I don’t reveal so much about my love life, except to closest friends. I figured I haven’t shared so much to my sisters and younger girlfriends, when they could actually pick up a thing or two from real experiences. Like you, young reader, I was so idealistic when it came to love.
LESSON I’VE LEARNED #1: DATING A NON-BELIEVER VS. A BELIEVER
When I was in my teens, I felt that it was okay to date a non-believer as long as I could bring him to church. This thinking trickled on until I was in college but the Lord showed me how dating a non-believer would make me stray, how it spelled trouble and how He was really serious when He said in His Word “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers.” (2 Corinthians 6:14)
Just like you, I’ve had my moments of protesting. “Lord baket? Eh ang gwapo niya kaya. Mabait naman siya.” Well well well. The Lord did not give me instant answers but through time, He showed me various reasons. First, the idea of JESUS as YOUR LORD and SAVIOR. How can you fully explain that to someone who is only with you, because you are his focus and NOT JESUS? Sure, the guy may patronize you by going to church with you and hanging out with your Christian friends.
Unless he realizes his need for a Savior, he is never going to FULLY UNDERSTAND YOU. He needs to find Christ first. He needs to realize that blameless Jesus took on our sins on the cross just so we could go free. When you serve in church, do you think he can fully grasp that it isn’t out of obligation? We serve out of a thankful heart because of what Jesus did for us on the cross. What are his priorities? Is God on top of the priority list? It may be hard for you to do, but let him go. You may be meant for each other; don’t close doors, but maybe now is not the right time for you to be together.
DATING A BELIEVER
Most of the guys I’ve actually had crushes on are believers naman. However, there is that danger of being disillusioned that as long as the guy is a believer, he will not break your heart, that everything will be okay. UH. NO. Sorry to burst your bubble young one, but those who really crushed my heart and betrayed me turned out to be believers!
Now don’t put all your guards up. It all boils down to our sinful nature. You and me, we may be believers too, but we can also break hearts. We can hurt guys—because of our sinful nature. One of the Christian guys I “dated” used to be from one of our church’s satellites. We reconnected when he flew abroad. I knew he came from a Christian family, but I honestly wasn’t so sure about his walk with God.
So we’d talk and encourage each other. It got to the point wherein he wanted to introduce me to his parents and he wanted to meet mine. Dang nabbit. Those flowery words were so sweet to a girl’s ears. He was scheduled to fly back to Manila (well that’s what he said), and even gave the flight date and time. He told me I’d be the first one he’d call as soon as the plane landed.
I waited in agony.
I was scared that his plane would have crashed or something. Three days, girls. I never heard from him. Surprise surprise! At that time, Friendster was all the rage. How silly was he to upload photos of him and a girl in bed? Come on. That was February. Super kapal ng mukha, nakipag-usap pa sakin sa YM mga after 2 weeks. Anong akala niya, hindi ko nakita yung kalokohan niya? I asked him “Akala ko ba sa Manila ka pupunta? Anong nangyari sa flight mo?”
Excuses, excuses. He flew to a nearby country daw instead. I don’t know why I didn’t bother asking about the girl in the pics with him. I guess I was just too angry. Later he confessed that he got the girl pregnant.
Oh girls, Christian boy ito. Hindi porque Christian boy eh exempt na sila sa temptation. Kaya nga we girls have to also be wary of how we dress and act around our Christian brothers. Hindi porque Christian boy, immune na to sexual temptation. It is part of our sinful nature and WE GIRLS ARE NOT EXEMPT FROM IT TOO. We really need to depend on Christ.
If we know there are certain images or films that induce us to sin, turn away from them. It’s gonna be hard, you’ll be called corny but do it because you want to honor God.
So he friggin got the girl pregnant. He said sorry. Get this, gusto niya mag-ninang daw ako ng anak niya. Kapal ng mukha and a half diba? Much as that hurt me, I realized:
-I’m thankful it wasn’t me.
-I’m thankful I didn’t end up with him. Since I am goal-oriented, his happy-go-lucky ways and over-dependence on parents would be a source of argument for him and me. He didn’t finish school and wasn’t looking to get a job yet. Plus the fact na he got a girl pregnant. Uh, would you say he knew what RESPONSIBILITY meant?
-God kept me safe from further heartache because he clearly was not His will for me. Just because he comes from a Christian family and goes to a Christian church does not mean he is a committed follower of Christ. I’m not saying you judge every prospective guy and his walk with Jesus. Instead of focusing on finding “the one” in church, focus on THE ONE TRUE GOD.
