“Heart of Gold” (Post #35) Lessons Learned by a Dating Widower
I’ll never forget panning for gold in Alaska. What a job. The process basically consisted of placing muddy muck into a pan and swishing it in a left to right motion under water to cause the gold, which is heavy, to work its way down toward the bottom of your pan. At the same time, the lighter materials are washed away. The process of shaking and swishing is repeated until only the heaviest of materials are left-namely the gold and heaviest black sand.
Most of the time, I swished too hard, and lost all the contents of my pan. If you are persistent and patient, with a little bit of luck you might find a tiny nugget. After about 30 minutes of this activity, our whole family put together our findings which amounted to a whopping $30 worth of gold (tiny nuggets the weight & size of my little finger nail).
Many of you who are reading this blog are ‘panning for gold’ using on-line dating services. I’m not condoning their use, and I certainly am not endorsing any one specific site.
But with any of them, I believe that God and His Will CAN still be the driving force of matchmaking. But, are there actions you can take to ensure that He IS the driving force?
When I’ve used these sites, there have been times I’ve felt like I was trying to usurp God’s control. And there certainly were those times when I did, only to my demise.
For example, after being attracted by the gorgeous face and slender figure of the woman pictured, I’d send a message to her. Many times I did this WITHOUT first scrutinizing their values or faith, or other important criteria (like where they lived). I’m embarrassed to say that at one time, I had NO limits as to where they lived! And I ended up ‘falling’ for a woman 3000 miles from my home. And as a result, I ended up falling flat on my face!
Desperate? Naah. Lonely? Definitely!
SO . . . how do you ensure that God’s Will is ‘swishing your pan’ while you search for a potential match?
First of all, PRAY!
Pray for His will to be the driving force. Before you enroll in any site, PRAY; before you type any information describing yourself, PRAY; before you correspond with anyone you find attractive, PRAY! Before you even log on to check potential matches, PRAY! And pray out loud! Satan hates that.
I’m embarrassed to admit that there were ‘more times than not’ that I used ‘ABC’ dating service without first praying. When I do that – mistakenly I AM IN CONTROL.
Secondly, learn to let go.
How do you ‘let go’? You say ‘good bye’. You ‘pull the plug’ on the relationship. WHEN do you do that . . . before it’s too late! You do that when you KNOW it’s wrong to pursue her. When the red flags outnumber Godly qualities. When you know you’re in the relationship merely for self gratification. When you know you’re dating her just to look good (like driving a cool sports car). When you know she doesn’t have the same values as yours. When you realize your values would be compromised if your relationship continues.
As my friend ‘George’ reminded me, every contact I may have with a woman is a test. Many of them are thrown at us like a satanic knuckle ball, just to see us fail. Satan takes great joy in that. Others I believe God allows in our life to GROW our faith and reliance on Him. As a test of our obedience to Him.
But as a Christian, I’m convinced that ALL of them have the POTENTIAL for our good, if we let Him have the control.
Oh, by the way . . . don’t stop praying!
Thirdly, do a reality check.
If you can’t say no to another helping of potato chips… if you can’t turn off a raunchy movie … if you can’t discipline yourself with an exercise program … if you can’t regularly have daily devotions, you might want to ask for special help. KNOW YOUR WEAKNESSES! KNOW WHAT TEMPTATIONS BREAK YOUR WILL! KNOW YOUR LIMITATIONS! KNOW THYSELF!! Then with that important information, make better decisions when using the online ‘ABC’ dating service.
So you made a mistake when choosing to date that last girl. Analyze why you mistakenly chose them, then learn from that mistake. Do you think satan DOESN’T know what catches your eye? Do you think he DOESN’T know your weaknesses? Enough said.
Did I forget to mention . . . keep praying!
Fourthly, take off your rose colored glasses!
Is the woman in the ‘ABC’ dating pictures showing cleavage?? Enough to get your attention . . . you know what I’m talking about, men. Ask yourself “What’s up with that?” Is the woman in the pictures laying on a bed?? “What’s up with that?” Is the woman wearing more makeup than a corpse in a coffin?? Or is the woman showcasing her sexy legs?? “Come on, man! What’s up with that?”
Or, does she mention NOTHING about her faith in her profile? Does she admit NO love for your Lord? Does she blatantly ignore that important requirement? OPEN YOUR EYES and RECOGNIZE the truth about her. By their fruit you shall know them. Pick a bad apple, you’ll get indigestion.
Just in case I may have overlooked telling you . . . pray!
I want to live, I want to give. I’ve been a miner for a heart of gold.
It’s these expressions I never give that keep me searching for a heart of gold.
And I’m getting old. Keeps me searching for a heart of gold.
And I’m getting old. (partial lyrics to ‘Heart of Gold’ by Neil Young )