To: Anon: I am a very lucky woman who has had the great blessing of marrying the man of my dreams. We have been married for 35 years and I have never been happier. We have raised two children who are happy and healthy and both of them love Jesus!!! I spend quality time with the love of my life every day and I cannot imagine my life without him in it. We enjoyed a wonderful dinner tonight and I am never bored with his conversation. He is my other half. When you marry the man that God intends for you they are a blessing to you. He loves that I have the time to spend here with you all. He isn’t threatened by my work with the Lord. He is blessed by it. I am semi retired from my own company. i just feel blessed by the Lord and I pray that someday you meet someone who blesses me as much as my man has blessed me!!! God bless you!!! :):):):)
Why would it be a sin to have a man to marry and love you? I looked forward to it very much when I was young too!!! I used to dream about the man I would marry. I almost married the completely wrong guy. Thank goodness Jesus was watching over me!!! I ended up with the man that the Lord intended me to have and I must say I have never looked back. We are still very much in love only it deepens with the years. I can go to sleep at night without him by my side. We hold hands and pray silently every single night and when we are done we squeeze each others hand and I never want to be without him. I pray that neither of us die and we go up in the Rapture together. I can’t think of a better way to end our marriage then to both be joined to Jesus at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. God bless you dear one!!! <3
By Jennifer E. Jones
When summer begins, we are suddenly in the thick of wedding season. It’s time for joy, flowers, caterers, something borrowed, and something blue. Do you feel the love?
I guess not. In the midst of all this wedded bliss, you’re just trying to avoid your newly engaged friend and sparing yourself a half-hour conversation about the difference between egg white and winter white.
Maybe it was getting that last wedding invitation of a college friend or browsing through Bed, Bath & Beyond with a gift registry full of expensive silverware. Somehow, you can’t help but feel a little left out.
Let’s be honest. Growing up, you always took for granted you’d be married by now. It didn’t seem like rocket science. Some of your less-coordinated friends have managed to do it. Couldn’t be that hard.
So you got a house, a car, a degree, a job, did some traveling, and built yourself into somebody rather enviable. But one thing today’s singles are finding out is that there is one thing in life you can’t work for, be good enough for, or accomplish through any persistence of your own. You can’t make love happen; it just does.
Or does it?
Today, singles all over the world are kissing fate goodbye and looking for love online.
This is hardly a new phenomenon. Online dating has been around as long as the Web made it possible for two people to communicate. Now, millions log on everyday to search through profiles and photos of total strangers, hoping to find that special someone.
Of course as long as there has been online dating, there has been a stigma attached to it. Ten years ago, had anyone told you, “We met online”, you may have tried to stifle one or possibly all of the following:
- A giggle
- An awkward smile
- A look of shame
It was the equivalent of saying, “I’m desperate, and the ticking of my biological clock keeps me up at night.”
However today, with the bombardment of television ads and word-of-mouth praise, online daters are coming out of the closet. And no one is more into the trend than Christians.
I didn’t believe it until I began researching for this article. I took a random, informal survey of several graduate school students, encouraging them to share their thoughts on dating online. First came the cynics:
“Personally, I would not use it. I believe nothing is impossible for God and no matter how probable or improbable it is for me to meet someone in my given circumstances, God can do all things… I feel it would be irreverent to not include God in the mate selection process.”
“I’m a single skeptic, emphasis on skeptic! It’s very ironic because I am very tech-forward! I conduct most business online but somehow I don’t trust online dating…seems like people can camouflage their issues if they can hide behind e-mail. Plus, you can tell all kinds of tall tales unchallenged [and] unchecked…heck, sometimes it’s hard enough to tell when people are fibbing to your face!”
“I am single, but I would never consider an online dating service. In my opinion it is a sign of desperation and could be very dangerous as well.”
… and this was just the printable stuff. I was almost convinced this was a practice only for the lonely and sexually deviant.
Then the testimonies poured in:
“I will be celebrating my one-year wedding anniversary. It was truly the most romantic mind-blowing experience that I have ever had… We were matched and actually spent hours e-mailing and talking on the phone. It was wonderful. I did not believe in soul mates until I met him.”
“I wouldn’t have dared to dream of a man who knows instinctively when to put his arm around me, take my hand, or take me home when I’m exhausted. I’d always dreamed of a man who loved Jesus, wasn’t afraid to show it, and would worship with me at church and home. I now have that. We are so grateful, and we remember to thank God for bringing us together… God saved each of us for the other.”
