Hey, sis. I’m Titania. Around here I help the Christian woman live from joy & peace as she surrenders her soul & sexuality to God. On this blog, I write Bible studies & practical articles on living a lifestyle of faith, just like this one. So if you’re new here, please consider downloading my free 5-day Bible plan. And if you’re returning here for more, welcome back!
So if you’re reading this, chances are you’re looking for a husband. Perhaps you’d even like to glean some insights that’ll help you discern if a guy is marriage material. Well today, I’m going to share my experience of how I met my husband, as well as some commitments I made to God that saved me a lot of pain and frustration throughout that discernment process.
How I Met My Husband
I did not want to be in Memphis, when I found my husband. In fact, I was four hours away from all of my real friends and struggling just to do the basics like get to work or go to college at that time. I had just finished serving as a missionary for two years in Japan, and was also recovering from a painful betrayal from my church leadership.
To say that I was depressed is a huge understatement. I felt that my faith in God was simultaneously hanging by a thread while also being strengthened by His nearness in my despair. After giving up all of my possessions to serve in Japan, I had nothing when I returned to America. I had to move back in with my mom, which felt like returning to ground zero for me.
I knew I needed the encouragement of fellow believers, so I decided to visit a church that my mentor recommended to me. I was so relieved to find out that the church was within walking distance. Not having to ask my mom to drop me off anywhere at the time was personally a win for me.
When I arrived, two young men were carrying out church signs to the grassy curb. The tallest and oldest of the two welcomed me and directed me inside. I couldn’t help but notice he was incredibly attractive. However, I was determined not to be distracted from worship, so I headed for the sanctuary, convincing myself not to dwell on the kind gentleman along the way.
The fellow, as I discovered during the “walk around and randomly hug people while we play music in the background” time, was a twenty-five-year-old young man named Gerald. I could tell by how he carried himself that he was humble and intelligent, and I was so impressed when he mentioned he held a degree in mechanical engineering.
As my first month at the church played out, I discovered that there was more to Gerald than his caramel skin, Colgate smile, and athletic physique. He respected everyone around him. He faithfully served others, and he loved God. How’d I know? Instead of broadcasting my interest as I did with guys in the past, I decided to observe him silently from afar. (This was a promise I had made to God after going guy-crush crazy overseas.) During small group Bible studies, Gerald always contributed valuable and biblical points to the conversation. I was so impressed.
Long and very beautiful story cut short—after getting to know each other through phone conversations and Maple Story playthroughs for about the length of two weeks, we decided that we wanted to enter a courtship relationship that would eventually lead to marriage. Not your typical romance, I know. But we were both confident that it wasn’t a coincidence that we shared so much in common, including the fact that we both desired to do long-term ministry in Japan. After 5 months, we were married and –despite the heart-attack I gave my family– we’ve done well by God’s grace.
That’s the blog post version of our story, but I really recommend that you watch the video version. It’s way more colorful and entertaining, as Gerald is sharing too and we go into more details!
Four Commitments that Help Lead to a Godly Marriage
Now that you’ve heard how my husband and I met, I want to share four commitments I made to God that had a huge impact in our experience. You won’t hear these from your average “love guru” so stick around to learn how to apply them in your own experience.
#1 | I was committed to involving God in my search for a husband.
As a single woman, I never asked God if I should date someone. It was only a matter of if I desired that person. If yes, then I was off to the races –plotting and scheming ways that I could get to know the guy and his preferences. Then planning how I could push our relationship forward. Can you see how I completely left God out of my relationships? It’s no wonder why they didn’t work.
As I matured in Christ, I learned that God loves me most and knows what’s best for me. This is why I committed to involve God in my relationships moving forward. For me this meant allowing God’s word to inform my perspective on relationships. I prayed asking God to give me a husband with qualities I saw in His word, then added to that list my own preferences such as “a funny guy,” “someone who can sing,” and yes, I specifically asked for “a guy with a nice butt.” Hey, it worked out though!
#2 | I was committed to being “found.”
