When I was growing up (and likely you as well), I loved fairy tales. Back then, Princesses weren’t brandishing bows and arrows or knocking out the prince with a frying pan. They were simply in love, and being endlessly pursued by the token of their affection.
Of course, by definition they were fairy tales, and so we all grew to learn that real life didn’t work that way. We weren’t all princesses, not all men were princes, and true love didn’t always end happily.
But many years down the road now, as I look back and evaluate my younger dating escapades while moving on to a second season of dating at the same time, I can honestly say there’s something I wish someone had told me back then. Something that those early princesses got right.
You see, during my first round of singlehood, in my 20s, I wasn’t a believer. I gave little thought to faith, had no idea what yoked even meant, and couldn’t have cared less if I was breaking some kind of unspoken rules by dating whoever I wanted. (Just being honest, friends.)
In my second round of singlehood, in my 40s, I’m a follower of Jesus. Faith is an integral part of my life, I won’t even consider dating someone who doesn’t share my faith, and it’s fairly difficult to find men who understand that every woman online isn’t willing to throw herself at the first man she sees.
And because we hold ourselves to a different set of standards in this life, finding the right person is much harder in my opinion. As a result, being single as a follower of Jesus can be more challenging if we don’t see our true value.
And while I believe that our single years (both first go-round and second) can be some of the most effective of our lives, it can also be some of the loneliest. It’s a time when well-meaning friends and family are quick to encourage us that the right relationship is right around the corner, or that we are better off not being in one. But we know the truth is that there is a physical need to be close to someone that never seems to go away. We were made for relationship, and we feel it in our core.
If you are single, you are most likely ebbing and flowing through the dating world. A place that can be thrilling and romantic at times, and exhausting and disappointing at others. And while we all just want to find our last loves in this life, girls, we need to remember something those young princesses knew:
We are the Prize to be won.
We aren’t something to be toyed with alongside five other women by men who can’t seem to make up their minds. We aren’t something to be lusted after as if the image in our selfies is worth more than our hearts. We aren’t something to be settled for as if what we have to offer in this life isn’t unique and extraordinary.
We are the Prize to be won.
Because we are daughters of the King — something that He cherishes and protects and doesn’t want just anyone to have. In fact, He wants us to wait until He introduces us to someone who sees us as the Prize we are.
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised” (Proverbs 31:30).
Ask competitors of any kind about the prize they pursue, and you’ll likely discover 4 simple truths:
1. There is a deep respect for the prize because it is highly sought after by many.
The value is easy to ascertain so those who seek to win it are willing to line up in order to simply have the opportunity to compete. Never settle for someone that doesn’t understand and appreciate your value.
2. Any prize worth winning must be pursued.
There is a great deal of training and preparation that go into pursuing anything of value. Those who seek to win it are willing to do the hard work without complaint and understand that it is worth the effort it takes to win it. If your heart isn’t being actively pursued, you are in the wrong relationship.
3. Once given the opportunity to pursue the prize, those competing understand that only one winner will surface.
It’s not simply given to anyone who shows up. Only the best will win. Don’t date to simply date. Choose those who recognize your worth, are willing to pursue you and know they must earn your heart.
4. Finally, once a prize is pursued and won, it is deeply cherished by the victor.
Because they know what it took to win it over, they don’t then push it aside; they hold it in high regard. You, sweet friend, are unique and to be deeply valued by the person you choose to give your heart to.
Don’t settle for anything less than being recognized for the prize that you are. Any man of character and faith will easily see the beautiful person you are amid the rough edges the world has to offer. Begin to see yourself as a prize to be won, and you’ll begin to see your dating life very differently. The wait will begin to make more sense. And you’ll be less likely to settle for anything less than God’s very best for you.