I don’t know about you, but as a single person I find that the dating advice I receive from others can be really irritating. Everyone has a different opinion, and most people state their opinion on dating as though they are the authority over every situation. I’ve been given advice from every end of the spectrum, from those who frequently suggest that I sit down and create a list of what I want in a man to those who think that God doesn’t orchestrate these things and that I should be getting a move on and marrying the first Christian guy that I can find. There are even the occasional friends who claim that I’m single because I’m not in the right place in my walk with God.
While we could all stand to achieve greater closeness with God, I’ve learned that there is no magical formula to determine when the right guy will come into your life. I’ve also learned that my singleness has nothing to do with something that is lacking in me or in my walk with God (it may come as a shock to some, but married people are not more or less spiritual than those who are single).
There have been many times in my walk with God where I saw a guy who I thought I wanted and asked God for him. The answer was always, “No,” and I used to get so frustrated with God for shutting down all of my requests. He told me that it wasn’t because I was doing anything wrong, or because He didn’t love me. “Your gift is different,” He would always tell me. “I only give my children the best, and your best takes a little longer to prepare.”
There were plenty of times that I lost my willpower, and told God, “I know this isn’t your best, but I’ll settle for this because it’s right here. It’s faster. I’d rather just have what’s in front of me—what I can see—instead of waiting for something that you tell me is better.” I’m so glad that during those times when I decided not to wait, God stood firm and didn’t cater to my impatience.
I can’t tell you what your love story will look like. God works in so many ways—I’ve known people with fabulous, storybook love stories and even met someone with a loving marriage that was arranged by his parents. There is no “one way” for this to happen. But the truth that connects all of these stories is this: God knows how to give good gifts to His children.
“God wants to give you the best, and He will spare no expense in ensuring that you receive the gift that most benefits your soul and relationship with Him. He is not a giver of second-rate gifts.”
I struggle with this reality, but God made it very real for me this Christmas. About a month ago, I was shopping with my mom for a new purse and accidentally fell in love with a Michael Kors tote at Marshalls. This bag was beautiful, durable, and would perfectly meet all of my handbag needs. But it was a lot more money than I would normally invest in a purse. I decided to keep looking, but unfortunately, nothing really came close to being as nice as that first bag.
On Christmas morning, my mom surprised me with the purse. I didn’t expect it at all—if anything, I expected her to shop around for something cute, but less expensive and of lower quality. But she gave me the exact purse I wanted, because really, nothing else was going to meet my need or last as long as the one I wanted.
Sometimes, I don’t believe that God is going to give me the best. He’ll give me something nice, I think. It will be okay, but not the best. It’ll be good, but not great. The thing is, when a loving parent sees that a child wants something and knows that there is nothing else that will meet their needs in quite the same way, that parent will go to great lengths to make sure that their child receives the absolute best thing.
God wants to give you the best, and He will spare no expense in ensuring that you receive the gift that most benefits your soul and relationship with Him. He is not a giver of second-rate gifts. He will remove obstacles, sway decision-makers, and battle any opposition in order to give you the gift that will elicit the most joy. You might have to wait a little longer while “the best” is being prepared. You might have to face some battles along the way. But God’s gifts are worth waiting for, worth fighting for, even worth dying for.
So wait on the Lord, because the day might come when you spot that perfect guy, the one God’s been preparing your heart for. You’ll ask God for Him, He’ll answer with a resounding, “Yes,” and you’ll realize that God knew what He was doing all along. But don’t forget this: the purpose of any gift is to make the recipient feel closer to the giver. The real reward of relationships is a greater intimacy with God and heightened understanding of His love for us.