10 Things I’ve Learned About Dating- Part Four

Today I conclude what was potentially the longest blog known to man.  I believe Jim Marshall said it best at my wedding, “Brent, do you know you use more words than Penny does.”  I’m sure this will be a quality that I pick up from my beautiful and amazing bride, but for now, I’ll try to keep them to bite sized chunks.  For the record, this post would be more like sack lunch.  So here you go, I present to you the final installment of 10 Things I’ve Learned About Dating 🙂

8) Remember your first love, and don’t become hers.

*I won’t say that this one only applies to Christians, because it applies to everyone.  However, if you aren’t a believer, if Christ isn’t living in your heart, then this might not make a ton of sense and it might seem really ridiculous, but it is never the less true.  If that’s you, I would encourage you, get this issue between you and Jesus settled first and foremost.

Back to the lecture at hand: This one is huge- so huge in fact that it probably deserves its own post, She will never complete you.  You aren’t some half-person walking around out there waiting to find your other half.  If you have Jesus in your heart, then you are complete, just as you are.  A relationship is simply the icing on the cake.  It’s not even that, it’s the milk that goes with the cake, ok, maybe the ice cream.  Relationships are great and wonderful- but they will never fill you or make your life more complete.  They require work.  They’re hard.  They’re also incredibly rewarding and worth it, but they’re hard as hell.  But trust me, you do NOT want it to replace your relationship with Christ.

And its your role as the leader to make that very clear.  Don’t be Jesus to her, don’t let her be Jesus to you.  A relationship is supposed to let you see Jesus through the other person, not see the other person as Jesus.  That being said, I hope I just made a lot of relationships a ton easier.  Trust me, you don’t want the weight of being a savior to someone.  When you’re not, that opens the door to make mistakes- which opens the door to grace- not that you make mistakes on purpose, but you are able to just be a man, not a superman- I’ll say it again, you don’t want the S tattooed on your chest.

9) Temptation is ok- in fact, it’s a good thing.

Perhaps the second biggest surprise for me as I walked through my dating relationship with Penny was that it was good that we struggled with temptation.  It wasn’t easy.  I’m proud to say that we actually made it to marriage before having sex, but it sure as hell wasn’t an easy road.  And here was what I learned from it: I was incredibly glad that there was that kind of chemistry between us.  And if there wasn’t, would we have had any business getting married?  I heard from some people who I respected a lot, the struggle is a good thing, 1) it makes you turn to Jesus, 2) it lets you know that you are really attracted to each other.  It’s a sign that everything is working the way God made it to work-so let self- control work the way God made it work too.

10) Have one eye on the future, but everything else in the present.

Here’s the last one- I’ve alluded to it through out this series- but simply it is your role as the leader of the relationship to call when its time to move to the next level.  Whether it’s the next level relationship or the next level intimacy within your current relationship, its your call.  You can’t go there until you are both ready, and its yours to discern and call that.  So keep one eye on it.

But keep everything else in the present.  You really don’t want to rush through the season that you’re in.  When you’re dating, you want to enjoy every bit of it and gain everything out of it that you can.  The same is true with Engagement- don’t rush through it just cause she’s said yes to marrying you.  Learn to love the season of relationship you’re in.  But on the flip side- don’t linger too long.  So don’t rush it, but don’t get stuck.  Enjoy it while its there, and when it’s time, move on.

So there you have it, my 10 Things I’ve Learned About Dating.  Hoping some of you have been helped out.  Hoping some of you are rethinking how you date.  Please feel free to interact with this and grapple with it.  I’d love to hear how this is hitting you.  Leave a comment or shoot me an email at brent@greatdatespot.com.

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