Date A Man Who Pursues Your Heart

June 27, 2014 52 Comments

When I was a young girl I loved to dream…especially when it came to love and the nameless man who one day would own my heart. I’d sit on the swing on my back porch on warm northern Minnesota summer evenings, listening to the crickets and staring at the blanket of stars above me. In that moment, I was fully convinced that there was a God and that He had my best in mind when it came to my love story.

Fast forward 20 years to a 30 year old woman, living in Los Angeles. The more I talk with my fellow single girlfriends, the more I realize that this is most every young girl’s story. We dream of a man who will see us, love us, protect us and accept us fully. But somewhere along the line in between real life and heartbreak, many of us got a bit jaded. After years of waiting for Mr. right, a life shattering heartbreak or two and years of, what seems like, wasted time with Mr. wrongs, its easy to give up. It’s easy to feel a sense of hopelessness when it comes to your own personal love story. And to assume that love is only a fairytale for few. And that for whatever reason, you aren’t one of the few. 

So instead of being patient and trusting God, you decide to settle. You go along with the cultural model of relationships. The model that says it’s okay for a man to get into your pants before he gets to know your heart. The model that says it’s okay for a man to show some pseudo form of love. The type of “love” that uses your body without a whole life commitment. The type of “love” that makes promises that it can’t keep. The type of “love” that only dates you for what it can get. In the moment, that can feel fulfilling. It can feel validating. It can feel invigorating and even make you feel desired and loved. But the truth of the matter is that that is not love. Perhaps it is a form of love, erotic love, that craves the physical and convinces the individual of its desire. But that is not the type of love, the agape love, that healthy marriages are built on and that drives a man to pursue a woman’s heart and make a whole life commitment to her.  

The type of love that you…that we, dreamt of as little girls and that our whole being aches for is a whole different type of love. In spite of what our childhood dreams taught us, it is not meant to be a fairytale. Real life love will never look like Hollywood or a Disney movie. It is not void of pain, complication and trials. It is not easy. It is nothing like we imagined it would be. But just because it won’t be a fairytale doesn’t mean that it won’t be beautiful, epic and so worth the wait. Our desire for this type of real love and companionship was placed in our heart from the dawn of eternity. And it was modeled first for us by the Creator of the Universe. Scripture reminds us that we are the bride of Christ and He is our bridegroom. We can either accept that as some cheesy analogy as I did for many years. Or we can allow the truth and reality of it to transform the way we see ourselves, our worth and the standards we set for the men we date.

I think a lot of pain and heartbreak in dating relationships could be avoided through this one revelation. Because if you truly get this, if you understand the way that Christ pursued and loved you first you will no longer continue searching the world for a man to validate you. You will no longer have to waste your time dating boys who know nothing about pursuing the heart of a woman. You will no longer allow their acceptance or lack there-of define you because you will have learned that Jesus already did that on the cross. You will have your identity in-tact and know fully that what you need is not just any man who looks good and keeps you company but what you need is a man who knows how to pursue your heart in the unique way that you need it. A man who is after your heart, not for what he can get but simply for love’s sake. A man who sees you for who you are and embraces every part of you, both the beautiful and the ugly. A man who has gone through the hard work of pursuing God’s heart first in search of yours. A man who understands partnership and has the guts to partner with you and lead from a place of strength and purity. That is the type of man you should be looking for.

I’m not talking here about being a diva and expecting men to bow at your feet. I see that way to much among women in LA. I am talking about being a woman who has the grace, strength and humility to expect Godly men to live by the standards of scripture.  A Godly woman is not prideful, she is simply confident in what she knows she needs. She is not unrealistic, she is simply countercultural. She is not a prude, she simply respects her body and her worth. That is the type of woman that God calls us all to be in our relationships with men. Don’t let culture tell you your worth is based on how good you are in bed or how many men you’ve slept with. Don’t let culture tell you that you have to be okay with giving men what they want prematurely in order to keep them around. I’ve experienced first hand what it feels like to have men pursue my heart before my body and it is the most honoring, God glorifying experience. Those men do exist ladies, though they’re rare. Don’t settle for anything less. You are worth more. Date a man who pursues your heart.

 

 

 

Mandy Dobbelmann

Founder and editor of Forte E Bello. Mandy is writer, singer/songwriter, and music teacher with a love for life, people, adventure and living simply. She is passionate about using her gift for writing and music to be a voice for change.

