I loved reading K’s story and so I decided to delve deeper into an aspect of her experience I believed could be helpful to our community-
K shares so much wisdom that would help men and women see how God works differently in relationships-and to understand insights as to how online dating should be approached.
What were your experiences with the two men that were not God-sent?
I would like to give a quick background to these two experiences. I think that would be helpful.
I was encouraged by some friends and some family members to go online and try online dating last summer; which the Lord never told me to do. He didn’t stop me, but He also didn’t encourage me to do this. Unfortunately, I took the advice of people instead of waiting on the Lord.
Not that online dating is bad or isn’t the way the Lord chooses to put people together. But for me, it is not what He wanted and my experiences proved that.
The first man I met online seemed to be a good solid Christian and seemed to be genuinely focused on finding a God-based relationship. After a week of communicating with him through email, I started to notice how he always wanted to talk about his feelings for me; how his feelings were so strong and that he believed the Lord had brought us together.
However, the Lord hadn’t told me that.
I tried to go deeper in conversation and find out the type of person he was (what he wanted in a wife, his politics – which for me is important – his likes and dislikes) but he would choose to focus on his feelings.
After only two weeks of email conversations, he wanted to start calling me “sweetheart”, “baby” and other endearing names that, for me, should be used when you are engaged and married; not when you are only corresponding by email for two weeks.
An alarm went off in my head and though I had been bringing this “relationship” to the Lord the entire time, I was then on my knees to the Lord asking Him about this fear and why this guy was really trying to rush things and why I was beginning to feel uncomfortable.
The Lord immediately took me to
2 Timothy 1:7
(not a spirit of fear but of power, love and self control).
After reading that I received an email from the man and his true needs were exposed: he was very lonely, had been divorced for 2 years and was getting tired of coming home to an empty house and having to cook his own meals
The man needed the Lord not a spouse (he was not ready for one in my opinion) and I responded to him that he needed to go to the Lord on this and – in so many words – I broke off the online relationship with him.
The second man I met online a short time after that had quite a few red flags right off the bat but I felt like I needed to give him a chance.
I had gotten this idea from a friend of mine to give guys a chance; bad advice if you see red flags.
These red flags included a persistent negativity to his emails, not really asking in depth questions about me personally or what he wanted in a relationship; but tended to focus on himself, and when I told him I only wanted a serious relationship with a man who had a relationship with Christ, his response was that “he went to church” and was not a “bible-thumper”.
But after three weeks of corresponding with each other online, and being pressured by him to meet in person, I decided to go out on my very first date (ever) with this man. I had a sense of impending doom before the date and I kept praying to the Lord to give me an excuse not to go but the Lord said to my heart to go on the date and He would be with me. And he certainly was!
When I met the man the Lord immediately put a veil over me; that is the only way I can describe it; a literal veil of protection.
The man had lied through our email correspondence and was a lot older than he said he was.
During the hour and a half I spent with this man, all he did was talk about himself and how his life was like the Sopranos (an HBO program about the Mafia – why would I find that interesting or attractive?).
He asked no questions of me personally; it was all about him. I had been very direct with this man through our emails that I had a deep relationship with Christ and that was what I wanted in a man. He obviously hadn’t been listening to me and that was not his goal for our relationship; we were two different ships sailing in the seas. This was sealed at the end of the date when he began to leer at me and I couldn’t get out of the restaurant fast enough. I never went out with him again and immediately removed myself from all of the online dating services that I was on. Definitely not of God for me!
How did you grow from that experience?
I learned immediately that when the Lord wants to bring me my future husband He will do it in His way; not the way of the world.
Online dating for me was not that way - though it can be for others so I am not bashing that path of finding your spouse. It just wasn’t for me
I also learned to lean upon the knowledge and wisdom of the Lord and the Holy Spirit.
Not the advice from friends and family members who (though they might mean well) may not be the Lord’s mouthpiece to point you toward your future spouse.
They might be used by the evil one to plant seeds of the world that are to take you off track from the Lord’s path for you.
Always run things by the Lord and wait for Him to answer; even the advice from others.
Did your emotions get in the way?
With the first guy, my emotions did start to get in the way the first week of communications because I had never had a Christian man show interest in me (or I never noticed before). I was enjoying the attention. But during quiet times when I would have questions pop up in my head that I would not get an answer to from this man, that created doubt. With that doubt, I began to put my emotions aside and focus on the reality of the situation that if this was the Lord’s will, I would also have the emotion of peace and I didn’t have that.
The only issue with my emotions with the second guy is that I was trying really hard to find something positive about the man.
I would rationalize things away so I could give him a “chance”.
Definitely don’t do this. If you have to make excuses for someone and you have to really look to find things about that person that you like, they are not for you.
The Lord isn’t going to put you with someone that you have to try super hard to find things you enjoy about them; it will come naturally with warmth and peace.
How were you able to stand by your decision to walk away from those relationships? Any tips for men/women struggling with this?
With the first man, I had prayed for the right email to write to this man, knowing that he was not for me (from the reasons I noted above) and that he really did need the Lord in his loneliness. Being lonely is not a good reason to get into a relationship as it masks real needs and the real person. After I had written that email and before I sent it, I had the peace of the Lord. I then hit send. I did feel bad for the man as he was very nice and needed spiritual help. So I did pray for him for a couple of days until the Lord gave me the peace that He had this man in His hand. No regrets.
With the second man, after that disastrous first date, and the feelings of nausea and disgust that I began to feel toward this man (who was a liar and full of lust and had no fruits of the Spirit),
I just cut him off with no feelings of regret
. I actually had a huge sense of relief and praise for the Lord as He was right there with me during that date; protecting me from this man and showing me who he really was.
The best tip I can give to others when meeting a person, with the goal of looking for your mate,
is to first take it to God.
Before you actually meet up with them. I had heard someone say that the Lord is your Father so why wouldn’t you want to ask your Father about the man/woman you are about to go out on a date with? Your Heavenly Father only wants the best for you because He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7).
He’ll tell you whether to go, not go, or that regardless of how it turns out, He’ll be with you to guide you.
I also recommend that when you are out with that person, put the emotions aside and really listen to what they say. Get the other person to talk as much as possible and they will reveal who they are; but you have to really listen.
I know that can be hard when they have such beautiful eyes or a lovely smile. But discerning as much as possible early will save you time, money and emotional investment instead of finding that out 5-10 dates later.
Finally, I would also recommend not taking what others say to you (early on) about that person too seriously. Also carefully discern the “advice” they are giving you. When people offer their advice and you don’t ask for it and that advice is contrary to God’s Word as well as your own conscience, then don’t heed their advice as they could be seeds to lead you astray.
I had a friend tell me when I told her what happened with my first date (with the second man): “I wish I would have had your courage to break it off when you knew that he wasn’t for you. I had listened to my mother and my sisters and continued to go out with a man and a year later I finally had the courage to break it off with him.” You know how much pain, emotions and physical intimacy was wasted on someone that was not her spouse? I don’t want that to happen to me.
Thank you K-you have been such a blessing from these 2 powerful insights!
Given the revelation received through this series I have decided to make it permanent and will be posting stories as part of the series as we move forward so feel free to share yours whenever you’re ready-it will remain
What were the deepest lessons you learned from K’s story on online dating?