“Intentional living is the art of making our own choices before others’ choices make us.” Richie Norton.
If we choose to live lives that are purpose driven then we cannot leave out relationships in that intentionality. I find that these days, relationships are a hot topic but also poses a lot of confusion. We have been shown an idea of relationship so different from what God intended which has left us with brokenness.
Dating, like your career, like your education should be done with purpose. But what does it mean to date with a purpose and how do you even do it? Let’s take a look at this journey to better understand how to go about it.
Phase One: Single like a Pringle
Dating with purpose begins sooner than you would think. Intentional dating starts first with the individual. Have you checked the status of your own personal and spiritual state lately? As a single, what are you doing to grow in your maturity, career, education, relationship with Christ? Before you think about the idea of dating, focus on YOU and what God can do through you.
Your single years are precious times that you will never get back. In the Bible, Paul says it himself, being a single allowed him to work in ways that he would not have if he was married. Don’t look at this season as a burden or a death sentence. Singleness can be quite beautiful if you take your eyes off relationships and focus on Jesus. Don’t sit around and wait for a relationship boo, no one wants to date someone that isn’t interesting and has nothing going on…well no one except someone that isn’t interesting and has nothing going on, but you don’t want that do you? Focus all your energy on building yourself and the kingdom of God.
Phase Two: I want a relationship …like now
So, some of us have passed the I am single, not necessarily trying to mingle phase. We may have a deep desire for a relationship and for marriage. Although the desire is more pronounced than before, you still need to focus on the tasks at hand. This is the phase where trust really needs to be activated. As you lay your requests onto God, believe that He will indeed listen to the desires of your heart and give you exactly what you need. “Delight yourself in the LORD, And He will give you the desires of your heart” Psalm 37:4, some of us speed past the first statement, ” Delight yourself in the Lord”; yes you have that desire, but are you focused on the desire or the Lord? are you spending time with God, reading His word, praying and surrendering to Him? God doesn’t give you blessings because of all those deeds, but because of his grace…however, it is important to note that the less intimate you are with God, the less of His heart you will know, and the less likely His desires will match up with yours. God will give you the desires of your heart as it aligns with His. Be patient and wait on the Lord. Continue to be the very best you, continue to give your desires to God, continue to lean on Him, make yourself available but not desperate. Everything shall be added unto you as you focus on Jesus Christ.
Phase Three: I think He Is Checking Me Out
Ladies and gentlemen pump your breaks, don’t get too excited. I see so many people that literally plan their entire wedding the first time a crush smiles at them. STOP it right now! this is not the time to get in over your head. Now, I am not saying there is something wrong with a crush, but don’t allow yourself to go down a path of endless thoughts of what could be.
If you are interested in a certain mister and I mean seriously interested, not just oh he is handsome than this is the level that you are in. God is here to hear you out, let Him know what your feelings are toward that person, be honest and see what He says. I have gone in prayer before regarding crushes and God was like ” Naw sis”, and after I say ” but, but, but” I let it go, and ask God to take the desire out of my heart. So that might be you, maybe you have a crush that has become unhealthy ( You focus on it too much, and maybe Jesus has said no).
I am a HUGE proponent of accountability. Before you get yourself in anything, let someone know. Relationships are a beautiful thing, but the devil loves to destroy them, don’t leave an open door for Satan to enter. the worst thing would be to enter into a situation that is not healthy or was not meant for you. Allow your peers ( if they are God-fearing) and your spiritual mentor to be involved in this process. More times than not, they can help you figure out if the subject of interest would be a good match and if they are even interested in you.
Phase Four: Ok So He Made A Move, First Date
Have some fun! Don’t be too serious, the first date is not the place to ask ” when are we going to get married”. Take two deep breaths and be authentic. As you move forward in your dates, you should both be in intense prayer asking God how He feels about the relationship and how it needs to progress. Not all dates will end up in a relationship. You both might just end up as friends and that is ok. Either way, be prayerful and involve key spiritual mentors to have a voice in this. Some of the questions you should be asking during this process are…
What is your intention? this isn’t saying that they need to want marriage in the next year, but don’t allow someone to waste your time. If they are only trying to take you out on dates for the sake of dates, tell that sucker goodbye. The point should be to get to know each other to see if you can move into a serious relationship and pursue marriage.
Are they spiritually mature and are they yearning to grow?
Are they humble enough to seek advice, to learn, to be challenged?
Do they have a plan? What are they pursuing? Does that align with your vision?
How do they treat their friends, family, those under their leadership?
Do they respect authority?
Do they have accountability in their life?
Are they committed to a church?
Are they honorable?
This is just a very short list of what to look out for. Your family, spiritual authority, friends and you know what YOU need, so ask those questions! Let other people ask those questions! DO NOT SETTLE. If there is some hesitation, let it go.
Phase Five: It’s Official
It’s official, he is your boyfriend, she is your girlfriend, yall are doing this for real. Great, some people would call this the courtship phase, but you can call it dating, it doesn’t really matter. The dating process should have lots of accountability…do you notice a theme here. Boundaries should be set, talks about the future should be had, and learning about each other should be a priority.
Stay tuned for the relationship Q&A video coming out next week, the amazing couple will touch on even more of the dating process and specifically on level five. You won’t want to miss it. Share this post with your friends and get them excited about the video coming out soon.