Dating Wisdom from the Women of the Bible

Let go of your pride.
When Zipporah of Midia first met her husband to be, she saw a recent immigrant without wealth, without a career,  a fugitive from justice in another country. Worse than that, he had anger problems. Sure, it was nice that he to her rescue when other men harassed her (Exodus 2:17)- but that anger problem had also led to him committing second-degree murder not that long ago. He was also older than her, and no longer a young man. However, her Dad needed a son-in-law to take over the family business: sheep herding. His name? Moses.Zipporah Sistine Chapel

It’s important to surrender your ego when dating and also when in a relationship. We might feel like we want to raise our eyes and date only princes and ignore the kind of men who would actually propose to us in marriage. However once you’ve given yourself away to the ‘princes’ of this world for much of your youth, it is that much harder to be satisfied the kind of man who would actually married to you.

Surrendering your ego will make a relationship really, really good yet takes healthy focus on relational responsiveness and assertive communication. Desiring intimate moments with your partner is natural yet challenging to navigate purely. Think about your physical desires and your partner’s as a desire for emotional/mental/physical response, and what response will be life-giving for the relationship.

Defensiveness in communication is unthinking habit for many of us, yet assertiveness about how we feel is much more confidence-building, extremely authentic, and gutsy. Realize anything said or done out of spite will harm trust, which is 2x harder to build back up when damaged.

Peace of mind comes when we surrender our relational egos by becoming more aware of the satisfaction in subtle “physical listening” to our and our partners’ bodies, and when we use sentences such as “I feel ___ when ____”, speaking with Love.

It’s possible to bring more to relationships than just your presence, sexuality, and emotional reactions. However, it can be a challenge to bring more value than that- even for women in the Bible.

Rembrandt's_school_TamarWhen Tamar the Canaanite found herself living as an impoverished widow among her former husband’s family, she was unloved and did not have the wealth that even being a single mother would bring. However, she used her sexuality and worked as a prostitute for one night to become pregnant- and as a single mother her status improved thanks to her being very selective as to the father of her child (Genesis 38). Additionally, there was once a  Canaanite woman named Rahab who lived in the city of Jericho. She was a hard working woman who provided for herself and may have had numerous gifts from her lovers. This is nothing new- sex workers are older than civilization and even now there

Rahab And The Emissaries Of JoshuaRahab was probably hard working woman who provided for herself. She may have had numerous gifts from her lovers. This is nothing new- sex workers are older than civilization and even now there are many women ‘seeking  arrangement‘ to be a mistress of the powerful. In modern times women are easily aided by modern websites and social media. The bible rather than shaming women; elevates t hem to the status of being the ancestor of Christ Jesus himself. Rahab after many years of being a sex worker, married and had a child with her husband. Tamar after one night of pretending to be a sex-worker, was a single mother. Both Tamar and Rahab are ancestors of Jesus Christ- and both of them wanted to experience love.

We all want to be loved by someone special and for the love to have happened yesterday.  For many of us, we are motivated to be loved, to have”someone to work for and come home to” and/or “someone to provide company, care, and endow with passion”. This is nothing new, even in the days written about in the Old Testament of the bible women loved- sometimes with passion or pragmatism or a balance of the two.

However, we face Temptation: Deriving our worth and sense of purpose solely from relationships and experiences with the opposite gender can cause anxiety and an over-emphasis on experiencing pleasure now or waiting for events in the future, robbing us off everyday joys in the moments of our days. Tamar and Ruth might have become despondent when their first husband died- but they didn’t give up and still hoped to claim the desire of their hearts: motherhood. There are few things as sad as one of your girlfriends texting you brokenly from her early morning uber ride home after a night of passion with the ‘man of her dreams’. This man

However, there can still be bad choices that might be made if you just follow your desires. There are few things as sad as one of your girlfriends texting you brokenly from her early morning uber ride home after a night of passion with the ‘man of her dreams’. This man acould commit to a night of passion, but in the hard light of the morning, it is clear he will never commit to a lifetime with her.

The antidotes to falling into this tempting experience? Accepting that building good relationships takes time and chastity while looking for a husband. “right person, right place, right time” is a good mantra to repeat to yourself when you doubt that accepting a relationship in God’s time is the thing to do. God’s timing is the meeting of heaven and earth and one of the most precious gifts, so don’t rush your moments or your days in a breathless anxiety or a sad stupor. Take time to observe the persons habits, to “learn them” and their priorities. Allow God to be the Co-Creator of your Destiny.

