If you look up the definition of the word “wait,” it says to “stay where one is or delay action until a particular time or until something else happens.”
We live in a society that values activity; therefore, waiting is an unnatural activity—or lack of activity. However, isn’t most of God’s word—aren’t most of His values—opposite of what our society values?
For me, as I wait for the desires of my heart, I have chosen a path that is not popular in our culture. I run into people all the time, and the first question they ask is, “Are you dating anyone?” The answer is always no.
When I say that I am waiting on God, I mean that whole-heartedly. You see, about a year ago I made the decision that I would not date until God gave me permission to move forward in a relationship. Since I am not looking for a good time or just someone to spend time with, it seems pointless to me to give my heart, time, and emotions to a man that I will not marry. So, I have chosen not to date—to guard my heart in preparation for the ONE that God will bring to me.
I am constantly asked why I don’t get on an online dating site. I have a number of reasons: 1. I am afraid of what I will find hiding behind a computer screen, especially since my ex-husband was posing as a divorced father instead of the married pastor he was. 2. I have actually looked at a few sites, and I found very few men that were of interest to me. 3. I am waiting for a man who loves God with His whole heart, soul, mind, and strength, and I am quite confident that God is much better at finding that type of man than I am.
At this point, I have to make a confession. Last spring, despite my constant cries of, “I will never get on an online dating site!” I found myself…on an online dating site. It was a Christian site, but there were still very few men that seemed to have the depth of commitment to God that I am looking for. However, I truly believe that God had told me to enroll on the site. I did meet an amazing man who became a wonderful friend. I have no doubt that God ordained the friendship, and I will be forever thankful for having this individual in my life. You would think that after walking with God for 35 years I would know better than to say” Never.” It is just like God to work exactly the way we least expect it.
I have no idea what method God will use to bring “the One” to me, but what I know is that while I wait, I must listen. If I am in the Word, if I am praying, if I am seeking His face, He will direct my steps. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. God doesn’t want us to know the future. He simply wants us to trust Him to lead us into the future.
In Genesis 12, God calls Abraham to become the Father of Israel. God’s instructions to Abram are simple: Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you. You notice that God didn’t give Him any specifics; He just said go where I will show you. As Abraham did his best to seek God, to walk in obedience, God was faithful to show him where to go. God is just as faithful with us. He calls us to walk by faith, not by sight.
By choosing to wait for God to bring just one special person to me in His time, I am saving myself a lot of heartache. You see, when we choose to give ourselves—emotionally, spiritually, or physically—to someone in a dating relationship, we then have to deal with the baggage that is left when that relationship is over. The more baggage we bring into the one God-ordained marriage relationship, the more we will have to overcome. By preserving myself in every aspect, I am saving myself and my future husband a lot of trouble.
By waiting for God to bring that one special person to my life, I am also saving my children heartache. I have seen people bring man after man into their children’s lives. The children become attached, only to have the relationship end. They must deal with the loss as much as the adults. My children and I have been through enough emotional turmoil. We are just now healing from the pain and trauma of a divorce. We don’t need to deal with more loss.
Even though I have a very trusting nature, I have also found that I am struggling to trust men again after all that I have been through. I have a huge area of vulnerability, and only God can give me the ability to trust a man again. That takes time—and the right man.
I have made the decision that there is some very specific activity that I can participate in while I wait. These are specific directions from God, things that I need to focus my attention on while I wait.
1. I need to focus on the spiritual growth of my children. I was blessed to be able to stay home with my kids when they were young. It was my greatest blessing to be able to lead all three of my children to a saving knowledge of my Lord and Savior and to assist in their baptisms. My children are very used to me taking an ordinary conversation and turning it into a spiritual lesson. But, they are growing up. There are more lessons to be taught. There are scriptures to learn so that they cling to the promises of God all the days of their lives. My boys need to learn to be courageous men of God who are strong enough in their faith to lead their families. My daughter needs to know what it is to walk with a quiet and gentle spirit. It often seems a daunting task, but I am blessed that my children have the best father ever—a Heavenly Father who steps in and takes over where I fall short.
2. I need to pray for my children—and future children. I have begun setting alarms on my phone every day. Every hour or two, an alarm goes off to remind me to pray for my children. I pray for every aspect of their lives that I can think of. The first night I set my alarms, my kids asked why my phone kept going off. When I explained that the alarms were reminders to pray for them, their faces lit up! You could tell they felt so loved that I would schedule time throughout my day to pray for them. I carry Stormie O’Martian’s book The Power of a Praying Parent with me every single day. It is a great guide for me, and it serves as a springboard into specific prayers for my children. I have also begun to pray for any “bonus” children I might one day have—assuming that the man God brings to me has children of his own. I want to make that special place in my heart and be able to look him/her in the face and honestly say that I’ve been praying for him/her even before he/she was in my life. Blending families is difficult, and I want to be prayed up long before the day is ordained.
3. I must pray daily for my future spouse. When I was married, I would lace up my sneakers, throw on my headphones, and pound the pavement for hours praying for my husband. I used Stormie O’Martian’s audio version of The Power of a Praying Wife to pray for my husband. I saw God’s hand moving, and now I can look back at those prayers and know that much of God’s protection and provision over me and my children are a direct result of God’s answer to those prayers. In November of 2009, shortly after my separation, I began praying for my future husband. I cried as I poured out my heart and desires to God. There came a time where I had to step away from these prayers because I was more concerned about a husband than my relationship with God. However, this summer, God freed me to pray intently for my future husband. I can now feel the power of those prayers, and I know that God is preparing that man for me in response to my prayers. One day I will look him in the face and say, “I have been praying for you and commit to continue until death do we part.”
If you ever meet me and ask if I am dating anyone, chances are the answer will be no. I have the amazing opportunity to model God’s way of dating to my children. I have the opportunity to model purity for my children. I have the opportunity to show them that God’s way is so much better than the world’s way. I would be failing my children if I allowed myself to get swept up into every man that came along. I would be hurting myself and my future spouse by heaping emotional baggage upon what I already have. I don’t want to live that way. I want to live God’s way.
And, that means I must wait…