I Met My Future Husband When I Didn’t Want To
Editor’s Note: Today’s post is by Stephanie Spencer. She’s wife to a wonderful man, mom of 2 great boys. Lover of coffee, chocolate, & good conversation. You can follow her blog at everydayawe.com or on Twitter at @everydayawe. – Lauren
It was a Tuesday afternoon. I was taking one of those wonderful after-class naps that are the bread and butter of college life. Until the phone woke me up. It was a guy. He asked me to a movie. I said yes.
The only problem with this response was what had happened a week earlier. ONE WEEK earlier. The day I wrote this in my journal…
“My past history shows my tendency to look for security in a male. If I don’t commit that problem to God, whatever relationship I enter into won’t be a healthy one…. For at least 1 year from today, I will not date anybody. That way, I can focus on my love for God and my relationship with Him.”
My reasons for making this commitment were good. I needed time for healing. I needed time to focus. I needed time for my identity to be rooted in God’s love for me.
But now, here I was, having said yes to a movie with this guy.
Because it’s not really a date if it’s a Tuesday, right? And if it was someone I was friends with? And if he didn’t pay? And if we didn’t hold hands?
I didn’t tell him until the end of the night that I was in a commitment to not date anyone for a year.
This guy was great. Really great. We both volunteered in the youth group at our church. We both went to the college group there, too. And, so, we saw each other a lot. And the more we saw each other, the more I liked him. He was nothing like the guys that were a part of my past relationship flubs.
It was clear to both of us that we had feelings for each other. But did that mean I should stop my commitment? The commitment I made before God? Wasn’t that getting my priorities all out of whack?
So, I prayed. A lot. More than I had ever prayed about anything in my entire life to that point. As time went on, it felt disingenuous to keep this commitment. There was an obvious spark between us. People saw it when we were around each other. Many people thought we were dating. (To be fair, we also probably hung out more than we should, encouraging this perception).
On the other hand, I had made this commitment for good reasons. I wanted to live out Mark 12:30.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.
I knew that in the past, my relationships had clouded that.
I had loved men who didn’t share my love for God, and had split my heart.
I had thought my worth was based on whether men liked me, and had split my soul.
I had made decisions not in line with what God’s ways, and had split my mind.
I had pursued men because I didn’t feel whole alone, and had split my strength.
The commitment to not date was meant to take off the pressure. Remove the temptation. Focus my energies on the One who loved me with an everlasting love.
I didn’t know what to do. This guy was a godly man. Time spent with him encouraged me in my faith. It didn’t feel like a splitting of my heart or soul or mind or strength. It felt like an expansion of those things. In time, I fell in love with him.
I fell in love with him when we were not even dating.
Eventually, 4 months after I made the commitment, I broke it. This man and I prayed (together) and felt that making it official was the right decision.
I labored and struggled with the weight of that choice. But, I truly felt that it was the right one.
It seemed to me that the desire to focus on the Lord, to not rush into a relationship, was God-given. But this matter-of-fact, write-it-in-my-journal, set-a-time-frame vow, was not. It seemed to go against what Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount about making vows. It seemed to have an air of pride. An “I know what God wants from me” attitude instead of a “I will be open-handed to what God wants from me” attitude.
Am I sure I made the right choice? No. Perhaps we should have waited. But, it felt like the right choice at the time. And it definitely felt like the right man.
All these years later, I still love my husband. For all the same reasons I did then. And more.
And I am still glad for the commitment that led me not to date him right away. Not because they were magic. (Please do not make a commitment to not date anyone and assume the next guy God sends your way is your husband.) But, because the commitment grounded me.
The commitment showed God my willing heart. It showed me my brokenness. It showed us how our relationship, from day one, needed to be laid on the foundation of prayer.
And what has stuck with me the most is what the commitment ended up teaching me about love. It was because of the commitment that I fell in love with a man before I dated him. I didn’t fall in love with the idea of being in love. I didn’t fall in love with the idea of who the man I dated should be. I didn’t fall in love with a man because he loved me.
I fell in love with a man because of who he was. And I’m very glad I did.
Want to join us & pass this along to other women in your life?
Follow Good Women Project on Twitter: @goodwomenproj
Be a fan on Facebook: facebook.com/goodwomenproject
Subscribe to our email newsletter for insider updates here or subscribe to the blog here. Or both.
Everyone on our team is volunteer, and we are funded 100% by you. If you'd like to donate, you can here.
We're also doing fun stuff on Tumblr, Instagram, and Pinterest!