I used to love relationship blogs – particularly Christian ones. I loved them the same way I would enjoy listening to Christian romance stories – you know them, the ones where someone walked into church, saw a guy playing the guitar on stage then he felt she was ‘the one’ and she also felt it instantly. They knew they would get married the moment they laid eyes on each other, because you know, ‘when it’s really the one, you should know immediately.’

I also loved hearing stories about girls who at some stage in their lives decided to give up dating and then followed a, b, c steps then they finally met ‘the one!’ I loved them for the same reason we all do and the same reason we love watching romantic movies; they created an ideal – the life that we all want and not just that – they also provided a formula of how we can get it.

I’m pretty sure that every Christian single is tired of hearing the following: ‘It happens when you are not looking!’ or ‘you are single because God knows you are not ready.’ Then it’s followed by someone’s personal experience of how they met their partner, usually presented in a way that should somehow formulate our ideal.

In our attempt to encourage single people, we have started making our stories and our experiences the standard and the methods through which we can twist God’s hand to giving us certain things. I started noticing that if a guy walked up to me and showed some interest, I wouldn’t give him the time of day because I didn’t have that ‘he is the one’ feeling. I rejected anything that didn’t come packaged in the ideal that I had created in my mind.

So I stopped listening to relationship fairy tales because our lives are not a fairy tale and what worked for someone else may not work for me. Just because my story is different, doesn’t make it wrong. Someone else’s experience is not my standard nor is it my ambition or measure of success.

The motivation to not jump from one relationship to another should not be some kind of misguided attempt to twist God’s hand into giving you the perfect partner, because setting rules and steps for how we can get God to do things for us is our way of creating a world where we can function without really having a relationship with Him.

Living a life of principles is great but it can never substitute a life of relationship with God. He has walked with us through every part of our journey. He knows our needs, hurts and insecurities, and is able to guide our steps according to our individual personalities and experiences. Our relationship with each other can never thrive outside of a thriving relationship with Him.

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