I remember when I was 16, and the feelings I felt when my ex- boyfriend was going down the drain. I’m going to admit, I was desperate for a boyfriend at 16. At 16, all of my other friends were on boyfriend number 5, and I wasn’t even on number one yet, so I grew very impatient, and asked God to bring a man into my life that instant, but God taught me a lesson.
When I ended things with my ex, I felt relief. There were things that happened in that relationship that were very toxic; emotional abuse, him cheating on me behind my back, being treated like a doormat, and my heart, emotions, and mind were played with millions of times.
However, I remember when I first dumped him. I was a wreck, I was a mess, and I ran back to him the next day for my ex had a way of manipulating my mind, making me think I was the monster, and made me seem like the bad person, but when I finally cut the rope, God began to use this horrible relationship that burned down to the ground as a teaching tool.
I leaned several things;
I learned that being desperate does not reward you with a godly man, but it gives you a man who puts faith on the back burner
“The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
To the soul who seeks Him.
It is good that one should hope and wait quietly
For the salvation of the Lord.
It is good for a man to bear
The yoke in his youth.” Lamentations 3:25-27
Desperation does not produce godliness, but waiting does. I remember my life before my ex-boyfriend. I was desperate, I was hoping that any guy would ask me out, and my standards were pretty low, but after my ex, I learned very quickly that standards are needed for a godly relationship.
It’s okay to be selective and it’s okay to know what you want in a spouse, because when it comes down to marriage, you want to make sure you marry a person who is rooted in Christ, and even if that means you having to say “No” to a lot of people that come your way, it will be worth it when you find the one that your soul was searching for.
I learned that you attract what you are
“Keep your heart with all diligence,
For out of it spring the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23
A lot of my friends ask me why they can’t seem to attract godly men, and then I look closely at their lifestyles and it makes sense. You attract what you are, and if you are not keeping your heart in diligence, then you are going to attract a man who is the same way. A godly person will not date someone who’s heart is not guarded, so in order to attract a godly person, you must be godly as well, because the cards don’t go just one way.
I learned that as a daughter of the most high God, I am worth more than a doormat.
“She is more precious than rubies,
And all the things you may desire cannot compare with her.” Proverbs 3:15
There is nothing wrong with knowing your worth. Many people think that it is “arrogant” to know your worth, but if God tells us our worth, then we should claim it. We are worth more than rubies, so why allow someone to treat you less than what you are worth? The same goes for men too, for a man is worth more than worldly riches as well, so we must all recognize that we shouldn’t be treated as doormats in relationships.
It was never in God’s intentions for us to be treated horribly. Marriage is about the unity between two people to grow closer to Him, and when we see that we are being treated in ways that degrade our worth, we need to either confront that person or stop that person.
Whenever someone fails to recognize your worth as a child of God, then they shouldn’t be worthy of your heart, for they will not see the value in it. They’ll treat your heart anyway they want too, they’ll let it drop, they will let it break, and they will view it as “another object,” and that is not the way our hearts should be treated.
I learned that the “season of singleness” does not mean that singleness is forever
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
When I was 16, I hated the word “singleness,” but as I am now older and in my twenties, I understand what that season is about. As I matured, I realized that the season of singleness is to prepare me for the next stage in life, it is to shape me into a godly woman, and it is for me to fall in love with Jesus before I fall in love with a man.
How can I love a man if I am not in love with Christ? The “season of singleness” is for you to be who God wants you to be before He takes you into another area in life. There are lessons we need to learn, there are mountains we need to climb, and there are things that need to change within us before we get married, and though this season varies for different people, it does not mean singleness is a forever.
We need to trust that the Lord will guide us and direct our paths, and that includes dating, for God knows all things about our futures, and it is full of hope and joy.
I also learned that when heartache happens, it means that person wasn’t your spouse to start with
“For His anger is but for a moment,
His favor is for life;
Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5
Heartache hurts, but it’s also a blessing in disguise if you look at it from a different perspective. Though my heart was broken at 16, God was saving me from a man who was not my future husband, and I am thankful for that.
Though heartache can be grueling, it is an indicator of who your spouse isn’t. Though I believe we should limit the amount of times our hearts break, heartache does provide a lesson of knowing that God will take people out of our lives that are going to break us or destroy us, and He also takes people always who were never supposed to be there.
This is what I learned after my heart was broken when I was 16, and I have held true to these lessons. I remember being a 16 year old girl, I remember the feelings I had, the anxiousness I felt when I saw other girls getting new boyfriends, and I am thankful I learned my lesson of waiting and patience when it comes to dating.
“I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem,
Do not stir up nor awaken love
Until it pleases.” Song of Solomon 8:4
Like Leo Tolstoy said in the book “War and Peace;” “The strongest of all warriors are these two — Time and Patience.” and that is most certainly right. When it comes to dating, time and patience are key, because when you awaken love when it is not supposed to be awakened, then you open yourself up to heartache, rushed feelings, and pain, and that was never God’s plan for us, so why subject yourself to heartache when you can give God the pen and let Him be the one to orchestrate and write the love story He has for you?