Fall in love for all the right reasons. Find God’s match for you. Dating sites beckoned me with hope-filled slogans like these from eHarmony and Christian Mingle. As clouds of doubt about remarriage after divorce rolled away, I pondered a new question: As a Christian, is the internet an appropriate venue for seeking a mate? Would it be forcing things, a sort of manipulation or control by my own will and desires? After all, if it’s God’s will for me to have a new husband, He could easily plop one on my doorstep, right? Where could I possibly meet this man, or, how could this elusive godly man find me?
Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord. Proverbs 18:22
I thought it would be nothing short of a miracle to remarry. Dating (hate that concept- perhaps another blog post) and falling in love (I hate that phrase, too) is for the young. Mid-life dating is hard. God intended mating for youth. He designed it that way. Young people are at their physical peak with sharp minds, boundless energy and hormones flowing. Cruising profiles when you’re over forty and beyond is quite a gamble. You are bidding on a used, worn, scarred wretch. There’s a paunch you didn’t participate in. Gray hair that happened without your assistance. A history you did not share. What can possibly spark a relationship?
Never mind physical attributes. I wanted a man after God’s own heart – a tall order. I dabbled in various sites for several years while hope waned.
This is just a sampling of “Christian” dating sites I tried.
- eHarmony– The ultimate psychobabble dating site! There were tests to take and personality analyses. How could this go wrong? I just loved the Must Haves and Must Have Nots. Yet my matches on here proved to be So Wrong and Do Not Want.
- Christian Cafe – Pour me a latte! This site sounded so inviting. I had dozens of conversations here while having a cuppa joe or maybe some vino. Unfortunately, this is mainly an Arminian Cafe. I’ll take it further and say it’s a Charismatic Cafe. I wanted a date, not a debate.
- Christian Mingle – Here, I was mingling under a very large Christian umbrella. Okay, there were a few nice men. But beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing. After a phone conversation, I knew one man was definitely not for me. He gave subtle hints of being unsaved. When he wanted to meet in person, I wrote him a nice email explaining that I didn’t feel we were a good match. He wrote me back and said he didn’t bleep need me because he went out with a bleep bleep younger woman last night and had great bleep so much that he bleep bleep couldn’t care less about me and then he insulted my physical attributes. Honestly, I was terrorized. So much for mingling with Christians in name only.
The witless discussion about soul mates common to these dating sites was pure silliness. Marriage between two believers makes them soul mates. William Gouge, in A Holy Vision for a Happy Marriage (part of the Building a Godly Home series) states that husbands and wives have a mutual duty: to seek the good of one another’s soul and help “forward the growth of grace in each other”. God creates soul mates when we enter into a covenant marriage with Him.
Furthermore, egalitarianism was blatantly evident in these dating sites. Both male and female are equal in God’s sight, but they have very different roles. Bible believing Christians should remember God created woman for man. She is designed to be his helpmeet. As I studied marriage the way God intended, I prayed in a different way. My prayers gradually morphed from selfish whining to asking if there was a godly man who needed me. Then I discovered a Reformed Christian dating site. It wasn’t long after, my prayer was answered.
Sovereign Grace Singles – Can two walk together, except they be agreed? Amos 3:3 Now here’s a Christian dating site with a relevant slogan – taken from God’s Word! After much dysfunction on eHarmony, heated espresso chats on Christian Cafe, and miserable mingling on Christian Mingle, it was obvious that many members had false professions or held to gross doctrinal error. Wheat and tares will grow together until the harvest (Matt. 13:30). My partner and I must share the same theology and doctrine. Though Christian dating sites were frustrating, God still used this venue to bring Mike and I together when I finally found a strictly Reformed Christian dating site. As the 2011 holiday season approached, when I was reminded of my aloneness, I set up a profile on sovereigngracesingles.com. After years of working in advertising, I knew how to write a persuasive ad. I included a disclaimer: Hurry! This offer expires in three months. I did not intend to spend any more money or time. My ‘ad’ expired with no local contacts and the Lord gave me grace to get through another season seemingly made only for couples and families. One day in February, there was a message in my email from sovereigngracesingles.com. I was able to read the message but I had to re-join to see the profile of my secret admirer. There was Mike: no paunch, full head of hair and less than two hours away by car. And rather good-looking, too! The Lord truly goes beyond our expectations. The site went down with technical issues after I’d exchanged contact information with my mystery man. Consequently, I received a refund (I got a man for free!). We progressed to the phone immediately where I heard Gospel zeal in his voice. I can love this man, I thought.
Does God have a sense of humor? Here’s an interesting providential tidbit. My first husband’s name was Mike and Mike’s first wife was Angela. He gave us both a second chance. A new Mike for me. A new Angela for him. And certainly, we are new creatures in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17). He heard our prayers and brought us together in a remarkable way, all in His perfect timing.
It is of the Lord‘s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. – Lamentations 3:22-23
We chose our vows carefully. We need to return to them repeatedly. I’d like to share them here:
I love you, Angela, and I know that God has ordained this love. I promise to be faithful to you. I promise to love, guide, and protect you as Christ does His Church, for as long as we both shall live. According to Ephesians 5 and with His enabling power, I promise to endeavor to show to you the same kind of love as Christ showed the Church when He died for her, and to love you as a part of myself because in His sight we shall be one.
Mike, I love you and I am confident that God has chosen you to be my husband. It is my prayer and desire that you will find in me the helpmeet God designed especially for you, and in confidence I will submit myself unto your headship as unto our Lord. Therefore, Mike, I pledge to you my life as an obedient, faithful and loving wife. Whither thou goest I will go, whither thou lodgest I will lodge, Thy people shall be my people, And thy God my God.
all scripture quotes taken from the king james version of the Bible