Accept that Your Life has many facets
For your health and well-being, when anxious about being loved, try his tool: refocus the mind on facets of life that are all yours- your responsibilities, the parts of you that fuel you and make you more “you.”  Draw or write about it.
Give yourself credit where credit is due- if you love your life with a person, you are more than capable of loving your life without that person.  The Universe (and the King of it) Loves you, wants your happiness more than anything else, will strengthen you, and give you peace.
Never let anyone put you down or into a box:
  • Consuming the judgments of another about your intelligence, your emotional life, your mental health or the patterns of a relationship will create false and self-limiting core beliefs. Many of the women of the bible could have absorbed criticism about themselves from those around them and gave up- but thank God they did not.
  • Choose anger and not sadness- anger will bring courage to change and congeal your focus on building up your own authenticity. the side effect that you will become more and more desirable and irresistible to those that criticize and/or blame you unfairly. Esther when she was competing to be with the King could have despaired at the difficulty- but she kept going.
  • Know that the devil loves your confusion and will gladly use any person- Catholic or not, any way- bizarre or exaggerated to get to you, even if you are in a state of grace. There are many times especially when we have fallen that it seems so hard to get up again and make the right choice again.
Love Will Find a Way: Love like a Skydiver
Esther-SiraniEsther was a poor girl from the wrong kind of ethnicity. However when she was given the opportunity to have a king fall in love with her, and eventually become his wife she threw everything she had into it- and gained his love for her above all other women- including his first wife. Bathsheba was also given a similar opportunity- however the opportunity for her to win the love of the king required her to commit adultery against her husband (2 Samuel 11).  Another wild woman of the bible- Ruth- crossed boundaries (Ruth 3) to flirt with an upper-class bachelor she had her eye on. In these modern days, women think nothing of waking up next morning after sleeping with a man that is not their husband. Ruth is slightly different- instead of sleeping with him, she instead slept next to him- and left his clothing significantly disheveled as if more could happen. The upper-class bachelor named Boaz got the hint, she was married, they had a child- and now she is also an ancestor of Christ Jesus. (Matthew Chapter 1). By Matthew listing out the names of these women for all time- we now can read that regardless if a woman was as virginal and chaste as Mary or a former harlot like Tamar or Rahab- they all can find marriage to a good man and being good moms to their children in the end.
These women of the bible were  an ancestor of Christ Jesus. We can be inspired by their courage to go after the right man and then by virtue of being a mother participate in the salvation of humanity. However, we should also prudentially realize that fornication and adultery are also the wrong choices to make in love and that while we can admire their courage and willingness to be mothers, we should feel that bad life choices are now okay just because they did it. With the state of men- and women these days- it can be incredibly challenging to find the right spouse or even be ready for the commitments required in marriage. Some of these commitments are emotional. When Esther- Rahab- Bathsheba- fell in love with the man who would be their husband, they all had an emotional investment in the outcome.
Emotional investment in another person will sometimes reap almost immediate investment, sometimes take longer, and sometimes not turn into marriage. When time feels fleeting or dragging, tune into yourself and the world around you- hone in on your self-awareness and your choices. Always be aware many many more of a person’s “romantic” relationships will “fail” than succeed. If you “fail” honorably and purely, you stand the chance of gaining a friend who will win the trust of your future betrothed. After dating someone and realizing that you do not intend to spend the rest of your life with them should seize the day in re-directing energy towards tending to your lives instead of each other to avoid co-dependency.
Loving can be difficult. Sometimes it is emotionally overwhelming like being a sky-diver. Sometimes there can be pride- anger- and yes, challenges of physical attraction. Overcome any despair or sadness- realize that there are many women who have made many serious sins with their sexuality but eventually succeeded in marriage and being good mothers to their children: Rahab, Tamar, Bathsheba, etc- and all of them are ancestors of Christ Jesus. Salvation came to humanity by a series of mothers making the right choice in the end. You do not have to be defined by your mistakes in the past- they sure weren’t! There will  still be many challenges to finding that husband and later becoming a mom, so be wise, keep praying lots,  and don’t give up!




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