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Jesus Is My Matchmaker Jesus Is My Matchmaker
Or is he? 13 singles share their opinion about how active a role we should play in finding a spouse.
September 29, 2004

Read the related article Whose Line Is It Anyway?

I think that sometimes I've sat back and waited too patiently, that I'm too passive, and that my chances are passing by my teller window by the dozens every day while I do nothing about it. So then I panic. And I tell the coworker next to me that yes, finally, it might be a good idea to meet her husband's tall, handsome, lonely Wisconsin friend. Or that I should finally ask the copier salesman to watch a movie or have dinner with our group some night. That it's about high time I had just one date this year …

And then I panic that I'm being too aggressive. That nice girls don't initiate the "dinner/date conversation." I mean, what would my mother say?! (For the record, at this point in time, my mother would probably say, "It's about time you did something.")

And then I remember that God has a plan for me, that it's a good plan, whether it involves the copier salesman (or Mr. Wisconsin, or whoever) or a lifetime of cool sheets on the other side of the bed and one set of car keys on the front table. And I need to come to terms with that plan, whatever it may be and however long it may take to fulfill it.

Sarah

I'm a 32-year-old single male who attends a fairly small church where other "singles" are either preparing for puberty or getting ready for the geriatric ward. My friends are all married and their circle of friends all seem to be in the same situation, thus it's difficult to even get some date "referrals" (sorry to make that sound like a business transaction).

I've been struggling with the issue of just waiting for God to bring me the right girl. I know how difficult marriage can be and definitely don't want to jump out of God's will and find someone on my own, but I know God requires us to do our part. What does "our part" consist of? Just making sure that we wear deodorant, brush our teeth, and put on clean clothes so we'll be somewhat appealing as we anxiously sit in the pew watching the front door every Sunday to make sure we don't miss the "right one" when she (he) walks in?

The Bible says, "For he who finds a wife finds a good thing." In order to find something, we need to be looking. If we aren't looking for anything, that's exactly what we'll find … nothing. I'm sure we've all heard the expression "God can't steer a ship that isn't moving." I've recently come to the conclusion that I need to take a more aggressive approach to finding my helpmate, but all the while maintaining an extremely close relationship with my Father so I'm able to hear his promptings and feel his "steering."

David

Sitting back and letting God provide is easier! Not that he's provided a mate … yet. But, as a bonafide introvert, putting myself out there is hard work. I've done it though. Every so often, I let myself be convinced (by self or others) that maybe it's time to plunge in again. Try! Be available! Blind dates! eHarmony! Singles groups! Who knows? Maybe I'll meet someone. And I have—just not the right someone.

Next step: eHarmony! I was so jazzed when they sent my first matches. Cool. Or … not? A lot of the guys never initiate. Many don't respond when I initiate. Some close the match because they feel the geographical distance or age differences are too great (Uh, you do know you can set those parameters when you sign up, right?) Some are unabashedly looking for arm candy. And yeah, there were guys who were more serious and I did have some interesting e-mails, but nothing came of them. eHarmony says I have to keep at it—that it could be the 100th match who is the right one. Reaching out to 99 matches might sound like fun for some, but it feels like work to me.

On to singles groups. Hmm. Interesting. Mostly women. Mostly younger age groups. It feels a little desperate sometimes. One guy asked me out before he even knew my name. I don't think so …

I would love to be married. Really. But. No more blind dates. No more eHarmony. Singles groups? Maybe if I'm interested in what they're doing and not just in the fact that they're single, then sure.

Meanwhile, I spent the weekend laughing and cuddling with my nieces and nephew, the weather is perfect for a walk on the marina, I'm meeting a friend for coffee later, I have dance class tomorrow, the book I've been waiting for just came in at the library, and … God knows where I am.

Ellen

While I believe God can move a parked car, I don't think he necessarily will. That's what I think of people who sit around and wait for something to happen to them—they're just like those parked cars. I'm not saying you have to join an online dating service or sign up for speed dating, but I do believe we need to put forth a little bit of effort. Take a chance; take a step of faith!

