- I have the sorriest dating record you can imagine
- My only experiences have been negative
- I am under the age of 25
- I am fiercely independent most of the time
However, I have been allowing myself to go there lately in my thoughts, doing what girls typically do (whether they would like to admit it or not) which is monitor the current line-up of eligible bachelors among acquaintances or friends. No matter how I try to direct myself away from this preoccupation, which seems like the past time of a fourteen-year-old, I always find myself in this rut. I call it a rut because many times it feels like quicksand. These are times when I become more self-conscious, and the fears of being a spinster are whirling through my brain at high velocities (remember when I said I was fiercely independent?). What usually pulls me out is a reality check, asking myself questions such as: How do I really feel about this person? Is it simply friendly admiration? Do I find them attractive in some way (looks, charisma, etc.)? Do they love Jesus as much or more than I do? I do this because I have compromised in the past way too many times on simple characteristics in a person that I deem are important. However, this is not a post about creating a list, no sir. I chucked my list in which painted the portrait of an ideal man imagined by a lonely teenager, and left only the things I knew of for sure that were essential to any relationship and allowing God to fill in the blanks for the rest as I go through life. Instead, I would like to talk about a simple idea I have learned that must be the main vein of any potential, or result from a blossoming relationship. The thought popped in my head when thinking of a loved one:
I would go to this person right now if they called, no questions. I would do anything for this person.
I finally understood why people uproot their own lives, plans, comforts to shack up with another person in holy matrimony. Not only the longing to be by their side doing stuff, but the utter joy that comes from doing stuff for them. This is loving this person by sacrificing personal time and energy to expel it graciously on to this single person. This is a lot coming from an introvert who cherishes solitude!
This seems simple and redundant but if you have been dating someone for awhile, or you are thinking of taking a dive into a relationship with a long-time friend, and you cannot answer this question of: Would I go to them now, anywhere if they called? or Would I do anything for this person? Then, I don’t see how that relationship and marriage would work. This is the crux of any successful and godly marriage.
By anything, I certainly don’t mean anything that is exploitative, demeaning or abusive. For many, it is easy to cross that line into unhealthy territory and codependency. This is a sacrificial love in which ones own desires and wants are secondary compared to your significant other. This does not mean giving up your self-respect for another’s ego or selfishness. Of course in a healthy relationship this giving love and time should go both ways.
This was just a short post that popped into my head as I was trying to go to sleep earlier than normal, now I am here an hour later. I hope that this thought could be of aid to any of your out there in a similar situation!
Now, here is some Josh Garrels to take us all to slumber land…