Dating: The Problem Might NOT be What You Think!

Source:                         ReachUP Magazine Winter/Summer 2009

“Will you accept this rose?” You’ve probably heard these words uttered on ABC’s The Bachelor. I know, not a verybig_red_roses_closeup_picture_2_166713 good show to watch! But there is something special about watching people find love in such a magical way.

The media really has a way of enticing us to believe that love is a fairy tale, and we can find the man of our dreams in six weeks. They call it “reality TV,” only it’s not real, as many of you saw when Jason broke up with Melissa. Broken-hearted Melissa was left to ask the questions we’ve all asked ourselves before, “What did I do wrong?” “What’s wrong with me? “Why can’t I find love?”

This is the part where your best friend says, “Girl, it’s not you. He’s just a jerk!” But two or three jerks later, you need to realize the problem may not be him. The problem may be with you and the men you select.

We must be wise in the selection process. Ask yourself – how do you choose whom you date? Does he need to be tall, dark and handsome? Does he need to be career-driven and have a good job? Does he need to dress a certain way, talk a certain way,like to do the same things you do? Although all these things are important, they are not the most important when choosing a suitable dating partner.At the top of your list should be, “Is he a man of God?” The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 6:14, “Don’t become partners with those who reject God” (The Message). Choosing a man who loves and serves God has to be the most important thing! This doesn’t mean you will have a fairy-tale relationship and everything will be perfect, but it is the foundation you want to build a relationship on.

But how do you know if he’s a man of God? Just because he says he believes in God, kisses the crucifix around his neck and goes to church Easter and Christmas does not mean he is living for God. The Bible says in Galatians 5:22-23, “But the Spirit produces the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control” (NCV). This is known as the fruit of the spirit. When a man spends time with God – God’s Spirit will begin to produce these characteristics in him.

I remember being really hesitant about dating my husband because we were from two totally different cultures. I mean, not only were they different, they were complete opposites!!! I love to dance salsa – he doesn’t even like to dance. He loves soccer – I’m not too into it. The list went on and on.

I can remember sitting with my roommate, voicing these concerns to her. She simply said, “But does he have the fruit of the spirit? Is he is a man of God?” And it hit me….I was looking for all the wrong things! I almost let a man of God go because he didn’t like to dance! How foolish!

How many of you are doing the same thing? Just looking for a man who has the same things in common with you or dating a man because you simply like his cologne? This is why we must be wise in the selection process. You have to select a man who displays the fruit of God’s Spirit in his life, a man who loves God. If you select a man who loves God, you’ll be selecting man who will treat you with respect, love you and your family, and will honor you above all else.
In our next issue of Reach UP magazine, I would like to take a deeper look into the Fruit of the Spirit — especially what it means when the man you’re dating has this fruit or doesn’t have it.

Nena PodburyNena Podbury

Nena Podbury is a project associate at American Bible Society. Originally from the Bronx, she has co-authored children’s curriculum and served in children’s ministry for 12 years doing Sidewalk Sunday School. Nena is married with two children, Noah and Emilia.

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