Posts Tagged With: dating

What is this ‘happily ever after?’

073d651ce06a1ef8806ed75f1460084bEvery day of our lives, especially in mine, since I can remember, the world has painted this crazy picture of a ‘happily ever after.’ Every story ever seen or read since I was a little girl, has been about some ‘Prince Charming’ saving a princess, they fall in love, get married and end up living that ‘happily ever after.’

As a little girl I was always in two minds about this idea and my parents can vouch for the long time that I went through a perspective of, “I’m never getting married or even having kids…instead, I’m going to become a nun.” You can laugh and giggle but I truly felt that way. Later I fell into the other extreme of ‘serial dating.’ What I’m trying to say is not that there is something wrong with ‘happily ever after’ but that we must realise what pressures can also come with painting that kind of picture. I am not saying that that can’t be true and that we’re setting people up for some huge disappointment, because that isn’t true either. It is just that there is so much more to the whole dating picture and then marriage after that.

I was a serial dater until I realised how much I kept giving away, how much it was taking away from me and someone else’s possible future partner. I also just started seeing things differently as I got closer in my relationship with God and saw the way He loved and pursued me, and continues to do every day.

You might be thinking there is no way you have given into this idea in any possible way, but somewhere along the line, this idea of a ‘happily ever after’ does creep into your heart and thoughts, affecting them whether you choose to admit it or not.

I realised this before, during and after my serial dating and had to come to a decision. Because of it, I chose not to date again until I was absolutely sure about the guy and that we had been friends and so on. Even now, while dating,  I have to constantly keep myself in check, so that I don’t let this idea of a ‘happily ever after’ become damaging to me, the other person or our relationship as it can cause unnecessary pressures and expectations that aren’t entirely realistic and based on God’s grace and truth.

The day I said ‘yes’ to dating, was also because I believed that is whom I would marry. But for most people this isn’t always the case and dating isn’t taken as seriously as it should be. You cannot constantly date people and throw them away at the first signs of trouble or when you get bored. This creates a false expectation in marriage, and proposes the idea, that if a marriage isn’t working for you, you don’t have to worry, you can quickly get divorced and start your search for the ‘PERFECT ONE’ again.  Hey, I mean – ‘there’s plenty of fish in the sea’ right?!

Dating isn’t a Biblical principle, so I really think that when you do choose to date someone, you need to take that decision very seriously, just as you would with marriage.

Anyway, these big decisions and the idea of a ‘happily ever after’ can put a great deal of pressure on us and we can be made to feel a bit doubtful. Although you say ‘yes’ to dating and even though you may know deep down this is the person you’re going to marry, you too may have doubts or have moments of doubts as they are big steps and very serious times.

In the perspective of the world and what it tells us, the person we marry(or date) is the one who makes YOU happy. He/she is perfect for YOU. The proposal is perfect for YOU. The ring and the wedding is perfect for YOU. The honeymoon is perfect for YOU and the ‘happily ever after’ is perfect for YOU. It is all about YOU, YOU, YOU and YOU!

But honestly, that is what the world says and NOT what the Word says. In the Word it speaks of the covenant of marriage being about God. The journey of navigating through a lifetime of promise like this has everything to do with Jesus. It is about ‘US’ – an equation involving your partner, Jesus and you. And the only perfect thing in this equation for YOU is grace.

I was afraid of making the wrong choice, most of us are. But we make the choice, no one else and I need to believe I make the right one.

Marriage is the covenant, the promise, to God that you vow to love another person just as Christ had/has loved us first. The most intimate, challenging and all-inclusive way of loving is what this vow consists of and is what the vow of becoming one flesh with another person includes. To serve and selflessly love them in such a way, as Christ served us and selflessly loved us to and even on the cross. To carry their burdens, taking the lashings of their shortcomings and bearing the taunting of Satan and the struggles and challenges he may bring. To put them before yourself even to the point where you feel like you may be broken, but can ultimately rise, just as our Great King did and does, in love. Lifting your partner up to Jesus when they feel they cannot do it themselves. This, with a great understanding of the magnitude of the Gospel in which we come to realise a greater appreciation for the power and authority of what was done by Jesus on our behalf and because we are so loved by the Almighty King.

Marriage (and even dating) I have explained to a few people lately, is a tiny yet supernatural taste of God’s love for us. How He treasures and cherishes us. This is a promise not to be taken lightly, because it is ultimately, a promise to accept and love one another (including all versions and parts of one another), like God loves us, on a daily basis. Something we can’t even come close to doing on our own and can only come through natural relationship with God. That is the JOY of saying ‘yes’ in your heart to the covenant of marriage. Be it a choice you made when still dating or asked to date, a choice when proposed to or deciding to propose, it is a choice to be looked forward to and excited about, one to confess with joy in your heart, even on the day of marriage and every day after that. Although, a serious choice, it is one so profound and beautiful. It isn’t that you have found the ‘perfect one,’ but that we are a step closer to drawing back another layer and getting to see God’s perfect love played out in our lives in a rather magnificent way and that we get to share that with one another.