52 Comments

  1. Reply

    Melanie Naimi

    July 2, 2014

    Mandy,

    This is incredible and so true!! so good!!! Thanks for your openness and vulnerability. you’re beautiful inside and out.

    It is so important as women to rest and truly believe in God’s love for us no matter single or married. To know that we are worthy and worth pursuing. The only way we know this is through learning about how deep God’s love really is. When we are able to rest in this and His peace and contentment, it is then when we see through a lens of what we truly deserve. When we see it and believe it, it is then when men see it, believe it, and respect it. It is then when we attract those men and when we are attracted to those men who are worth waiting for! (:

    <3 love you girl.

    • Reply

      Mandy Dobbelmann

      July 4, 2014

      Thanks so much Mel! And most definitely. Thanks so much for sharing your heart as well. That’s so true and so beautiful. Love you girl!

    • Reply

      JJ

      November 15, 2014

      This is perfection. And truth. And I believe that it helped me a lot even if, so far, I haven’t got plans to date. Haha, but yeah. You’re awesome. 🙂 God bless you, you awesome human!

      • Reply

        Mandy Dobbelmann

        November 17, 2014

        Thanks so much @JJ! I am so glad to hear it helped you. God Bless you as well!

  2. Reply

    Crystal

    July 3, 2014

    Loved this article x2000 and would love to share it on my website!!! Keep speaking truth!

    • Reply

      Mandy Dobbelmann

      July 4, 2014

      Thanks so much Crystal!!

  3. Reply

    Jaime

    July 4, 2014

    This is just fantastic. I pray that more women will learn that their value comes not from any man but from God, and that he will send a man that knows she is valuable. More precious than rubies. Thank you for writing this.

    • Reply

      Mandy Dobbelmann

      July 5, 2014

      Most definitely Jaime! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  4. Reply

    LB

    July 6, 2014

    This is wonderful, thanks for writing. As a woman who is over 30, single, with no potential suitors, how do you suggest remaining confident and strong in the promises of God regarding a husband? I am a believer, hands down, but this wait gets hard. And lonely. I am not seeking validation from a man, but I just feel sometimes people just aren’t realistic about the struggle of waiting. I live a full life, and have amazing friends. I’m in grad school, I travel, I have interests and hobbies, I give back, serve, been on mission trips. My life, no doubt is full and rich. I’ve simply never, ever met a man who wanted to pursue my heart. And for the last 5-6 years I haven’t met any men period. Most don’t even look my direction–even online dating where they say most women get 100’s of in-box messages, etc. I got none. It’s hard to remain positive in my situation. Thanks for reading. 🙂

    • Reply

      Mandy Dobbelmann

      July 7, 2014

      @LB, first off. Thank you so much for writing and being honest and vulnerable. I can relate with you probably more than you think. This has been an honest day to day struggle and battle for me as well. Though I have had intimate relationships and men who have pursued my heart, the loss of those relationships has been what has made things harder. Sounds like our stories differ a bit but ultimately our heart’s desire is the same as well as the fact that those longings are deferred for both of us in this time.

      Honestly, I don’t have a clean, cut practical answer for you, I wish I did. All I know to do is speak from my own struggle and experience. One thing I have come to realize through this battle is that the core of what I am searching for is love and intimacy….and not even in an unhealthy way! In a completely natural beautiful way. If I strip it all down, I am not looking just for a man, I am looking for real love and deep intimacy. That is at the core of our being. But what God is having to teach me on a day to day basis is that He can love me more in a moment than any man could in a lifetime. Most often however, I don’t receive His love because I believe a man could fill the void better than He could. Yet, when I run to Him and I fall flat on my face in tears on my bedroom floor, He never fails to meet me right there. He is teaching me satisfaction in Him more than I’ve ever had to learn. And everyday is different. Some days I’m super confidant in it and other days I just want to give up and sit in my loneliness and frustration. I say that through gritted teeth honestly both because I know it’s probably not what you want to hear and it’s not what I want to say. I wish I could paint out a picture of the love story God has in store for you and all of the elaborate plans He has but that is not a promise for any of us and the way God has it planned out is better eternally than anything we could come up with on our own anyway. 


