Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Single, but Committed!

"Everything that's Wrong with 21st Century Dating"


Ahh, the moment I get to sit down and write a post about dating and relationships. For those of you who aren't familiar with my testimony on being single I will encourage you to take a minute to do so right here' My Story: Single, Saved, & Celibate!
To my faithful readers, can you  believe I wrote that post almost two years ago?!? There were so many hits on that particular blog post, and nothing has really changed about me that much. I am still saved, still celibate but now I am blessed to be in a relationship courting with the man of my dreams. I tell you Sisters nothing could have prepared me for the moment I met Michael last November but time, God, prayer and preparation. I was single for 5 years before I entered the current relationship I'm in now or atleast that's what I thought...

Reflecting on the years I was single I can honestly say it was the most rewarding time of my life. I never felt that I was in such a huge hurry to find that "one" because I knew it was coming. I knew marriage, and children was in my destiny. So I waited patiently while focusing on my purpose. I dated but somewhere along the line dating became redundant. There were two men that I was involved with emotionally throughout my "single" years. Although, we did not have the title as boyfriend and girlfriend I soon discovered through Christ that I was not as single as I thought I was. Let's define a few things in this post first, shall we. (Note: I compiled the definitions below from different online resources and biblical research)

Single: Separate Individual, unmarried, whole, existing alone. 
Consider Adam, the first man as an example. Genesis 2 shows us a human being who was whole, complete, and content within himself and His companionship with God. 

Dating: Although dating is not a biblical concept. It's still relevant in today's culture. It's an important vehicle that gives men and women the opportunity to get to know one another. It's a form of courtship with two humans assessing the other's suitability for marriage. Which brings me to my next definition..

Marriage: When two people (Man & Woman) enter into a covenant agreement before God and family. They become ONE in spirit, mind, body & soul. Marriage is one of the 1st institutions of God. It's used to be a illustration of Christ relationship with the Church. God created marriage, NOT man. Read more in Ephesians 5!

I can go on forever defining different words as it pertains to relationship & dating. But I believe these 3 words are going to help us more as we continue to throughout this post. It's imperative that we understand why certain things and customs were put into place but most importantly the meaning behind them. 

"My people perish from a lack of knowledge.." Hosea 4:6

Why Date?

Like I mentioned before I was single for 5 years. At least that's what I thought until reality seriously hit me one day when I was ending a emotional tie with one of the guys I was dating. I realized in that moment although I proclaimed through my independence that I was this "single woman," I was still committing my mind, body, spirit and soul to the men I dated. And like most people today, I was what you called a serial dater. I dated several men. They all had access to my telephone number, they all knew precious things about me, and they all had access to my emotions. I was not whole in my singleness, I was not existing alone, and I definitely was not separated and being preserved for my future husband at the time.

Serious question, if dating is suppose to be a form of courtship with two humans assessing the other's suitability for marriage. How can you do that by dating multiple people? 

Unless you have different clones of you, then you're definitely going to wear yourself completely out and possibly end up with no one. I see a lot of heartbreak that pertains to dating today. There's a notion that "as long as I am single I can do what I want." In reality, your season of singleness is the most vital season of your life. Who you are while single is who you will become when you're married. Dr. Myles Munroe mentioned in His book "Waiting & Dating"...

     "You are ready to date to the extent that you feel whole and complete within yourself, apart from any other person (except God). When you regard dating as a matter of choice rather than necessity, you are ready." 

Simply put, its a matter of your ability to be happy and content whether you are with someone else or not. Finding the "one" is not going to ease the pain of loneliness. When you are miserable single, you're definitely going to be miserable married. And your dating habits would show what and whose you truly are.

Learning to be alone..

Being content doesn't mean you're complacent. It doesn't mean the desires you have for marriage and children (because that's our ultimate goal right?) are not evident. It just mean that you are fulfilled in your singleness. It means that you have found your personal identity and sense of wholeness within yourself and Christ. Most importantly it means you would not compromise your moral or godly standards in order to get a date or hold onto a boyfriend or girlfriend.  You would not settle for being the:

  • Sexual Partner
  • Boo
  • Friend
  • Boyfriend or Girlfriend without purpose to marry
  • Side-piece 
  • Mistress
  • etc,
Healthy dating saves us a lot of time and energy. The list of things I mentioned above is what's wrong with 21st century dating. We have settled to be somebody's something with little or no regards to being the right one person for the ONE God has for each of us!  When it comes to relationships and dating. I believe a lot of people desire a godly outcome, without doing things a godly way. We want the benefits of God without doing things in the order and blueprint in which he provides. I want to encourage you, whether you're a Man or woman who maybe reading this today. Please work to develop yourself fully as a single person. Think of singleness as a blessing to fully develop yourself for character development. It's a beautiful way to prepare yourself for whomever God has for you. 

Cross + Heart = God
When I finally realized this beautiful reality and gave up dating entirely, that's when God so graciously  brought the man whom I am committed to marrying. I always laugh about this now but I can only imagine God was just sitting on the sidelines saying "Ashley, can you give me the pen to write your love story. You're going about it the wrong way." And when I finally did, it was so unexpected. We dated exclusively, shared common interest and spiritual background. Men, he pursued and still is pursuing me. Ladies, I learned to honor him and respect the man of God he is with no regard to trying to change him to be what I want! He leads me closer to Christ and He understand that it is Christ who still have the #1 place in my heart!

Honestly, I would not have been ready if I was still dating every man and their cousin (figuratively speaking). Seek God's kingdom first and everything else will be added! I will leave you with this excerpt by Leslie Ludy in her book "Set-Apart Femininity"..

"When He (Christ) is your first love you set the stage for a truly amazing God-written earthly romance; one that is merely an extension of the greatest love story of all time"

If you're single or dating my prayer is that you would solely commit your heart to the Lord. My prayer is that you would get so lost in The Lord that He would have to interrupt you to say "There She/He is!!! 

Cheers!!





Truly this has been the BEST 10 months of my life!!!










4 comments:

  1. First time reading one of your post and i love this post. Gave me a lot to think about. I'm celibate for a year. But I have been celibate two other time. The first for three yeats and the other for five years. I never had a boyfriend only sex partners and one night stand and a fling. And it cost me dearly. I decided I'm not let another step foot in my place unless he is there on business not other man will enter my place. I don't talk to men anymore. I have decided if GOD wants to be with a man he will send him to me. So I will work on myself read up on dating soulties and other thing to help me be come the woman GOD wants me to be. I don't go to church but I'm going to start.

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  2. Whew! I feel moved to fall to my knees and cast it all unto Him and Praise Him for his never ending faithfulness. I have ben single and celibate for 9months now andI couldn't be more pleased with myself because I know how my journey has been. Initially I thought my reasons for going single and staying celibate were clear and intentional. I was tired of mistreating myself and wanted to prepare myself for the man that He chooses for me. However, after reading this I realise that I am going about it all wrong because amidst trying to prepare myself because on focusing and dwelling on my problems I have completely neglected to seek Him and I can testify that though I know my time to meet the one He chooses is yet to come, I know if I keep going on without intentionally, vigorously and intimately seeking Christ, that moment and many others shall not come to be. This piece is more than just relationships for me, it is my neon sign telling me i'm doing things wrong and I need to stop, be still and place all my trust in God. I cannot do any of it on my own. Thanks Ashley!!!

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  3. Love it!!! This was such a blessing. Thank you for sharing your story.

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