On Fire for All Things Christ

Which Way to My Mate?

Three times this week from three different sources I’ve heard reference to doing things God’s way and not man’s way. I take it that the Lord is trying to tell me something??!! Yes, He is indeed.

Several months ago, a friend sent me a link to a book called How to Get a Date Worth Keeping. In the book, Christian author Dr. Henry Cloud, advices that we can all find a good date (and ultimately a good mate) by following his approach to dating. He says that we shouldn’t be waiting around for God to make the match, but rather that we should take action with the potential around us.

I read an excerpt from the book and it sounded quite convincing, but I had doubts if this was really a Biblical approach. In the excerpt from Chapter 1, two friends are having a debate about why the other has been in a stagnant single season for two years. The opposite friend offers up a challenge to the unhappy woman and became her “dating coach.” The agreement required her to give full obedience to his approach and that she would have a guaranteed good date in no later than six months.

Here is part of the excerpt (emphasis added):

For two years her dating life had been stagnant, and she was denying that reality with a philosophy that if you do nothing, God will somehow step in and provide a man. That way of thinking, which I knew was nowhere in the Bible, kept her from seeing she was very, very stuck. My goal was to get her to see the reality of her situation and to get very discouraged. I wanted her to see that what she was doing was not working and that it had been that way for a long time. I wanted that realization to sink in and bother her. My trying to convince her that she was wrong was not going to work.

She was too sure she was right. I wanted her to realize the reality of her dating life for herself. Just as balancing a checkbook can wake one up to one’s lack of money, keeping a log would awaken Lillie to her lack of dates.

Hmm, I had a few issues with that. Does it really not say in the Bible that God will somehow step in and provide a man? Is God not our provider? In Genesis 2, did the Lord not bring Eve to Adam? In Genesis 24, did the Lord not bring Rebekah to Isaac? Also, when has it ever been Biblical for us to blatantly discourage others (aside from discouraging others to take part in sin) as the friend clearly claimed to do?

Of course, the chapter one scenario wouldn’t have made it into a book if it didn’t have a success story to follow. Lillie, the once unhappy, single woman, ended up getting married to a man she dated based on the program that her friend challenged her with.

Often times, in our discouragement to God’s timing, we try and do things combining both God’s way with man’s way, or we frustratingly turn our situation solely to man’s reasoning because our faith and patience on God has run dry and we feel we are left out in the desert.

In Matthew 6, it says that the Lord feeds the birds, but it’s implied that the bird has to take action by going and get the food that is provided. So my question is: Which way is the Biblical approach to match making? Which way is God’s way? Do we need to go find and get the mate that the Lord has already provided for us, or do we wait for Him to bring us together? Is the Matthew 6 scripture considered out of context when considering match making?

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Comments on: "Which Way to My Mate?" (1)

  1. Wow, those are good questions! Concerning the Idea of finding the mate “God has already provided for us” is a slippery slope because it would imply that if you were to become unhappy in a marriage relationship then you made a mistake and found the wrong one, thus divorce and searching for the right one. This is not true. Who we marry is our decision and God may not have prompted us to do so. The fault is never on God, only on us for not praying hard enough, not seeing “red flags” or seeing them and still choosing to ignore them. Once this is understood, then we can think clearly about the qualities and characteristics we should look for in a mate. With prayer God helps and gives you clues as to what attributes and details one should look to recognize in a mate. From there we can decide to pursue or stay on the sidelines. Regardless always keep in mind, God is concerned with who we marry, but it’s not His Primary Concern. His Primary concern is that we conform to looking more and more like His Son Jesus Christ.

    I read Tommy Nelson’s book, “The Book of Romance” for Wisdom Lit class and it answers many of those questions. He premises his whole view on the Song of Solomon (along with other passages like the ones you mentioned). The main parts of his book are as follows:
    1. Who are you looking for- outward attraction, and inward spirituality (you should be attracted to both outward and inward)
    2. The person you Choose to date- invest time; employ a “no strings” policy (he says when you move to exclusive dating then you are courting and that should not occur unless marriage is in view); and Respect should continually grow; finally the “combined whole” is as follows:

    “The more time you spend dating a person, the greater your respect should grow. A “no strings attatched” policy leads to respect, and increased respect results in both the man and the woman wanting to spend more time with each other. If you want to spend less and less time with a person you are dating, if respect wanes, or if you feel “strings” are being tied around you so that you no longer feel free to be yourself, back out of the dating relationship. This is not the person for you!” page 27.

    I only comment on these parts because they seem to deal more with your questions. The idea in part 2 is that you should observe those available to you and date from there. This book gives the idea that it is both, waiting on God, and you doing something to make the connection happen. So you can’t just sit still and you can’t just go out with anybody. They should be Godly and you should make yourself available to spend time.

    I can let you borrow the book if you want, the other parts are broken down as follows:

    3. Courtship

    4. Wedding God Desires for you

    5. Honeymoon

    6. Conflicts

    7. Resolutions to Conflicts

    8. Moving to Deeper Levels

    9. Faithful Commitments

    10. Fresh beginnings are always possible.

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