15 years ago I was 19. I remember heading off to college with the hopes of getting
a college education, but more specifically a husband if you want me to be completely honest. While I was away at school I noticed something unusual when it came to dating, it was sort of non-existent. There were a lot of people hanging out, but no one was really going anywhere. Sure groups of us would watch movies and go out to dinner, but that was the extent of it. In the 6 months I was away at school (Yes, 6 months, that is a blog post all by its self!) I never once was asked on a date, nor had dinner bought for me, or anything else that remotely symbolized a date. I was confused, was I really not cute at all? Did I have a big zit on the end of my nose I didn’t know about?
It wasn’t until I returned back home that I realized the world is taking a whole new approach to getting married. I was apparently an “emerging adult”, someone who was no longer a child, but yet someone who was not married because we don’t have to deal with any of the commitments of marriage. These adults are more pessimistic when it comes to marriage, they want to get ahead in life before they settle down and get married, they would rather just hook up and hangout with no real strings attached, and they want to accept cohabitation as a form of making doubly sure they really want to live with and marry the person they have hooked up with. This was not me! I wanted to be married I wanted to have a family and I wanted to be successful with my husband, not before I married him! I then realized that I was on the forgotten pathway in the world. I was going my own direction towards finding a companion who would love me for who I was and who would want to grow old with me.
So how do you find a spouse in these challenging dating times? The first step is to prepare yourself for marriage! No, I don’t mean buy a house and have a six-figure income, but what I do mean is become the spouse you want to be. Do you want to be kind; do you want to be loving? Develop these qualities now. The question you should ask yourself is, “How can I be prepared to form and nurture an enduring marriage?” Next, we need to put our trust in the Lord. When we follow him and his teachings he will direct our paths. I understand it is scary to get married at times, you worry about the future, and you worry because everyone around you is getting divorced, but we cannot live in fear. Faith and fear cannot exist together. We must have faith that we have the ability to make things work. We need to develop the ability to love and learn how to express that love in meaningful ways. As we do this our mate will know the intentions of our heart. Learn to communicate. Learn to listen as you communicate. Don’t just hear the words, but listen to the desires. They will tell you what you need!
We then have to remember we don’t always choose the timing of things, and I have discovered the Lord has a sense of humor at times. This is why it is important to prepare for marriage now, so you are ready when the time is right. I was married in 2003 to which I thought I would spend forever with. Unfortunately, 9 years later we filed for divorce and 6 months after that it was finalized. I had all the feelings of an emerging adult again. I didn’t want any of this to happen again. I was heartbroken, but like I said
the Lord has a sense of humor and within a couple weeks after my divorce was finalized I met a guy. I was like no way! Absolutely not doing it! But he did everything I wanted! He dated me, he loved me, he communicated with me. I still was unsure of life because of the hurt that I had just overcome, but the Lord testified to me that he was the one. I recalled the thought, “his way and in his time”
I wasn’t emotionally ready for marriage, but the Lord knew it was my time. My sweet husband was patient, we dated for a year for us to both be ready and then we got married. We celebrated our year anniversary this year and as I look back I would not have wanted it any other way. He is my forever and I found him on the forgotten path, and I know you can find yours on this path as well! Just remember his way and his time!