As I mentioned before, I was the aggressor and instigator in my relationships pre-Jesus. If I liked a guy and I was confident that he liked me back, that was all that I needed to go walking up to him saying, “Hey, I like you. You like me. Let’s get this show on the road, shall we?” While I did experience that instant-gratification that comes from quickly beginning a relationship, in the end, I always found myself wondering: “If I had said nothing at all, would he have pursued me?”; or “Are we only in a relationship because of me?”
I knew that in marriage, I needed to be confident that my husband loved me. If that was going to happen, I would have to step down as the “aggressor” and give him space to be…well, a man. This doesn’t mean that I didn’t give Gerald the social cues that signal that I had an interest in him, but I didn’t do any heavy-lifting in getting our relationship off the ground. I waited for him to ask me out on a date. I allowed him to instigate the conversation about courtship. As I look back at how I was able to trust God’s timing and influence in Gerald’s life, I get to enjoy the gift of the assurance of Gerald’s attraction and affection toward me.
#3 | I was committed to courtship versus long-term dating.
Before I knew Jesus, “dating” was simply a game I had to play to have my emotional needs met. I’ll explain the rules. Then I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. (Comment below or email me at hey@TitaniaPaige.com.) Here goes:
Player one and two begin their relationship and the “fun” begins. First, both players sprint toward intimacy. They learn each other’s deepest secrets and longings. Then each player races to stimulate their counterpart by fulfilling their needs. Each player hopes to be rewarded for their efforts. (Typically) the woman longs for commitment and intimacy, but the man longs for physical arousal. At the peak of their relationship, both players generally feel like they’re “winning.” But then one player gets bored or no longer feels stimulated. So the game ends and both players lose all of the progress they’ve made.
When I stopped playing the culture’s “dating” game, I began to appreciate God’s healthier design for relationships. I decided that if I was going on a date, it would be with someone I had already found to be marriage material. The date would only be a means to see if we were compatible and I would only need to do this briefly before I decided if I could see myself marrying this person or not. Gerald and I dated for about 2 weeks before we decided to enter a courtship with each-other. We established our relationship based on biblical principles and clearly defined our goal to marry. Linking God’s purpose for relationships (marriage) helped us steer clear of many of the unhealthy practices of casual dating. This doesn’t mean we “perfectly” honored God in our courtship and engagement, but we had a secure foundation for consistently offering our relationship to God as a place we would honor Him first and then each other.
#4 | I was committed to let God be God and my husband be my husband.
One of the most detrimental mindsets I carried into relationships in the past was this expectation that being with my boyfriend would make me whole or that our relationship only existed to make me happy. However, when I compared this self-centered approach to love with God’s, I began to see how shallow my concept of love really was. It certainly wasn’t a love that would endure or sustain a family.
In the Bible, God demonstrates His love for His people countless times through His faithfulness toward them. Over and over, God actively decided to love broken, flawed, and even promiscuous people (spiritually speaking). But honestly, it’s really difficult to love someone like that, right? How can a man and a woman love each other in such a selfless way? I’ve found that it’s only by first having an intimate connection with God. From there, God enables me to love my husband from the abundance of His love and faithfulness to me. In this way, I’ve accepted that loving my husband can’t be based on feelings of passion that come and go, but on the same faithfulness that I experience when God actively chooses to love me.
These four commitments I made are not “tips” or easy “hacks” you can apply in an instant, am I right? My hope is that they’ve challenged you to examine your motives for entering romantic relationships and your pursuit of a husband. If you’re here and you don’t have a personal relationship with God, I encourage you to click here to learn more about how you can. If you already know God and you’d like to learn more about His design for relationships, marriage, and dating or how you can grow in your love for Jesus, why not make listening to the Purpose in Purity Podcast a part of your daily routine?
Let me know your thoughts on today’s post in the comments. I’d love to hear your thoughts on these four commitments, as well as any commitments you’ve made to God in regards to finding a husband. Talk soon!
Leave A Comment
What did you think of this episode of the Purpose in Purity Podcast? Are there any questions you want us to answer? Any topics you want to hear discussed? Leave a comment below or email me at hey@TitaniaPaige.com. See you in the next episode!