      I am reminded of a prayer of David in Psalm 57:2, “I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me.” The one promise that we have to cling to in this life is that God is and will always be faithful. He will fulfill His purpose for you, no matter what that is. It looks different for everyone of us. I will make my prayer for you, that that would include a man who pursues your heart like you’ve never experienced before. I will pray that God would open up your heart to be able to recognize it for what it is when it comes. And I will pray that until then that you will have the strength to be faithful right where you’re at. It’s not easy but it will be worth it. Let me know if you ever want to chat on the phone more. I know it’s a lot to walk through. Know that I will be praying for you.

      • Reply

        LB

        July 7, 2014

        Mandy,
        Thank you for your response. You’re right, real love and deep intimacy is truly what I desire. I have dated people in my life, but in hindsight none of them truly pursued my heart the way Christ would want. In the moment it felt like they did, but in reality that wasn’t the case.
        I appreciate your honesty and acknowledging the fact that there is no clean cut practical answer to this. Sometimes as a Christian I feel that the “Christian belief” of –“live your life, enjoy being single, and the one will find you” is what keeps us single. I struggle that notion because I don’t fully believe it. That’s not the story for all of us, but very few people will be honest and tell you that. The one thing you said that truly pierced my soul was “I wish I could paint out a picture of the love story God has in store for you and all of the elaborate plans He has but that is not a promise for any of us and the way God has it planned out is better eternally than anything we could come up with on our own anyway.” I cried when I read that because you’re absolutely right, He never promised any of us an amazing love story. I desire a husband and even children, but those simply are not the promises of God. This is a harsh realization, but for me it’s the first step in moving forward. It’s exactly what I needed to hear (read). Yet, I know He is faithful. He has always been so faithful to me and I know that won’t ever change.
        Funny how God is trying to teach us the same lessons of how His love is enough and more than we’ll ever need. So where do I begin? I have to learn to be content in this season, but where do I start with being intimate with God? I’d be happy to chat via phone sometime.

        • Reply

          Mandy Dobbelmann

          July 8, 2014

          LB, most definitely! I couldn’t agree more that there have been plenty of ideas taught to singles especially in the church that have been quite misleading. And most definitely, everyone’s story is different. I have so many thoughts and answers to your questions but I’ll wait to share them with you on the phone. I’ll message you my cell #. Talk soon!

          • Anna

            October 23, 2014

            Reading this exchange really spoke to me tonight! Thanks!

        • Reply

          Katie

          November 4, 2014

          LB,

          I am glad you are growing through this experience and have been blessed by this blog post. I wanted to suggest the book Get Married: How Women Can Help It Happen. It’s by a Christian author (Candice Watters) and is about positive steps toward marriage…I feel the Lord used it in my life.

          I’m not trying to attack the contentment aspect at all; 🙂 however, I believe that marriage is ideal for *most,* created by God, and sometimes resources combating a lot of cultural confusion are useful. I hope you will find it helpful.

          Thanks, Mandy, for your post!

    • Reply

      JB

      July 23, 2015

      Thank you so much for this, LB. I feel like I could have written this — I am in a very similar situation to you and it’s so hard not to feel frustrated…not to feel like giving up. It’s easy to start to think that I must not be worth anything, because no one seems to think I am worth pursuing. I realized the other day that it has been six years since someone held my hand, since someone embraced me in any way besides a quick, friendly hug. No matter what I try to do, I sometimes just feel invisible.

      I was fully content with God’s love for years, through college and beyond, confident that He would bring me and someone together in His good time. Now I’m in my thirties and there just seems to be no end in sight to the heart-aching loneliness that’s gradually crept into my life, after a couple of emotionally abusive relationships and a whole lot of nothing else. No matter what I’ve done—pursued my education, tried online sites, worked in the real world, met friends of friends, it just feels like it’s too much effort for any of the men I’ve known to try to get to know me. There’s not initiative. No incentive. No…anything. And I wish I knew how to stay strong and content in the love of God, knowing He loves me better than anyone could, but it’s hard when it feels like He’s forgotten me too.

      Anyway, just wanted to say I appreciate your post, and I completely sympathize. I wish I had some words of wisdom. I don’t, but I will pray for you. 🙂

      • Reply

        LB

        July 26, 2015

        Thank you, JB! I never thought my transparency would touch so many people. Wow! It’s been a solid year later and I’m still in the same situation. My contentment is much better, than it was last year at this time. I am still trusting God and know that there is no good thing He’d ever withhold from me. Thanks again for the prayers. I’ll certainly lift you in prayer as well.

