It just so happens that I have a large number of amazing single friends.
One would think that I would be able to match them up with each other, but knowing their preferences makes this seemingly impossible. I started to think about this and found myself in a bit of a dilemma. I am all about standards. I encourage my friends and clients to set standards for themselves in every area of their life.
I think it is good to know what you want in life, but thinking about my single friends makes me wonder if these standards are too rigid. I can feel the glares of my friends already, but hear me out.
I was talking to my husband about our early weeks of getting to know each other before I even thought about dating him.
Let me begin by saying that I am happily married and think my husband is a real stud, but when we first met, that was definitely not my opinion. I was intrigued, but my attraction was not about his physical appearance. I found him cute, but he did not meet any of the criteria I had set in my mind. You see, I had a list. YOU know what I am talking about. This list contained each characteristic that I desired to have in my future spouse, including physical characteristics, background and personality. I had posted the list next to my bed where, each night, I prayed over the various aspects of this man that was going to make my life complete.
In those early weeks, as James and I spent more time around each other, I became even more intrigued about who he was and the potential that he presented for the future. I remember lying awake at night, wrestling with myself about whether I should stay away from him or take him up on his offer to date. Obviously, my choice ended up being the latter, but there was a process that led to that decision.
The Lord showed me him—not him in the present, but who he was going to be. I was shown a glimpse of his character, passion and destiny well before these qualities had the chance to emerge. In the process of trusting this vision and hearing the Lord, we ended up dating and falling in love.
Fast-forward to the present day, and I can’t imagine my life without him. I am more in love with him today than I was when we first met. I am seeing pieces of what the Lord showed me emerge, but there are still more amazing things yet to come. When we ment, he wasn’t what I thought I would want, but ultimately he became more than I could have ever imagined.
So what’s the point? When thinking about this, I heard the Lord say, “Just because he isn’t your prince or princess charming right now doesn’t mean that they don’t have the potential to be.” When looking for someone, many people end up ruling out a great option as a result of believing that they fail to meet the criteria from the beginning.
My encouragement to you is this:
1. Determine standards.
Have standards; they are okay. But just be sure that they don’t keep you from following the Holy Spirit’s lead for your dating life.
2. Get to know someone.
Take the time to get to know someone and truly allow the Holy Spirit to show you who they are, inside and out.
3. Trust the Holy Spirit in you.
Trust your gut; it is usually right and knows what you need, better than a list or any other superficial expectation.
My prayer for you and all of my amazing single friends is that they find the happiness and completeness that I have found in my husband. I know that person is out there; just be sure you aren’t so busy looking at a list that you let them walk on by.
*Originally appeared on Cassie Reid Counseling