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February Week 2 Dating Update

16 Feb

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I did it!  The eharmony match that I liked the most, Ron, was wrong for me, I realized last week.  So, with great regret but with certainty, I told him au revoir.  I was nice, and so was he, and then he closed the match.  I feel like I passed an important test!  So long Mr. Wrongs of the world!  The other two matches from last week do not seem to be progressing into anything.  Warren, who seemed possible, has stopped emailing altogether.  Newt, the 7th Day Adventist, is playing phone tag with me.  Despite seven days of calling everyday and leaving charming messages and texts, we have not been able to catch each other on the phone.  Seriously.  Could be a sign.  In any case, Round Three of eharmony matches has begun.

On another note, my 13 y.o. niece and I had an interesting exchange. 
Her:  “Auntie, somebody at church told me that in the Bible it says that women are not supposed to look for a husband, but the man is supposed to look for a wife, or something like that.”
Me:  “You’re talking about the scripture that says, “He that finds a wife findeth a good thing…”
Her:  “Yeah, that’s it!  So I don’t think you should be going online looking for a husband.  You should just trust God and wait.” 
Me:   “I know.  I know.”

Which leads me, once again, to wonder if trusting God and online dating are incompatible.  I don’t think so. 

Do I?

Finally, last night I prayed an unusual prayer.  I often complain to God about being single, or mention in passing to God how much I want to be married, or wonder of the Lord if marriage is ever going to happen.  Also, I pray with a girlfriend every week and a part of our prayer time always involves each of us asking God to lead  the other of us into marriage.  What I do not generally do is use my regular prayer time to pray about marriage.  In my regular prayer time I pray about work, or ministry, or my weight, or I pray for others.   Last night, though, I had the thought that I never actually pray about getting married and that maybe I should.  I found myself praying along the lines of “Lord, I want to be married.  But I don’t just want to be married, I want to be a wife.  Lord,  give me the heart of a servant.  Help me to be supportive and loyal.  Change me so that my attitude is yielding and unselfish.”  And so on.  I don’t even know what I prayed.  All I know is that it was definitely different.  Not, “Lord, let me have…,” but “Lord, let me be…”

Wow.  Shifts and changes are happening on the inside it seems.

What about you?  Is this journey through singleness taking you anywhere new?

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Am I A Gold Digger?

2 Oct
THREE LITTLE WORDS
Image by linda yvonne via Flickr

Another thing that I learned this summer in the whirlwind of meeting new men and dating, is how much a man’s means matter to me.  I’ve always considered myself to be egalitarian when it came to a man and his money.  I always thought that women who wanted to marry “on their level” were bourgeois snob types.  I preferred to see past a man’s pocketbook or degree or title and into his character.  How astonishing for me to realize that I, too, am looking for some level of pedigree.  Even worse, I must confess that I have unwittingly set certain numbers in my mind as ideal when it comes to salary levels.  I must also confess that these ideal numbers are quite high.  Quite high.

Does this make me a gold digger? 

Probably if I grew up with a loving father, it would not even occur to me to wonder about a man’s ability to provide for his family.  These kinds of men–family men, responsible men, hardworking men—would be normal for me.  Men who were not in this category would probably not register for me as possible candidates to marry.

It seems to me that this kind of question, “Are you a gold digger?”, ultimately says more about the one who is asking than it does about anyone else.  It says, “I don’t trust women, including you, and I respect and value my money more than I respect and value a relationship with you.”  Maybe I should embrace the moniker.  Maybe I am a gold digger.  But the gold I am seeking is not material, but in the heart.

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Is Purity Relevant For Those Over 35?

15 Sep
lily of the valley

"Lily of the Valley". Image by Jamelah by flickr

Church culture subtly but firmly dictates that the Faithful Single woman comport herself in accordance with a list of commandments:

  1. She will not have sexual intercourse
  2. She will not have sex of any kind
  3. She will not engage in heavy petting
  4. She will not kiss
  5. She will not flirt
  6. She will not be alone with a man in her home or his, or alone at all with a man whom she is courting
  7. She will not live alone but with roommates or, preferably, with her parents
  8. She will not wear apparel that in any way exposes any part of her body between the neck and the calves
  9. She will not watch, read, or listen to any kind of media that depicts nudity or lovemaking or sex
  10. She will not think about anything related in any way to lovemaking or sex, this may or may not include marriage

To be a committed Christian single woman in her 30s or 40s who does not adhere to such a Code of Purity  is to be an anomaly.

And this is where I find myself.  Desiring purity, but not a code of conduct that does not fit the practicalities of my life as an older single.  Homeownership is my goal, not living with my parents.  Deftly navigating my way through a world of men who are comfortable with their masculinity and sexuality is my objective, not isolating myself from this male population.  Being fashionably and attractively attired is my ambition (and professional responsibility), not oblivion to stylishness for the sake of an image of modesty.   I read romance novels sometimes.  I watch and enjoy Sex and the City.  I want to be kissed and touched and held by a man.  I desire marriage desperately.  The Older Christian Single who is singularly devoted to and satisfied by church work is not me.

 Recently, though, I read afresh in the Girl’s Guide to Marrying Well that passage in Ephesians (you know the one): 
There must not be even a hint of sexual immorality among you; and
No immoral or impure person has any inheritance in the kingdom of God; and
Don’t be deceived by empty words, because of such things God’s wrath comes on the disobedient.

Not even a hint of sexual immorality? What am I to make of these words? 

“This passage of God-breathed Holy Scripture,” the Accuser eagerly explains to me, “basically spells out that you are definitely going to Hell.” 

OK, so the Accuser is also a liar.  But what is the truth?  How does God feel about the continuing blemishes to my sexual purity? 

As I pondered these things my mind turned towards the life of David. 

During his lifetime, King David sinned grievously against the Lord’s commandments on many occasions.  Among other misdeeds, he entered the tabernacle, touched and ate the consecrated bread, which was lawful only for the priests, he stole (by conversion) Goliath’s sword, he coveted his neighbor’s wife, he committed adultery with his neighbor’s wife, and he even committed murder.  Yet despite David’s extensive list of transgressions against the Lord’s explicit and express commands, God extols David as a man after His own heart. 

David’s predecessor King Saul, on the other hand, did not violate the law of God in any of these ways.  Yet the Lord rejected King Saul and was grieved by him.

By this I am encouraged that the purity that God seeks is not a purity that can be tallied up and scored at the end of the night.  God is looking for the pure in heart.  Not the perfect in deed.  The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth to show Himself strong in behalf of those whose hearts are blameless toward Him.  2 Chronicles 16:9. 

Yes, purity is relevant.  But for me purity means being real with God about where I am, what I am feeling, what I have done, and what I want to do.  Purity means having a heart that trusts in the unfailing and perfecting love of God.

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Purity? Are We Going There?

1 Sep

I seem to be delaying talking about Purity, the second principle of  marrying well according to Boundless’ Girl’s Guide.  But discuss it we must!

Tomorrow.