  5. Reply

    Dawndrell M.

    October 20, 2014

    Mandy, I know that this article is a few months old, but it just showed up on my Facebook feed because a friend shared it from one her friends. I thought it was so beautiful that I just had to comment. I am 31 years young and still single, and it’s very hard to see your classmates and friends going about their lives and you just seem stuck. Within the past year, though, my relationship with God has increased from where it was (I’ve always been religious, but I went through a period of doubt as most single Christian women do) and now I have come to terms with my singleness. I know that I first need to learn how to be happy 1) with myself and 2) BY myself before I can be happy with anyone else. I also now have an answer for those who constantly ask “When are you going to get married?” or “When are you going to settle down.” I simply state “When God sends me the man that He wants me to spend the rest of my life with then all of that will be so. Until then, I’m just fine.” Your article sums up exactly how I feel, and there are some young ladies at my church who REALLY need to hear this. Would it be okay if I read this aloud to our church? I dare not use your content without permission, but I find this powerful and it will get the point across to these young women that they don’t have to settle.

    • Reply

      Mandy Dobbelmann

      October 20, 2014

      Wow. Thanks so much for sharing your story Dawndrel! It sounds like you’re in a really great place with it all. And yeah, you most definitely can share it with your church. 🙂

  6. Reply

    Peter Appiah

    October 23, 2014

    Dear LB, thanks for sharing your heart. I’m a Christian man of 30 years old, single. I’m in Ghana. I understand your feelings very much, as I’ve been in that situation myself for these many years, waiting for the time when God will bring the person whom He desires for me. I have also had my doubts, as to whether it’s God’s will for me to wait, or jump ahead my own and take anyone whom I desire. It’s been very hard for me to wait, but I think it’s worth waiting for. It’s very rare now a days to find a partner who truly loves God. I would be happy if we can via email and know each other better. Thanks

    • Reply

      LB

      October 24, 2014

      Peter,
      Thanks for taking the time to reply to my response. When I posted here months ago I was simply being transparent and honest about my situation. I’m happy that my transparency has encouraged so many others. I am still single, but I learning contentment in this season. It’s still a daily challenge for me though. Just as others have said it’s hard to watch those around you fall in love, get married,have babies and you’re still in the same “place”. Despite all, I know that God’s faithfulness will never change.
      I see that you are in Ghana and while I appreciate the opportunity to know you, I simply don’t have the head space to dedicate to an international, long distance love interest ( note: Said head space is completely consumed with learning nurse anesthesia at the graduate level). I’d be happy to email you from time to time to offer encouragement. If you give your contact info (email) to Mandy she can then forward, or text the info to me. (Thanks Mandy!).

      • Reply

        Peter Appiah

        October 25, 2014

        Mandy,

        Kindly forward my email id to LB. She has asked for it . peteroai@yahoo.co.uk

        Thanks.

        Peter

        • Reply

          Mandy Dobbelmann

          October 25, 2014

          For sure @Peter! I think she can see it here though. @LB did you get this??

          • LB

            October 25, 2014

            Yes, Mandy I got it. Thanks.

  7. Reply

    yori

    October 23, 2014

    Mandy, you (and even LB and Dawndrell in the comment section) have told my exact situation and spoken to my heart! I’m 30, educated, good job, no kids, and often told that i’m attractive and should not have any trouble finding a good guy…yeah right!! I just asked God today for confirmation that I really was doing the right thing by putting off this nice, successful, well-off man. His frame of mind was that anyone wanting him needed to be his sex buddy first, and if I stick around during the period that he’s not committed to me (and possibly messing around with other women) then eventually he will wise up, realize the good thing he has and make a wife. He actually stated that this was the mindset of the “good guys” that women want to marry. In so many words he said the female that plays the game right (degrades herself and feels the need to do what you talked about to get a guy) she wins the prize! Is this really the way of the world now?!? This is an extreme example, but look at the women that a lot of celebrities/athletes/entertainers marry. Those women were not holding out anything when they got a chance to meet- which partly accounts for why a lot of the marriages end-but the celebrities just do/look for the exact same thing again! I realize that these type of women just basically gave up on themselves; I’ve been one myself. But honestly, it gets kind of scary, and definitely disheartening to think that being in a true relationship with God, who is so good its unexplainable, means that I may be solo on this earth and not bear fruit in the form of children. I know of many good single women and the ratio of Godly men seems nonexistent. It’s such a relief to speak honestly about this to people going through the exact feelings I’m going through!

