catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 2, Num 4 :: 2003.02.14 — 2003.02.27


Finding the right one

In this season of love and romance it seems as if everyone is seeing hearts. All of us, out of curiosity, of course, check out the websites featuring "hot singles in your area" and while we hate to admit it, somehow we became hooked on The Bachelorette making it our priority to watch every Wednesday in order to see which men won't receive a rose, and which man Trista finally finds true love with.

Just like Trista, we're constantly pressured to find the "right one." If we don't, we feel like the family reject at Thanksgiving dinner and can't participate in the church?s couples club. Nobody wants a life like that. We need to find security and find it fast because in this mixed up world you need a sturdy source, someone to fall back on.

Proverbs 4:23 says, "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life." I can't help but think that in an age that allows us a lot of freedom to love as we choose, we aren't guarding our hearts very well. There are not the same social or moral norms attached to dating that people had to abide by in past decades. Granted, God's greatest gift is love and we've been created with an enormous ability to love and be loved. Many people devote their thoughts and energy to the search for that gift with more passion and determination than they would put into any other area of their life. Could it be that we are embracing this freedom too vigorously?

I generally see dating going something like this: A girl or guy is interested in someone of the opposite sex. They go on a date and if the date goes poorly, the romance ends before it's even started. This can cause serious disappointment and more often than not a serious hit to the self-esteem. On the other hand, if the date goes well, they go on more, and a relationship forms. Emotions get stronger, intimacy goes deeper, and feelings and time are invested. Somewhere along the line though, one may decide that they just aren't ready to be tied down, or that they just aren't getting what they need or desire from this relationship, so they break it off. From this we get broken hearts, shattered self-worth, and devastated people.

If you go through this love and lose routine enough times, however, it may get easier. Hearts are no longer as valuable, making them easier to break. To many, dating is a sort of "training ground" for marriage. You have to date to find out what you like or need in a person, right? We train ourselves to form a string of relationships until we find one that really clicks. Then we can settle down and get married. This is a system that prepares a person more for divorce than for marriage. It teaches that a relationship is to be had as long as it is convenient, easy, and the other person is serving your purposes. It doesn't teach commitment or sacrifice, things that are vital to a marriage.

But can the entire dating system be bad? We've been doing it for years now, and there are people who date around and then go on to enjoy very happy and fulfilled marriages. This is true, but is it at the cost of heartache and pain? Is it God glorifying? Is it how he intended it to be for us, his beloved children? Or is there a better way to save ourselves for the person that we trust God will introduce into our life in his timing?

God created love as his most beautiful and exciting gift and wants us, his children, to enjoy it in the most perfect way possible. He designed this love to be experienced exclusively with one person, and for it to last a lifetime.

Relationships and dating are not bad, and when done well, not even harmful. The key to experiencing the wonderful gift of love in the way that God intended is to guard your heart. Be cautious with intimacy in every part of the relationship. Guard your words, your actions, and your feelings until you're sure that this is the only one God desires to ever experience the love that you can give. Don't give your heart away carelessly and avoid becoming vulnerable to a person until a solid trust has formed. God gave us each a deep soul to share with others, and those who have been in love know that is a beautiful experience. But be cautious, save everything that you have to give. Why? Because every time you become intimate with another human being, be it physically or emotionally, you share a part of yourself. You give a part of yourself away in each kiss and each intimate conversation; a part that belongs not to some ex-boyfriend or girlfriend, but a part that belongs exclusively to the one with whom God has chosen for you to spend your life. Save it for the one person who will truly appreciate it the most and you will experience love in its most beautiful form.

So go against the world's pressures to find romance for reasons that are not valid, and don't have regrets if you don't have that special someone to love you this Valentines Day. You don't need to watch Blind Date to pick up dating tips or browse through the classifieds to find love. Simply learn to rejoice in the comfort that you can trust your creator to provide you with the most beautiful love you could imagine in his time.

If our hopes are being disappointed just now, it means that they are being purified. There is nothing noble the human mind has ever hoped for or dreamed of that will not be fulfilled. One of the greatest strains in life is the strain of waiting for God.
-Oswald Chambers


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