Broaden Your Dating Horizons

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Check out my Boundless blog post!

“My fiancé, Pat, and I weren’t what you would call “perfect for each other” when we first met.

I was looking for an alpha male who would go out to restaurants with me and debate politics and religion, stimulating deep conversations late into the night. Pat, as it turns out, is a quiet guy who goes to bed early, doesn’t go out much, and isn’t so fond of conflict (otherwise known as “discussion”).”

Read more here.

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5 Ways to Make Your Dating Profile Stand Out

 

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Check out my new article on Boundless!

“One year ago, I received an online message that would change my life.

Hi! My name’s Pat. I really enjoyed reading a profile that mentions faith and helping others. Both somewhat rare, from what I’ve seen. I’d love to learn more about you, make a new volunteering friend and maybe see it grow into something more. I look forward to hearing from you!

I didn’t know it at the time, but my three years of online dating were about to end. A few sentences in my profile attracted the man who is now my fiancé, and my search for a godly match was over.”

Read more here!

Modern Ruth: Richelle

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Richelle served with me on the welcome ministry at church.  She always had a cool and calm spirit, despite having two young boys to raise!  I looked forward to serving with her every time.  She has such a spirit of wisdom, clearly from a life of walking with the Lord.  Here is her story!

 

1. What age were you when you got married?

36

2. How did you make use of the time that you were single?

youth ministry. I am an accountant so i did a lot of free financial counseling and taxes for single woman with children, mission trips, served as treasurer on church boards, I traveled a lot. I took up ball room dancing!

3. What was your biggest struggle as a single person?

Feeling lonely and hopeless, feeling like there were no good men with faith strong in the Lord, feeling like all the dreams that I had of being a wife and mother would never happen.  The older I got, the more I had to face that reality and begin to accept that God may want to use me in a different way

4. What helped you wait on the Lord?

Prayer, strong will to break our family’s cycle – that was not to repeat divorce and remarriages,  satisfaction and enjoyment in how I was serving single woman and being a youth leader.  I just started doing both without even knowing where this would lead me.  My heart breaks for single woman with children, children with multiple fathers. I knew that as hopeless as I felt, that they felt more hopeless. I knew through their experiences that I needed to trust that if God would have me share my life with someone, it would not be that way, I felt it in my heart

5. What were the top five qualities that you were looking for in a husband?

Openness.  I really only had one. I did not know what I wanted for sure other than this fantasy of sharing my life with someone.  I have to be honest about that.   I wanted to be with a man who liked things that I liked so that we could share and agree on our life experiences…simple example, I like sports and to travel  and to dance – I found a fanatic in all three of those areas!  MAINLY I like and always have opened my home and myself to those in need, without a thought.  Literally I remember after we were married my husband was working with a man who was thrown out of his house by his wife and my husband brought him home, without even calling or telling me, he just brought him home to stay with us. I knew then we would be great companions!  If there is someone in need, we need to be there for them and trust that God will take care of that person and us through them

6. Tell us a little about the journey from meeting to marriage.

I met my husband in a social setting, through ballroom dancing. There was a social dance group that met at various clubs throughout the city.  My husband attended many of those clubs.  It was old school ‘courting’ if you will.  We just talked on the phone and met at parks or clubs to dance.  He witnessed to me several times which I did not find common with other men.  He told his story and how God had saved his life and how thankful he was. He shared his mistakes in life and how he wanted to change some things.  It was powerful!  We learned that we were both children of divorced parents.  I learned that he had half brothers and sisters and there were issues in their household with each having different fathers.

7.  How did you know that he was the man that you were to marry?

How we dated. We wanted to impress each other, but we came together as we were. There was no effort or pressure in trying to be someone we were not.  There was no sexual pressure even though we were older adults and one would expect that would be a path to explore before marriage.  It was so Leave it to Beaver dating, just seems unheard of in today’s society, but it is still possible!  You come as you are in the Lord and great things happen

8.  Now that you are married, what do you think are the most important qualities to look for in a husband?

Honesty. strong will. openness.  the openness was there, but i did not have honesty at the top of my list.  never crossed my mind and i think i always felt that god would provide the qualities necessary to balance me.  i find that honesty and openness, as difficult as it is at times, has been helpful in our marriage.  he does not hold back his words & i want to knock him out sometimes, but i can trust what he says and that’s a great feeling to have in a relationship.

9.  Looking back, what did God develop in you during your time in singleness that has blessed you in marriage?

Being open, being able to compromise, being flexible, wanting to share my life, not make him live as I live, but share with each other.  More important for me is God developed in me the strength to not feel alone, to be able and willing to take care of myself and others as needed.  I was prepared and ready to live my life as a single woman without loneliness and fear in my heart.

