DEAR ALI: “Where have all the ‘good guys’ gone?”
I’ve been reading your blog and you have such great advice. I have a few questions I was wondering if you could help me with.
What’s a girl to do when she lives in an area without many guys? Move? I’m not really into the online thing but would like to find a good guy and live in a rural area. What would you suggest for someone in my situation?
Thank you for your questions. I can totally relate to how you must be feeling. I don’t even live in a rural area and I too have wondered at times where all the ‘good guys’ are. Or if God has forgotten about me all together! So take heed my dear sister, you are not alone in feeling this way and the good news is He does not forget about any of us, ever. As Paul says,
“I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)
When it comes to trusting God with matters related to our hearts, societal pressures can easily get the best of us–especially when our surroundings (aka dating pool) look less than hopeful. So what’s a girl to do?
Well, God has been teaching me a thing or two about how to approach this whole relationship thing and bottom line, it boils down to trust. There have been numerous times, when I have been overtaken by fears and anxieties about never finding Mr. Right, and God will whisper to my heart, “Do you really trust me Ali? Do you really believe I am the Creator of the heavens and the earth and everything in it? Do you really believe I have the very best plans and purposes in store for you? Do you really believe I can provide for ALL your needs?”
Every time this happens, my heart softens like a big ball of silly putty in the Lord’s hands as I reply, “Yes Father, I do…but help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24)
We all know trusting God and choosing to live by faith and not by sight is easier said than done. So today I want to address and de-bunk three myths that can creep into our psyche’s, robbing us from the peace, joy and contentment He intends us to have when we put our full trust in Him:
MYTH #1: I must be in the ‘right place at the right time.’
After living in the Philippines for two years after college, I was faced with a decision of staying in Asia for another two years (minimum) or going back to the US. At age 25, many of my friends back in the US seemed to be getting into serious relationships and finding their “Mr. Rights.” I couldn’t help but wonder how choosing to stay in Asia would affect my love life. This is an excerpt I wrote in my journal during that time:
Lord, if I stay in Asia, will I be single forever? I feel like you are telling me to stay here, but what if I am missing out in meeting new people? All my friends are dating and meeting people and I’ll be stuck here…alone. Should I move to a place where the chances of meeting and marrying someone are higher?
That’s when God swooped in and sent one of His ‘angels’ to encourage me. I met a woman who told me a story about her friend who was fighting the call to go live and work in India as a missionary because she feared she would never get married and have a family. She was in her mid-thirties and she knew she would have to start a family soon. Then she had a dream and this is how she described it:
I saw myself sitting in the center of the palm of God’s right hand. In His other hand I saw a man, also sitting in the center of His palm. Though I couldn’t make out the face of the man, I knew in the dream it was the man He had for me to marry. Then, I saw God’s hands moving together and when they touched, God took my hand and put it in the man’s hand. He then released us, hand in hand, into our united calling He had for us…
The woman knew the Lord was speaking to her through this dream. As long as she stayed in close fellowship with Him, she would remain in the center of His will and he would take care of the details of her heart’s desires. Needless to say, she met her husband in India months later, who was also called as a missionary there. God is faithful!
Sometimes we think it is our job to strategically place ourselves in the ‘right place and the right time’ as if we need to help Him out or something. No, He knows what He is doing. We may not know the full picture, but our job is simply to obey where He is leading us, whether it is to live in a small rural American town or a giant city half way across the world. God is so much bigger than geography; He cares about proximity…to Him.
MYTH #2: God can’t work through the virtual world.
In this age we live in, there are many new ways people are meeting and mingling. Fortunately or unfortunately, many of those ways are virtual. If you’re anything like me, you may have developed a ‘stigma’ against anything that resembles anything close to online dating. Ugh…right?
Well, I must say I am warming up to the idea. People in the Christian community have different opinions on this, but I think it can be a good option for people like the gal who asked the question today, who lives in a rural area. It can be a way to meet new people, make connections and get conversations going. With this said however, we must keep in mind that God is with us throughout the process, to help us move forward in His wisdom and discernment. I encourage people who are having difficulties meeting people, to prayerfully consider putting up a profile on at least one Christian dating site and be open to how the Lord might work through it. I love God’s words to Joshua,
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
Trust that God will be with you as you venture into new ways of meeting people in this modern world.
MYTH #3: He doesn’t fit everything on my ‘list’ so he must not be ‘the one’.
Sometimes we are not meeting people because we have created unrealistic expectations of the type of person we want to be with. There is this line of thought out there that if we make up a “wish list” of all the traits we could ever hope for in a mate, then “poof!” God will drop Him in our laps. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying we shouldn’t believe God for the impossible. But we must continue to stay connected to His Spirit and make our requests based on the standards of His Word. For Jesus Himself says,
“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you wish and it will be given to you.”
Notice we must remain in Him and His Word. Where in His Word does it say you should desire a perfectly chiseled man with huge muscles and a huge wallet? Nowhere! But it does say we should desire all that which is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable (Phil 4:8). A slightly different standard right? We must know God’s Word and align our desires to it.
We should continually be checking in with God and asking Him to expose any faulty or false expectations that have crept into our consciousness and ask for His heart, His mind and His preferences when it comes to considering a mate. We can even pray David’s words in Psalms 139:23-24:
“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
Ever since I made my ‘list’ of character traits I would like in a husband several years ago, God has since streamlined it majorly! Why? Because I am continually checking my heart and allowing Him to mold and change me as He sees fit. As I continue to mature and grow in my faith, my desires are becoming more and more like His. Honestly, they look a lot different (and better!) than what the world tells us we should want in a person. What a reason to rejoice!
Do you have a list? If so, take it out and re-evaluate it against God’s standards. Make a new one if you have to. Or toss it out all together. Ask God to help you see the men around you from His perspective and to give you eyes to see what He sees in them. You might be surprised at who God may bring to your attention. It may be someone you never expected, whom you may have overlooked or written off before because he didn’t fit the stringent list of character traits you were looking for and thought you needed. God knows what we need in a mate, so we’re better off leaving the choosing to Him.
If there really are a limited number of men where you live, pray and ask God to give you extra portions of faith in His power and plan for your life. Be sensitive to how the Holy Spirit is leading you. He may tell you to keep doing what you are doing, serving and working where you are, trusting that He is orchestrating behind the scenes on your behalf (read story of Ruth and Boaz in the Bible). Or He may lead you to be courageous and venture into new ways of meeting people online or through other social groups. There is no formula, just make sure you can hear His voice. Without this ability, we can so easily be deceived.
We must continually and consciously trust and entrust the desires of our hearts to the Lord, for a truly surrendered heart is where His fountains of peace, joy and contentment flow during periods of singlehood. Rest in the fact that the Creator of the entire universe is totally and fully capable of matching you with another person on this planet!
I hope these so-called ‘myths’ will no longer keep you from seeing God at work in your situation, whatever it may look like. As you go about your day today, remember this: All the days ordained for YOU were written in His book before one of them came to be (Psalm 139:16). Isn’t that an awesome and comforting thought?
Friend, God has you and your heart’s desires covered on every side and in every way. So be still, and know that He is God! (Psalm 46:10)
**Did you find today’s post helpful? Do you have anything to add? Join the conversation by leaving a comment…I would love to hear your thoughts!
Posted on April 29, 2011, in DEAR ALI and tagged christian dating, Christianity, dating, faith, marriage, singlehood, singleness, surrender, trust, trusting God, waiting. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a Comment.