My Advice On Dating by Bombi

Recently, while in Florida, at the Ladies on Life 5 years of ministry celebration, I sat on a panel with my fellow sisters and was asked this question, “What advice for Godly dating would you give to someone?” Those who were there were able to see the look on my face, you might say, awkward. Yes, that’s the feeling I felt as I read the question and then answered.

For one, I am pretty certain that there are many books on the subject. Questions on romance, love, and dating advice run as the top questions in magazines, talk shows, blogs, and the list goes on and on. I even remember listening to a story from someone that had just returned from a missions trip from a developing country where disaster had struck and poverty and disease were rampant. They mentioned that on the boat ride back to land, a local person was sharing their heart with the missionaries and telling how they were worried if someone they liked would feel the same way they felt about them. My goodness, this romance and dating subject seems to somehow be a universal thing for sure!

Many God fearing people believe different things about the “book of love” a.k.a. dating, courting, call it whatever you want, I call it falling in love. So here’s what I believe. I believe that God has a counterpart so special for you that you could not have dreamt them up. Scripture tells us in Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Although this verse might not be the first scripture that comes to mind for finding your mate, I personally have found comfort, encouragement, and guidance in it. You see, I believe that if He has created me to do those good works, and if I don’t have the gift of celibacy (1 Corinthians 7) then surely my future counterpart has his good work plan, and there’s so much work to be done in the Kingdom of God and for the Kingdom of God. Therefore, I believe that God will guide me and show me just who that man is and just what the two of us will do for Him together.

So maybe you can’t relate to me, but one thing we have in common if you are a believer is that well… you are a believer. That you look to God to start and stop everything in your life. So here’s my encouragement- whatever approach, inspiration, scripture, workbook, book, small group curriculum, etc. that you use to guide you through this ultra-important part of your life, PLEASE make sure that God is at the center of it all. That He is leading the way. Trust Him, you might be at the place that you can’t trust yourself and that’s okay, just trust Him. He will pick a mate for you!  You will know without a shadow of a doubt that God did it. In my opinion, that’s the best way ever.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

Strength In Vulnerability by Trish

To be vulnerable in my words: unveiling the fullness of who you are, willingly yielding yourself to the reaction of another. I have found one of the most difficult places to dwell is the land of vulnerability. Yet, the most precious of intimate moments are birthed when someone feels safe enough to reveal the good, bad and ugly of what their lives may reveal. Truth be told, most of us long for meaningful friendships and relationships but the fear of judgment, rejection or abandonment many times outweighs the risk of letting go and make true connection with others. Many people spend their entire lives building shallow friendships/relationships that never provide a place of true connection because we’ve not allowed ourselves to be vulnerable.

In a recent conversation with a dear friend, I realized that our conversations no longer consisted of the normal “catch up sessions” or even deep theological discussions we had previously shared. Our friendship became a place of safety where being unguarded was not only okay but respected and handled with care. I am a very visual person…I tend to think in “word pictures”. As I was thinking on the concept of vulnerability, I thought about a gymnast. If you are anything like me, you were glued to the television during the Olympics this past year! I watched in complete awe as our U.S. girl’s team stretched their abilities to the max! They had conditioned and prepared their bodies in such a way that would allow them to perform unbelievable feats of physical strength, control and agility. The acts performed if slightly off from what they had learned in training could result in serious injury. Yet they abandoned their fears and relied on the strength they had achieved in training. The acts performed put them in the most vulnerable of positions yet their strength sustained them! If we as women are going to accomplish greatness, we must learn to gain strength from those on our “team”. This strength can only be found when we have the right ones on our team and we lay aside the fear of falling and being hurt or rejected.

Abandon yourself to fear and go for the gold! What a blessing when you have found those you can trust your heart with! What an even greater blessing when you are the one that can be trusted! Ladies should always show kindness to all, be friendly to all. But as ladies who are also wise women, we discern whom we are to have close to us and whom we share our hearts with. While the Bible teaches us to guard our hearts, there is also an art in knowing how to let our guards down and with whom. Take a look at those closest to you, are they receiving the best of who you are and are you in turn handling with care the best of what they offer you?