“What are you looking for in a husband?” I asked Sheila on our drive to a love & courtship seminar for members of the Church Of Christ.
“Smart, God-fearing, ambitious, and respects me. Understands me. How about you?”
Without skipping a beat: “Witty. Can grow a beard. Someone I can grow in faith with. Leads me. Makes me laugh. Ambitious is good too! Someone who is good at math!”
We were confident we would find “The One” at the seminar.
To prepare, we googled “How to find love” and the search results encouraged us to:
- Say his name — because everyone loves the sound of their name
- Smile — because it shows you’re open
- Make eye contact — so he knows you’re the target
- Have a firm handshake — to show you are confident
These tips sounded like they could also work for a job interview. But we believed Google knew what they were talking about, so we prepared to do all 4… because anything was better than being single, right?
Don’t get me wrong — being alone doesn’t necessarily mean being lonely. I just loathe the stigma that comes with being a party of 1.
When people learn you’re single, they (even your own family) will look at you strangely.
It’s kind of like when you have food stuck in your teeth, and people feel embarrassed for you. Some will either obnoxiously point it out, or they’ll avert their eyes and let you keep failing as a human. That’s kinda how it feels.
But I’m not alone in being alone (hah).
46% of Americans feel alone.
50% of America is single and of that, 40% are actively searching for love using online dating sites.
BUT 48% of online relationships also end through e-mail.
With such overwhelming and disappointing numbers, how does one find real and lasting love?
How to attract love?
At the seminar, we learned that courtship and dating should be done with purpose, with the intent to determine if both of you are in it together for the long haul.
The minister gave some biblical advice and said something that struck a serious chord in my hormonal heart.
“You all have expressed what you are looking for in a person… but have you considered what YOU can offer?”
What can I offer? A crooked smile and a joke every now and then? Some pasta?
The Minister went on to explain how the Bible defines love.
Love is not self-seeking… and I was obviously seeking myself… I mean I was only looking out for me and what I wanted.
I never stopped to think about what I could offer.
So I stopped adding to the list of qualities I was looking for in a person and started praying for qualities to be found in me.
I kept that Bible verse close to heart and used it as a checklist as I reflected on my own personal growth. And each time I inched closer to (or further from) a relationship.
The pursuit of love, relationships, friendships, and personal growth can all be so dramatic and exhausting, y’all! Sometimes all I want to do is pray, cry, and listen to Whitney Houston or Ariana Grande and just get in my feelings.
But when I can’t take it anymore, I will grab some ice cream and call on someone with a deeper type of intelligence: a Minister for some Biblical advice.
I know, I know, it sounds lame, but believe me, the Bible’s advice is timeless and very relevant. It’s like God knew I would need a pick me up for when I pray for a guy, find him, and decide I didn’t want to be in a relationship because he wore pleated khaki pants and then get mad at myself for being unreasonable (I’ve got the self-esteem of 12 when I should really be a 4). Plus I’m back to being single.
I’ve often wondered if I should give up on finding love (because it’s easier), or keep hoping (and experience disappointment?). But have you ever heard a Bible story that encouraged us to give up?
So it’s ok if our heart gets bruised or broken every now and then because it comes with the pursuit of love. And if you get crushed in the process, God is ready to piece you back together.
I’ve consulted with a Minister for most of my heart’s drama and it all the more confirms that God never wants us to give up.
Bible verses about love and loneliness
- How to respond to loneliness — Loneliness, even when you’re surrounded by people, can still creep into your heart. But with practice, patience, and prayer you’ll learn those feelings are only temporary.
- Find love by praying for it — What are you asking for in your prayers? God provides the things we need at the perfect time. So if I want God to bless me with a good spouse who’s a member of the Church Of Christ, I know I have to set a devotional prayer to ask for it.
- There are different types of love you can exert your energy on. Don’t forget to nurture the relationship you have with God because His love surpasses all others.
The biggest lesson I’ve learned over the years: Have something to offer. Shoot your shot. Be open to all the possibilities. Also, heartbreak or being single won’t kill you. You can’t die from it…I think.
Today, my conversations with Sheila sound like this:
Sheila: “I have someone in mind for you. He is witty… and I think you can inspire his faith.”
Me: “Okay. I’ll pray on it. But can he grow a beard?”
Sheila is now married with 2 kids.
And me? I’m still praying. I don’t feel so uneasy when people find out I’m single. I’m practicing all the qualities mentioned in 1 Corinthians 13:3-7 NIV. I like to think I’m a little more patient, kinder, and thanks to Trader Joes I’m a better cook. But I’m still working on that anger. Haha. j/k.
If you’re ready for love, download & share these Bible verses. If you want to know what other questions the Bible can help you answer, get in touch with us.
This blog was co-written by Jan Valerio with biblical support by Richard Juatco, a minister of the gospel of the Church Of Christ. Richard has been an ordained minister in the Church Of Christ (Iglesia Ni Cristo) since September 2014.