(Excerpted from Stress Point: Thriving Through Your Twenties in a Decade of Drama by Sarah Francis Martin. Published by Thomas Nelson, Inc. ©2012. Used with permission.)Jesus is explicit regarding what He expects of us and where our daily, moment-by-moment focus should be. When asked about His greatest commandment, Jesus replied: “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37). This applies as much to dating as to every other facet of our lives. Every issue we encounter with regard to the opposite sex should be bounced off these questions:
Do I still love my God with my whole heart, soul, and mind?
Is my boyfriend doing the same?By using this standard as our barometer for future activities with men, we’ll not only please the Lord but prevent untold heartache as well. When we focus on Him, our priorities in dating will align themselves without a struggle. When we train our focus on God and His Word in this area, we also come to recognize traits the Bible lays out for how a husband should love his wife. The Bible is unequivocal on this issue. Although its guidelines don’t pertain to the dating relationship per se, we do receive from its pages clear guidance on what we should be able to expect from our godly boyfriends. If there’s one phrase to which I return again and again when talking to my girlfriends, it’s this: Don’t settle for less. I’ve had several friend accept their boyfriends’ non-committal attitudes and press on in hopes that their men might change. When we’re in a continual state of communication with Jesus, we know in our hearts that this non-committal behavior on the part of the men in our lives doesn’t cut it and that it’s time for us to move on. But if we’re out of tune with the Lord’s guidance, we may well have no clue that a relationship of this quality isn’t what God has planned for our lives. If we want to move from a troubled relationship to one that both thrills and fulfills us, we need to take the first step of allowing the Lord to lead us.
Join Sarah’s online Summer Bible study & purchase her book Here.Sarah Francis Martin is the author Stress Point: Thriving Through your Twenties in a Decade of Drama (Thomas Nelson, June 2012) and blogs at www.liveitoutblog.com