This will have been the 3rd time I’ve posted this blog (with alterations of course) and with every post it’s become abundantly clearer why I feel the things I do. That being said, I’ve learned so much in the 3 (almost 4 years of the initial post). The first being very honest and sincere but without a lot of life to back it up, the second having a little more experience to add some conviction, and this one compounded with more wisdom that makes any other reality even hard to imagine. Another round:
One of these days I’m going to bind myself with another person and like most people I had a list… you know what I’m talking about. Since initial conception that list has evolved (Darwin-style: only the strong survive). The list has gotten shorter but the principle has become unshakable.
Numero uno on my list of ‘has to be’ is a Christian follower of Christ. Not a person who simply believes in God, not a person who just goes to church every Sunday, not a person who owns a Bible, but doesn’t read it. But a person who is trying to follow God and has surrendered their life to Christ. It sounds very old-fashioned and restrictive if you don’t understand my reasoning behind it so (again) I thought I’d take this opportunity to explain my (and maybe a lot of others’) reasons as to why I have no problem being friends with people who do not follow Christ, but will not pursue a relationship with a person who doesn’t.
From my own walk, I have a better understanding of how messy that can look. Following Christ often appears less inviting than a life that’s not, but somewhere in that mess is a man that’s priceless to God and now, to me.
- My faith is not a religion or set of rules to me.It is the way I live and how I operate. With every day that passes the goal is to make it my only the motivation in anything and everything I do. Two people can commit to different ways of living and beliefs without ever offending or disrupting the other’s faith in friendship. (This is why I like having friends who think differently as well as family in the faith. We don’t learn if we all think the same. God has not called us to live in a Christian bubble.) But in the two-become-one kind of relationship, that’s not an option.
- I will not date someone I don’t intend to marry. I know that you never really know whether or not a person is a good match until you date them blah, blah, blah. There’s some truth to that, but very little. There are many guys I liked-liked (middle school throwback) and didn’t have to date them to know that they are not my husband… even when I was in like with them, I knew it was a dead-end. Now, that doesn’t mean that I’ll never talk to a guy and be friends in some capacity, but we aren’t going to date. I got this advice from a high school teacher when I was 16 and it sounded so dumb at the time (so dumb), but now I understand. I’ve never been ‘casual’ about much of anything anyway. I have an ‘all or nothing’ mentality and understanding that about myself is enough to make me hella cautious about commitments. We develop deeper feelings than we gambled on when you open yourself up to a relationship of any kind, especially at this stage of life as compared to high school.
- When we commit to a relationship we are two separate people creating one relationship. All relationships are founded on something (complementary personalities, likes, dislikes, routine, lifestyle). If we’re both bringing our foundation rooted in God together, we’re combining and multiplying. If we’re trying to combine two mismatched foundations, we’re subtracting and dividing. Compromise is healthy in a relationship depending on what is being compromised. The behaviors, likes, dislikes, etc can be compromised without requiring one to abandon who they are. But compromising anything that God’s put in my heart is on the ‘not gonna do’ list and it would be unfair of me to want my potential mate to do something I’m not willing to do myself.
- As a couple who has vowed to spend the rest of our lives together, being his #1 supporter is high up on the responsibility list and I’m looking forward to it. I want him to complement me in my walk with God and I want to do the same for him. A marriage of tolerance is the best we could hope for if we’re heading different directions and that’s not good enough for me nor is it an unrealistic desire. For us to agree on the critical things that will surely come up, we’ll have to have the same desires, same goals. Mine are from God, deeply rooted in there. If he has no relationship with God, how is it possible that he’d have the same? When things get difficult, I want it to be us vs. everything else, not me vs. him. We’ll both be consulting the same source (God) and although our methods of handling the situation may be different, our end goal will be the same. A husband who doesn’t commit to the same things may support my earnestness in seeking God, but unless he’s walking the walk himself, he can do nothing more than say “go get ‘em”. I want to be able to fully put my support him but the same holds true for me. We’re teammates and in order to be effective, we have to be playing the same game.
- Humans were created to worship something. We worship work, money, fame, talent, fantasies, etc. I don’t want to be worshiped (seriously, no) because I’ll only disappoint him as I’ve disappointed myself in doing the same. However, I also don’t want to be second best to any of these material worldly things either. I’m not gonna lie, I love attention and I will not spend my life trying to compete with his other idols. The ONLY thing I will happily and respectfully step down to in my boyfriend’s/spouse’s worship is God. Since I also love and worship God, I personally know this God my husband is devoting his life to. I know for a fact that our God will guide him and teach him how to love me.
- Last but not least,I will not date a non-Christian because I’m crazy. Seriously, I’m amazed at how complicated my mind is. Sometimes I look to God and just ask him, not out of self-loathing or self-pity but stupefaction, “Why?” What were you trying to get done when you put the puzzle that is me together? If a guy doesn’t have the patience and love of God and the patience and the gentleness of God and the PATIENCE and wisdom of God in him, I wouldn’t even ask him to go through the trouble of trying to handle me. I’m a handful to say the least and human hands will be crushed under the weight of Simone if they are not held up by an almighty God.
It’s a tall order for anyone, which is why I would never ask anyone who hasn’t been led by God, to do any of those things. So, my reasons for not dating non-Christians, have absolutely nothing to do with separation or dissociation. I simply know the big picture of what will and will not work in the future. I’ll let God handle the details of personality, timing and what not, but we both deserve a good shot at a realistically healthy and enjoyable relationship. If we’re going to have that, the Christian (me) and the non-Christian (him, whoever he may be) must realize that it’s not with each other.