How many times have you heard, "Don't start planning the wedding before the first date"? 

Personally, I have never heard that statement, but it might be something that people should hear; myself included.

If you have heard those words once before and heeded them, then I applaud you. But there are still people out there with overactive imaginations who struggle with remaining content with where God has them now. 

If you do not have an active imagination and you never daydream or wish for things like lifelong relationships and marriage, you may still know someone who has not learned to be content in whatever state they find themselves in; though, everyone falls into discontentment at one time or another. It seems that everyone has the ability to complain about the life they have, even if they have everything they could possibly want (in your eyes). Often, singles will voice their discontentment and their longing to no longer be single; or, they will just share articles about dating, relationships, and learning to be content. Do you know anyone like that?

Now, you may be desperate, but still responsible. But when emotions are high and patience is wearing thin, any romantic interest received can easily lead to an overreaction. So, before you are faced with the possibility of overreaction, drill the following truths into your mind. 

Whoever shows interest in you is human, too. They don't really have superpowers. It does not take that much effort to ask someone out on a date or to say, "Yes," "Sure," "Why not?" or "I have nothing better to do." 

However, it does take effort not to overreact. 

Consider one important fact; being asked out does not define your worth, and neither does one yes define your worth. 

Just because you have been single for a while, that does not mean that you are somehow untouchable, unworthy, or unwanted; your relationship status does not define your worth. 

Whether you are a student, a young professional, a retiree, a professional athlete, a mom, a dad, or working and living at home with your parents, there is probably a constant string of expectations that are thrown at you. Those expectations would encourage you to measure your worth based on how much money you make, how much education you have, where you live, what you look like, and if you are married or dating. And one problem with expectations is that there is a temptation to do anything to fulfill them, even if it means compromising cherished beliefs; I have seen that happen too many times in the area of relationships. 

I know of men and women that saved themselves for marriage into their 30s, 40s, and later. I went to one such nontraditional wedding, and it was beautiful. But I have heard of some people who waited that long, but still ended up settling for less; they either married someone who didn't love Jesus and/or they had sex before marriage. 

There is no reason to devalue yourself based on age or how you think you appear. You are too precious to give yourself away; to give your body or your heart away. Let the one who shows interest in you prove their commitment and love for you and for Jesus; don't get caught up in daydreams. 

A date is just a date, unless it takes place at your home or their home, in which case, don't even go there; let that "opportunity" pass by. There may be many temptations like that to come your way; and those are the types of temptations you flee from. I don't care how strong you think you are; it is better to have God as the focus, rather than your own perceived strength or self-will.

You are not as strong as you think you are, but God is stronger than you think He is. Trust His judgment. Wait patiently for a man or woman after His heart. Wait patiently for His coming. 

Instead of overthinking singleness or the possibility of a relationship, overthink how much you are loved by an awesome Creator God. 

He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. His love conquered death and sin, so that you, too, can live in the same victory.

Abide in God's love today. Trust that His plans are better than your imagination. And, surely, Jesus Christ is preparing a place for you: His Beloved Bride, His Precious Church. 

Maybe it is God's will that you arrive in His presence as a once married man or woman, and maybe it is His will that you remain single, but marriage itself will be done away in the kingdom of Heaven. Whether you are married or single, it is more important that you love God, seek His will, and live a life that is holy and glorifying unto His name.

There is no shame in saving yourself (body, heart, and soul) for marriage; that is honorable and pleasing in God's sight. Even if you have sinned before, and your patience was left at the door, Jesus stands at the door, holding the pieces to heal your heart and give you joy once more. 

There is no need to plan the wedding before the first date. Instead, before the first date, go on a walk with Jesus. Talk with Him and read what He has to say. Serve Him at home, work, and church every day. Seek to build your relationship with Him every day, and He will teach you how to love, how to wait, and how to know the man or woman He has intended for you. 

Your Heavenly Father knows what you need better than you know. He already has tomorrow planned out, so cast your cares upon Him. Even if you never have that first date and/or you never get married, never forget that you are dearly loved and cared for. It's okay to be giddy and excited for possibilities, but remember that Jesus is your lasting joy, your greatest treasure, and He has proven that you are priceless and worth waiting for.

Published by Sarah JoAnna