Many of us are unapproachable. We're shy, or we don't want someone to think we're interested in him even if we are, so we go to extremes to appear disinterested. I'm speaking from personal experience. But I can either sit at home and do nothing and meet no one, or I can get up and make myself approachable and friendly. I've learned you have a better chance of catching a fish if you're actually out fishing, rather than sitting at home reading a book.

Dena

I honestly believe both ways can be right and both ways can be wrong—depending on what the Lord has instructed you to do. Abraham was promised a child and was instructed to wait on the Lord, but his impatience and lack of faith caused him to be proactive, which resulted in negative consequences. Jonah was instructed to be proactive, but fear held him back from obeying, which resulted in negative consequences. We must seek the Lord on a daily basis and be willing to obey when he instructs us to be patient or be proactive.

Marie-Josée

The answer is pretty simple and clear; it's in the Bible. "He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and finds favor with the Lord" (Proverbs 18:22). When I do a word search on the Hebrew word translated into "find"—it means "to actively, aggressively seek out, to cause to come to hand." No wimpy sitting around and waiting for her to cross my path. No hiding out, waiting for God to do something. No, it tells me I have to get up, get out, and find her … so I do (or at least try). Many things I enjoy get me out and about, and I'm always looking—who knows, someone I meet on a bike ride this Saturday may be "the one." But if I stay home and never do anything, who will I find?

I participate actively in some online e-mail groups. I go on short-term missions trips. I check out other church singles groups (generally pretty pathetic), go contra dancing when I can, and am active in the local sailing club. Even if I don't find her in any of those places, it gets me out and about, having fun while meeting plenty of interesting people.

Nick

I used to be firmly in the "out there working at finding a spouse" camp. I figured I could certainly do better than my well-intentioned but often misguided friends and family members. Time and lessons in God's faithfulness in other areas of my life have completely changed my heart and my mind about this question. I'm no longer actively searching for a spouse in my own ability, but seeking God's will over my entire life.

Over the past few years, I've learned to yield more of the issues and questions in my life to God's planning and timing. I've left these things in his hands and seen the blessings of waiting on his way and his perfect timing. He led me to an amazing, scripturally based, Spirit-filled church after a recent move. He planted me in a small group that's as loving as my own family. He's blessing me and watching over me with such care in every area and question I give him. So I've recently given my desire for a spouse to him as well. If I am to marry, it will be in his perfect time, by his arranging, and with the man he's chosen for me. And while the wait is frustrating at times, it's actually less frustrating than an endless series of disappointing dates.

Best of all, in the mean time, I've been set free. I love all the people he brings into my life now rather than desperately looking for just "one." I use the talents in interests he gave me rather than avoiding time commitments to keep my calendar open in "just in case." I've traded in my idol of the perfect marriage for a deeper relationship with the only "perfect man" ever to have walked the earth. I may not be perfect or have it all, but I'm certainly living much more abundantly and sharing that life with so many others.

I've seen over and over what happens in my life when I just have to do it my way (and it's usually not a pretty outcome). Trusting God's love and perfect plan for me has never failed. So if marriage is ever going to happen in my life, it will have to be his way.

Susan

The Bible is full of lessons on balance—why should it not apply to singleness as well? While we are told God will supply all of our needs, were still told to work! We can't expect to sit at home reading our Bibles all day and assume the electric bill will be paid by a heavenly angel swooping forth from the sky!

Look at Christ's life—while he continually prayed for the Father's will to be done, he still physically got out of his home to meet peoples needs. He traveled, he spoke, he visited, he ate, drank, healed, … see a pattern there? He was out and about in the natural physical world—not sitting at home waiting for all to be accomplished! And he was God's own son! Should we expect to do less than Christ?

Surely God the Father that parted the Red Sea could drop the perfect man at my doorstep without me ever leaving home—but the Bible tells me to do his will, and then trust him with the details.

