Several months ago I met an amazing man of God on an online dating site. We talked for almost a month before we actually met. I always used that month as my weeding out process. So many people online are not looking for anything substantial, and I was in pursuit of a serious relationship that would ultimately lead to marriage. He stated that he also wanted this. What I’ve found in my journey with him is I desire so much more than just a ring.
We initially were brought together by mutual physical attraction. Let’s be honest, in the world of online dating in particular, very few people meet the love of their lives without being attracted to each other physically (And yes, I believe you can meet that person online). You see a picture, and a catchy headline, and then you check out their profile. If you like what you see, you agree to meet. His profile picture and his charming message sparked my interest.
When we had finally scheduled to meet, I believe I was already in love, after many interesting and in depth conversations (more like text messages). However, that first date, I connected to him in a way I never had before. We took a walk, and went to dinner. We talked about our families and our pasts. We talked about God, and how Jesus’ love and sacrifice made a way for us to have an amazing relationship with the Father. We chatted for hours about God’s Grace. WOW! This first date made me desire him so much more!
Our second date we went and played Putt-Putt golf before heading to dinner again. I felt free with him, yet I was still so nervous. You know the kind of nervous where you try to put your best foot forward, but in doing so you accidentally trip over your own feet? Yep! That was me. He graced me during my horrible 1st game of golf (after a week of my jokingly bragging about all the Putting skills I possessed), and even quit keeping score half way through the second round (even though I was catching up and may have even beat his score from the first round).
After dinner that night, we sat outside the restaurant, admiring the beauty of space. He said, “Looking at all of this, I don’t know how anyone can honestly believe that God does not exist.” He won my heart in full that night.
We had more dates, more conversations and discovered somethings along the way about each other that were less than desirable. But we kept pursuing each other.
I’ve always prayed for a man who, like David, is a man after God’s own heart. A man who loves God and longs to serve Him. But, like David, he and I also struggle with physical desires and lusts of the flesh. In the beginning of our pursuit to be loved, we pushed the boundaries, and fell short of holiness.
We both have come from a past where love equals sex and sex equals love. For years I have struggled with my identity in a relationship outside of sex. It was my comfort, where I found my worth in the relationship. I learned early on in my life, that in order to make a man happy and accepting of me, I had to sleep with him. I also learned that this is one of man’s greatest needs, and if that need is not met, he will either take it or he will seek it elsewhere. I learned that without sex, there can be no relationship. It became something that I did to gain the love of the men I was with. To keep them with me, to keep myself safe. I’ve since learned the hard way that I was way wrong in my thought process. Yet, I continued to live immorally, out of a combination of fear, strongholds, and sheer physical desire and weakness.
My ultimate desire has always been for God, to live a life that is holy and acceptable to Him. My whole life I have pursued Him. I yearn to be near Him. Unfortunately, I have fallen short time and time again. I have been married twice, both out of fear. I started those relationships with sex, which is never a way to maintain it (I know now). However, because I feared God, and the risk of losing these men for standing up for what I believe, I married them. 1 Corinthians 7:36 talks about how it’s ok to marry as to avoid sin if the fleshly desires get too hard to control. I figured if I was going to have sex anyway, then I should go ahead and get married as to avoid God’s wrath. Unfortunately, God did not ordain or Bless those unions. They started in sin, and ended due to being unequally yoked as 2 Corinthians 6:14 warns us about. You cannot twist the Word of God to justify your sinful actions.
Because we live an hour and a half away from each other, and we were both feeling dry, we talked for a couple months about finding a new church, somewhere in the middle. My beloved and I started going to church together after we were invited to a Spirit Filled church, that is absolutely wonderful. The moment we walked in, our spirits were awakened and we started being filled to a point of overflowing. God started directing us on our callings and re-awakening that desire in us.
Our wonderful pastor approached us one day, a couple weeks after we started attending, and asked us if there was anything he could pray about for us. My beloved asked for direction (for us) and purpose (for me). Pastor approached us again later and said, “God told me that the two of you have a decision to make, and when you make it, you will be Blessed.” WOW!
I thought that Word was about our possible marriage. We really believed that God had spoken to both of us that we were to be married. We believed that we were going to be in ministry together, ministering to the masses. However, what happened over the next week amazed me.
It started when God directed him to Psalms 119:1-2 earlier in the week: “Happy are those whose lives are faultless, who live according to the law of the LORD . Happy are those who follow his commands, who obey him with all their heart.”
(Psalms 119:1-2 GNBDC)
We had a date scheduled that Friday. We talked about spending the night together and spending all day Saturday together. We met up and picked my son up from college. The whole way there (and all week) God was talking to him about our plans.
Earlier in the day I had been praying to God about this man’s heart and intentions towards me. I prayed that God would give me a way out of what we were planning. I loved this man and wanted to be with him, but more than that, I want to please the Father. I wanted to have a right and pure relationship with him, one that is Blessed by God, and that if this man was meant for me, I prayed that he would honor my walk with God and not compromise my integrity. I know that God heard my prayer. My heart towards the Father was impressed upon this man.
So, we were at dinner after dropping my son off at my house, and I told him about my favorite Psalms, which is Psalms 51. I love how restorative and repentant this chapter is. That is my prayer, that God would Create in ME a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me!
