Archive | dating RSS feed for this section

Worth the Wait (a.k.a. my story)

9 Apr

img023

Hey, everyone!

Hope you had a fabulous spring break! My family and I did (even though much of it was spent spring cleaning!)

This week I’m sharing  my story of meeting Mr. Right. (It’s been awhile, and I thought those of you new to the blog might enjoy reading it.)

Next week, I’ll post my mom’s story as well.  (Hers might really surprise you! ; )

May reading about our journeys to love encourage you with your own love story (whether you see it yet or not.)

Have a great week, and happy reading!

Much love,

Lisa

All paired up???

11 Mar

DSC_0334

When we’re waiting for Mr. Right to come into our life, it can feel like everyone else around us is already “paired” up. Julia certainly felt that way after her break up with Jay. In fact, in novel 2, she and her sister-in-law, Jenny, have a conversation about it. Julia shares her frustrations, and Jenny has some great advice to help her.

At one point Julia says, “I’m really self-conscious because I don’t have a boyfriend. Even though I understand all the reasons why I’m waiting for the right guy, others don’t. When I get back to school in the fall, people might think something’s wrong with me because I don’t have a boyfriend.”

Ever felt that way? See how Jenny responds below:

“Let them, Julia. It’s a waste of time worrying about the opinions of others, especially when those people don’t even care about you. Look around and you’ll see lots of girls who aren’t dating anyone. Remember, you can always find somebody to go out with—especially if you are willing to give him whatever he wants.”  Yet is that the relationship Julia really wants? (Check out their whole conversation in chapter 3 of novel 2, Meeting Mr. Right.)

I want to encourage you today that it’s not about having a boyfriend because someone else does. It’s about being where you should be in God’s plan for your life.

I remember coming home from college majorly disappointed I hadn’t met my husband yet. If I couldn’t meet him at college with thousands of guys, how would I meet him teaching high school near my much smaller hometown?

It wasn’t until after I was engaged to Eric a few years later that I realized the “why” I hadn’t met my man in college.  It was because he wasn’t there!

God knew the right time for Eric and me to meet, and it all worked out in His plan for both of our lives. (I even got to travel and have some cool experiences before committing to be a wife and mom.)

Now I’m thankful I didn’t come away from college with that boyfriend I wanted so much. Eric was definitely worth the wait!

So know that God knows the right time and place for you to meet your Mr. Right. (We all have our own life stories, with unique details, so the timing and place is different for all of us.)

You can be confident that as you trust your Heavenly Father, your special love story will unfold in a beautiful way!

Much love,

Lisa

Breaking Up

9 Jul

Breaking up is hard to do!

In novel 1 of the Mr. Right Series, Julia’s finds herself working through a painful break-up with a Mr. Wrong. In the chapter Girl Talk, her mother shares some valuable insights regarding relationships with the opposite sex.

As I have pointed out in previous posts, dating as we see it today often has little to do with finding and keeping a marriage partner. A dating mentality is typically about enjoying the moment with someone; a marriage mentality, however, is about building a life with someone.

Our society is full of couples who have experienced a devastating break-up (or are heading for one in the near future). Usually at least one of the people involved in a break-up ends up being deeply hurt.

When I was in high school, my girlfriends all had steady boyfriends. I didn’t. God was protecting me during a time when I was immature and vulnerable, but I didn’t understand that then. I just felt alone and forgotten.

Trying to help me, my friends fixed me up with someone to date. He was a nice guy, so even though I wasn’t all that attracted to him, I dated him for a while—just to have a boyfriend. When his feelings for me grew beyond what I could return, I dumped him, without any explanation.

While I came away from that relationship without any hurt feelings, I had broken his heart. I can think of one other time when I dated a guy for a while and then dropped him without ever looking back. My desires and feelings were all I considered as a teen.

I didn’t know how devastating a break-up could be until I married a Mr. Wrong at age eighteen and experienced a painful divorce at age 20. It was only then that I could look back and relate to the pain I had caused others to suffer. It’s never fun when the person being hurt is you.

Break-ups are hard on everyone involved and are nothing new. I remember a song that was popular when I was a teenager. It was first released in 1962, and then a slower version came out around 1975. Both versions were a huge success, which rarely happens. Maybe this song was so popular because people could relate to the message. I think it remains just as relatable in 2012. See if you agree after viewing the video at the top of this post. (The song, Breaking Up is Hard to Do, is sung by Neil Sedaka, the original recording artist.)

