One single mom stated:
“There are no good men left. What’s the point of trying?”
Sometimes, the biggest enemy we fight is ourselves.
Self-doubt can do a number on our lives, can’t it? It can hold us down and keep us in bad situations for far too long. It can keep us from being able to move forward. It can hold us back from things that God wants to give us.
Sweet friends, difficulties are not based on gender. For every woman I’ve met that has suffered a bad marriage, I’ve met just as many men. I choose to minister to single moms because I feel like theirs is the neglected battle. But, I could just as easily minister to single dads. (In fact, some have contacted me to tell me how much they get from the blog—that’s proof to me that they are searching for healing after a devastating loss too.) There are good men—just your age—not in what they would consider to be their perfect physical condition—with multiple children they are supporting—just like you good women.
They have suffered loss. They have had their hearts broken. They have had their self-esteem crushed. They have been financially stunted or destroyed. All while they followed Christ to the best of their ability.
Just like we have.
So, when I hear someone lamenting about the lack of good men. Or simply stating it as fact. It makes me believe one of two things:
- They haven’t really put themselves far enough out there to discover the truth.
- They don’t want to put themselves out there for fear of getting hurt, and are choosing to snuggle up with this lie instead.
There are good men out there. Plenty of them.
The problem isn’t the men, it’s often our mindset.
- If we are jumping in before we are emotionally ready, we can get stung pretty quickly and decide that it must be the men that are available, not us.
- If we have put ourselves out there and not given any thought to what it is that we are looking for (see How Do I Find a Good Christian Man), we can become exhausted in the search and decide that it must be the men that are available, not our random attempt.
- If we have convinced ourselves that dating non-Christians is okay with us, we may become wary of the type of men that are out there and blame them, not our disregard for what God has already stated as a guideline to protect our hearts.
If God wanted to drop your love down beside you in the middle of the desert, He would. So why do we convince ourselves that our search for what He has for us has limits?
We have to stop limiting God.
When my marriage ended, my ex took great measures to destroy me in the small community we lived in. If you live in a small town, you understand, you don’t have to tell the truth to spread a vicious rumor—you just have to tell something juicy. There were so many lies told about me that I could barely stand to go in public. People I’d known for years would literally turn away from me and go the opposite way down the aisle in stores. Others simply slipped out of my life for good. None bothered to ask if the rumors were true.
Because of the situation in my local community, I decided that I would not date anyone from my town. Now, that’s pretty ridiculous considering that I live in a rural area and would have an hour or more drive to meet with anyone not in my area. But, I systematically went through any dating site I was on and blocked people from my town. I didn’t care who they were. I didn’t give them even a millisecond of a chance. I just blocked.
And yet . . .
One day I got on my account—at a point where I was simply waiting for my account to end. I was exhausted and didn’t plan to renew. In fact, I had already decided that I wouldn’t even go on it unless someone contacted me. That’s when I got a message from someone from my town. I was thrown (and a little angry at myself that I’d somehow missed someone), but went in to read the message anyway. I quickly discovered that he had literally moved to my town THAT DAY. My first response to him was, “Well, I guess I can talk to you since you’re not from here, lol.”
That man is now my fiancé.
God brought Him from about 500 miles away, away from everything he’d ever known, to a town whose unemployment rate was so bad that 1 out of every 10 people couldn’t find work. That’s about 2500 families in this very small community. And yet . . . he moved here for a job. A really good job. (Not to mention how he avoided my genius plan for blocking unwanted locals!)
After our first date it was clear to me that God had a hand in it. In fact, as I later told him, it was the first date I’d ever been on that I went home praising Jesus in the car. I literally raised my hands to Jesus and thanked Him the whole way home.
When we are ready to move forward and back into life again, it’s easy to dip our toes in the water and reel back. It’s even easier to take a peek at what we think is out there, and write it off, or resign ourselves completely.
But why would we do that if we believe what we say we believe? Do we believe that God is going to redeem our situation, our loss, or not?
“I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent among you.” Joel 2:25
Sometimes our loss becomes part of God’s plan. Sometimes He has to take things from us so that He can redirect us back to His plan for our lives.
I’m not saying that God is going to drop a man down into the lap of each and every one of you. Remember: I spent a full year seeking healing, another year dipping my toes into the dating pool, and went through a period of putting my foot down as to what I would and wouldn’t accept from the men I was meeting (that alone saw the interest in my profile plummet). But, I am saying that if this is a desire of your heart, and you are in close contact with and doing everything you can to stay in His will—you can’t write it off when the road gets a little rough. You have to trust that what He promises is true.
You have to be willing to do your part and put your toes in that water.
Just like the Israelites did.
As the Israelites were being led by Joshua into the Promised Land—the land they’d been trying to get to for generations—they came upon the Jordan River. It was at flood stage, meaning that it was at its peak. Probably a little discouraging to see as it lapped the bank and rolled back and forth threatening to spill. Carrying the Ark of the Covenant, the Levites would be the first to go across. If you remember, they were the smallest remnant and therefore the weakest of the tribes.
God could have moved that water at any moment He so desired. In fact, the moment they saw the water in the distance, God could have set their minds at ease by moving it aside so that they were certain that what they were about to do would be successful. But, He didn’t. It wasn’t until the Levites, carrying the weight of the Arc, after travelling so far to get to that point, put their feet in—that the water moved.
Joshua 3:14-16 says:
“So when the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carrying the ark of the covenant went ahead of them. Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (that is, the Dead Sea) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho.”
Sometimes we have to put our feet in to be able to reach the destination that is our gift. Because there’s two parts to gifts. The giving and the receiving. With God, we have to approach knowing that He will give us the tiniest amount of faith we need to keep going, so that we can take that next step that leads to the future He has for us.
Do your part. Open your heart to God first, seeking His will for you in this. When the desires of your heart align with His will for your life, there’s nothing that can stop Him from giving us what He longs to give. Except our refusal of it.