Don't You Love a Good Love Story?

I love a good love story.  What woman doesn’t?  How many women do you know who are not curious about how a married couple met and how the man proposed?  We are all drawn to those stories that are love at first sight, the conflicting battle fought in the middle, and the happy storybook ending.  Unfortunately, most of us are drawn to something that doesn’t actually exist. “Excuse me?” I hear you asking…You heard me right.

As single women, we tend to interpret relationships based on the smallest portion of a married woman’s life, a portion that does not reveal the actual reality of the marriage relationship.  We believe in the butterflies, the famous statement “it just feels right”, and the expected ease of living with the one you love for the rest of your life.

As women, we are designed to be emotional beings. And there’s no need to be ashamed of that!  What we must be careful of, however,  is how we allow our innate emotional makeup rule our lives.  When it comes to “falling in love” women have lost it!  …Myself included!  Just exactly when and where did God say: “When you date/court make sure that you do not get married unless you experience strong physical attraction, deep emotional connection, and it just feels right.”  It isn’t anywhere in God’s Word and there isn’t one single example I could bring up from Scripture that would point to those factors as components for a successful, God-honoring way to find a mate.  The unfortunate truth is that those of us who are single and looking forward to marriage are easily led astray by our emotions. They are oftentimes same emotions rooted in famous “quotables” like these:

  • “You complete me.”[1]
  • “It was a million tiny little things that, when you added them all up, they meant we were supposed to be together… and I knew it.”[2]
  • “The best love is the kind that awakens the soul; that makes us reach for more, that plants the fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds. That’s what I hope to give you forever.”[3]
  • “I would have to tell you: you have bewitched me, body and soul, and I love… I love… I love you. And I never wish to be parted from you from this day on.”[4]
  • “Look, I guarantee there’ll be tough times.  I guarantee that at some point, one or both of us is gonna want to get out of this thing.  But, I also guarantee that if I don’t ask you to be mine, I’ll regret if for the rest of my life, because I know, in my heart, you’re the only one for me.”[5]
  • “Two hopeful hearts, two lands apart. Together there’s no end to what our dream can start.”[6]
  • “You only ‘zing’ once in your life!”[7]

Did I mention your favorite? As much as I love a good chic-flic line, so often they have shaped how we, as followers of Christ, think when it comes to love and marriage.  We have given into a worldly, self-focused way of the pursuit of romance.  May I suggest that we single women today begin to reform our thinking on love and marriage through the lens that God offers in His Word?  Here’s two things we can start asking ourselves in dating relationships and/or in times of questioning the potential spouse:

“Am I pursuing my desire for marriage in this man as a way to fulfill me or as a way to glorify the Lord in the greatest way?”

Jeremiah 17:9 states “The heart is deceitful than all else and is desperately wicked; Who can understand it?”  Your heart can easily be led astray by your emotions. The very next verse in Jeremiah states that it is God who searches and knows the heart.  Your heart will scream that you need love, and can deceive you into believing that a man will fulfill that need for you.  But, that man already exists and his Name is above all names – Jesus Christ.  God wants to be the One who fulfills your need for love! It is important to be loved by others, especially if you are considering marrying someone.  But, are you marrying for the reason of being fulfilled, or is out of the security of finding yourself in Christ first and looking to point others to Hom through the love you have for your husband?

Our perspective must shift from the focus on a man meeting our needs through romance to finding fulfillment in Christ.  As God brings a man into our lives as single women, we must constantly check our hearts as to why we are pursuing this relationship.  Practical ways to help in the constant check of your heart-motive is in guard ours hearts as we filter every thought and word through the Word of God, asking for wisdom from the Holy Spirit, and finding solid, Christ-centered women who love you and can speak into the relationship objectively.

“Will the person I’m considering help me run the race God has laid out before me, or will they act like an anchor dragging at my feet?” [8]

In his book The Sacred Search, Gary Thomas lays the Scriptural foundation for this question in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”  This race we run is hard enough when it is just us and God, so why add an “anchor” as Thomas puts it, into the picture?  In the midst of the dating process we can oftentimes excuse red flags in a potential partner because our hearts are swept away with the feelings of love rather than swept away by our pursuit of righteousness.  As Gary Thomas writes, “Because their feelings are so strong, [single women] can’t believe this isn’t a match made in heaven.”[9] Your relationship may sound or even look like a “match made in heaven” but is it the best match according to the Lord?  Thomas’ question rivets the whole romantic love story phenomenon that we single women count on. Feelings of love and romance are important; we all know that you cannot force an emotion that is not there. But the feelings and emotions of being in love may not be enough once you get to your 10 year anniversary.

Let reality set in for just a minute.  Just exactly what do you desire in a husband that you will be bound to for possibly the next 50 or 60 years?  There are a few things to point out that, according to Thomas’ survey of married women, come up over and over about what to look for in a future mate:

  • A man who pursues godliness – Thomas suggests Acts 6:3 as a guideline: “Choose…men…who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom.”[10] Is this man you are considering for marriage known for his pursuit of God or for his pursuit of himself?
  • A man who cares about family – can you depend upon this man to be your children’s father?  Can you depend upon this man to care for you and your kids – financially, emotionally, spiritually?
  • A man who wants to be involved in your life – if he does not exhibit an interest in your life during the dating/courting stage, what makes you think he will be involved in your life when you are married?
  • A man who can laugh – life is hard enough, and a man who can enjoy laughing enjoys life.

These are just simple, practical questions and guidelines for single women to focus on in the journey towards marriage.  If you’re reading this as a single woman, I’m right in there with you!  God has great plans for His Name to be made great in our lives.  If we are serious about pursuing godliness and God’s glory in our lives, we must choose wisely the man we marry for it will either hinder or encourage the latter for the rest of our lives. Don’t settle for just a Good Love Story. Let’s pursue a God Love Story.

 


[1]Jerry Maguire – Jerry Maguire, played by Tom Cruise.

[2]Sleepless in Seattle – Sam Baldwin, played by Tom Hanks.

[3]The Notebook

[4]Pride and Prejudice – Mr. Darcy, played by Matthew Macfadyen.

[5] Runaway Bride – Ike Graham, played by Richard Gere.

[6]Pocahontas

[7]Hotel Transylvania – Frankenstein.

[8]Thomas, Gary.  Sacred Search (Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook, 2013), 51.

[9]Ibid.,  44.

[10]Ibid., 46.