Did you notice the video (apparently from another country) had subtitles? Reading along, we see that the girl isn’t dating the boy she’s with in the car. Apparently, he is her neighbor, giving her a ride there. But because she is having a hard time with a breakup (did you see her duck in the car?), she drags this neighbor boy into the party just to make her old boyfriend jealous, to show him that she is fine without him now. She simply uses this new boy (calling him darling and hanging on to his arm) in order to hurt her old boyfriend.

True to Hollywood form, however, as this girl begins dancing with her neighbor (temporary fake boyfriend), she starts to realize that maybe she likes him better anyway. The video ends with the words a new love… a new beginning… It illustrates the mentality prevalent in our society: jump from one relationship into another, hoping it will turn out better for you this time.

But I want you girls to think differently. To think bigger than just what might be good for you only. God wants you to think of the other person, toobefore entering a dating relationship.

Don’t be jealous or proud, but be humble and consider others more important than yourselves. Philippians 2:3

There is so much more we could talk about, but hopefully, today’s post has you thinking…Continue reading Julia’s story in novel 2 and you’ll see how she decides to handle the feelings of others in relationships. (It might surprise you!)

So proceed carefully, girls, knowing that someone else’s heart is involved, too!

Love you,

Barbara

Dating = ?

12 Mar

In my last post, I pointed out that, unlike the arranged-marriage and courtship eras of the past, modern dating practices serve as a social avenue for couples to meet and have fun—often with no serious marriage intentions.

Since dating today is seen as more about having fun/being in a relationship instead of moving toward a lifetime marriage commitment, sensible dating protocol is not always practiced. There are no clear rules today about how, when, and where couples meet and spend time together. Anything goes, in many people’s minds, and that sets them up to be hurt and taken advantage of in real ways. Plus, the starting age for dating now includes young teens and even pre-teens. (Flip on the TV to see that the pressure to have a boyfriend starts younger and younger.)

Dating is portrayed as incredibly fun, cool, necessary, and something you should be doing regardless of stage of life, maturity level, or commitment to the long run. But has our current dating culture produced the happy ending promised?

Because society has drifted so far from known Scriptural boundaries and wisdom, unwise dating practices have contributed to these increasing, heart-breaking results:

  • premarital sex becoming the norm, as are rejection & emotional problems from dating relationships that “didn’t work out”
  • STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) Did you know that while condoms make sex “safer” against getting pregnant, they are not 100% guaranteed and do NOT keep one safe from STDs?
  • date rape becoming a term we all know
  • unplanned pregnancies
  • abortions
  • couples living together instead of marrying
  • painful divorce rate among those who do marry

This list is in no way exhaustive, and many of these things occurred in past generations. Yet the extent that we are seeing them today should raise red flags for us. As the moral standards of our day have plummeted, the above incidents have skyrocketed. Dating without any restrictions or safeguards opens the door to many high-risk behaviors that lead to devastating consequences.

Hopefully, by reading the Mr. Right Series, you will learn wiser dating principles that can be applied as you navigate life in today’s culture. These novels were written to help you recognize your constant need for God and to encourage you to incorporate His higher ways and thoughts into everything you do.

“For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9

If your goal is to one day marry, refuse to date around indiscriminately. Let God lead as you trust Him for the right relationship. I can tell you from personal experience, He knows what you need and want and will write a beautiful love story for you if you let Him. I’m living proof!

Because I care,

Barbara

photo credit

Arranged Marriage –> Courtship –> Dating

9 Mar

In my previous post, I talked about family-arranged marriage as found in Genesis 24 (how it worked and what it represents with us and our relationship with Christ).  This model was gradually modified through the centuries to fit changing cultures and the desires of families and societies.

Although some marriages were still being arranged, courting eventually became a more popular way for couples to meet and marry. Often the parents would choose a man as a likely marriage partner for their daughter and allow him to socialize with her under their watchful eye. Or, a man could approach a girl’s father and ask to court her, aware that their meetings would be faithfully chaperoned.

During the courting period, the couple could get to know each other, see if they were compatible, and decide whether they wanted to become engaged. If they did, the man was expected to approach the father and ask for his permission. As in the arranged-marriage era, the full intent of courting was to eventually marry and raise a family together.

