A friend of mine figured out sooner than later how important it was to prioritize her godly standards above the rest.
She had recently come out of a toxic relationship, where she and her boyfriend weren’t truly living a Christian life; it was extremely difficult for her to change when she was surrounded by friends that weren’t any different from her. She went through a cycle of breaking up with her boyfriend and getting back together with him over and over. She couldn’t seem to break the cycle.
Eventually, she left the relationship to seek God’s will for her life. She became active in the church and became closer with girlfriends who also loved God. She had an intense moment with God that forever changed her relational trajectory: she asked for forgiveness for not listening, and said, “If you want me to be single for the rest of my life, that’s fine! I just want your will for my life.”
She believes this moment brought her the breakthrough she needed.
Though she wasn’t expecting it, she began a long-distance friendship with a godly man who eventually turned into her husband. He didn’t meet all of her expectations, but once she submitted her desires for a spouse to God, He changed them. Meaning…when she changed…her desires changed, her standards changed, and her non-negotiable’s changed. And God brought her a type of man she never thought she would marry.
I recently did a Q&A with her and this is what she had to say:
1. What were the most important qualifications you were looking for in a spouse?
He loves the Lord, is attractive, ambitious, healthy and funny.
2. Were there certain non-negotiables that at some point were no longer “non-negotiable’s?” If so, why did those areas no longer bother you?
Yes! My non-negotiable’s were that I would never marry a divorced man or someone with children. Oh, and no tattoos. He had all three! I don’t really know why it didn’t bother me when I dated him. My only guess is that God softened my heart, and led me in a different direction.
3. As you got older did your attractions and/or standards change? If so, how? Were you aware of it at the time, or just looking back on your younger self?
Yes, it became more important to have a spiritual connection with my partner instead of just a superficial one. I became aware of it when I left my previous superficial relationship which felt chronically empty.
4. Did you marry someone different from what you imagined? If so, how were they different?
Yes and no. Yes in the sense that he has a tattoo, was divorced and has an adorable little girl. No, because I always pictured myself with a man who loves God and shows me a biblical kind of love. My husband is my prince charming and he is who I always dreamed of.
5. What advice would you give to your single self?
Run from any man who doesn’t love Jesus with all of his heart.
6. What advice would you give to your single friends?
Don’t ever say, “I would never date a guy who X” because you have no idea what God has in store. If you use such definite statements and actually follow them, you may miss out on the love of your life. Stop continuing in the endless cycle of a toxic relationships. This means, it ended for a reason, DON’T GO BACK. As tempting as it may be to fill your void with a man, don’t do it! Fill your emptiness with God’s word and rely on him to fill those spaces.
7. Was it difficult for you to find that special someone? If so, why do you think that was?
It was difficult dating the wrong individuals, learning my standards, and finally trusting God. Once I surrendered the decision to God, my husband popped up in my life quickly.
8. Do you believe there is one soul mate for each individual?
No. I believe that God has paths that you can either choose to go down or not. Your choices result in your destiny which could have numerous outcomes depending on your choices. I believe God knows every path that you can take and has it written in his book. Additionally, I believe that you choose the path and make the moves. So in my mind, you could end up happily with either Joe or Bob (for example). This idea came to me when I thought about those who lost a spouse and remarried. Who really was their “soul mate?” I came to the conclusion that the idea of a soul mate, while comforting, isn’t what I believe in. God has someone for you, or maybe he doesn’t, it depends on the paths God sets before you and what you choose.