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5 Things You Need To Know Before Dating

Photo courtesy of Isaac Hsie via Flickr
Photo courtesy of Isaac Hsie via Flickr

In the spirit of honoring fathers for Father’s Day, this article is dedicated to single women who didn’t have good relationships with their fathers. More specifically, those who desire marriage but make their current relationship decisions based on the relationship they had with their father.

I remember watching an interview Tyler Perry did before Oprah retired the Oprah Winfrey Show. He was talking about his experience of his father—how his father was abusive and emotionally distant. One day he told his father over the phone how he felt about him. That changed everything, because then Tyler was finally able to forgive his father. Tyler described how that forgiveness opened up a new way of life.

Since then I’ve noticed how fathers impact singles, especially women. I’ve noticed how many single women never move beyond singleness—beyond choosing abusive, unavailable or unloving men—because they had the same type of relationship with their father.

On the outside looking in, people say, “But wouldn’t it just make sense to pick someone who’s the opposite?”

It sure would.

But only if the damage each woman sustained left her with the ability to make a healthy choice. To choose, you have to make a decision. To make a decision that you’re going to choose something different, when you don’t even know what that looks like, takes an incredible amount of vision and inner strength that is beyond your ability.

In many cases, it takes God doing what He does to reach you and show you the right way. And most broken and wounded people miss His signals, His clues and His presence because all they can see is their past and their wounds.

The good news is that it’s possible to break free from that cycle of feeling bad about your relationship with your father, and consequently making poor decisions in dating and relationships.

God’s Word says that if any woman is in Christ, she is a new creation. It says that if we abide in the Vine of Jesus Christ, or when we ask in His name, we will receive anything we ask (John 15:7).

If you are a woman who did not have a good relationship with your father and, despite the relationship choices you’ve made in the past, you want something new, then you can have it. If it is your desire to have a relationship and a marriage where you are loved and respected, a marriage where God is in the center, you can have it. By faith, prayer and the determination to build a relationship with God and Jesus Christ, you can change your life!

5 things you need to know before dating:

  1. Make the decision: Make the decision that you CAN have something different. Don’t allow your emotions, insecurity about your past, or what you believe to be true get in the way this time. Choose to believe that God can do a new thing in your life.
  2. Refuse to quit: Once you’ve made that decision, distractions, naysayers and your own doubts will come. But again, don’t let your emotions rule. Remember the decision you made. Remember the commitment you made to yourself and God to see what He has for you in this life.
  3. Keep the end in mind: If you can’t visualize what the end would look like for you, just hold on to the fact that God answers prayers. So while you’re praying, ask God for ears to hear and eyes to see so you don’t miss the right man when he comes along.
  4. Get help: Counselors, mentors and accountability partners who will keep your story confidential are necessary on this journey. God uses us to help each other. We are His body. You can’t make this kind of change on your own. To truly heal, you need others.
  5. Expect the unexpected: Be open to doing things in new ways, meeting new people and going new places. Remember: Choosing the wrong relationships comes from doing what you know. To make a different choice, you have to be willing to do something new.

God specializes in turnarounds, among many other things. If you think you’re too far gone with no hope, that’s not true. God changes us, our lives and our situations. If you’re willing to gather all your courage and strength, he WILL do a new thing in you.

About Afi Pittman

Afi Pittman is an author and radio show host. She is also an active-duty Navy officer who has traveled the world and lived abroad. Her company, Author of Faith Enterprises, helps today’s single Christian woman to “live right, love life and find Mr. Right.”
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