A few Sundays ago, my friend and I walked to a little Thai restaurant after church and had dinner. Usually we go with a group, but that night it was just us. We made eye contact and laughed over things nobody else would find funny. Walking back to the car, he asked, "Grace... can I pursue you?"
In the weeks leading up to that night, we had built a deep and meaningful friendship. The transition into a dating relationship was peaceful, gradual, and stable. (It was actually unlike anything I've ever experienced.)
Some of my relatives have explicitly stated that sex before marriage is healthy – even necessary – like test-driving a car. But I'm not a Porsche – I'm much more valuable than that. When Jesus died on the cross for my sins, he paid a ransom for me. My holiness, my purity, and my heart are invaluable and worth protecting because of His sacrifice.
After my last relationship ended, I realized that I didn't want to be kissed again until my wedding day. I trusted God's ability to find me a man with that kind of patience – someone who would not only respect that wish, but actively protect it.
And... God came through! (Doesn't He always?) Even if this relationship doesn't work out, I have no anxiety about God's ability to fulfil His promises. He has proven Himself faithful countless times in my life – there is no limit to what He can do.
Why I'm excited
I'd like to share why I'm so excited about this relationship. Why is this man so attractive to me?
We are both comfortable being single and waiting on God's timing. Neither of us needs a relationship (and we are still, technically, single). Because we took the time to build a connection that wasn't based solely on attraction, we will always have that to fall back on. There's no anxiety about whether or not we're "the one" for each other.
We're both comfortable letting this go if we need to. If this doesn't work out, we can both look forward to something as good or better. That makes the risk of potential heartache infinitely worthwhile.
We made sure our relationship and intentions were in the light. He had spoken to his family and a male leader in our church about his wanting to pursue me. I had spoken to my pastor's wife and a girlfriend about the process. We were not looking for permission or to give our choices over to other people... we just value accountability, feedback and wisdom
We have a plan to protect each other's purity. It involves getting to know each other as we hang out with our mutual friends or at church. While we will spend time alone, we'll be doing it in public – not in an empty.
We are not looking to save or change each other. He is responsible for his heart, character, and relationship with God. The same goes for me.
Why so appealing?
So why is this all so appealing to me? I can see how God is already being glorified in our courtship. It's nothing like what you see in romantic comedies or Disney moves. (It's so much better!) It is full of the fruit of the Spirit. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control." (Galatians chapter 5 verse 22, NKJV) This is not the world's definition of attractive – but it is ours.
To this man... thank you for pursuing me in such an honouring way – for not treating me like a Porsche to be test-driven, but as something much more valuable. I respect you for being bold and accountable. I won't lie – this still feels very risky to me. But God never asked someone to step out in risk unless it was going to be infinitely worthwhile. You are (in so many, indescribable ways) an attractive man.
Grace lives in California, high in the Sierra Nevada mountains. She is constantly inspired by the beauty around her. She loves to hike, fish, ski, and take long walks. She is passionate about worship and seeing God's love lived out through her community.
Grace Wood's articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/grace-wood.html