Her name was Shelby. I was 9 years old and she was 10 and we were in 4th grade. While I thought she was the prettiest girl I had ever seen, I like most 9 year olds had not an ounce of confidence to approach a member of the opposite sex unless it was making small talk in line at the pencil sharpener:
“What did you eat for lunch today?”
“Me too. ”
Yes, I was hopelessly awkward when it came to girls, but I couldn’t understand why. I mean sure my mom paid my lunch money and I still had no idea what “the opposite sex” even meant, but as I saw my friends begin to have boyfriends and girlfriends, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of desperate 4th grade loneliness. A friend of mine even told me, “Hang with me, and you’ll get girls!” But I was determined to do it all on my own. And then the night came.
At a friend’s birthday party, the boys and girls sat on opposite sides of the room as was our custom, and me and the young lass made eyes across the way for what seemed like forever (15 minutes.) I had one of the girls I was friends with go and ask her, “will you be Jarred’s girlfriend?” And she came back and said “Yes. She will.” It was on.
For two solid weeks we didn’t say a word to each other, but I reveled in my 9 year old swagsmanship (I just invented that word.) Nobody had as much game as me, and when I bought her a $14 necklace that said ‘Angel,’ I felt atop of the world. One day later she sent a messenger to tell me, “Shelby said It’s over.”
“I don’t care.” I so cared.
After listening to “You’ve got it bad” by usher on repeat all week, I just knew there had to be someone else out there for me. My 10 year old girlfriend hadn’t panned out so well, but that was okay. God had The Right One for me, and It was time to hop back on the prowl.
We all take dating Cues from someone or something. Generally, culture dictates how we date. We watch the latest Nicholas Sparks film, (which is full of lies,) and then make our way through two dozen potential candidates to fulfill our every romantic desire, regardless of how incompatible, ungodly, or outright laughable the circumstances may be.
We’re a fickle human race with heavy-beating hearts filled with love for just one person. And it is our understanding that we must do WHATEVER it takes, to find that one. While most singles drive the wide highway paved by culture towards their hopeful mate and experience aLOT of heartbreak, crushed dreams and unfulfilled expectations, there will be a few that take the road less travelled: the uncommon path which, when followed closely, can lead us straight past all the distractions, into the arms of “The Right One.”
Here are Four Uncommon Ways to Find The Right One:
1. Stop Looking for Them.
Woah, woah, woah, woah. . . Hold up! Just Stop?!?
Yup. Stop. Stop spending all your time mindlessly worming your way through the hearts of every single male/female you meet, doing the romance dance while only hitting a brick wall when you find out your totally incompatible. It’s NOT going to work! Don’t believe me? Well how successful have you been up to this point?!?!
I remember when God began to speak to me about this. I was in my daily Bible Reading and came across Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:33:
“Seek FIRST the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and ALL these things will be added to you.”
I think we can mostly agree that Jesus was a pretty wise fellow, not that he was also God or anything, and that he might have just a small clue what he’s talking about.Seek God, you get things. Seek things, you get neither. Click To Tweet
So I sought God and quit looking for the right person. You’re on good ground when you take this approach because if you remember, God brought Eve to Adam. He didn’t just get up and go looking for her! Now the common argument I hear against this line of thinking is: “There’s so many people in the world! How will I find the right one if I don’t go looking!?” Fair question. I’d only ask in reply, “Do you seriously think you stand a chance in finding your one out of 8 billion??? Good luck :)”
What are you looking for? If it’s a mate, you’ll probably come up short-handed. But if you’re seeking God and willing to wait until God brings that person into your life, then you’ll come out with plenty to celebrate.
2. Make a List (check it twice)
The most important decision you’ll ever make besides giving your life to Jesus Christ is who you marry. It’s not your job. It’s not your car. It’s not your house. It’s not your church. Why? Because all of these things are things, but a person is a person and a person can harm you, hurt you, strengthen you, love you, and even make you better!
That’s a big investment to make.
But oftentimes, we give not even a fraction of planning and preparation to who we’re going to marry as we do to which college we’ll attend, what scholarships we pursue, our career path or our financial budget.
I’ve often found that God is into specifics. Not just vague details. Sure you want a wife. But what kind of wife? What characteristics would you like her to have? What type of interests will you share? Where will she be at spiritually? Should she want kids? How many? Will she be career-driven? Stay at home? Exactly what is the desire of your heart?
Decide it. Then write it. Make it Plain. (Habakuk 2:2)
Now watch God answer your prayers in a higher way than you can even imagine!
3. Wait for The Right Time
When I was in 4th grade, my girlfriend was the one.
When I was in 5th grade, my girlfriend was the one.
When I was in 6th grade, my girlfriend was the one.
When I was in 7th grade, my girlfriend was the one.
10th grade? Same thing.
Except it wasn’t. How do I know this? Because I married only ONE wonderful woman, and she wasn’t any of them! In fact, we never even went on a date until we were married! But boy, that’s a whole nother’ story.
The right person at the wrong time is the wrong person. Only the right person at the right time is the right person.
All throughout the Bible we see no example of casual dating: “We’re 15, we spend every day together, and we’ll just have fun and love each other until we get married 10 years from now.” Nope. Try me. It’s not in there.
No, we see something far greater. We see people save themselves, wait and then spend a little time getting to know each other as they seek God’s will and sign. When he speaks, they enter covenant, and they glorify God and love one another until they die.
When will you get married? Think about it, and if you’re nowhere near that season, then it’s not your season. Song of Solomon wasn’t lying when it said over and over again, “Don’t stir up or awaken love until it’s time.” Until it’s time, you’re just playing with matches. Try not to get burned.
4. Be a Friend, Not a Flirt
Hollywood teaches us that relationships start something like this:
“Let’s go out sometime.”
I suppose it could work. But what if your date is horrible!?!? Now hear me out, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a man making his intentions known early on and being clear. If anything i strongly encourage it. The friend-zone is NO fun. But there is something special about getting around someone for a good amount of time, learning their interests and relating to them before you pull the love trigger. Regardless of what culture says, friends and relationships are not entirely different realities. If you’re going to live in the same house with somebody for the rest of your life, you’re going to want them to be YOUR BEST FRIEND. Trust me. So be a friend first, flirt later. It works great that way 🙂
Question: What do you think? Any strategies you’d add to this list? Have you found these uncommon ways to be helpful or hurtful? Leave a comment below and let me know you thoughts! Share this blog and follow me on twitter and periscope for more content.