I thought I would revisit this place called waiting. I mentioned previously that it feels like I’ve been waiting on my husband for an eternity. An eternity because it was May 2001 when I believe I heard God’s voice tell me that I would be married. See, my relationship of 15 years had just ended. That is not a typo by the way; I was in a relationship (not marriage) for 15 years. He was a wonderful man. He would have given me the world. Treated me like an absolute princess. But there was one tiny problem; he did not want to get married. He was very comfortable with the way things were between us; but I was not. So we parted ways and I was devastated. I loved this man. I wanted to spend my life with this man. But it did not work out that way. About a week after this devastating breakup I was sitting on my porch one early spring morning praying and I told God I wanted to be married. Now I don’t make it a habit to go around saying God speaks to me every day and I hear him. In fact, I can count on one hand the number of times I heard the voice of God audibly and this was one of those times. Just as clear as I can hear myself speak I heard God say, “You will be married; just not right now.” Ok, that was almost 14 years ago and here I am still single…unmarried….never been married. Now, I feel some kind of way about that. I have those well meaning friends and family members who try to convince me that I’m better off single. There are those that say God is keeping me to himself because I’m so special. And still others who say don’t rush it. And every time someone utters those phrases to me I really want to draw back and smack them into the middle of next week. I’m not violent, really I’m not. But what I find so funny about it is that everyone who has said something crazy like that to me is married and has been married for many years. Some of them are working on their second and third marriages. But when people say those things to me my responses are always the same: If I’m so better off single why are you not running to divorce court so you too can be single? So God is keeping me to himself because he thinks I’m so special; so that means he thinks you are….not special? When you say don’t rush, do you think I’m 20 years old and haven’t a clue? I know they mean well but sometimes, some things are just better left unsaid.
So I have been waiting on God to send my husband, or so I think. Actually I haven’t been waiting at all. What I mean by that is since the demise of my 15 year relationship I have entered into three other relationships, and I think it’s safe to say not one of those was sent by God. I guess what I’m saying is if I were truly waiting then I would have honored God with my body and not engaged in sexual relations with these men until marriage or until I at least was sure of their intention. But I did not do that either. I met a guy…liked the guy….started dating the guy….and had sex with the guy. And while some would argue the point, how else am I going to meet my husband if we don’t date? My point is that I’ve been doing the dating thing wrong. Men and women who are dating have no commitment to consider marrying the other person. Dating is simply going out, having a good time, and getting to know the person. Dating does not involve sex, or at least it shouldn’t involve sex. In dating I am free to date as many people as I want because I’m exploring. In some cases a person’s maturity level and his readiness for marriage are not even considered in dating. Men and women date simply to just have fun. On the other hand, a courtship is a relationship between a man and a woman in which they seek to determine if it is God’s will for them to marry one another (I will address the topic if God actually does tell us who to marry in a later blog). What I’ve been doing for the last 14 years is having fun and having sex. In my mind it was the right way. In my mind I was dating with a purpose…marriage. But the only thing I’ve done is set the stage to be hurt.
But bless the name of the Lord who ‘Heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds’ (NIV Psalm 147:3). As I travel this road of healing I have purposed in my spirit that this time I will wait. While I am waiting I will date. But I have changed the way I see dating. I will date to get to know people. I will let it be known that I am dating which means I will go out with other people, until that one man whose eye I catch indicates that he wants more; at which point we will begin to court one another. It is then that we as a couple will enter the umbrella of protection, guidance, and blessing of our families and begin to develop a deep friendship that could lead to marriage, as together we discern through prayer and seeking God’s guidance, if we are truly ready for marriage. It is said hindsight is 20/20. Oh how I wish I had this knowledge 13 years ago.