Seeking God’s Will in Dating

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Through the romance, excitement, awkwardness, and confusion of dating, these two prayers help me keep my eyes fixed on God. 

I jumped back into the online dating scene recently in an effort to find a 30-something-year-old man who loves Jesus and hopefully lives nearby (is that really too much to ask for?).

I have such mixed emotions about this whole dating thing. On the one hand, it’s fun and exciting and twitterpating. On the other hand, it’s just plain awkward.

Oh, do I have some hilariously uncomfortable dating stories! Like when my 50-some-odd neighbor asked me out on a date right after he told me he keeps a hammer on his motorcycle to hit cars that drive too close (what the heck?!). Or that time it was so hot as I walked around a park on a first date in 104-degree Tucson summer heat that my tongue literally stuck to the roof of my mouth as we talked (can you feel the love tonight?).

Now that I’m trying the online route, I get messages like this:

Seeking God's Will in Dating - Through romance and awkwardness, these two prayers help me keep God at the center of my dating life.

I would say about 90% of the time, it’s a pretty easy and straightforward “yes” or “no” for me after a quick glance over their profile. But that doesn’t make the process any easier. Some guys seem like a perfect match, but they never show mutual interest or they do for a while, then they stop responding (that happened last week with a really really ridiculously good-looking man – bummer).

Some guys seem great in some ways and not so great in others. It’s this constant balance of not expecting perfection, but also not wavering on those things that are most important to me (purposefully and passionately loving Jesus…that whole “spiritual, but not religious” thing – what does that even mean?).

Every time a new guy with potential comes into the picture, my hopes start to rise a little bit. Could this be the one?

It’s an emotional rollercoaster that makes me feel a little bit like a boy-crazy teenager again. 

Seeking God's Will in Dating - Through the romance, excitement, awkwardness, and confusion of dating, these two prayers help me keep my eyes fixed on God.

Sometimes, I wish God would just show me His will in big flashing lights. Something abundantly clear and impossible to miss like, “I have a good one for you, but not yet – keep waiting for a few more months!” Or “Pay special attention to this one.” Or “Go to this particular church activity – there are single guys your age there!” Or maybe just a giant arrow point to “The One” (if that’s even a thing…I’m not sure that’s the way it works).But God doesn’t always yell out answers in our lives.

Often, it comes in the form of soft whispers, requiring us to stop, focus our attention on Him, and listen for His voice.

Dating is More Than Romance

When I was younger (heck, probably even just a few years ago), I let my heart take the lead in all guy-related decisions. I was the girl who drew hearts all over the boy band posters on her walls and dreamed of becoming an actress just so I could kiss those gorgeous male leads (hellooo, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck!).

My greatest desire was to be pursued with all kinds of fairy tale romance. So much so that when I was Seeking God's Will in Dating - Through the romance, excitement, awkwardness, and confusion of dating, these two prayers help me keep my eyes fixed on God. interested in a guy I actually knew, if I didn’t think I was exactly what they were looking for, I tried to change and become that for them. I learned to play video games to impress one and threw myself into the world of classical music for another. *danger, Will Robinson!* Somehow, I didn’t know that I was allowed to have my own interests and I didn’t have to share every single one of theirs.

I am happy to report that is no longer the case. I will always be changing and growing, but the core pieces of myself are pretty set in stone at this point, so if a guy doesn’t think that will work for him, then it is what it is and that’s okay.

If a guy doesn’t want to date me, I no longer take it as a hit to my self-worth, but a blessing. I do think the heart is incredibly important in dating decisions, but not the most important.

Part of surrendering my entire life to Him involves lifting up my dating life to Him, too.

To make sure God is the center of all of those decisions, there are two prayers I send up on a daily basis.

“God, Here is the Pen – You Are the Only One I Want to Write My Love Story”

Nicholas Sparks is a fantastic romance writer. The Notebook was one of my favorite movies for a long time because it was so incredibly sweet and, boy, do I want a man that will patiently re-tell me our love story over and over again when I can’t remember it myself.

Seeking God's Will in Dating - Through the romance, excitement, awkwardness, and confusion of dating, these two prayers help me keep my eyes fixed on God. Of course, I still desire romance! But I have learned that there is so much more to it than candlelit dinners and vases of roses (or, in my case, pink Gerbera daisies). There is a depth to relationships that only comes when you can connect on a deeper level, when it’s more than just your heart falling in love, but also your soul.

