Before You Find “The One,” Find Yourself FIRST! (Belonging Part 3)
This week we wrap up our discussion of #4 of the TOP10 Dumbest Reasons to Date: Belonging. I promised to offer some practical suggestions for anchoring your identity securely before dating. After all, it’s pretty pointless to be out there searching for some mythological “ONE” when you don’t even know who you are.
So, before you find “the one,” find yourself FIRST!
I’m not saying you have to have your whole life in order, before you’re ready to date. NO ONE has their whole life in order, but the reality is that many people expect to discover who they are through the right romantic relationship.
This is not a good idea. It’s possible you could find yourself in the eyes of your “soulmate,” but the odds are not in your favor. It would be better to keep buying lottery tickets. The chances of winning are higher and the risk of self-destruction is lower.
So without further adieu, here are some practical steps for finding yourself before you find “the one.”
Make Friends FIRST!
For starters make the unsexy, yet courageous step of prioritizing friendships over romance. The reason it’s easy to believe the lie that we’ll find ourselves in the eyes of someone we love is because it’s not far from the truth.
We do discover who we are in relationship, just not in one relationship with one enchanting person (who happens to kiss really good). We discover who we are in healthy, platonic relationships with those who know and love us well. I believe this is so important, I’ve written several posts on this topic and I encourage you to check them out if you know this is where you want to grow.
Make Peace with your loved ones FIRST!
You need to work through the past hurt you experienced at the hands of family, friends and ex-lovers. In particular you have to learn how to forgive. Well, you don’t have to. You can hold onto your bitterness (or your rights or your pain, or whatever), but you’ll never find healing that way, regardless of whether you find “the one” or not.
I’ve actually written (more like bled) an entire (albeit short) book on the subject. That book, Forgiveness 101, is yours for free in PDF format just for asking. Want a curriculum to help you walk through a whole array of relational growth areas? Investigate our Beyond Sex & Salvation guidebooks for small group studies.
Make sure your First Love is FIRST!
Do you really want to find THE ONE?
News flash: They’ve already found YOU.
(Remember: “You did not choose me, but I chose you…”)
That’s not just a “Sunday school” thing to say. It’s the truth. It’s also funny when you think about it. We trust Jesus with the eternal salvation of our soul, but little else. That would be like trusting a doctor with heart surgery, but not with band aids. Maybe we figure God’s only a specialist. He’s proficient at planning our freedom from sin, but unreliable when it comes to leading us day-to-day.
The problem is, you can’t wholeheartedly love someone you can’t wholeheartedly trust. And if you can’t trust THE ONE who gave His life for you, who’s next in line? “The one” who holds true love’s kiss? Really? Wake up, sleeping beauty.
The first guidebook in our Beyond Sex & Salvation series addresses this very issue. You can check out three excerpts on trusting God at this link. However, you could also try reading another book you likely already have – God’s word. John 14 is a fantastic place to start. At least read through chapter 16.
You want to belong? You already do.
You don’t believe it? Then you’ll never feel it.
Can the arms of a lover make you believe you belong? Certainly – for a time, but that feeling will pass as the chemicals of romance die away, as it probably already has for you more than once.
But I believe you can know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you not only belong, you are an indispensable member of Christ’s body. Instead of finding the one, a wise individual who’s living and growing in this reality, is getting ready to become one with another person of like conviction. And a couple like that will change a tiny little corner of the world forever.
That’s my prayer for you.
DNA: It’s What’s For Dating
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The LoveEd study guide series, Beyond Sex & Salvation, will empower you to prepare for relational success when it counts: BEFORE YOU FALL IN LOVE! It’s NOT for couples, but for any wise individual who thinks they might want to get married sometime before they die. Check out the first two 8-lesson study guides in our store. You can walk through it on your own, but it’s more fun with friends, so consider putting together an FMU LoveEd small group study. Even better? And ask a married couple you respect to lead it!