My friend sent me the above invite to a single, Christian Valentine’s mixer and my immediate reaction was AWKWARD! No. Just no. Its on a Saturday night, at a church and they have dancing. It’s all just weird. It’s going to be forced small talk. My least favorite thing ever. All the awkward scenarios flooded my mind, like being cornered by an older, sweaty man with bad breathe and not being able to get away and since I am in church I have to be extra polite and maybe give out a pity phone number. Or what if that’s me to a younger guy? (I know my mind can be dramatic.) But, then I thought, I have to put myself out there in new ways or how am I going to expect different results? And I think some of the hardest and most uncomfortable things we do, end up being the best things for us. So, begrudgingly I said yes.
It was last night and I’m so glad I went. One of the girls I joined in going with, said as we left, “We came, we saw, we conquered.” I laughed and said, “I don’t know about the conquered part, but hey, we showed up! And that’s the hardest part!” So here is my take on it and what I learned. First and foremost, awkward is okay! Life is awkward! Life is weird, messy, awkward, but also fun, exciting, full of laughs and experiences and this is just one of them. We, or I know I do, try to avoid ALL awkward, painful, and uncomfortable situations, so then we just don’t participate at all….but, then we aren’t really participating in life. Life is about all of it, not just the good parts. So, I say try things that push you to grow as a person. I also want to applaud this church for advocating and making space and time for singles, especially in their 30s and 40s. Its unheard of or at least I’ve not seen many churches wanting to get involved in this way. So that’s a great first step in Christian culture.
We walk in and it was decorated very cute with pink and red balloons, valentine candy
dishes, virgin punches, and lots of snacks. They had a photo booth area set up, good music and small tables to stand around and get to know people. But, the pressure was instant and overwhelming. We thought they would do the panel towards the beginning of the night and the “mixer” after, but it was more sandwiched in the middle. So, we met other ladies, most who actually attended the church and they were very warm and friendly. They let us know the group does activities regularly, like hikes and restaurant outings, which is fun and I signed up to be notified of those. 130 people attended and the crowd was actually more put together than I imagined and many dressed in red or pink valentine attire. The men didn’t really approach new women though, that they didn’t seem to know from the previously established group. But, we chitchatted and then the panel started and that was actually my favorite part; just hearing about Godly marriage and dating in a real and candor manor. They had seven diverse people, both married and single and their unique story and what God had taught them regarding the topic of romantic love. It was refreshing and they had some good points and reminders that I will share with you:
- “A cherished woman is powerful.” If you want the woman you married to stay the woman you married, you have to practice good husbandry. You have to cherish her, uplift her, pray with her, affirm her, listen to her, and put in the work for her to feel loved and valued everyday in the marriage.
- ‘Men: Be a gentleman.’ And not a gentleman like the world has contorted a gentleman to be, which is seductive and manipulative. But a true, humble gentlemen really honoring a woman and being respectful.
- ‘Women- lead with your heart and not your body.’ We have been taught in society to use sex and sensualness to get love. That we, as women aren’t loved until we sleep with a man, and we need to seduce him in order to be someone in this world. That you aren’t enough on your own. But, that is a lie from the devil. Have boundaries and get to know a man’s heart and him yours.
- Men need to be bolder in church in asking women out. Be intentional, but keep it fun. They don’t have to figure out if they think someone might be their wife first. It’s just coffee to see if there might be any connection. And if it doesn’t work out, it’s okay. You don’t have to switch churches and if you do, then you are doing it wrong. It’s okay to date and not have it go anywhere and it still be friendly. Be mature.
- We all have an idea of the person we think we will or want to marry. A picture or an image of what that person might look like, act like, do for a living, and be into. It’s good to have an idea of a future spouse and making a list of qualities and characteristics can be very helpful. But, don’t be so strict on your list that you miss out on possible potential. Have your non-negotiables, like being a Christian, but leave room for God to choose and open your heart up, trusting that God knows you best and knows what you need. He created you and knows who would best compliment you. So, just pray that the Holy Spirit keeps leading you in the right direction.
- Don’t wait for that person to complete your life. Live life to the fullest in the waiting. Don’t just wait. Enjoy your time. Your life doesn’t start when you become a wife or husband. They just come along to compliment you in this journey and God designed them as a helper (I know we think we very much need them
right this moment), but trust God’s timing. Focus on what God has put on your heart now, the people God has placed in your life in this season, and the calling He has placed on your life in the now.
- Continue to have hope. Live hopeful. When you let bitterness, anger, and resentment take over, it’s not an attitude that will attract a good spouse. (Easier said than done at times, I know!! ) “But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait eagerly for it with patience and composure.” Romans 8:25
So, I didn’t expect to meet my future husband last night (though that would have been awesome) but I enjoyed the experience and it builds confidence in trying new things. And who can’t have more fellow, Christian gals in their life??