The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.
Zephaniah 3:17 ESV
Have you tested the waters of dating?
When I started, I didn’t want any anxiety or fear to lead me to the wrong man. I wanted to stay grounded in God’s love so that I wouldn’t go searching for love in all the wrong places.
In fact, I didn’t want to search for love at all. I wanted to make sure I had love. God’s love, filling my appetite for love.
In other words, I didn’t want to shop hungry.
Have you ever entered a grocery store with your stomach growling? When I do, the loot I come out with rivals that of a french patisserie–fresh croissants, blueberry turnovers, brownie mix, and strawberry bon-bons to boot! But when I’ve settled my stomach with a decent salad or a healthy chicken dinner, none of these foods tempt me.
The dating world has so much temptation to offer a woman in grief, hungry to be filled with love. Unhealthy men are more than eager to fill her temporary needs. And then what? Could they completely repair a heart torn apart by loss?
God is all I need for the contentment and confidence in my heart. As He spoke through His prophet in Zephaniah 3:17, He will “quiet you by his love”. I try to remember that with every individual I get introduced to. Many times someone will seem like a great guy, but deep down I know the Lord’s telling me, not this one. To be able to obey that voice takes a heart sobered by the grounded sense of security only in Him. As tempting as some of the choices are out there, I don’t need to seek completeness from a man. I’m already complete before God, and my reasons to date are only out of my sincere desire for companionship, not out of a need for security.
If you are feeling anxious to find someone, consider perhaps waiting and praying. Learn how to be fulfilled first with your Heavenly Father as your husband. Only when you begin without a hole in your heart for a man can you be successful finding someone who will have a healthy relationship with you.
Here are some other tips for stepping into that dating world…
- Godly Ear – Have someone with Godly wisdom to go to. I started with my pastor and his wife and then chose a girlfriend with strong Christian values to be available for counsel and support. (Proverbs 1:5)
- Friendship First – A solid man will develop a relaxed friendship first. Be wary of the romantic who wants to move too quickly into something exclusive and serious. (Song of Solomon 8:4)
- Commit to Integrity – There is no reason for a man to push for a physical relationship when getting to know a woman. If it works out, you’ll have a lifetime of thrilling moments. A committed man won’t let the waiting get to him. (1 Corinthians 6:18)
- What You See is What You Get – Watch how he behaves in early dates. For example, if you personally detest cursing, don’t think his few slips with profanity on the first date are excusable. (2 Corinthians 6:14-16)
- Accountability – Give the man’s information to a friend so that someone knows where you are and with whom. (James 5:16)
- Relax – Don’t take the process too seriously. Several individuals I’ve met were sweet, wonderful men, but not my type. Some had values or circumstances which didn’t line up with mine. As we mature in life, we get more set in our ways. Children and careers lock us into locations and obligations. Enjoy meeting each new person. When you let the Lord guide both of you, you release each other from hurt feelings and disappointments. (Ephesians 4:31-32)
There is a sister out there struggling with a hole in her heart and wishing for a man to fill it. Would you help her see where she should be going to fill that hole? Please encourage her, Lord, to take a moment with You to lift the burden of her longing so that she does not shop hungry for a man. Fill her completely so that she is confident on her own before diving in with a man. Amen.
Kit Hinkle is an author and speaker. She was one of the original writers of A Widow’s Might in 2008, and after four years with that ministry, expanded it and founded A New Season Ministries, Inc. Once the ministry became established, she turned the leadership over, yet continues to contribute articles while she focuses on her finest career as a home school mother to four teen boys–one of them launched in college. She has lived through corporate careers as a chemical engineer and a management consultant, but now enjoys walks on the beach with her chocolate lab. She loves to sit with another who is walking through her tough road and show that woman Christ. It’s an honor to participate in His kingdom.
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Articles by this author: www.anewseason.net/author/khinkle