Intentional Dating

My uncle always would tell me and my cousin “Be careful of who you date because you might end up married to them”. That has always been something I’ve held so close to me because it’s absolutely true. I want to talk about something I think is so taboo in today's idea of dating. Intentionally dating people you can see yourself marrying. Dating Wyatt for the past 5 years and dating long distance for three years has taught us to be intentional with our relationship.Choosing to date with the idea of pursuing each other and dating with the goal of eventually getting married. In this blog post I'm listing out what I think to be the three biggest lies in the dating world. Also I'm listing some tips on how you can be more intentional in your own relationship or future relationship.

The Lie - You have to DATE someone

This is absolutely false. I think it is so easy to fall into thinking this way because we are constantly on instagram seeing these “perfect” couples and we want that right? We crave to have that kind of affection and attention. But to constantly crave that kind of attention from another guy or girl isn’t healthy. And to be quite honest it isn’t holy. Let me be honest with you guys. Everything you need, love, attention, affection, happiness that will never be found completely in another human. All of these things are found in a relationship (a SERIOUS relationship) with Jesus Christ. He is the ONLY one who can complete you. I can easily proclaim that in my life. There have been many times during my 5 year dating relationship where I put Wyatt before God. I've thought that Wyatt could meet every need and that he could complete me in every way. Boy, was I wrong. Not that Wyatt isn't the best person for me, but because neither of us are perfect. If you are craving a relationship today, let me give you permission to stay single. It’s okay to not date. There is so much freedom when you choose to wait on God to put that person in your life in his timing. And if you are dating someone - you need to ask yourself is this a person that is pursuing Jesus. Make sure you are also in the right position to begin dating. Often I see people jumping into commitments they are not ready for just because it's convenient at the time.


The Lie - Dating is no big deal

In this generation, we are constantly using snapchat, instagram, DM’s and all of the above. We can literally talk to anyone any second of the day. I would even dare to say that many people go around dating one person to the next with no idea of what their intentions are in actually dating others. You must be intentional when you choose to date someone. Dating is a commitment. It’s not some side hobby you do when you are bored. My biggest advice on how to do that comes right back to what my uncle would always tell me. Do not date someone unless you could see yourself married to them. I know some of you girls might have a list of all these different qualities you want in your future husband. If you’re dating someone right now, does he have those qualities. Is he a guy after God’s own heart? Dudes reading this, how many times have you pursued a girl just because she was pretty or popular or everyone else wanted to date her? Have you considered only dating someone you could see a potential marriage with? These are big, bold statements but they are very REAL. Because so many of our teenagers and youth are so caught up in being like that we will date whoever has any interest in us. But can I be VERY real with you guys tonight. YOU ARE WORTH IT. Not because I say it but because God says it:


For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. Psalms 139:13 - 14
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. - Ephesians 2:10
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. - 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

You are worth waiting on God to send you that guy or girl instead of going out and looking yourself. Dating is a big deal, because God created you and YOU are a big deal. You are valued and priced high by the creator of the universe.


The Lie - You won’t ever find “the one”


We live on a planet that is centered around relationships and most of those are romantic relationships. And yes, God made Man and Woman for each other so that in marriage they could be each other’s. But God didn't create man and woman so they would “complete” each other but they would compliment each other in their characteristics instead. God specifically calls Eve a “helpmate” not “the completer of Adam”. God sent Jesus to be the completer of us.

Many times the question “what if I never find anyone ever and I don’t ever get married” has ran through my mind.... Can I tell you something… that is okay. Because Jesus was sent to be the “love of your life” first. If he is the love of your life first, he is working all things out for your good. That plan may or may not include a romantic relationship. Hear me loud and clear: If you have Jesus, you’ve found the “one”. He is the one who died and took on all sins so we could live in freedom from our sins. So that he could be the “love of your life” for eternity. If you have this emptiness or void in your life you are trying to fill by dating and think that “finding the one” will be the thing that feels in that hole - you’re fooling yourself. Again, Jesus is the one that was created to fulfill you in every single way. He is where you will find JOY & happiness and purpose. Be intentional with putting Jesus #1 and remember he is supposed to always be the love of your life - all other relationships will fall into place by his will and in his timing.


Tips to help you date with intentionality:


If your vertical relationship is first then the horizontal relationships will fall into place.


Don't just date anyone, especially if you can't see yourself marrying them. This sounds taboo in the world we live in but I promise it will be helpful advice in the long run. Just to clarify it's totally fine to go on an actual date with someone your interested in, I'm talking about starting an actual relationship with someone without knowing their values.


Invest in your relationship. If you are already dating someone you can see yourself marrying, continue to show up for that person every single day. Do not get complacent in the relationship. One thing Wyatt and I always do is make sure we make time for just us. Going on a date, watching a movie together or doing a fun activity are all things you need to make time for in your relationship. Invest spiritually & pray together. Invest emotionally and talk things out.


Throwback to two years ago when Wyatt started his first season with Arkansas State

Intentionally dating is hard. You have to be solid in why you are choosing to patiently wait for the guy or girl God has for you. And if there is ANYTHING you can take from this is DO NOT SETTLE for less. You are a child of the KING. The child of the God who made the universe. Choose to own your value and be intentional with who you date, always.


With love,


Tessah

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