    • Reply

      Mandy Dobbelmann

      October 26, 2014

      @Yori, I’m so glad this could be an encouragement to you. Thanks so much for sharing your story. I am so glad to hear that you had the strength and wisdom to walk away from that man. It is incredibly disheartening to hear that people exist like that and even more sad that it is so common in our culture. However, I can assure you that men out there exist who know how to pursue a woman’s heart before taking advantage of her body. They are out there, just hard to find. Be encouraged. I will pray right now for you for strength, patience and trust as you seek out God’s best for you. God Bless!

  8. Reply

    Charles

    October 25, 2014

    Fantastic and beautiful article! I think you are right on the mark. I am a 19 year old Christian man who strives to love my girlfriend of over 2 years the Godly way. I love her because of her intrinsic worth, and her Godly values. Her beautiful personality, and characteristics that compliment my strengths and weaknesses. I know I am young to most people in the comment section, but in the US society of today I waited “forever” to date anyone. Most people begin dating as soon as they possibly can, but for all the wrong reasons. I firmly believe this is the girl I will marry, yet compared to my peers waiting to date until I was 17 and found, Jaclyn, my girlfriend is unheard of. But I did it because I only wanted to date for a purpose. A girl who sought after MY heart as well!
    Waiting for the right reason and person to seek after has put me firmly where God wants me, and I have no doubts about that. For those that still wait; keep waiting. Great will be your reward. When you find the spouse God has for you; you will be blessed by them. If God has no spouse planned for you do not compromise His plans for you by giving into the world’s push that you have to have a mate. The world’s perception of you is not important nor eternal in value.

    • Reply

      Mandy Dobbelmann

      October 26, 2014

      Charles, thanks so much for sharing your story. I am so glad to hear that God has given you so much confidence and wisdom in this area at such a young age. Stay strong. I wish you the best 🙂

  9. Reply

    Courtney

    October 27, 2014

    Thank you so much for writing this. This topic was something I was really struggling with tonight and I believe Jesus just spoke through you! So thank you for helping me stay positive as I wait patiently for Godly man and not merely a boy who claims he is a Christian.

    • Reply

      Mandy Dobbelmann

      October 28, 2014

      Wow, so glad to hear it Courtney. I wish you the best! And stay strong!

  10. Reply

    Ken Glick

    October 27, 2014

    Most men do not come pre-made with this capacity. They have to experience the heart of Christ to relate to a woman with the heart of Christ. To expect someone to instantly pursue you in this fashion can overlook the person in whom Christ has created the hunger to relate in this fashion, while yet lacking the capacity to do so.

    Men generally are task-oriented. Until they have a at least a hope of developing a relationship with a specific individual, they rarely seek the capacity to “court” a woman. However, a man who by the grace of God and the work of the Holy Spirit has acquired a level of maturity in the path of self-less discipleship to Christ, is a man who God has access to, to put this capacity into his heart. (The Heavenly Father is the source.)

    One of the most profound and under-appreciated scripture passages about marriage is the admonition that husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her. This is the same quality of love that Christ, the good shepherd of His flock, requires of pastors and husbands. My personal opinion (and I cannot claim explicit scriptural proof for this), is that a relationship between a husband and wife is qualitatively, in what is required of the heart, the same as the relationship between a pastor and the church he pastors, which is the same as the shepherding heart of Christ for those who are called by His name. It is more a matter of degree than the quality of love. The degree or intensity of this vole between a husband and a wife, versus and pastor and flock, is much more intense, focused as it is one someone who is present in a life-long commitment. Families were created by God long before synagogues and churches appeared.

    I think a lot of devout, truly awesome Godly men and women are still single because their expectations blind them to the provision that is being made available to them (men looking for “Bible Barbie”).

    • Reply

      Mandy Dobbelmann

      October 28, 2014

      Ken, thanks so much for sharing. I really appreciated hearing your thoughts and perspective. I do agree for the most part. God is most definitely the source for any of us to have the capacity and ability to do relationship by this model. We are human, we are sinful… and we are by nature craving love and acceptance. All ingredients to settle for temporary attention, validation and pleasure. It is not easy but I believe we have the capacity through God’s grace to live by this standard. I have been pursued in this way so I know it is not an impossibility.

