EDITOR'S NOTE: He Said-She Said is a new, monthly column in Crosswalk.com’s Singles channel. Written by two longtime friends and fellow singles, each column will feature a question from a Crosswalk.com reader with responses from a male and female point of view. If you’ve got a question about anything related to singleness, please click here to submit (selected questions will be posted anonymously).
QUESTION: After putting my career on the front burner for the past couple of years, I’ve decided that THIS is the year when I will get married. I don’t know if this is God’s will for my life or not, but I feel like I am ready to find a husband. Is it wrong for me to be proactive in my search? If I join a dating service is that just me “playing God” and trying too hard to make something happen? Or should I just sit back, keep praying and let God bring my soul mate to me? Help! I need some perspective.
HE SAID: It is important to have personal aspirations and a direction for your life. It is just as important, if not more, to first know where you are and ready yourself properly mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually prior to starting on any endeavor.
In the past, you chose to invest your time and energy into your career, and that's great. I don't know if regret for doing so has even entered your mind, but if it has ... don't blame your decision for where you are not today relationally. Instead, be thankful for the experience, the financial gains and the friendships that you have made. Rejoice in those things and bring them positively into the next phase of your life.
That being said, it’s great to have, in no better words, a goal for yourself. But a relationship (and marriage) is not a goal that can be obtained individually. It involves the most unpredictable element possible, another person—and in your case, a man!
“Sitting back” is usually not a good strategy to obtaining any goal in life and it also holds true in this case. It is not “wrong” to be proactive in your search of a relationship per se, depending upon what proactive means to you.
Being single today is very different from being single decades ago. Life is so much faster paced and the demands upon a person are so much greater. However, we also have the opportunity to be connected to many more people than ever before. Utilizing the technology that is available (i.e. online dating, personal Web sites, dating services, e-mails, texting, etc.) is almost imperative these days, but should not be a substitute for “face time.” (I would caution the use of technology too much, as anyone can portray himself as someone he is not and can be thought of as more than he is.)
I cannot stress enough the importance of getting out and making yourself available, whether through technology or through more traditional methods (chance meetings, friend of friend, church, community service, activities, etc.). It is the most important aspect in the pursuit of a relationship.
A guy won’t know you’re available unless you make it known that you are available. There is nothing wrong with “opportune” meetings or assertive conversations, but allow a man to be a man. I understand that men (and I include myself) sometimes don’t take the initiative or pursue a woman in the way that a man should. In such cases, these aren’t the “men” you would want to align yourself with anyway.
A godly Christian single woman deserves the kind of man that the Bible talks about:
- In the image of God (Genesis 1:27)
- In the pursuit of righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness (1Timothy 6:11)
- In God’s will (John 9:31)
“God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure. We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised. When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, saying ‘I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.’ And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised” (Hebrews 6:10-15).
Lift up your desires to the Lord. Let him direct your steps and show you the plans that He has for you. Don’t discount someone just because he doesn’t fit into what you think that you’re looking for. May the Lord give you the desires of your heart as you seek Him and someone to come alongside on your journey.
SHE SAID: Well, girlfriend … I have been there. A few years ago, I felt like it was my “time.” In fact, at different points in my adult life, people have told me that it’s my “time” to get married.
My responses to these various (and well meaning) individuals have been just as varied. Once, because a friend had signed up and was having some success, I quickly decided that I should try out online dating, too. Okay, I actually tried it three times, and it didn’t work for me. What I found in the profiles never matched up with what I met in person. But on the flip side of that, I do know a couple who met online and married within a year. They are two peas in a pod and believe that God led them to try online dating, so that they would meet one another.
I also have read a whole lot of dating advice books that have told me how to get a date with someone, where to look, how to make myself more available, etc. I’m not knocking these resources, because the majority that I read are filled with practical info. But they’re not an “add water and stir” instant remedy to my single situation. And that’s what I was mistakenly looking for when reading through them breathlessly.
The last, concerted “I need to find a husband now!” effort involved me joining a new social group. Someone had questioned: “Who do you hang out with?” As in, “why don’t you have a group of the Friends sitcom type of friends who are your own age and shoe size?" And so I gave it the ol’ college try—I really did. But it just wasn’t right. I didn’t fit in, didn’t find friendships that could deepen and grow and didn't find a "Boaz" type of man (see the book of Ruth). And in hindsight, I think that that was part of God’s plan.
You see, in all of my efforts, God was not leading the charge. I was. I really wasn’t watching and waiting and following His direction. I was making my own path. But every way I tried going was just a dead-end. I finally realized this and found that God was leading me in another way. His way. Which didn’t look anything like anyone else’s way of how to do life as a single person.
Now, all of that is not to say that this is not the year when you will get married. I don’t know what God is saying to you. He could have placed this desire on the front burner in your life. He could be impressing upon you to change your priorities and preparing you to meet your future mate.
Just make sure you wait on the Lord and trust in him. He will show you what He wants you to do. He may have you join a dating service. Or he may have you read a particular book or socialize with a certain group of people. Just make sure that he is the one who is leading you to do these things.
Now, how you will you know that? By spending time with the Lord, so that you may recognize his voice and know him better (John 10:4, Ephesians 1:17). Study the Scriptures and make Proverbs 3:5-6 your daily motto.
In the meantime, fill your life with meaningful activities and uplifting friends. And love and serve the Lord in all that you do. He is more than able to bring that certain someone to you and fit him into your life.
DISCLAIMER: We are not trained psychologists or licensed professionals. We’re just singles like you who understand what it’s like to live the solo life in the 21st century. We believe that the Bible is our go-to guide for answers to all of life’s questions, and it’s where we’ll go for guidance when responding to your questions.
GOT A QUESTION? If you’ve got a question about anything related to singleness, please CLICK HERE to submit (selected questions will be posted anonymously). While we are unable to answer every inquiry, we do hope that He Said-She Said will be an encouragement to you.
HE is … Cliff Young, a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and a veteran single of many decades. He has traveled the world in search of fresh experiences, serving opportunities, and the perfect woman (for him) and has found that his investments in God, career and youth ministry have paid off in priceless dividends.
SHE is … Laura MacCorkle, Crosswalk.com’s Senior Entertainment Editor. While she’s still holding out for Mr. Right, Laura has recently downsized her “perfect” wedding day ideal from high-budget, blow-out extravaganza to inexpensive, beachfront ceremony or informal, backyard barbecue.