Looking back, I imagine the majority of heartache I experienced in my early twenties could have been avoided had I paid attention to the three words: Talk is cheap. More often than not, we figure out the character of a person by acknowledging their actions over their words. A good friend is one who shows up when we need them most. This is obvious. So, why then, is this simple fact often overlooked when it comes to dating? We must ask ourselves the tough questions. Does he offer me the best version of himself? Is he calling when he says he is going to call? How much effort is he putting forth? Pay attention to actions.
A few guys I dated a while back treated me unreasonably less than what God would want for His daughters. I believe we get what we put up with. I once dated someone who said all the right things at all the right times. He stated he was a man of faith and his faith was important to him. That sounded great on the surface, but when it came to putting these words into action, he fell short. We would plan to have dinner together, but then he would text me an hour prior to change the plans. Once, he did this and told me to meet him at a restaurant he and his friends were eating at instead. This is not a date. He also stated he was a Christian man and respected my choice of waiting for marriage, but then proceeded to put me in compromising situations that placed my purity at risk. He was wrong for doing so, but I also know I should not have put myself in that position. We must acknowledge these red flags while they are happening, as opposed to overlooking these faults and accepting the behavior any way. That is settling.
God has and continues to work my past out for so much good. I finally learned to stop giving the wrong guys a chance and started praying to God about what type of man He wanted for me. Shortly after, my brother gave me a book called How To Meet Your Soulmate Without Losing Your Soul by Jason and Crystalina Evert. This book led me to write down the qualities I hoped for in a future husband. These included effort, genuineness, and a similar faith. The moment I did this and placed it in God’s hands, I had peace. I stopped putting a timeline on my life and let other’s expectations of my life fall behind.
Six months later, He sent me my current boyfriend. When we met, I asked God to tell me whether or not He wanted me to date and get to know this guy. Boy, did He ever. Given my old-fashioned ways, this man planned our first date a week ahead, picked me up prior, came to my door, walked me to his car, and opened the door for me. His effort was attractive. One thing that really stuck out to me was him asking to pray before our meal. It caught me off guard. Usually, I was the one asking to do this. This wonderful man asked me about my life, my dreams, and most importantly, my faith. After our first date, he called shortly after and made plans to see me again. As we’ve progressed in our relationship, he has continued to make me feel like a priority, and his actions have matched up with his words. His focus has always been on keeping God at the center of our relationship. This is how it’s supposed to be. This is how God wants His daughters to be treated.
My hope is that by sharing my past mistakes, I can help others see what not to do. I want women to know their worth, so perhaps then, there won’t be so much hurt and heartache in the world of dating. By women not allowing men to behave in a certain manner, I believe boys will start acting more like Godly gentlemen.
1 John 3:18 “Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth.”
Justine is a graduate of Indiana University with a B.S. in Radiation Therapy. She is currently living in Fort Wayne, Indiana working as a radiation therapist at a local hospital. Justine is a devoted aunt who loves to travel, bake and keep up with her Yorkie pup, Leo. She believes that through sharing our life stories, we can encourage each other to be the person God created us to be. Go Hoosiers!