“We talked for about six months via e-mail before we ever moved to talking on the phone. After a while of talking on the phone, we knew we had deep feelings for each other. Eventually, we decided to meet, and there was no turning back. It will be two years since we met the first time, and we just married.”
Who knew this was the new hip way to get hitched? I received email after email from happy couples. Apparently, there is something special to be found online for the single heart that chooses to look there.
As popular as this is becoming, e-love still begs a few questions:
Where Does God Factor?
All good little Christian boys and girls are taught that God will bring you your future mate. This passive approach to life is especially impressed upon us women. It’s “he who findeth a wife” after all. We’re not supposed to be actively looking. It’s a sign that we don’t trust God.
In response to this, a friend of mine told me, “Look, you hire an agent when you buy a house; you have an advisor to help you choose courses in college. Why not have someone help you find the love of your life?” He had a point. Why have we been leaving the most important decision of our lives up to chance?
When asked, many of my happy couples said that God led them to the Internet, and they know that it was His guidance that brought them together in this non-traditional sense. It makes sense since He is a non-traditional God.
What If He/She Is a Psychopath?
Another concern is the perceived increased chance of meeting someone crazy, socially inept or worst yet… married.
It’s certainly valid. The anonymous nature of conversing online is like a mating call to the weirdos of the world.
The good online services have methods to minimize your contact with these types of people. Extensive questionnaires, private chats with usernames, and in-depth personality profiles are now common features on the leading matchmaking services.
Some of these test results are surprisingly insightful. The process of finding someone could actually help you find yourself.
Go with sites recommended by friends who have used them. With the right service, meeting someone online is no more risky than meeting someone at Starbucks.
Whatever Happened To Romance?
Your eyes meet from across the room. You reluctantly go on a blind date only to be enchanted by a stranger. He grabs your soy latte by mistake. You laugh, you talk, you marry two years later.
We all have our fantasies about that first magical meeting. I doubt any of us envisioned beginning our love story with “I logged on and liked his profile so I sent him an ‘ice-breaker’.” Not romantic.
Of course, if we really think about it, many events in our lives haven’t gone according to plan… and maybe for good reason. Isaiah 55:9 says, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” One thing that makes God God is that He doesn’t have to follow our roadmap. That’s a good thing. Which would you rather have: a life designed by Someone who’s omnipotent and omnipresent or by you, a vapor who still can’t solve a rubix cube?
Life is full of surprises, and it would be quite tragic if you missed out on someone great because he or she didn’t arrive the way you expected.
There are a lot of good reasons to stop envying the bride and groom and go find your own wedded bliss on the Web. But the most important thing is to listen to the Lord. What is He saying about your future spouse? Pray. We must, above all else, seek His will for our lives.
It is easy to let the feelings of being left out of love cloud our thinking. Free your mind to the possibilities. Whether it happens in the aisle of a bookstore, the counter at a coffeehouse, or in cyberspace, there’s nothing wrong with holding out for the fairy tale.
It’s really not a matter of whether God “expects” us to have children, since He is sovereign and omniscient and knows who will and who won’t have children. The question is really one of whether or not having children is a requirement for Christians and whether or not we can have a fulfilled, obedient life in Christ without children.
The Bible does tell us that children are a blessing from God. Psalm 127:3-5 says, “Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate.” God blesses parents with years of enjoyment with their children that can hardly be compared to anything else. God declares that children are a blessing. But this does not mean that God withholds blessings from those without children. It simply means children are to be looked upon as a blessing, not an inconvenience.
There are times when God deliberately keeps someone from having children, no matter how desperately she wants them. Hannah longed for a child, but the Lord had “closed her womb” until such time as He saw fit to allow her to conceive Samuel, the Lord’s prophet (1 Samuel 1:1-2:21). Sarah, too, was forced to wait many years (she was 90!) before God blessed her with Isaac (Genesis 15:15-17; 21:1-7). From these and many other examples, we can see that God is in sovereign control of all circumstances of life, including the birth of children.
