I’m a sucker for magic tricks. (Er, excuse me, I believe the religiously correct term is illusions.) Last weekend I was speaking at a conference, and the hostess and her sidekick dazzled us with a display of lights, music, 80s dance moves, lost keys, and disappearing persons. You guys, my mind was blown. I never have the faintest idea how these things are done, and so I’ve decided to accept my naïvete and just enjoy the show. And enjoy I did. I was the next “act,” but I was so taken by the illusion I couldn’t start for a full minute. But where was . . .? How did you . . .? The mystery of it all delighted me.
If you read my recent posts “4 Instructions for Romance” and “4 More Instructions for Romance,” part of you might have been swelling with excitement while another part of you wrinkled your brow with dread. Because while it’s exciting to think about having a relationship in a way that honors God and keeps your heart from getting unnecessarily mangled, any girl who challenges the relationship status quo in our culture is bound to get a few quizzical faces staring back at her (and not always the “delighted” kind).
As believers, our lives should look mysterious to the rest of the world. They should look different. People who see our lives should have to wonder, How do they do that? How do they manage contentment in singleness, or purity in love, or forgiveness in heartbreak?
As believers, our lives should look mysterious to the rest of the world.
So here’s the sobering question: Do our lives look different? Or do God’s sons and daughters love, date, and interact with each other just like the rest of the world? We’re called to walk worthy of the gospel (Phil. 1:27). That means—regardless of what dating “model” you choose—your love life should reflect the redemption God has offered you.
There’s another component of doing love differently that’s hard for us rule-followers to remember. Although we should be thoughtful and intentional about what path we’re following, believers should also be carefree about love because we are eternally free! I love this paraphrase of King Solomon’s words found in Ecclesiastes 11:9:
Young people, it’s wonderful to be young! Enjoy every minute of it. Do everything you want to do; take it all in. But remember that you must give an account to God for everything you do.
That mindset goes against the norm too, doesn’t it? Most girls are so preoccupied with their relationship status that they miss out on enjoying the best years of their lives. Or maybe they live like they won’t have to answer to anyone and in the process get their hearts crushed. But as for you? I know you’re going to find a healthy balance, just like Solomon taught. I believe you’re going to enjoy being young (whether single or in a relationship) and make decisions in light of God and His plan for your life. You’re a smart girl!
Is there a better way than the conventional dating philosophy of date-divorce-date-divorce? Absolutely. But what that model will look like in your love story depends on you. You have the freedom to choose. Remember, as long as you’re following God’s guidelines for relationships, you can choose to date or court or stay single. Let God know that you want to honor Him with your heart’s attachments, be open to wise counsel and the Holy Spirit’s leading, and then get ready to dazzle the world around you with something they probably won’t understand, but which just might enamor, delight, and point them toward God: a mysterious romance.