When I was a little girl, I dreamt of having a family and kids by 27. That’s the age when my Ma had me, and that’s what I wanted. 27 came and went — no wedding and no kids. I was taught to wait on the Lord, because by delighting myself in God, he will give me the desires of my heart (Psalm 37:4). Well, I’m turning 37 in a few days and God still hasn’t given me the desires of my heart.
Is God’s Word wrong? Am I not delighting in God enough? Did God not know the desires of my heart?
No, no, and no.
But God is not a vending machine…
The problem is with what I was taught: Put in a coin of “delight” into the vending machine, and out pops the “desires of my heart”. But God is not a vending machine. We cannot simply exchange our “something” for another “thing” from God. That’s not how God works; and that’s not how Grace works.
Instead, God wants us to delight in Him, regardless of whatever we are facing in life. And in the world of Christian dating, it looks like this:
- We delight in Him even when blossoming friendships fail to turn into relationships.
- We delight in Him even if everyone else around us is dating or married.
- We delight in Him even when the loneliness and heartache drives us to tears.
Christian dating doesn’t have to feel like conveyor belt sushi
In many ways, dating feels like sushi plates that keep going round the sushi conveyor belt. Some were chosen, while others were snapped up as soon as they came out of the kitchen. But you — you’re making the 100th round around the belt, going strong, yet no longer fresh. And the number of diners dwindles as the closing time approaches. So this is for you, my sisters. You are not a sushi dish on the conveyor belt. You are a daughter of God, beloved and claimed. You have worth. You are enough. You are chosen. 1 Peter 2:9 says so.
Christian dating doesn’t have to feel like we missed out on a sale
The psychology of a “SALE” works like this: make something feel scarce, and people will scramble to get it. If you don’t rush, someone else will get it first, leaving you empty-handed. That’s cause for serious FOMO (or Fear Of Missing Out). In Christian dating, the situation often feels like a sale, because the ratio of women to men in the church is said to be 8:1. After a certain age, the number of eligible bachelors dwindles dramatically. No one talks about eligible bachelorettes, because they are spinsters and stale. To that, I echo the conclusion of the earlier section — Sisters, you are not a sushi dish on the conveyor belt.
So let’s talk about… being FOMO.
Marriage is about doing life together. Practically, that means having similar values and being willing to ride through the storms of life together. It does not look like getting out of the boat yourself to walk to Jesus, while your man runs back to the safety of the boat. Instead, it looks like both of you walking together to Jesus, encouraging each other to keep your eyes on Jesus — or risk sinking. Maybe that’s why Paul warned against being unequally yoked (2 Cor 6:14). Sure, the good times may be fun, but really, it’s about being able to uphold each other in prayers and provide support and care in bad times.
… there is a time and place for everything…Ecclesiastes 3
Sisters, instead of feeling the FOMO rush and pressure of the “SALE” mentality, let us remember that there is a time and place for everything (Ecclesiastes 3). If this is God’s time for us to be single (for whatever reason), it is the right time. Perhaps He wants us to join Him on a certain mission. Perhaps He wants us to learn to trust in Him fully — His time, His ways, His plan. Or perhaps it’s just simply part of God’s personal development plan for us.
So, Sisters, because of who we are in Christ, we can trust in God’s timing and plan, even though it feels like coming out of a sale empty-handed. There is no need to rush and pressure ourselves into “buying” a relationship, let alone one that we dislike the least.
As daughters of God, we have worth. We are beloved, we are claimed. We are enough. We are chosen.
And perhaps… we forgot one thing. God is the supreme sushi master. So Christian dating is perhaps more like an omakase, in which the chef whips up the very best dish from whatever ingredients he has. When the right diner arrives at the right time, God selects a suitable “piece” of sushi that is fresh, and beautiful to the eyes of the diner, a helpmeet who is rooted and grounded in who our triune God is.
That, sisters, is the nature of our good good God.
Disclaimer: The sushi conveyor belt and sales analogies came from a fellow Sister in Christ who is also single. I borrowed the idea, with her permission!