Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Avoiding Buyer's Remorse: Dating In and On Purpose

If you’ve ever been house hunting, you know that the housing market changes every day. Properties come and go, and if you like a particular house, you need to put in an offer quickly...and even then, it’s not guaranteed to be yours until the seller accepts. The same applies to relationships, and this is where problems can arise. If we’re honest with ourselves, some of us are staking claim on “houses” that are not meant to be ours. The truth is, consciously or subconsciously, we’ve chosen to ignore the signs.

A little about me: I’m in my twenties and I’ve never been on a date. I’m a hopeless romantic and a millennial, but I don’t believe in dating casually. There’s nothing “casual” about choosing a spouse. When we say “I do,” purposes are intertwined and individual assignments merge to become a two-person project. Since I want my first marriage to be my only marriage, I’d rather date intentionally. I want to choose right(eously) the first time.

Image source: Room Sketcher

If you watch HGTV’s “House Hunters,” you know that buyers tour three homes before they decide which one they’d like to live in. They weigh the pros and cons of each (because no house is perfect), and while they may have to compromise on a few things, by the end of the show, they choose the one that best suits their needs. There’s a difference between suitable and compatible. When we’re “house hunting,” we have to look at the whole floor plan because the exterior can be misleading. It wouldn’t do us any good to choose something that looks good on the outside if we find out later that the inside needs to be gutted. Inspections are important because the choice has to be practical! We do ourselves a great disservice when we ignore the “little” issues behind the walls, because before we know it, they become big problems. Before we settle on who we think is “the one,” we need to check the electrical wiring and the insulation! Find what drives them, what makes them tick, and why they react to certain things the way they do. Before you sign on the dotted line, get familiar with their foundation! 

2 Corinthians 6:14 tells us, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness” (NIV)? Too often, Christians take that scripture at face value, but the truth is, being equally yoked goes far beyond practicing the same religion. We serve the same God, but are we working towards similar goals? Are we headed in the same direction? One of the most important aspects of marriage is being able to help your spouse cultivate their God-given vision. We can’t do that if we’re busy taking pictures with a “property” that doesn’t belong to us. Even if your foundation feels solid, it means nothing if the person you’re building with is not built for you.

Marriage isn’t based on feelings; it’s based on fit. The institution of marriage was designed by God to carry out a specific assignment in His Kingdom. Before you build, look in the nooks and crannies and make sure the partnership makes sense. Building the “right” foundation with the wrong person won’t be fulfilling for either of you because the foundation has to meet both of your needs. Your alignment affects your assignment! Be honest with yourself and seek God to make sure your purposes fit.

The bottom line is this: Before you go house hunting, inspect your own house. Examine the inner workings of your heart and make sure your foundation is solid on its own before you put yourself on the market. Hear from God in every step of the process. Tell Him your wants and needs, but never lose sight of the fact that at the end of the day, He knows what’s best for you. Follow His lead, and you won’t be “on the market” for long. 😉

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