and lessons along the way. Psalm 1:3 has always spoken to me about God’s timing, “And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”
5. I could be wrong.
At month one, I would not have taken this lesson very well. But the Holy Spirit has stepped in so many times to show me the benefits of my being wrong. And how wonderful that I am mistaken most of the time! My sin, my preoccupations, my worry, my past, PTSD, my limitations can cloud my perspective. I’m so thankful that the Lord is faithful in catching me when I jump from my own mistakes.
I can place my confidence in the Lord and His commandments. Psalm 19:7-9 reminds me, “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.” It’s been a blessing to see how God always wins and it’s in unexpected ways that I could not have imagined.
Thank you for sharing this journey and these lessons with me. As this comedy continues, stay tuned to more lessons along the way.
Have you been in season where you purposely didn’t date? Tell me about the lessons you learned.