      You’re also right that many Godly men and women are still single because their expectations blind them to God’s provision. Most definitely. However there are many single men and women who want to be married and have realistic standards (including myself) but it just has not worked out yet. Everyone’s story is so different but God is faithful. Thanks again so much for sharing

  11. Reply

    Sarah

    October 27, 2014

    Lovely! While these honorable men who pursue one’s heart before one’s body are rare, we women have the power to change this!
    Blessed Fulton J. Sheen once said, “When a man loves a woman, he has to become worthy of her. The higher her virtue, the more noble her character, the more devoted she is to truth, justice, goodness, the more a man has to aspire to be worthy of her. The history of civilization could actually be written in terms of the level of its women.”
    Let us be these women who bring civilization to its feet!

    • Reply

      Mandy Dobbelmann

      October 28, 2014

      Thanks so much for sharing Sarah! I agree 🙂 And would add the importance of humility in it all. I think this subject can be taken to an extreme (as I see often in LA) and confident, strong women can very quickly turn prideful…and nearly expect men to bow at their feet. I think one of the most important qualities for us all to have in the midst of this is humility. To know our worth and value but to never let it go to our head. And whatever we’re expecting from men, to live it ourselves. Thanks so much for sharing that quote! I’ll have to write it down 🙂

  12. Reply

    Phil

    October 27, 2014

    Great article! I like how you describe what a woman wants, her heart to be pursued and accepted and loved. Actually, when it comes down to it, that’s what men are seeking as well. Often we find that some women are more concerned with what you can give them to make their life comfortable, rather than loving and accepting our hearts and who we are on a deeper level, even some Christian women. But I do know lots of awesome godly men and woman who have pure motives and desires.
    After reading LB’s comment, I’ll share another perspective. I’m 35 yrs old and been married for almost 2 yrs. I can remember times of really desiring the companionship and intimacy of a relationship with a woman and how hard that can be at times and how tempting it could be to settle or seek to fullfill that desire in the wrong way.
    Marriage doesn’t change that. I mean it doesn’t ultimately fullfill the deepest desires and longings of our hearts. It’s a mistake and a trap to think that we will be satisfied when we get married or find that “perfect” someone.
    (Not saying you are thinking that)
    My wife has really struggled with discontentment and from that, anger, bitterness, and resentment toward me. She is often consumed and led by her feelings rather than God’s truth. She can have a tendency to magnify my weaknesses and focus on my shortcomings. She has told me that she “feels” like she’s not in love with me and it infuriates her when I tell her I love her and that she thinks us getting married was a mistake. And yes she is a born again Christian.
    Now, im a really good guy and don’t really deserve this. (Not complaining☺ going somewhere with all this.)
    So here I am… Married… Content, happy and satisfied…right? Well no, she doesn’t satisfy me! But the awesome thing is, I don’t need her to! That’s not what she’s here for! I have learned that I the more I press in to God and be in his presence, the more joy, peace, satisfaction and contentment I find, regardless of my circumstances! And I’m not just trying to say the right thing, I’m really truly experiencing this joy and gratitude from talking to and worshipping God and believing He is my answer, my Father and my groom. I’m not asking him to change my wife or my situation, I’m just free. Even in the midst of my wife’s inner struggles, I still see her beautiful, God given, precious value that He created her with. I love her even more, I don’t expect anything from her or need anything from her, I just love her for who God created her to be, and she doesnt return that to me…and I’m ok with that…cause love doesn’t seek it’s own right? God even gave me a revelation recently, a sincere understanding and feeling that it is SUCH AN HONOR AND PRIVILEGE TO HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO LOVE GOD’S DAUGHTER!! And I was and am deeply moved with awe and gratitude! That blows me away because it is not the way that seems right to man or the way the world would view it. Only an amazing God!
    Im not putting myself on a pedistool by any means. This amazes me and is definitely ALL God! Apart from Him I could so easily become discouraged, defensive, resentful,ect. But I have faith that He is working in her and in our marriage to make us more like him.
    My point to all this is to just encourage you that god is ultimately more satisfying than anyone or anything else and through relationship with him and faith in him, he can ACTUALLY give us peace that supasses understanding, joy that doesnt make sense, contentment without outer change. He wants your heart! And he will give you His! I have known this as head knowledge and principles but I haven’t always experienced this as my reality until I really started seeking the presence of God and relationship with him in the secret place.(by myself when no one was looking.) He wants to give us life changing gifts of revelation of how he loves us and changes us, which changes everthing!