Lisa

Forget the common clichés about singleness, such as "You'll meet somebody when you're not looking." Christian singles need to be active, looking, and ready to meet someone. Sitting at home won't do it. Always hanging out with married people, which a lot of single people do, won't do it either. Christian singles need to look for our significant other differently than our secular counterparts. We're looking for someone who shares our faith, a believer we can share life with. This makes it more difficult to find a good match, but well worth the effort.

I say do whatever you can to find that person you're searching for. Use the Internet, go to singles functions, visit other churches, go on Christian singles cruises, whatever—as long as it honors your faith. I went to a seminar given by the author of a book on how to find your future spouse. The two-hour seminar could be summed up in three major rules for your search: 1. Get out of the house. 2. Go where the singles are. 3. Introduce yourself.

Brad

I'm in the camp of sitting back and allowing God to bring someone into my life. We have a tendency to let our flesh take control of us, and with that might be missing what God has planned for us. I've tried Internet dating and found myself becoming obsessed with who was trying to contact me and vice versa. It took time away from God and what his plan is for me. He has big plans for me, so I'll wait for that special person to come into my life on his terms.

Debbie

I think singleness is no different from being jobless. If you're out of a job, do you stay home and wait for someone to come knock on your door and offer you a job? Don't think so. So why should it be any different with finding a mate? The best approach is certainly to pray and seek God's direction, but like God told Moses when they were standing in front of the Red Sea, "Why are you crying out to me? Don't just stand there, get moving!" (My paraphrase, of course!) I think if we're seeking God's direction in our lives, we should be venturing out where we feel safe in looking for a meaningful relationship. That can be either through the Internet, a church singles group, volunteer group, classroom, grocery store, coffee shop, or who knows where! Then God can work behind the scenes and bring people into your life to either begin to reshape or bring healing to you, or he might even bring "the one" he's chosen for you. I think it's important to develop friendships as well, because if you only look at someone as a potential mate then you may miss out on blessings God has intended through a friendship. But if something else develops, praise God!

Dave

In all the years I've been a Christian, I've never once heard a message on "sitting back and letting God." Instead, I've heard messages on praying about where I should serve in the church, acting on God's callings, getting out and serving him, etc. The majority of people who are dating meet (notice it's an active verb!) their dates via mutual friends and common interests (like Internet groups or activities).

Where are people getting the "sit back and wait for strangers to suddenly show up and want to start dating you" philosophy? If a strange man were to knock on my door, I would be very hesitant to start dating him. But if I actively go outside my home, get involved in fun activities, hang out with my friends, and am open to meeting new people, there's a great chance I'll meet the people God wants me to minister to, including potential dates.

As far as I know, "sitting around and waiting" isn't part of any Christian theology I've ever learned. Instead, it's more about "taking a step in faith." Like Martin Luther King Jr. said, "Just take the first step in faith. You don't need to see the whole staircase, just the first step."

A.

I think the idea of looking for someone versus just "letting God handle it" depends on each individual. I believe there isn't any harm in looking if we allow God to decide for us instead of jumping into a relationship with the first good-looking Christian man/woman who comes along. Since I'm divorced, I've decided to stop looking and just wait for God to "plop someone in my lap" if he so wishes. I've promised God I'll remain single for the rest of my days if that's what he wants; I'm not actively looking for someone.

But that's strictly me. There are those who deal with such loneliness and longings that they're compelled to look for someone. And I think that's perfectly all right, too. What's comforting to me is that God knows our deepest longings and knows what we need. But first we need him. I think that's the most crucial part. What good would I be to someone if God isn't first in my life?

Maybe I just want to be a Christian first, and then being single comes next. If marriage awaits me sometime in the future, then I'll gladly give up my singleness. But until then, I'll serve God with all the "singleness" of my heart.

Cathy

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Read more … Read more from 'Talk Amongst Yourselves'


Table For One: The Savvy Girl's Guide to Singleness

Table For One:
The Savvy Girl's Guide to Singleness
by Camerin Courtney
You'll love this book by the Singles Channel's own Camerin Courtney! It's an honest and upbeat look at the emotions, expectations, joys, frustrations, and privileges of the single life, that will delight and inspire you! Buy it today!



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