What is truly great about marriage is that, there is the sweetest of sweet joys in knowing that you don’t have to go at this whole thing alone and that God is with us, in this, every step of the way and through Him all the crazy, deep adventures and moments are MORE than possible. It is such an honour to be able to have the privilege of loving and caring for His child in this covenant the way He has loved and taken care of me. The great truth and grace is pure magic that comes with knowing that although we aren’t perfect for each other, we both are committed to making the choice every day to follow the King who showed us and IS the perfect example of how to love. It is a commitment to having our story become a ‘happily ever after’ but one, determined by the Word of God and not the world.

Categories: Pursuing Faith, Pursuing Hope, Pursuing Love | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Intimidated… But Smiling Anyway

ImageAfter more than a year of remaining single, I went on my first date yesterday…. It sounds pretty great and it was. It wasn’t something I had seen coming at all. We have been chatting for about 3 weeks now and the first phone call I got from him was before we had started talking and to me it was very out of the blue. Since the first phone call, we have chatted a lot or pretty much around the same time every evening. Lots of the conversations were deep and something I’d keep confidential but a lot were also full of jokes and laughter. We seem to be very comfortable in our friendship that has grown these past few weeks, a friendship that came from a place not expected by me or him. We seem to have a lot in common but we also do challenge each other’s opinions and views in life which is pretty cool.

He drove a few hours from a place quite a while a way from Pretoria, and only confirmed to see me on Monday, the Sunday evening at like 11pm. He had told me a week before that he was coming to Pretoria, but nothing was set in stone – or at least not in my books anyway. On Sunday evening, I went to bed with butterflies and not sure what to wear (I sound like such a girl), and I had asked two friend’s opinions. But not knowing if it is JUST lunch or a date makes it even more stressful and confusing. I don’t like be uncertain about things – it stresses me out.

Monday morning, I had a conversation with Elicia, and she helped me figure out what to do and chatted to me for hours, calming me down but also going wild of excitement. We both ended up coming to the conclusion of a sundress and then how my hair and everything else would be. I could dress up, but try remaining casual enough for lunch. Driving to lunch to meet him, my nerves were finished and I felt like vomiting. Before hand, my whole house of friends were making jokes and clarifying the fact that this could indeed be a date, no matter how much I was trying to convince myself it wasn’t  It is just too intimidating to think of it that way. Luckily, when I hoped into his car and had greeted him and everything, I immediately felt at ease – thank goodness.

We went to lunch at Wimpy – people would say that is cheap, but honestly, I was super stoked – I’m a Wimpy fan! Haha, makes me feel like I’m back at home at the coast. He insisted on paying for lunch – very gentlemen like of him. But lunch was so much fun!!! We talked about a few deep things but also made a lot of jokes and had fun laughing. I even got him to blush, which was fun to watch. After lunch we went to another mall, the only one he knows in Pretoria and has heard of. We went to go watch a movie, which again, he insisted on paying for. Afterwards, we were still full of jokes but got more serious when he dropped me off at home, at like 6pm. Anyway, overall it was great!

But, afterwards, after being asked millions of questions when I got into the house by everyone, I was left a little confused, unsure and intimidated. Confused, because he didn’t once say he likes me but he did say he’ll see me again sometime (he does live far away and leaves on Wednesday again). Also confused and unsure, because he did many things (that I didn’t completely cover in this post) that made it seem and feel like a date but because he didn’t verbally state anything and only did with his actions… And intimidated – by him and this whole situation, intimidated by uncertainty and the fact that only time can tell, intimidated by my own feelings.

Last night I gave it up in prayer again, as I did yesterday morning before this ‘date’. As I don’t know what to do with this and because I don’t know what he thinks, I’ve had to leave it all in God’s hands. I have no other choice. But this morning when I woke up, a friend sent me such an amazing piece of God’s Word without evening knowing anything about what is going on in my life right now.

2 Chronicles 32v7&8:

Be strong and courageous.

Don’t be frightened or terrified by the king of Assyria or the crowd with him.

Someone greater is on our side.

The king of Assyria has human power on his side, but the Lord our God is on our side to help us and fight our battles.

What a great piece to read and promise to hold onto.  Sometimes situations can look so intimidating but we must not be confused by what we see with our eyes. We need to remember God is with us and will help us. That makes ALL the difference.

It is so true, because where I see uncertainty; God sees the bigger picture and He has everything in His hands. EJ, even said to me last night (when I was feeling doubtful that it had gone well), that “maybe it went better than you thought, because with how you had dressed up and how you were glowing and radiating joy and of God’s love, there’s no way that you didn’t knock him off his feet.”

So trust and have confidence in yourself and God, no matter how intimidating the situation may look. Get different perspectives if you can, and if they all stand in agreement, then maybe the situation isn’t half as bad or intimidating as you first might have thought. But remember to always go back to God and trust in His Spirit and how it moves within you.

So date or no date, I really enjoyed the company and will enjoy what happens next… No matter how uncertain the future looks and when ‘time will tell’….Because God has it all in His hands, I will choose to look towards the future and smile at it anyway….

Categories: Pursuing Faith, Pursuing Hope, Pursuing Life, Pursuing Love | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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