    Thanks Mandy, for writing this!

    • Reply

      Mandy Dobbelmann

      October 28, 2014

      Wow Phil, this is powerful. Thank you so much for being so open and honest. Perspective like this can only be motivated by a raw, honest love for the Lord. And you’re so right, married or single, a relationship is never to be our validation or ultimate fulfillment. I have to continue reminding myself that even a marriage to the man of my dreams couldn’t ultimately fulfill the longing in my soul. Only Christ can. I am reminded here of a popular quote from C.S.Lewis, “If I find in myself desires which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world”.

      I will pray right now that you are able to continue to trust and maintain the faith that you have in Christ. I will also pray for your wife, for a renewed love for both Christ and you. That her perspective would shift and your marriage would be renewed. God Bless!

  13. Reply

    Ken Glick

    October 27, 2014

    Phil, great comment. That the Lord is that real to you and that willing to be real to you in this way is something to hold onto. I was married for 9 years – married in the church, and have been divorced for 24 years, not at my choice. If I had the attitude and heart during my marriage that you have now, I probably would still be married.

    • Reply

      Phil

      October 29, 2014

      Love that CS Lewis quote! Might have to keep that one…
      Thanks for the prayers!

      • Reply

        Mandy Dobbelmann

        October 29, 2014

        Most definitely Phil!

    • Reply

      Phil

      October 29, 2014

      Oops that reply was for Mandy’s comment.
      Ken, thanks for the encouragement!
      Fresh mercies to you every morning brother☺

  14. Reply

    Willa Ham

    October 28, 2014

    How do I forward one of your articles to my children?

    Thank you !

    • Reply

      Mandy Dobbelmann

      October 28, 2014

      Hello Willa, you can copy and past the link (in the navigation bar above) into your email and they should be able to open it from there. 🙂

  15. Reply

    LB

    October 30, 2014

    Wow, Phil. That was the most beautiful and moving testimony I’ve ever read. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply

      Annie

      November 12, 2014

      I just came upon this article. Thank you Mandy for writing this article and to everyone who was honest with their comments. I recently turned 35 and honestly never thought I would be 35 and still single. However, just before I turned 35, God change my desire for marriage from a selfish self satisfying desire into a desire to give, love and have a family and marriage to honor God. He also showed me that I wasn’t ready yet. God is truly good and love’s me more than I could imagine. And through this waiting, I know God is building my trust in him and in His time it will happen. There are days that I am thankful for my singleness and days that I just cry. But He always provides something in those times, like this beautiful article to encourage .

      • Reply

        Mandy Dobbelmann

        November 12, 2014

        Wow, I am so glad to hear that this article was an encouragement @Annie. And thanks so much for sharing a bit of your story. I will pray for you right now that you will have continued peace and trust through this process. Let me know if you ever want to talk more. God bless!

  16. Reply

    Brian

    December 6, 2014

    It’s funny how men don’t have the same dreams and fantasies (I use that in the child-like definition) about marriage when young; even those of us who see ourselves from an early age being married and being fathers don’t construct the same sort of mental image that women so often speak of. While that might help with some illusions, it likely also leaves many men at the will of their bodies soon enough.

    Turning 35 in a few weeks, I can sympathize with everything said by folks here, especially the ideas that the desire for companionship is one of emotional rather than physical intimacy (I’ve managed chaste virginity until now quite well; it’s the absolute loneliness that crushes me). What confuses me – and probably confuses many men – is that point bolded in the last part. I’m the unique place of being a late-life child, whose mother took seriously ill while I was in my early twenties after my father was already partly disabled. I had to give up my nascent career and reshuffle my graduate work to move back to my hometown to help her through her death and then spend the last decade as sole care-giver to my elderly father. That leaves me with just part-time work and on-again/off-again night class of grad school as I balance all this with lay ministry at church (I’ve basically taken over the roles my father used to serve in when he was in better condition).

    Secular dating is out the window – as much as Christian women face the pressure of sex, chaste Christian men just can’t get dates in an environment saturated in sex. And even in church, the rare young single woman (it’s a professional exurb, so young people get out as soon as they can) who appears always asks up front about my work and finances (sometimes using a “provider excuse” if I’m clearly trying to ask her out). Sadly, my training, even were I working full-time, is in history and museum work: even before spending the past decade getting a crash course in what a SAHD would have to do (albeit with a deteriorating 80-year old), I didn’t go into a single-income specialty.

