It happened again last week. I got a call from a long-time girlfriend who was heartbroken and sobbing. She’d dated a guy she met on eHarmony.com for three years and they just had “The TALK”—he isn’t ready to get married, but still wants to be friends. She’s a wonderful person but the time isn’t right.
In between the tears, she shot questions at me like bullets, not waiting for me to respond:
“Wasn’t I loyal enough? I gave up teaching 5th grade Sunday school to sit with him each week at his church instead of mine.”
“Wasn’t I nice enough? I never argued with him even if I disagreed; after all he liked to be in charge.”
“Wasn’t I caring enough? I took care of his mother during surgery on her leg last year. I had to take time off work!”
“Wasn’t I considerate enough about his finances? I offered to pay for at least half of our dates.”
And then more questions about him:
“He kissed me on the first date and he honored the relationship; we never had sex. Why did he even kiss me if he just wanted to be friends?”
“He said on his eHarmony.com profile that he was interested in “marriage”. Did he lie, or change his mind?”
I didn’t have answers to her questions so I asked her one instead: “How come you gave away your heart so soon?”
“What do you mean? Relationships are built on mutual giving and compromise. I’m a loving person."
“I know you are a loving person; we’ve been friends forever, but that isn’t what I’m asking you. You introduced me to him on your third date three years ago. I told you later that I could see in your eyes when you looked at him that you were crazy about him; you’d already given your heart away even before asking God if he was the “right guy” to spend your life with. You wanted to get married and have a family so much that you gave your heart to him by the second date. And then you kept waiting, hoping that he’d give his heart to you.”
I continued, “Two years ago a good guy friend gave me great advice, “GUARD YOUR HEART.” He told me not to give my heart away to the next guy who asked me out.” My guy friend continued, “It’s okay to be loving and open with people, but marriage is a special bond. Be friends with guys, loving them as neighbors, but wait for God to speak to them if there is more to the relationship than a friendship. Let the guy lead! If it is in God’s time, the guy will know it and be anxious to talk with you about it! But we are all called to be ministers to each other, to encourage each other in our faith. Whether it is a man or a woman we have a responsibility to help them grow in their faith. Sometimes that means as a friend and sometimes as a wife. ”
“But he said on his eHarmony.com profile that he was interested in marriage!” my distraught girlfriend protested again.
“Maybe he is interested in marriage, but God hasn’t called him to be married now. You have to respect what he hears God telling him in his life.”
I continued, “Let me tell you about another friend who went on a first date six months ago and just got married a few weeks ago. She had carefully GUARDED HER HEART with her previous relationships, but this was the right one, the man who God had called her to marry. God spoke with him about asking her out and the relationship acknowledged God’s role from the start. It didn’t take long for them to realize that God had called them both to marry each other.”
I know my friend will get over her heartbreak, and I hope that she sees the men in her life as children of God that need to be encouraged in their faith. If God intends her to marry, it will be to the right guy and at the right time.
Do you have friends who rush into dating relationships without hearing from God first? What is your advice to them? Do you advise them to let the guy lead?
Leave a comment here and continue this important conversation!