In time you will come to know guys who are serious in their walk. You may not fall in love with them, but the Lord will show you the qualities in a guy that pleases Him, which you must look for. I’ve gone past my teenage years and desired to find a guy who loves God and is committed to serving Him.
My close friends know that I am truly very picky. At one point I thought “Maybe it’s too much,” but I was affirmed by married Christian friends that it is okay to raise one’s standards because you are looking for a lifetime partner, not just some boy toy you can break up with when you no longer have feelings for him.
DATING A BELIEVER WHO SERVES IN CHURCH
I fell for a guy who was serving in church. He was far from my usual type. Take note, hindi siya gwapo. He was okay, pero I saw that he loved God and had a servant’s heart. We were friends, so that was also a good sign. Then he started sending mixed signals. Hindi ko ma-decipher! Morse code ba yun? Anyway, one time he’d make me feel really special. Tapos bawi. Biglang kwento siya ng ibang girl sakin. Biglang tanong ng love advice. So nung sabi ko “Ay wala to. Sige move on ako.”
It was then that I began entertaining this suitor. Nung natunugan ni guy, aba bumakod siya. He was suddenly visible and available. Hindi ko na-gets. Later, I discovered and proved that Mr Suitor was a philanderer. The friend found out, he offered words of consolation but disappeared again. Ganun ang naging pattern. He’d appear, act all okay, then be concerned about me. It was then that I waited for him to make a move or at least say what I really meant to him, but he was too distracted. I was so hurt when for no reason, he seemed angry at my mere presence. I tried to reach out, trying to find out why he was suddenly angry, but he just ignored me. And then he showed up again and spoke to me like nothing happened—which confused me all the more.
I found out that the times he disappeared, was when he pursued “interests” in other churches and places. When he was back, it wasn’t because he wanted to serve again but because he was pursuing someone. I don’t mean to judge him, but his faith seemed unsteady. Balimbing. Kung saan siya dalhin ng feelings niya. Kung saan siya dalhin ng desires niya, dun siya.
I have moved on from that and I have a clear idea that I do not want a man who is unsure of his direction and faith. Yes, faith, conviction, responsibility and commitment are major qualities ladies should look for in choosing a partner. Sure, he may stumble and fall just like you and me would, but if he is anchored on Jesus, he would easily get back up and would not be swayed from the left and right.
SEEK GOD’S WILL FOR YOUR LOVE LIFE
It’s easy to be overcome by emotion or to be swayed by a very handsome face. The Lord desires what is best for you as His child. Do not be in a hurry, do not run ahead of Him for you might only hurt yourself in the process. Running ahead of God may disrupt the plans He has for you and you maybe heading for trouble that you cannot undo–meaning you must endure the consequences of your actions. I’ve witnessed it many times, some friends ran ahead of God. They commit to a partnership without seeking God’s will, some get pregnant, get married right away and cannot undo a decision they made in haste. The best place to be is in the center of God’s Will.
I don’t know about your list, but if I may share some qualities Christian men and women must look for in a partner:
-A devoted, committed Christian whose foundation is in Christ alone.
-A man/woman who desires growing in God’s Word
-A man/woman who fully realizes that he/she is a sinner and is nothing without the saving grace of Jesus Christ
–A sense of direction
–Modest (dresses in a way that pleases God)
–Someone who will accept you, your past and YOUR FAMILY (and vice versa.) When you marry someone, you are not just marrying the person; you marry into their family too. Sure no family is perfect, but find someone who will not address your mother as “MONSTER MOM” or call your dad names.
–Financially responsible: Money is a major issue why couples fight or separate. As Christians, we must be good stewards of the resources the Lord gives us. If you are single and you know that this is something you need to work on, WORK ON IT NOW! Marriage is not going to change your spendthrift ways. Come to terms with your spending habits. Learn to be content and save up for the rainy days. You don’t want to be waking up with all your luxury items and gadgets but have no money to spend on medical needs or utility bills right?
–Committed -when the going gets tough, will he/she stay or go? Watch the news or those funny Face to Face episodes and you’ll see how there are people who won’t stick with you during the tough times. Find someone who you know will love you even if you lose an arm and a limb. Find someone who you can spend the rest of your life with, even if half his body is paralyzed due to a stroke. That’s the reality of loving a person, til death do you part.