Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The Wait: Dating, Sex, & Looking Beyond Boaz (feat. Tori Kelly's "Dear No One")

As of today, I'm 23 years old (happy birthday to me!) and I've never been on a date. I've had crushes, but they either didn't like me back or I just stopped keeping in touch with them. Per my mother's rules, I wasn't allowed to date until I was 16, but before I knew it, 17, 18, 19, 20 passed by, and still, no boyfriend. I watched several friends and acquaintances settle down, get married and start families, and I started to wonder if something was wrong with me. I often joke that Tori Kelly's song "Dear No One," from her 2015 album Unbreakable Smile, is pretty much the story of my life.

Tori Kelly - Unbreakable Smile album art / Amazon


Verse 1:

I like being independent

Not so much of an investment

No one to tell me what to do

I like being by myself

Don't gotta entertain anybody else

No one to answer to

I personally feel like I have a lot to offer. I'm an independent, God-fearing, college-educated woman who strives to live a virtuous life. I'm not the prettiest in the world, but certainly not the ugliest (lol), I have self-confidence and a good head on my shoulders.

Hook:

But sometimes I just want somebody to hold

Someone to give me their jacket when it's

cold

Got that young love even when we're old

Yeah, sometimes I want someone to grab

my hand

Pick me up, pull me close, be my man

I will love you 'til the end

So why wasn't anyone pursuing me? I think part of the answer to that question is because I've chosen to uphold a standard of purity in my wait. I'm abstaining from sex until marriage. I don't go around talking about my virginity, but if it comes up in conversation, people look at me like they're waiting for a halo to appear. I've learned that I'm a rare breed. I've had people tell me that my standards are too high, and that I'm never going to find a man who won't pressure me to have sex with him. I told myself that they were right. I wouldn't find him...he'll find me. I still believe that, and I will not compromise.

I don't believe in dating for recreational purposes. Yes, getting to know someone should be fun, but the ultimate goal of dating is marriage. Sex complicates that because the more people you sleep with, the more soul ties you have, and soul ties are hard to break. If you don't break them before marriage, you're taking the risk of bringing everyone you've ever slept with into the marriage bed with you, which is a major threat to your marital covenant. I want my soul to be tied only to the man I am absolutely sure God has tailor made for me. There was one problem, though. The same way society would pressure me to have sex, I was also pressuring myself to be prepared for my Boaz. Ladies, there are a couple of things wrong with setting your sights on your Boaz. 1) There was only one Boaz. 2) Your sights should not be set on Boaz, or any other man, for that matter. They should be set on God.

I read an article the other day on Married and Young called "What If God Doesn't Send Your Boaz?" It touched on how Christian women have idealized Boaz into this perfect person that we subconsciously expect every man, especially the man who finds us, to be. The article provided examples of other Biblical men who were strong, but flawed, and posed a simple question for those of us waiting for Boaz: Will we be prepared if, instead of sending us Boaz, God sends us a man who is a work in progress? If He sends us a man who needs to lean on us in order to walk in the fullness of who God called him to be, will we be ready to support the weight of the call? In order to be able to be the woman our not-so-Boaz needs, we have to work on ourselves first.

Ladies (and gents! This applies to all singles), we need to stop focusing our season of singleness ONLY on preparing for marriage. Let God work on you for your own sake. Have you considered that maybe God wants to see how you love your neighbor & yourself before He completely entrusts you with one specific person's heart? Find people in need of love/encouragement/friendship in your community and extend yourself to them without expecting anything in return. If necessary, unfollow all those "perfect" couples you've idolized  as #RelationshipGoals on social media. The grass is not always greener on the other side (and if it is, it can be especially toxic to covet that, particularly if you're feeling lonely).

In your season of singleness, ask God how He wants YOU to improve, and perhaps most importantly, learn to love yourself at every stage of improvement! Don't worry about the finish line while you're running the race. Just make sure you're running in the right direction, towards God, and ask Him to make you whole. You owe it to God, yourself, and the person He has for you to make sure you don't enter a relationship/marriage while broken. A happy marriage is one where two people who have been made whole in Christ form a union strong enough to weather all of life's storms.

I don't know about everyone else, but God is still working on me. I still have some areas that need fixing. I'll never be absolutely perfect, and I look forward to growing even more when I'm married to the man God has for me. "Dear No One" is just one chapter of my life, not the whole story, but I'm learning to be content in my singleness because I know that you can't find true happiness with someone else without first finding it within yourself. I say all that to say this: "I'd love to have a soul mate / And God'll give him to me someday / And I know it'll be worth the wait."

Dear No One,

If you're reading this, I swear to be good to you, but I'm done looking. To find me, you'll have to ask God for directions. This is your love song...for now, at least. Hope floats.

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