In time, the parental involvement and social restrictions within the courting process relaxed, and couples were given more and more opportunities to spend unsupervised time together. They also began choosing whom they wanted to marry with or without family approval. These trends continued to grow and have become what we now call dating.

Unlike the arranged marriage and courtship eras of the past, modern dating practices often have little to do with marriage. They provide a social avenue for couples to meet and have fun—more and more with no serious marriage intentions behind it.

Do you want to have a better understanding of dating issues? Then you won’t want to miss my next post. We’ll look at current dating trends, draw some valuable conclusions, and gain some practical wisdom.

“Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do! And whatever else you do, develop good judgment.” Proverbs 4:7 (NLT)

Until next time,

Barbara

photo credit to Poppy Thomas-Hill

Arranged Marriage???

20 Feb

In Waiting for Mr. Right, Grace said something to her daughter during their girl talk (Chapter 16) that Julia had probably never thought about: “…dating as we know it is not modeled in Scripture.”

Through the centuries, our society has strayed from the Biblical model for bringing couples together. Marriages arranged by families evolved into courtship and eventually into dating as we see it today. Originally, marriages arranged by the family had a purpose: to ensure a suitable marriage partner for a son or daughter. Isaac and Rebekah’s love story is a Biblical model and can be found in Genesis 24.

Before reading this account of a family-arranged marriage, you may have thought that the prospective bride didn’t have any say in the matter. You can see in verses 57 and 58 of Chapter 24 that Rebekah was consulted and agreed to become Isaac’s wife.

“Well,” they said, “we’ll call Rebekah and ask her what she thinks.” So they called Rebekah. “Are you willing to go with this man?” they asked her. And she replied, “Yes, I will go.”

The match had already been agreed upon as a God-inspired plan by those in authority in her family, but when it actually came time for Rebekah to leave her family and go to Isaac, she was given a choice.

Isaac and Rebekah’s love story is a beautiful picture of our arranged marriage to Jesus. Think of Abraham as a type of God the Father, desiring a proper bride for His Son—Abraham’s trusted servant as the Holy Spirit, sent out by the Father to find her and make the offer—Isaac as Jesus, patiently waiting for His bride to be found and accept Him—and Rebekah as the Church, saying yes to the marriage offer, excited to meet her Bridegroom face to face.

God the Father always gives us a choice to say yes or no to His offer to accept His Son. Have you responded with your answer yet? If not, it isn’t too late; Jesus is patiently waiting for you to decide. Believe me; no other offer is as wonderful as His!

As a side note: Once Issac married Rebekah, his love for her was so strong that there is no Scriptural record of his ever taking an additional wife (a common custom in his day). It appears that Rebekah remained his cherished bride for life, just as the Church will remain Jesus’ cherished Bride for eternity.

There’s more, girls! Read my next post for Part 2.

Love,

Barbara

photo credit

Looking for More

3 Feb

When I was in high school and in love with the concept of being in love, I had no idea what I was getting myself into through my dating relationships, nor was I prepared for the heartache I would soon be experiencing. All the Hollywood movies I had watched painted a false picture in my mind, promising: Being in love is absolutely wonderful! Everything always works out happily in the end.

I thought that if I was attracted to a guy and he was attracted to me—that was love. If you read my story in a previous post, you know how my faulty thinking led me into a premature marriage and early divorce.

By the time I was ready to consider risking a second marriage, my fairytale view of love had dramatically changed. I wasn’t looking only for a good-looking guy this time; I was looking for more. I wanted a faithful husband—one who would truly love me, whom I could love, trust, and respect. Because I wanted children, I was also looking for father material—someone I had observed to be good with children. I had also learned the hard way that a husband and wife work better together if they want the same things out of life.

Because of my poor judgment in the past, I asked God to help me find this man. As it turned out, God helped him to find me. Roger first saw me at a restaurant where my co-worker and I were having lunch together. Admiring me from afar, he wasn’t giving his boss (with whom he was having lunch) his undivided attention. His boss noticed and turned to see who was distracting his new employee. His boss recognized me (having met me before) and later arranged for Roger and I to meet.

Forty-five years later and counting, we are still together and growing in our love for each other. We always say that God was the one who brought us together, and He has been the one to keep us together. True love is not just a feeling—it’s a choice that is never swayed by temporary feelings or circumstances.

When you are truly ready for a husband, make sure you’re looking for more the very first time. It’s definitely a safer path to what your heart desires.

Sharing together,

Barbara

photo credit