Dating Requires Patience Christian Dating Singles

I'm a 77-year-old guy. I recently graduated from college, I work a full-time job, and I desire to be married. The most recent ended three months ago. While I certainly have much to learn, mentors and counselors whom I trust (including my parents), have affirmed that they believe I'm in a position in my life and at a maturity to pursue marriage. That said, I'm receiving quite different counsel on how to go about it. Some counselors are saying since it's the guy's responsibility to find a wife and pursue, I should be proactive to the point of actively following up with any attractive young woman that is a Christian and shares some common interests. The first feels like I would be pursuing marriage like I would look for employment and treat finding dates like finding job interviews. The second feels like I'm sitting on my hands.

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Having Patience in All Things Christian Dating Singles

Where is the balance between a guy's responsibility to find and pursue, and the concept of waiting on God as a contented single? Boundless has written a lot about women's responsibility to trust and wait on God, how does waiting on God apply to men? It's a fair question, and the truth is there's not one absolute answer. Judging how aggressively to pursue marriage as a man can be difficult. Obviously, I can't speak to the specifics of your situation. And, as you wrote in your question, I will assume for these purposes that you generally desire marriage (that is, are not called to celibacy/singleness) and are in a position to marry should the right situation present itself. But here are a few ideas based on your specific question. What that means practically is that pursuing marriage probably will look different for you as a single Christian man than it would for a single Christian woman.

But I think single men who desire marriage (which should be the case for most spiritually mature single Christian men) should generally have a posture of watchfulness, for lack of a better term, and a general willingness to initiate with godly Christian women in their church community or other Christian circles in their lives. Obviously, the posture I'm suggesting doesn't involve serially initiating in alphabetical order with every woman in your orbit until something works. In fact, when a Christian man is tempted to initiate carelessly or constantly with women, especially if he is tempted to pursue non-Christians, it can be a sign that he has made marriage an idol. Your question mentioned following up with attractive Christian women with whom you share some common interests. I suggest focusing on the Christian part as you evaluate potential dating partners and spouses. More specifically, you should be looking to pursue a woman who embodies or at least aspires to the characteristics the Bible extols as those of godly womanhood and of a godly wife. You can check out,, and, among other passages, for a good discussion of many of those characteristics. That's not to say that physical attraction, chemistry and common interests play no role in choosing a potential spouse of course they do.

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The Bible instructs us to pursue godliness ourselves and to value what God values. So how does one go about all this? First, as with any endeavor, bathe your pursuit of a wife in prayer. Pray that you would pursue this good and godly goal without making it an idol. Pray that God would make you into a man who could serve a wife well and faithfully. Pray that you would desire (or grow to desire) and prioritize biblical characteristics in a wife. Pray that God would present an opportunity and give you wisdom in pursuing it. Pray about a particular godly woman you have noticed.

Prayerfully observe the single Christian women in your life. Primarily, this should mean your church, but you may know Christian women in other contexts as well. Observe the single women in your church or singles group as they minister and serve in the church. Hang out in groups. Notice how they treat people, how they serve, what they talk about, what their priorities seem to be. Obviously, as your question implies, you can get a little too deliberate about all this. Don't view every woman in your church or life as a candidate. Don't take notes.

Don't resolve to engage in a two-week official observation period, by the end of which you must initiate with someone. Beyond that, all this is more art than science. God is good and sovereign. Pray, pursue godly manhood, serve in the church, serve others, notice your faithful sisters in Christ, and see what develops in your own heart and mind. And then take a chance. I will pray that the Lord will present you an opportunity and the wisdom to pursue it. Sign up for our e-newsletter and receive a free chapter from the hit book, The Dating Manifesto, by Lisa Anderson. Helping young adults mature in Christ and prepare for marriage and family.

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