10. What advice would you give to ladies who are single later in life?

Keep serving, walk like Jesus, be open, hold strong to your values,  and ladies, please don’t think that you will find the perfect guy in your church! Companionship can be found at any age and in any place!

Recognizing the Prince From the Frogs

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Two weeks ago I said yes to marrying the love of my life, the most wonderful man I’ve ever met. But I didn’t know that he was the most wonderful man when I met him – at first glance, he looks like your average guy.  If I hadn’t discerned his deeper value, I might have missed out on a true prince.

As many of you know from my prior posts, I’m 32 and I spent over three years doing online dating. I know a thing or two about frogs. But what I didn’t know anything about was how to recognize a prince. The world and all of pop culture talk a lot about finding the right guy, but they give you all the wrong directions – is it the guy with the hotline bling, or the uptown funk, or the James Dean look in his eye?

Thankfully, the Bible gives us all the direction we need, even in just one short book. Ruth didn’t have Facebook or Google, but she had plenty of information about Boaz to make a solid decision. Let’s take a look at how Boaz proved his worth to her.

  1. He shares your religious beliefs

This goes almost without saying. For Ruth, she married someone from the Israelite tribe, the religion and people that she had adopted. She knew without even a question that he was someone who shared her religious beliefs.

However, in today’s world, determining that someone is Christian is far more difficult. Many people will check a box on their online profile indicating that they’re Christian, but it turns out that just means they were raised in the church, or that they’re willing to go with you to church (emphasis on “with you”). I dated many of those guys. Their faith is fleeting and you’re going to be the one doing the heavy lifting.

What made my fiancé stand out from the pack was that church wasn’t just an after-thought, it was a priority for him. He had a relationship with Jesus prior to meeting me, and he was actively involved in church activities.

  1. He has a vocation and can provide for your basic needs

Before they ever spoke, Ruth already knew a basic fact about Boaz: He had property – meaning he had a business, resources to support a family, and a place in the community. Ruth could see his financial investments right in front of her. Today’s equivalent would be that Mr. Right has a steady job, or is on a definite path toward getting a steady job, and that he makes sound financial decisions.

Further, on the first day of their meeting, Boaz made sure that she had a safe place to glean (2:8-9), that she had water to drink (2:9), and food to eat (2:14). Your future mate doesn’t need to provide riches, but he does need to provide the basics.

  1. He is kind toward you and others

In the book of Ruth, Ruth’s very first interaction with Boaz reveals his kindness toward her. When he was told she was a young woman alone, he immediately ensures her safety by offering her the ability to stay and glean with the other women (2:8).

It is important to note that he was kind to Ruth long before she became a romantic prospect, and when she was just an impoverished woman of no social standing – how your date treats the disadvantaged is often even more telling of his true character than how he treats you while you’re dating.

Equally of note is that kindness isn’t just a passive feeling, it requires action. In order to demonstrate kindness, Boaz had to take the action of ensuring his workers knew that Ruth could glean with them and not to harm her. In the dating context, this means looking for the guy who actively practices kindness, not the one who simply does no harm.

For me, community service is important and my fiance’s regular service in his church and at the local humane society truly separated him from the chaff. While neither of us are big on gifts, he demonstrates generosity toward me in his time and affection. These are the signs of a guy who is going to be a great partner for life.

  1. He respects who you are

While women are gaining ground, there are still a lot of guys who do not respect women, or who find it funny to make jokes at women’s expense. In contrast, within minutes of meeting Ruth, Boaz highly praises her for her loyalty to her mother-in-law (2:11-12). I’d like to hear that on a first date!

In my life, respecting me means respecting my opinions and my dreams.  My fiancé not only knows those dreams, he encourages and supports them. He also demonstrates respect in that when we disagree, he works toward a compromise.

Last, men show respect by not taking advantage of you physically. A guy who does not value and recognize your commitment to purity is putting his temporary needs above your eternal good – and this isn’t going to suddenly improve in marriage. When Ruth goes to Boaz in the middle of the night, he could have taken advantage of her, but chose not to. (3:9-14). Instead, he went about things with honor and made sure that there was no other claim to her before proceeding with their relationship. (4:9-10).

Of course, other factors will also play a role, including basic physical attraction – the Song of Songs, after all, is not too far from Ruth! – and more surface-level personality factors that will make your decision of whom to marry. But if this is all your relationship is based on, it’s not a good foundation for a marriage to last a lifetime. To ensure that you are truly selecting a Prince who will treat you like a Princess for the length of your marriage, make sure he passes the above character test!

 

Finding Freedom From a Past Relationship

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Check out my new Boundless article!

“Infatuation is a normal part of romantic attraction, and when the stars align, it can be the start of a great relationship. But when the stars do not align and the relationship does not develop, what do you do when you can’t seem to kick the fixation? Or what do you do when the relationship is over and you just can’t let go?”

Read more here!