Now, for those of you who don’t know the back story of Psalms 51, it’s after David was confronted by Nathan about his Adulterous relationship with Bathsheba. David had stayed home from war, had gone up to his rooftop and saw Bathsheba bathing. He lusted after her, had her brought to him, and slept with her, while her husband was off at the war that David should have been at, at that moment. Bathsheba became pregnant, and David, out of fear of being found out, had her husband brought back from war and tried to get him to go to his wife, so David could cover his sin. When the husband, being a man of integrity, refused to go because he wanted to return to his duties of war, David had him sent to the front lines of battle where he was killed. So, not only was David an adulterer, he was also a murderer.
After I shared this with my beloved, he had me pull up my Bible App and go to 1 Samuel 11:1-2.
“In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem. One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful,”
(2 Samuel 11:1-2 NIV)
If you notice in verse 1, David was supposed to be at Battle. “But David remained in Jerusalem.” David didn’t go where he was supposed to. And after that he was tempted and fell.
My beloved pointed this out to me, which was something I had never seen before. When we are not where we are supposed to be, we will go where we are not supposed to. When we are not where we are supposed to be, we are more susceptible to be tempted and are more likely to fall.
We talked a little bit more, and then this wonderful man took my hand and said, “and that is why I will take you back to your car tonight, but I will not take you home with me.” He told me that he desired to love me, but he desired to love me as God’s daughter first. This was new territory for both of us, and a place of vulnerability.
When he arrived at home alone that night, he told me, “My flesh is lonely, but my spirit is full. ” He told me a couple weeks later that God showed him this: Picture your daughter outside the house with her boyfriend. His hands are holding and touching her in ways and places they shouldn’t. You see this and you run outside and tell him to get his hands off your daughter or you will break them. That is what God told my beloved. If he didn’t keep his hands off me, God will not be happy!
We made a vow to wait until God said “Go!” I believed that God said we were to be together, however I know that God was working on our past wounds and fleshy desires. He was working on us individually and together, preparing us for the road ahead, and for the Call that He has placed on our lives. See, when we try to do things our way, we fail, and usually fail miserably. Yet, when we do it God’s way, He will honor that commitment and bless it. God will also remove it if it is not His best for us, if we ask Him in faith to show us His best. Yes, we made the vow to abstain, but this is not to say that the desire to be physically intimate was not there in both of us. We are human after all, but we desired to have a holy and truly blessed Union. Yet, we desired intimacy with one another.
God created us sexual beings, but the enemy has twisted and perversed what God has called holy. Sex was created to be a blessing between a man and a woman, in the covenant of marriage, to not only repopulate, but to bind us together. And to bind us together in the sight of God. It is as much a spiritual act as it is a physical act. Yet, the enemy will have you believing that casual sex, or sex outside of marriage is ok. It goes against everything that God created it to be. A covenant is a blood binding agreement. In the covenant of marriage we become one flesh. But if you’ve ever heard of soul ties, you will know that sex binds not just our flesh to someone, but our souls. There are even studies out that suggest that DNA from past male sexual partners have been found inside women. If this is true, it goes to show that we really do become one when we join together in sex.
So, how do you become intimate with someone with out being sexual? Well, it starts in the heart. As believers we are called to “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and all these things will be added into you.” (Luke 12:31 and Matthew 6:33). Seeking God together is a GREAT way to become intimate with your partner without being sexual. When we started worshipping together and sitting side by side together, we grew closer than we ever could have imagined! God was drawing us closer to Him. And as we drew closer to God, we were drawing closer to each other. My beloved even told me not long ago that my love for God was “drawing” him closer to me. He was physically attracted to me, but my desire to please the Father was a bigger attraction.
Another form of intimacy is communication. We talked constantly. Connecting on a regular basis, and sharing our thoughts, our dreams, and our desires keeps that intimacy strong. It builds trust. Without constant and transparent communication, you can’t have a lasting relationship.
Having fun together, is also so important. Laughter produces endorphins in our brains. When we share laughter with one another, it sends signals to our brains that arouse our emotions. In other words, it can cause us to fall in love.
Physical touch, such as holding hands or hugging, is another way to be intimate. While holding my beloved’s hand, I felt safe, secure, loved. Both women and men need physical touch to survive. Most people have heard the stories of the infants that died from lack of physical touch. It’s part of our biological design. We not only crave it, but we need it. My number one Love Language, from Dr. Gary Chapman’s Love Languages test, is physical touch. I desire and crave it. Most experts will also agree that while men need physical touch, women need Non-Sexual physical touch most. And lots of it! A hug, a kiss, a back rub (that doesn’t lead to the bedroom) holding hands, these are all ways to bring intimacy to the relationship, without going against the Word of God.
It has been hard to avoid temptation of the flesh. On that I won’t lie, especially when that’s all I’ve ever known. My insecurities tell me, if I’m not having sex with him, he will find someone else who will. The enemy tells me that he won’t desire me enough to wait for me. My flesh tells me that I am not beautiful enough, not thin enough, not young enough, not, not, not enough to have a man who truly only has eyes for me. Years of past immorality tell me “just do it”. But, I think back to one of my favorite Scriptures:
“For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.”
(2 Timothy 1:12 KJV)
- Since this post was originally posted, we have since parted ways. This is why this post is so important. We as believers need to stand firm in our convictions and take a stand. Take a stand for purity in body, mind and spirit. Until you are wedded, you need to remember that when you are not where you are supposed to be, like David, you are tempted to fall. We need to be Committed.
Not only am I committing to God to remain pure from this moment forward, I am committing to my Beloved, my future Husband. And I pray that he is committing to me like a true Ephesians 5 man. And in the end, our Union will be Holy and acceptable to God.
“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”
(Ephesians 5:25-27 KJV)