Even though God has declared children to be a blessing from Him, there is nothing in the Bible that states every married couple must have children. Perhaps the best course of action for those who don’t want children, at least at the moment, is for the couple to examine their motives for their decision. Only the couple can say for sure whether their motives and attitudes are unacceptable in God’s sight. Selfish motives, for example, would certainly not be pleasing to Him. Neither would putting careers and the pursuit of worldly gain ahead of having a family be pleasing. The only way we can really displease God with our decision about children is by an ungodly attitude—not trusting Him to take care of our situation. We must place our faith in Him and rely on Him to guide us through all situations and decisions that arise in life.
If the question is whether or not to have children because of career dreams, the biblical answer is to put the family (including having children) before careers. A woman’s priority should be her home and family, although working outside the home is certainly acceptable, as long as home and family take precedence over outside pursuits. The Proverbs 31 woman certainly had outside interests, including real estate and agriculture (vs. 16). But her home and family were always cared for in an exemplary fashion. She rose early, stayed up late and did whatever was necessary to see they were well-fed and well-clothed. She was a woman whose children and husband praised her. Taking her example, women are not to forgo having children merely to pursue a career.
In the end, the decision to have or not have children rests with the couple and God and is one that should be carefully and prayerfully considered, especially before a couple takes any irreversible steps to permanently prevent childbearing. There is no biblical injunction that requires anyone to have children, so although children are a gift from God, He can and does bless those who walk with Him by faith, whether or not they are parents. God bless you!!! :):)
Courtesy of New Life Ministries
Mistake 1: We misinterpret the attentions of the opposite sex.
As an outgrowth of the frustration and desperation sometimes experienced when we want to be married, many singles overreact to any attention from someone of the opposite sex, especially if that someone is attractive to them. If a man looks at us twice, we women can read all kinds of things into it. If a woman happens to sit by a man at a social function, he thinks she’s sending him come-ons.
This misinterpretation of attentions is one of the major reasons it’s difficult for a single man and woman to have a platonic relationship. Both are on their guard, worried about signals, instead of allowing that two people can actually have a friendly conversation and enjoy each other’s company without a romantic attraction.
I also observe too often that many singles – yes, Christian singles – enjoy sending signals and then disowning them. After all, it’s an ego trip to think that one or two people are “on your string,” hoping you’ll come their way sooner or later, even if you’re not attracted to them. They disguise their maneuvers (perhaps even to themselves) by telling everyone, “We’re just friends.” They even say that to the other person right up front, laying the groundwork for a quick exit when necessary, and then proceed to give attentions and signals that are truly misleading. Anyone would misinterpret them. And they break not a few hearts in the process of feeding their egos.
Mistake 2: We put up with too much in a relationship and hang on too long.
Do yourself a favor: Admit you have an emotional dependency you’re calling “love” – or even admit that you really love the person if you think you do – but acknowledge that it’s a wrong relationship and get out.
How do you get out? By taking drastic steps. Jesus said, If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell (Matthew 5:29-30).
If you’re in a relationship and you’re being treated with disrespect, thoughtlessness, or unkindness, that’s a good sign you’ve hung on too long and put up with too much. If you’re hoping he or she will change, you don’t know too much about human nature. The one thing that might make a person like this change is having to live with the consequences of his or her behavior – namely, losing the relationship. As long as he or she can get by with treating you shabbily, there’s not likely to be much change in behavior.
If you’re not happy with the treatment you’re receiving from a person before you marry, you can be sure the treatment you would get after marriage would be much more of the same and worse.
Mistake 3: We’re not always very good at reading danger signals in a relationship.
I often see single people in relationships that have poor choice written all over them, but somehow they never seem to see the danger signals. The truth is, most of the time they just don’t want to see them.
Remember that when our emotions get involved in a situation, it’s very easy to lose perspective. Someone once told me, “Emotions and feelings have zero IQ,” and I think that’s a good thing to remember. You cannot trust your emotions. Those juices get flowing, those romantic notions start whirling around in your head, and you can lose perspective in an instant.
Let’s list a few of the danger signals:
Significant age difference. This will vary depending on individuals and depending on the ages involved. I’m not saying that age difference is always a problem, but it certainly is one thing you should consider carefully.
Different family upbringing. It’s a fact that no two families are alike, but look at the basics: Were both families Christian? What values were taught by the families? What kind of relationships exist among the family members? Some families are very close and some are not.