“I have found him who my soul loves.” – Song of Solomon 3:4

I have to actually write this prayer down, sometimes twice a day, because it is so tempting for me to keep swiping that pen back from His hands and trying to direct the path how I best see fit. But God, did you see him? But God, we seem so compatible! 

It’s an intentional act of surrender, letting go of something I desperately want to be able to control and releasing it into His loving and capable hands.

It’s a step of faith.

“Either Fling the Door Wide Open or Shut It Quickly & Firmly”

A couple years ago, I dated a few different men (not at the same time!). I had the mentality that I needed to at least give men a chance or I would never know. I had hesitations from the very beginning and they were the same hesitations that eventually led me to end the relationships. Over the course of that year, I broke a few hearts…and I hate that I hurt those men.

Now, every time a guy comes into the picture, this is my prayer. I don’t take guarding hearts Seeking God's Will in Dating - Through the romance, excitement, awkwardness, and confusion of dating, these two prayers help me keep my eyes fixed on God. lightly, whether it’s my heart or theirs. I listen to those hesitations now from the very beginning. Even if I’m lonely. Even if I think maybe that one thing wouldn’t be that big of a deal later on. I listen and I obey which is really difficult some days!

I pray this over every message that I send and every message that I receive. When really really ridiculously good-looking guy stopped responding to my messages, my first reaction was disappointment.

My next response was praise. Whether I liked it or not, that was an answer to my prayer. There is a reason he didn’t respond and I have to believe that as Christians, God is speaking to both of our hearts.

Praying this is a step of trust, believing that He knows what’s best and He is working for my good, even if I don’t understand it. 

I encourage you to pray these things into your dating life, too. Write them on note cards, add them to your prayer journal, and keep them as a constant encouragement to listen for God’s voice. Dating is hard, so ask Him for help! He is always faithful to answer (even if it doesn’t come in the form of a flashing arrow).

  • I love reading posts like this. It is so encouraging to see other women who are chasing after God and seeking his will in their life (and especially in their love life.) Every time I start to feel afraid of being alone or never being able to open up to someone, I have to remind myself that God is in control. And He is good.
    • Becky says:
      Thank you so much, Megan! It is so true - it's a continual process of choosing to trust His timing and His goodness. It's never easy, but it's always worth it!
  • Brittany from The Purple Truths says:
    I'm single. It has been 8 years since I have gone out on a date. I stopped dating and I prayed for God to control my dating life without me dictating how I met a guy. This process has been hard, but it did teach me to love myself. My self-worth and self-esteem has changed. I have grown comfortable with not dating, but since the New Year, I have grown more open to God bringing a guy into my life. I'm glad to see that I'm not the only single woman out in the world seeking God's guidance for her love life.
    • Becky says:
      It is such a tough process, isn't it! I'm thrilled to hear that your self-worth and self-esteem have improved and that you are open to singleness or dating, however God leads. Thanks so much for sharing your story!
  • Kristin Cook says:
    Yes! I am so glad you are letting God guide your story! I hope he comes sooner rather than later, but God has a plan and I am glad you are waiting for it!
    • Becky says:
      I'm hoping he comes sooner rather than later, too! Thank you for that! ;-) Things sure go much differently with Him in the driver's seat and I couldn't be more thankful (albeit, a little impatient at times!).
  • kage2015 says:
    More people would look at dating as an end toward marriage instead of just hooking up or whatever they call it now a days Start off as friends and it goes from there.
  • Abbey Phipps says:
    I love this, Becky! God desires for us to seek Him above else, and that includes in relationships! I love that your heart is so turned towards God and that you are pursuing Him! That's the best way! :)
    • Becky says:
      Thank you so much, Abbey! I truly can't imagine dealing with any relationships without God! I am so dependent on His blessed assurance and wisdom every step of the way!
  • Saleama A. Ruvalcaba says:
    While I'm not single, I enjoy reading articles on dating. I know many women who are single and I always want to share what I can find on this subject. This is a very inspiring (and funny) article. I will share this with others!
    • Becky says:
      Thank you so much for reading and sharing, Saleama! This is definitely an area of my life full of entertaining stories (and I didn't even post some of the juicy ones)!