We pray. We hope. We dream. We may spend years waiting. Years longing. Years in frustration over not yet finding what we believe God has for us.
Maybe that’s the problem.
Most of us don’t make a decision to purposefully find the love of our lives. Most of us have an innate longing that started before we can remember. And we may continue to rely on that feeling and hope for years, leading to an older version of ourselves — someone who hasn’t had much luck and is extremely frustrated over the whole process.
But have we really started a process at all? Or is this approach simply going with the flow, waiting for God to drop the mate of our dreams into our laps? If this has been your approach thus far, it’s time to get a plan in place. Time to be purposeful in your approach with an end goal in mind.
While God has the absolute ability to present the person He has in mind on our doorstep, think about it: He doesn’t really work that way. Our relationship with God is not of Him constantly fulfilling our desires. It’s a relationship of give and take. He offers redemption: We accept it. He prepares us through trials: We mature through learning and are prepared to do more for Him. He has a plan for our lives: We have to implement the plan. It’s an effort on both sides. A relying on Him while we do our part.
Searching for love is no different.
Like any successful venture, the best way to get to a good end is to start with a plan in the beginning. If you’ve been frustrated with the dates you’ve been on, the people you’ve met or the lack thereof, a complete lack of direction may cause you to be unsuccessful. The truth is, many of us go out into the dating world and “hope for the best.” Unfortunately, that unplanned approach can lead to years of frustration, and eventually bad choices, when we decide what we really want isn’t out there. Hint: It really is.
Prep Your Heart and Mind
If you haven’t done the hard work of getting yourself emotionally and mentally ready to find the love of your life, you’ve skipped the most important step. We all have baggage from our past that we need to deal with. We all have mindsets that skew to the negative at some point. A relationship won’t fix your issues. But your issues can certainly ruin one. Take the responsibility of dealing with emotional and mental hold-backs that you know won’t allow a relationship to thrive, so when the opportunity presents itself, you can give it the best possible chance at success.
Start with the End Goal in Mind
This is Successful Planning 101. What is your point in getting into the dating scene? As Christians, there’s no reason to casually date. We are called to two things: remain single or marry. Maybe that seems jarring. But, the truth is that we do others a disservice and risk hurting them when we approach dating casually with no plan in mind. If you aren’t in it to find a mate, you shouldn’t be in it at all. Casual dating is often misleading to the people we date. Worse yet, it can place us in situations where the proximity of a relationship leads us to desires that are meant for marriage.
What Do You Want?
Spend time in prayer and consideration over what you want in a mate, then make a list. A physical list. Ask God for direction in this. After all, He knows your heart better than anyone (even you), and might surprise you with things that should be on your list. Keep it in a place you can refer to later so when you meet someone, the list will keep you from caving on things that are most important to you.
Get Out There
Knowing what we want and having an end goal in mind will get us nowhere if we don’t put ourselves out there. I know: This sounds ridiculous, right? What kind of person makes a plan with a goal in place but does nothing to reach it? Plenty. In my ministry for single moms, the number one thing women complain about in their relationships is not being able to meet the right kind of men. The second? The lack of time won’t allow them to look. Ahem. You can’t get what you want if you don’t make it a priority. Do you have time to go to the grocery store once a week? Then you have time to meet someone for coffee. If you met one person for a 30-minute coffee once every other week for a year, that would be 26 possibilities for love in your life. Stop making excuses. Implement the plan.
Like all good things in life, finding the love of your life takes effort and planning. Expecting God to plop the person of our dreams on our front porch isn’t reality. Like most things in the Kingdom of God, He often won’t give us things until we’ve made ourselves ready for them. Think about it: If He has a godly mate in mind but we’ve done nothing to prepare our hearts and minds for that person, He’d be doing them a disservice by bringing them into our lives before we are ready. He’s looking out for both parties. So do your part, friend.
Then get ready to be blessed.