Months ago I prayed to God to block the entrance of any man who wasn’t my husband into my life. I was (and still am) seriously done with wasting time in the dating scene. I prayed this prayer soon after my last breakup simply because I was fed up and tired. Exhausted to be completely honest, exhausted of falling for someone only to realize years into the relationship after I had played wifey, after the cheating, the lies, the games and the fleeting dreams of marriage and a family together that we were never meant to be. I was tired of trying to make it work with someone who hadn’t even saw value in me to make me his wife. Tired of running into men who although they say they want to do things the God way we still somehow end up in fornication. I went through this process three times during my adult life and although it may not be a lot for some, that was more than enough for me. Granted throughout the years I was no angel in relationships although I never physically cheated I kept ‘friends’ that I knew were interested in me around, I consented to fornication with my boyfriends, feared putting all my eggs into one basket and played the little petty games that many do when dating and ultimately lost. I suppose I grew most tired of just that, losing, always coming to the end of a relationships feeling as if I had lost a piece of me that I could never get back yet again. It’s exasperating, frustrating and most of all painful, but in my case necessary for me to reach the point where I gave the heartache, the pain and the confusion to God and focused on Him.
In the past if I broke up with someone it wasn’t long before I found another man to keep me occupied while I nursed the wounds of a broken heart. While we wouldn’t have sex I would allow myself to form an emotional attachment with them or go out just so I wouldn’t think about my ex. Neither of these were the right thing to do, because as I wouldn’t think about the pain or loneliness while I was out having fun but it was always waiting for me at home. I wasn’t fulfilled with these outings and grew to understand that I would never be, because what I wanted was so much more than an empty relationship. Although a couple of the men wanted to take it further and date seriously, something always held me back from progressing. There was no peace in the thought of spending a lifetime with them and if I couldn’t see that then I didn’t want anything more. Ultimately I would find something I didn’t like about them so I could easily keep my distance while still going out and having fun without delving too deeply into feelings even if they had them for me, basically I was led them on, which was so wrong.
Since praying the ‘anti-counterfeit’ prayer and becoming more purposeful in who I choose to spend time with, my dating life has been, shall we say, pretty nonexistent. I have turned down dates by men that I know aren’t for me and old familiar faces have popped up every now and then but I choose to focus on my growth at this point in my life and devote time to having a stable foundation with God while still having a ball doing life. I live my life and try to appreciate living it solo, as there may be a time when I long for the solitude I have now. I am able to travel to different places, have fun with friends, meet new people, become more involved with the church and try to simply enjoy the days as they come. There are moments of loneliness, but I realize they are just moments and the feeling passes when I remember that I am single for a reason. My reason no longer consist of bettering myself for a husband that may or may not ever show up, but becoming the woman God wants me to be, to form a deeper relationship with Him, to grow in faith and to hear His voice so clearly that I have no doubt when He whispers which way I should go. I long for a relationship like that with God and if being unattached is what brings me closer to Him then I would have it know other way.
When you’re dating sometimes the lines between acting as a girlfriend and a wife without a ring can get quite blurry. I’m not speaking exclusively of sex, but also the simple things that as nurturing women we want to do for our significant others. Oftentimes we don’t recognize that we are giving husband privileges to a boyfriend that hasn’t earned them. Although the bible gives us a glimpse of a godly wife, there are no hard and fast rules about biblical girlfriend-hood. I’ve been in a relationship where it seemed the guy wanted me to be his wife in every aspect except the vows, the license and the ring. Amongst other things, he wanted submission and of course sex, but wasn’t quite ready to take that walk down the aisle and I perpetuated it by allowing it to continue. Many times we choose to believe words that hold the promise of a ring instead of believing the actions that ultimately will sell a person out. I’ve learned a few things while in long term relationships (6, 7 and 3 years), so here are five big rewards or acts that in my opinion should be reserved for a husband that actually put a ring on it and not just a promise to do so.
- Sex: This is an obvious but extremely important point. The direction to flee fornication may oftentimes seem more like a punishment than the gift it is. I know from personal experience I cannot have sex with someone without becoming attached because for me there must be a deep connection already woven into the relationship. Unfortunately, through premarital sex I’ve formed unhealthy soul ties in the past with boyfriends because I thought it was okay since we would one day be married. Had I used the wherewithal to wait on God’s best and until marriage to take our relationship to the next level this may not have been an issue and I could have saved myself a lot of heart ache, disappointments and stress.
- Household responsibilities: In my twenties I lived with my boyfriend and found myself playing house every since then, simply because I thought that was the way it was supposed to be. I recently had a guy tell me (yes, tell me) that I would have to make him dinner because he wanted to make sure I could cook. Now, when I want to, I can be a culinary (crockpot) guru, but have grown to a maturity level where proving my cooking skills to some random isn’t in my realm of desires. I am eager however to cook for my husband and ensure that he enjoys every bite. In fact I have begun to cook more at home in an effort to add meals to my repertoire. Things like cooking regular meals, ironing (which I despise anyway, a spray bottle filled with water and a dryer are my best friends), cleaning and other household chores are reserved for my home, if there happens to be a husband in it then he will definitely reap those rewards. If the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, that’s great news, because the only man’s heart I want is my husbands and he is the only one I want to cook (or order) dinner for every night!
- Changing churches: In past serious relationships, the issue has not been that we are unequally yoked concerning being Christian, but that we weren’t attending the same church. I don’t see much purpose in changing my church home until God has spoken to us and we are actually on the road to marriage. I do plan to attend my future husband’s church for counseling reasons and to be of equal accord, it just isn’t necessary while dating. The idea didn’t sit right with me the big one being because I wouldn’t feel comfortable in the case of the relationships demise; and If I based my decision about a church on who I’m dating at the time there’s a possibility that I would be a consistent church hopper. If you are seeking a church home or already attend the same church those are very different circumstances.
- Combining finances: I usually refrain from even discussing specifics about my finances (or his) early on in a relationship including what I make or what I have in savings. Also, I have never been asked, but cosigning (read proverbs) on things or mixing finances would not occur while dating, joint bank accounts are reserved for marriage in my eyes. I do however think it extremely important to discuss how you each spend money, is his style thrifty or frivolous, does he save money regularly, are bills paid on time, is he in debt and vice versa. It’s been noted that many marriages fail due to monetary differences or struggles, knowing these types of things prior to engagement is crucial.
- Submission: Submission is intertwined into many aspects of our lives even if we choose not to see it. As a child you submit to your parents and as an adult to a boss, coach, pastor or another head. The bible tells us that as wives we are also to submit to our husband as unto the Lord. That being said, I have yet to read where it states a girlfriend is to submit to her boyfriend, if you find it let me know! Even though we may practice submission daily as brothers and sisters in Christ, until we have become one under God I would not consider any one I’m dating my headship. As a single woman I submit to God and am still under the umbrella of my earthly and heavenly fathers. I would however, expect him to exhibit leadership qualities and to have respect for the decisions he makes in his own life.
Just my two cents 😊
God Bless and here’s to a purposeFULL life!