    I’ve actually given up on trying to ask women out and now work to avoid those women who I run into at church who seem interested in me. At best, I’ll disappoint them at first conversation; at worst, I’ll fail them utterly in a relationship by not being able to afford anything and by having to keep checking in that nothing’s wrong with my father (I sometimes compare myself to a single parent without the glamour, and with a charge aging in the wrong ‘direction’). Literally every blog piece by single Christian women on the Internet on the role of men talks about their fiduciary responsibilities, responsibilities I gave up for less-sexy responsibilities. Is there honestly any chance in this age of counter-cultural resurgence of traditional relationships (not that I’m complaining: I’m a daily mass-goer, and I’ve mentioned remaining purposefully virginal until marriage, even as I doubt that I’ll ever have that opportunity) that a man in my place would be able to even attract a Christian women (in my case, I’d be looking at specifically a Catholic women, if possible, but the question doesn’t hinge on denomination really), much less ever be able to marry and have children?

    (My apologies for the long post – given the life I lead, my friends and family have generally fallen away over the years, so I don’t have a wide circle of confidants; this only adds to my loneliness and inability to meet anyone…)

  17. Reply

    Doree

    December 8, 2014

    Brian, you have no idea how inspiring it is to read your post. In a world where we often feel that we have little to no hope of finding a even a Christian man who has saved himself, it is so refreshing to see that those men do exist! If you have given so much of yourself to serve others and are that selfless, then women should see that an be super impressed. If you are willing to take care of your parents like that, chances are you’d do the same for your wife and kids. And quite frankly, I don’t see many men in today’s society doing what you have done. The true measure of a leader is not in how many people he leads, but in how many people he serves. It sounds like you have a true heart of service, and I’m sure the Lord will reward that. I am 30 and still single, do don’t feel bad. All things in God’s time. Some things might take longer than we expected (I never thought I would be 30 and still stuck in school- I thought I would be married and have a great career by now, but God had MUCH different plans that I did). Waiting (in my case for my career) was the hardest part, but the waiting doesn’t last forever (although, it might last much longer than we were expecting). Also, you are better off without someone that is only interested in your money. As far as I am concerned, I am going to school so that I will be able to support myself and my family someday and NOT have to depend on someone else. I know a pharmacist who works, while her husband stays home with the children and it works for them. What matter is that women find a man that is a Christ-like, hard-working man that loves, protects, supports, and leads his family. His pay-check is not what matters. Hang in there! Keep praying for that special lady that I’m sure the Lord has out there! Seems to me, she is going to be one very blessed lady!

  18. Reply

    Ram

    February 3, 2015

    I came across a quote yesterday that I think fits well here

    Charlie Chaplin in a letter to his daughter Geraldine — ‘Your naked body should only belong to those who fall in love with your naked soul.’

    • Reply

      Mandy Dobbelmann

      February 3, 2015

      Wow, I really love this. Thanks so much for sharing @Ram!

  19. Reply

    Aubrey C

    June 17, 2015

    Thank you Mandy for this! God has place this on my heart lately to pray about and this was just the read I needed to keep on track!

    • Reply

      Mandy Dobbelmann

      June 17, 2015

      Awesome Aubrey!! I am so so glad to hear that. I hope you’re doing well girl 🙂

  20. Reply

    Terence

    August 5, 2015

    God bless you all especially Mandy the author of this blog. I came accross this blog as i was googling to get answers regarding my relationship with girlfriend.
    All i can say is the blog is really encouraging for single women. I have been touched as i also have 2 single good looking sisters in their 30’s. I just want to pray for you and release blessings, that in the good time God will answer your prayers. For you Mandy and all the single ladies who left comments in this blog. It is very sad to admit Christian guys suck a lot at asking girls out but please i hope and will pray that you girls (women) keep your dignity.

    I will share this blog along.

    God bless you all and i will pray for you with faith that pretty soon any of you will enter into a God’s approved relationship.

    • Reply

      Mandy Dobbelmann

      August 5, 2015

      Hey Terrence! Thanks so much for sharing and thanks so much for your encouraging words. They mean a ton! Best to you 🙂

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