Thank you to this precious girl who is allowing me to share her situation. I am sure many other women can relate to this scenario! I am going to give my personal opinions to her about what I believe is a godly way to go in her situation. I am not an expert. I am not a trained psychologist or counselor. I am not infallible. I am not God! I am a wife who has been married for almost 19 years and my desire and prayer is that God might use me to point women towards Christ and obedience to His Word. I pray each of us might be listening carefully to God’s Spirit and seeking Him first and sensitive to what He calls us to do. This topic is certainly open for discussion.
FROM A READER:
Oh, my goodness, you have no idea how useful everything you’ve posted in the last few weeks has been! God has really given you so much wisdom!
So last time I talked to you about how there was a guy I was interested in and I didn’t know if hugging was right (this girl is from a culture where hugging everyone is expected) and how I should allow him to talk more. Well I thought I’d tell you what has happened and hopefully get some thoughts from you on recent events…
Me and Mark (not his real name) go to the same college and we ran into each other there. He offered me a ride home since he was also leaving at the same time and I accepted becase he’s done the same thing in the past, even though my house is double the distance from his house. When we finally get to my house, he asks me if I would like to go get coffee with him and I said ‘Sure!’
This is the first time me and him have done something alone. Well, long story short, we had coffee and then he got lunch for both of us, we sat in a park and talked for about a couple hours about what God’s been doing in our lives and other subjects.
I don’t know if to consider this a date. I’m trying to protect my heart but I’ve been praying about God guiding me in this relationship (friendship or not) for some months. There’s been little hints here and there that he is interested in me as well.
However, I know my feelings and emotions dont have the complete say in this. Also, I don’t want my heart to get too involved with this guy if this is not something that God wants. I want to keep my heart as pure and untouched as possible for the guy that God has for me.
I know we are not supposed to test God or anything but I felt like I needed guidance in this situation as I have in many opportunities so I decided to pray and ask God that if this relationship is in any way His, then that Mark would call me at some point this week, for whatever reason.
I know its a risky thing and I know that my heart leans a certain way but I trust and pray that God will give me peace regardless of what ends up happening and that I will be able to rejoice and praise him and know that He is good and has plans for me.
I would just like to know your thoughts on what happened and my attitude. If you think that in any way I may have crossed the line or not please tell me 🙂 I really appreciate your opinions!
Don’t try to label the time you spend with him. i.e.: “This is a ‘date’ or this was not a ‘date’.” That is my advice. Just enjoy him. Don’t zoom ahead in your mind to the future – next week, next month, next year… Enjoy what he offers you today. Take it slow. Let him lead. Let God lead.
Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well (food, clothing, drink… the necessities of life). Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:33-34
You could get hurt. In a romantic relationship – it will definitely happen. Yes, you can keep your guard up to protect your chastity and not be alone with him too much or allow him a lot of touching, for instance. But you will have to stay vulnerable and open to be able to love. You will be in a position where you could get hurt. You can’t avoid that. Relationships always have risks. Being hurt is the risk – but not ever having love would be a much greater loss than getting hurt would. If you try to protect yourself from pain, you will also protect yourself from emotional/spiritual intimacy. Get comfortable with the idea that your heart may break – but if it does – God can and will use that for your ultimate good and for His glory.
Don’t get marriage in your head right now – or even a serious dating relationship. Ask God for wisdom. If you see the fruit of the Spirit in his life on a daily basis, this is a great guy to consider and continue being available to.
If God shuts the door, accept that.
If you see his sin nature in control a lot – be very careful!
It doesn’t sound to me like you have crossed the line with Mark. I don’t think it is necessary to test God with asking for a phone call this week. I think that could be dangerous and could easily mislead you.
Trust God. Show Mark that you are interested in him by your smile and excitement to see him. Be responsive to him and accept the invitations he gives you to be in his company. Trust Mark to ask you out, to call you first, to decide when/if this is a “dating” relationship. Be open to the possibility of other guys, too. Right now – just relax. Focus on today. Enjoy what God has done for you today. Don’t run ahead of God and don’t run ahead of Mark.
Spend lots of time with God. Don’t become obsessed with this guy or any guy. Don’t allow him to mean more to you than Jesus. Enjoy him when you are with him. Keep doing stuff with your friends, too.
2ND EMAIL FROM THE READER:
Everything you said sounds so true. I have a tendency to be a long term planner with almost everything and I really need to work on it.
I’m trying to fill up my schedule with stuff so I don’t have too much time in my hands to let my mind go wild and think too much about him..
Luckily, Mark is a leader at church and he shows more Christlike behavior than most guys my age. But I do know what you mean about how important it is to be careful and watch out for his attitude and what his life transmits.
Almost all women want to rush ahead to the next stage of the relationship or to marriage. We want “security” and “solid answers” and “the exact direction this relationship is headed.” That is not how God works! And that is not how men work!
But the thing that makes relationships and romance an adventure is the very fact that what happens next is unknown and that there are delightful surprises around the corner. Sometimes there are painful surprises. That is part of life. Focus on the moment and on abiding in Christ. Live in today. That is the only time we have – today. We would all be well to focus on today and to honor God today and to trust Him to lead us tomorrow.