“How beautiful you are, my darling.
How very beautiful!
Your eyes are doves…
Like a lily among thorns,
so is my darling among the young women.”
Song of Songs 1:15; 2:2
My sophomore year of college we had 3 snow days – the first time since the 1990s! You could barely get around town. People were cross country skiing in the middle of the road and using snow shoes to get around! I lived in this house that we called The Cottage, I lived there with my best friends from my freshman year. During the snow days, people within Connect would come to The Cottage and hangout all day long to play in the snow, do homework, eat – we had a LOT of fun and we all really bonded as a group. I think it was around this time that our friend Riley started really liking my roommate Kristy. I remember one time that semester we had the snow days Riley was literally at our house all day long, and Kristy barely noticed him. I remember she left to go somewhere, and Riley rolled over on our couch and moaned, “Leah! What am I doing?!” “Dude, I don’t have a clue what you’re doing!” I replied, “ Cause she doesn’t even want to get married! Let alone date.”
Despite Kristy’s resistance, Riley continued to pursue Kristy. We all thought he was wasting his time, until it seemed like Kristy might actually like him. She would go on dates with him, and when we would ask her about it she would say, “Oh, we’re just friends” or “It’s a free meal!” Needless to say, as roommates we were confused! But as months and months went by, they actually started dating, which turned into a proposal, which turned into a wonderful wedding in July where we all showed up to celebrate! I remember thinking, “To think that Kristy was convinced she would never get married! I wonder if Riley will work on how she doesn’t want to have kids…” About 2 years ago they brought their first son home from Uganda, and she is due in April with their second son!
I share their story because to everyone, except Riley, pursuing Kristy didn’t make sense. And the fact that he kept pursuing her REALLY made no sense, except to Riley. This is exactly how Jesus is with us! He knows what he’s doing, even if it doesn’t make sense to anyone else.
The dating period points back to Gospel in this way: Dating reflects how Jesus relentlessly pursues a personal relationship with us. We may not notice Him for a long time, we may not even be sure He is what we truly want, but Jesus is standing at the door of our hearts knocking.
Jesus says in Revelation 3:20, “Listen! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and have dinner with him, and he with Me.”
Jesus stands on the front porch of our hearts like a desperate fool – continuing to knock wanting to have a first date with you where He will ask you the most amazing question anyone could ever hear, “Will you be my love forever?”
One of our good friends, Jospeh, came to know Christ officially while he was here for school. But he investigated a long time into the bible and the truth of Christ. His life up to that point had been characterized by brokenness, addictions, and hard-knocks. He was just kind of getting his life together when he met a talented and attractive chef named Darcy in a kitchen where he was the dishwasher. She also happen to be a Christian, but also in a little bit a rebellious point in her walk with God. Later into their relationship, she started bringing up how important God was to her. Joseph began a journey that took at least a year into seeing who this Jesus was. Once everything was brought together, he took that step of faith to ask Jesus into His life! This is so rare to hear missionary dating actually worked, but it was definitely led by God for a greater plan. They were married the month after Malcolm and I actually. Now Jospeh is at Seminary to become a pastor, and Darcy stays at home with their 3 adorable kids.
Just like everyone dates for different amounts of time, it takes different amounts of time for each person to know all they need to about Jesus before they make a decision to open the door to let Jesus into their lives. Some people need to hear the Gospel multiple times over the course of a life time, whereas others need to hear it once to know all that they need to about Jesus.
2 Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord does not delay His promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance.”
Jesus patiently waits at the door of a person’s life to offer them a new life, because He desires everyone to have a relationship with Him. Unlike humans who give up at the first sign of rejection, Jesus relentlessly waits to give each of us a chance to accept His invitation of eternal life with Him. Since He’s a gentleman, He will not force us to do anything we don’t want to do.
Think about the last time you faced rejection from someone. How did you feel? How much more does Jesus’ heart break when people decide to reject Him – even to the very end of their life on earth? Jesus knows all too well the heartache and drama of dating, because the ups and downs are even more real when dealing with the eternal state of a human being because the stakes are much higher.
Do you remember your dating period with the Lord? What was it like? Reflect and rejoice in that time! Spend some time thanking Jesus for pursuing you and the time you got to know Him initially.
Do you know someone who is getting to know Jesus? Or is there someone you know that needs to understand Who Jesus is? Spend some time praying them. Pray that Jesus would make Himself very real to them, and ask Jesus for guidance on your next step to share the gospel with them.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank you for playing the fool for my heart! Thank you that you were patient, kind and gentle to show me Who you really were and still are today! Jesus, I pray for my friends and family members that don’t have a personal relationship with you. I pray that you will help me be the light that I need so they can see you. In Your Mighty Name I pray.
This is part of an ongoing series. Check out the rest of the posts here.
Leah works with Master Plan Ministries at Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO. Other than watching college students' lives change, she enjoys getting her mind blown by God and His Word, watching sci fi, baking cupcakes, and spending time with her hunky husband.
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