Priority of spiritual life. If one person in the relationship puts a higher priority on spiritual life than the other, it’s a real danger signal and should not be ignored. Usually when you are involved with someone whose spiritual temperature is below your own, you don’t bring them up to your level, you go down to theirs. I’ve seen it time and again.
Mistake 4: We get physically involved much too soon and go too far.
Here again we Christians have allowed the world system and philosophy to infiltrate our thinking about the physical aspects of a relationship. Romans 12:1-2 says we are not to be conformed to this world, but transformed by a renewed mind. The Phillips translation says, “Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mold.” When we become casual about having sex before marriage, we’ve been shoved into the world’s mold.
If you truly want to remain pure in your sexual life and keep yourself for the one person God has for you, or keep yourself for Christ if you remain single, you most certainly can do that. There is nothing impossible about it.
However, in order to do that, you will need a discipline that I don’t see in many singles, a discipline to go the extra mile in keeping the physical contact down to a minimum. You simply cannot trust the chemistry of your body. It is very powerful, and once it gets going, finding the discipline to keep it under control is extremely difficult. So the secret is to keep the electricity down to low levels by controlling the physical contact.
Mistake 5: We think that the only necessary requirement for a date or mate is that he or she is a Christian.
I don’t believe that there is only one person in this whole world whom God intends for us to marry, and if we miss that person, we’ve missed our perfect mate. (Of course, I don’t believe that it’s necessarily true that each of us is intended by God to be married. But that’s another subject!) I think it’s possible to find more than one person with whom you can be compatible and have a good lifelong relationship.
It’s very smart to put yourself though intensive soul-searching when you consider marrying someone. Keeping in mind that your emotions are involved and therefore your perspective may be off center, ask for advice from trusted people. Get them to play devil’s advocate and throw every question they can at you. Take every compatibility test you can find. Do all you can do to know what you’re getting into before you jump. You’ll never be totally prepared for marriage, but it’s a good idea to try to find out before you walk down the aisle whether this match is likely to work well.
Mistake 6: We carry our list of requirements for a relationship with us and judge others too quickly and selfishly.
I used to have a list of the things I wanted in a man. The list was divided into “Essential” and “Nonessential.” Now, that’s not an altogether bad idea.
My “Essential” list now has one thing on it: “Must be someone who would enhance my walk with God and allow us to have a more effective ministry together than we have separately.”
Isn’t it great that our God is big enough to deal with all our differences and idiosyncrasies? He isn’t looking for cookie-cutter Christians, all of us looking and acting just alike in every way. We certainly all have the same biblical principles to apply to our lives, but within those principles, there’s much room for individuality and personality. Amen to that!
Many singles, however, seem to have a long list of requirements for their potential date or mate, and they’ve gotten a bit carried away with it, probably as a reaction to the many failed marriages around us. It’s as though they’re checking you out, making sure you meet their needs. They approach this area of their lives as they might approach buying a car: What features do you have and what are the benefits of those features to me?
Having certain important guidelines in mind as we meet and date people is helpful in keeping us from making totally emotional decisions. But checking people out for selfish reasons is going too far.
Mistake 7: We think that anything is better than being alone.
While it’s true that we have basic needs for companionship, it’s not true that aloneness is the worst condition in the whole world. Note that I said aloneness, not loneliness. There’s a big difference, you know.
Most people fear aloneness because to them it represents loneliness. They haven’t learned to fill their time so that aloneness is valuable and refreshing for them. I have learned to love my aloneness, but it has not always been that way. It has come as I’ve learned to enjoy the presence of God and stopped equating aloneness with loneliness.
Loneliness is a feeling, an attitude. We don’t get through this life without experiencing it to some degree. But to settle for anything as a substitute for loneliness is a big mistake. There are worse things than loneliness, and by God’s grace we do not have to be overcome and defeated by loneliness. He can take our aloneness and turn it into beautiful, fruitful, productive time with Him.
Recognize that being alone doesn’t mean you’re a social misfit. Don’t buy into the lies of our enemy, who wants you to feel desperate. When we feel desperate, we act in irrational and unprincipled ways. When we feel an overpowering need to have someone near, we’ll settle for anything.
Also recognize your need for social interaction and plan good things. But you don’t have to have a date to have company; reach out to others and share your time. Not with the idea that it’s second best – you’d rather have a date but since you can’t you’ll be with friends – enjoy those people for who they are, and you’ll discover that the loneliness goes away.