I always hesitate to write posts about dating. I’ve been burned by so many dating lists and the advice that Christians speak as if it’s the word of God, which makes “dating” something I rarely want to talk about. However, someone encouraged me to, so I’ve been pondering about this some today. I’m not really sure what this post will be like, BUT if it any way resembles a list of do’s and don’ts to you…then please stop reading or do something to erase it from your memory when you’ve finished reading it. K? :)
Why do I have such a dislike for lists anyway? Because they remind me of religion. They remind me of my past…when I wanted my life to be a formula so that I could know how to do things the right way…the “Christian” way…but really, so that I could control it all. They remind me of one of my favorite lines from a song…
’cause all religion ever made me, was just a sinner with a stone tied to my feet, it never set me free… -Jason Gray(More Like Falling in Love)
THAT. Because that’s true. My life is proof of that. So if you ever get that vibe from my writing I give you permission to vomit on my face.
My friend Alex tweeted, “A problem facing our culture is that we spend too much time prepping ourselves for the honeymoon and not the marriage.”#visionarymarriage. I responded saying something along the lines of, “this is true, even when dating, but it’s easier to tweet about than put into practice.” And though I think I’d like to blog more on that comment in particular a bit later, what I’d rather say for right now is this:
Relationships are messy. That is because people are messy. So to try and fit a relationship into a box with a neat little bow made up of all of these “dos” and “don’ts” given to us either by society, the church, etc …well it’s just not real. You’ll end up with replicas of people trying to fit themselves into this box and I’m telling you….that sounds pretty boring and sickening to me. Maybe that’s because it used to be me and I’m be freed from that person…I don’t know. But I do know this…relationships are messy.
The act of dating…going on a date…”getting to know someone,” is all a MAJOR step of faith. WHY? Because no one really knows how to do it “right.” I’m not saying there aren’t obvious things that would be “red flags” or just plain old shouldn’t be done…but that’s not what I’m talkin ’bout here.
I’m sayin…the books you’ve read, the lists you’ve made, the step by steps you’ve thought through and pre-planned for when you begin a relationship….well….please STOP. You’ve probably done enough…more than likely gone too far.
that’s REAL rich, Katy…how in the world is this helpful?
I don’t know. But I do know this… This is what I want to figure out…this is what I desire… In a relationship, I desire to be able to bring my mess. To bring the real me…the me that is becoming aware of my faults, my pain, my brokenness…bringing it all to the table, knowing there is no “black and white” way to do this thing called “date.” …Knowing it requires risk, it requires not just trusting God but another person…knowing they will have to trust me, as well…that I will have been entrusted with whatever they offer me…with a part of their heart…and that it’s an opportunity to be Jesus to them in the flesh. (I say I want this, but of course I fight it…it’s scary, but it’s what we were made for)
Relationships should be messy.
…unknowns and surprises and adventure and community and heartache and beauty and pain and frustrations and joy and faith and apologies and forgiveness and grace and trust and acceptance…this is what real relationships are made of.
…And that reminds me of Jesus. There is no box for that. I don’t want there to be. Do you? I don’t want my relationship with Him or another person to be the same as anyone else’s. I’ve tried that…I’ve tried controlling it…it’s a miserable game to play.
I’m going to stop with that for now. Maybe there will be more sometime soon…we’ll see. Thoughts?
Have a beautiful weekend. I plan on it.