names have been omitted in this post
The back of the SUV was packed with all the essentials… there was a small soft insulated cooler of ice holding bottled waters, a brown paper bag filled with snacks; some snacks were gluten free for my mother and some were loaded with glorious gluten for me. There were oversized canvas bags holding clothes, swimsuits, sandals and the essential toiletries.
As we headed to our destination and the navigation lady gave her guidance en route the radio played… songs of love, loss and all the hurts tender hearts sometimes endure despite being so brave to make that awesomely huge jump into the pool of vulnerability again.
Johnny Cash sang on the radio a song that Neil Diamond had written… Solitary Man… and I loved it… Cash's voice is like a deep pool of rough open wounds meeting up with the healing velvet touch of luxurious love… his voice is such a bittersweet mix of the beauty of two worlds colliding… I savored the lyrics like a fine wine.
The only one who has truly perfected love is Jesus.
As I drove and gazed into the pale blue-hued sky streaked with clouds my mother spoke and snapped me out of my mental reverie. "Have you found any options on the dating sites?"
"Ha!" I laughed then soberly replied "Ummm, that would be a no." I told her. "I mean, I've messaged a few guys back and forth… there's been some communication, but nothing viable."
"There's just not any that match up what you're looking for?" She asked.
"MmmmmHmmm" I mumurred as we jumped on the freeway. I checked my speed and surveyed the vehicles. "I just don't think there is anyone out there who is going to match up on everything." I told her matter of fact.
"Well, what's been the issues with the ones you've messaged?" She asked as she dug around in her purse for lip balm. It's a universal issue for women that keys and lip balm always mysteriously disappear into the depths of handbags never to be found again.
"Well one guy seemed okay until I found out he has an alcohol issue. That's a no go. Then there was the guy who seemed really great until I found out he doesn't see his kids except for just holidays, they live out of state with the mother. That was a no go. Then there was the guy who seemed like a good choice except he smokes. I can't handle smoke, I'll end up hacking and have to use an inhaler. Then there was the guy who stated he was a Christian but his questionnaire contradicted that because he expected sex after the third date. That was a big no."
"Okay, that all seems reasonable. " She agreed "But I still think the best way is to just meet someone."
"Yeah…" I trailed off then spoke, changing lanes to the left to pass someone. "Where would that be? I have too many deal breakers and must haves. I mean, if you get on there and look at those dating sites there are literally maybe a handful of Christian men to choose from and those don't always match up on the other criteria I'm looking for. I'd like to find someone with a daughter but most of them seem to have boys. It's like there was a plethora of boys being born in the age range I'd want. I want someone who isn't addicted to anything, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, etc. I really don't think that's asking for too much. Somebody down to earth, who can work with his hands so I don't emasculate him with my wonder bar, "I told her with a grin and she laughed.
I turned the air up a couple notches so she wouldn't get cold because I'm a hothead and didn't want to hog the thermostat. "Somebody who doesn't live for TCU football and had their Daddy pay for everything they have because that just makes me nauseous," I smirked "Someone with a beard because I'm not attracted to waxed and primped, someone who lives for Christ, someone who is kind and sees the beauty in a person not just the exterior. So many of the guys on these sites haven't even had kids yet… I'm amazed that by nearly forty so many men are just now wanting to start a family. I mean, that doesn't work for me…" I paused with exasperation "I'm done having babies… so to be with someone who wants to have them is out of the question for me. I'd be open to adoption but that's it… I don't know… "I sighed and she spoke...
"I think you do have too many must haves. Maybe a guy with younger boys is someone you should consider. If you think a step-daughter who will one day be a teenager is going to be a picnic think again. A guy who is a good match might not be available right now… he might be married right now and divorced in a few years when you meet him. Either that or everything you're looking for simply doesn't exist." She told me.
I glanced over at her "It really isn't a big deal… I do fine being on my own and in some ways I like it that way… if it happens, great, but I'd be shocked if it does. At the end of the day I'm not willing to settle for so so… I want someone amazing and I'm not agreeing to anything less… gee, it'd be a whole lot easier if God just sent down a memo saying who to pick. I think the free will thing is bit overrated."
Free will. It's too bad God doesn't stick a post-it note on our bedside table to let us know who we should choose to marry. But thankfully there are some things we can follow in relation to God's guidance in choosing a mate. We can read our bibles and find advice after concrete advice of what makes up a godly man (or proverbs wife). Just like we can pick up a map to find the way in our travels or with the press of a button have a voice guide us to our next destination, we have God's word to lead us in making wise sound decisions.
The most important thing we can do when we are open to dating someone aka finding our potential mate is to just. be. patient. Impatience can bring forth a slew of nasty problems in our life as the result of hurrying to find someone.
If we go into a potential relationship we can ask ourselves 5 important questions to save ourselves much heartache and trouble.
1. Would this relationship please God? If it's not going to please Him then it won't work.
2. Is this person a believer? We can stamp anything on something… we can stamp green beans on a can and people will tell you it's green beans. But what if it's really not? Someone telling you their a Christian isn't enough; actions always speak louder than words. There are people disguised as sheep who are truly wolves underneath; an unbeliever could potentially fake being a Christian to be with you. Then later as the relationship progresses or worse after you've become husband and wife they will reveal their true belief and character to you.
3. If you've been a Christian for quite some time and you find yourself interested in pursuing a relationship with a new Christian, beware. A new Christian will not have the same level of spiritual maturity as you do… you're both at entirely different places in your growth as followers of Christ and one will inevitably drag down the other; one of you will have to be the sounding board all the time i.e.; one of you will have to be the one who gives all the spiritual direction. Instead of two equal partners we now have a parent-child relationship.
4. If you're dating someone who has been married previously how does their past impact your relationship? How as a couple and individually are you going to come together as a reflection of Christ and work through the various challenges? If children are present is the co-parenting with their other parent amicable or contentious? Realize that if you sign up to marry someone who is in continual custody issues it will likely affect your spouses mood and at times they may need extra emotional support from you; are you able and willing to give it? Are you willing to put in the effort for the long haul? You may be the only positive role model his/her children have; are you up to that responsibility?
5. I have heard from countless folks who never dreamed of loving someone again or ever marrying after divorce and yet they have found a partner who is such a blessing in their life. They have learned the hard way what works in marriage and what doesn't and thankfully can actively use that knowledge positively in their second marriage. For some it's the first time they have experienced true safety and intimacy in a relationship. Marriage does not fix or remove our baggage we have from past relationships, emotional or physical abuse, etc… it will not act as a bandaid… but ask yourself this: Is this person is open to healing? Are they open to dealing with what they've experienced? If they are that's half the battle… make the effort to go to pre-marital counseling and see if there are any issues that still need addressing. What your partner has been through has partly made them who they are today… celebrate them and the love you have together in Christ.
© gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com ~ 2015