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Friday, March 25, 2016

The Deal With Dating Well

Well here it goes! I'm about to share with cyber-world more about my relationship. So let me start back at the beginning. I met Caleb during my first year of college, but not at Bible College (no, we weren't one of those couples), we actually met as lifeguards at the pool. At the time I met him, he was dating someone else, and I wasn't really interested in dating. Not long after meeting him, Caleb was single again and began to pursue me. I was under the mind-set that I was NOT going to date again for at least a year after being dumped. Now what, you ask, changed my mind? Well, I had been praying that the right guy, when he came into my life, would pursue me differently than I had ever been pursued before. I desired romance and to feel like a princess, I am the typical romantic girl, who melts and flowers and walks through the trees at sunset. Not long after meeting him, Caleb was single again and began to pursue me. Caleb fulfilled all of that, he left me cute notes in my work locker, he figured out my favorite chocolate and left that in my locker, he purposely sought out my favorite things and asked to do them with me or for me to do them with him. It was very very hard not to fall for a man who truly wanted to know me and let me know who I was mattered. Eventually, he caught my full attention and I've been head over heels since then. Now comes the tricky part, actually surviving as a couple through dating.

Dating can be some pretty muddy waters sometimes. Don't get me wrong, dating is wonderful! It was and is fun, brings us joy and expands on our friendship and trust of each other. However, dating also gets your heart more involved and thats when you can end up in trouble. "Above all else, the heart is deceitful, who can know it?" (Jer. 17:9). This is truth guys! Your heart will tell you so many things that you may want to hear, but may be complete lies. The biggest lie that is faced in most relationships is the lie of "this is totally okay to do". As you are dating and your heart gets more involved, and it starts to long for closeness with the other person. It tells you that a simple kiss is okay, but then later will tell you that making-out is totally okay. Then it will say that your hands can go where they shouldn't, and it continues on from there. To date well, to understand dating, and to live out Christ within dating, one first must understand that the heart lies.
Second, a person must understand that "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." Proverbs 4:23. If your heart is pure and has good intentions, if you guard your heart from the lies it may try to influence you with, if you rest your heart in God's hands by studying His word and seeking Him, you will reflect what is in your heart to every aspect of your life, including your dating life.  You will be able to romance your boyfriend or girlfriend and show them love in a God honoring way. You will be the person that they need and that God calls you to be, because you are first loving God in your life. This is the ultimate key to dating well that Caleb and I found. To properly love one another, we first had to fully and whole-heartedly love God. It took us a while to figure out the key to dating well was to not trust what our hearts said but to instead dig way deeper into God and find what He calls us to do. But once we learned that, our relationship grew, it had foundation and we could stand without being shaken. My desire is that you would be able to avoid the shaky times, and start out your relationship by knowing that your heart will lie, but God always tells us the truth. Knowing that through Him, your dreams for what love is like and your deep desire to be loved and romanced will be fulfilled, and He might just add a boyfriend or girlfriend into the mix too.