Is Your Love Life "Behind Schedule"?

Finding God's will when you're single—and wish you were married

Want to marry the right guy? Feeling like you're behind schedule?

Many of us tend to be women of action—at work, at home, and even in our relationships. And as such, we like plans, goals, and tasks to complete. That's why trusting God's timing when it comes to love can be really hard. God doesn't operate according to our checklists (no, not even the color-coded ones). And when we focus too much on making our lives fit some master plan of our own design, we're really putting trust in ourselves instead of God.

I was so focused on meeting those expectations of mine that I ignored warning signs.

When I was in my twenties, I didn't understand this at all. There were certain expectations for my life that I'd created. Those expectations included marriage "on time" to "the one." So when, at what I deemed to be the right age, I met a guy who seemed to fit my criteria, I married him. I didn't marry him right away (in fact, we had a few years of dating and engagement), but as soon as I realized I had chemistry with this guy who checked all the right boxes, I decided that he was the one.

Once I had made this decision, my mind was pretty much made up. I was so focused on meeting those expectations of mine that I ignored warning signs. I failed to ask critical questions (of myself and him). Eleven years and two kids later, it came crumbling down. Our marriage ended.

Ouch.

Even after all this time, I hate saying that. Even though I've been happily remarried to someone else for twelve years, and confident that God used my mistakes for so much good, I still hate it.

I would love to give you the perfect plan to avoid it, but I can't.

What I can do is this: I can tell you not to worry so much about timetables and expectations you or anyone else (your mom included) have for your life. Be content with whatever situation God has allowed for you—single, married, or single again (Philippians 4:12). He made you. He knows you. And he's on top of this.

My friend Joy Eggerichs, with LoveandRespectNOW.com, blogs (and vlogs, and tweets, and Facebook posts) about relationship-building. Joy says that instead of a focus on finding "the one," Christians should focus on being the one.

The world, your church, and maybe even your friends and family may tell you that you're not "on schedule," but remember that God's timetable is flawless.

It's great advice, no matter what your relationship status is—whether you're single, dating, engaged, or married. Focus on becoming the one that God has planned for you to be. The more you pursue his guidance on building your own faith and the more you learn how to use your God-given gifts in your relationships with colleagues, girl and guy friends, and family, the more you'll become the person God intends for you to be. If, one day, your life includes a marriage partner, you'll have more to offer your future spouse. You'll be maturing as a friend, sister, employee, boss. You'll become more sensitive to his promptings, better able to discern his timing.

Diane Paddison

Diane Paddison is a business professional and founder of 4wordwomen.org, local groups of professional working women committed to faith, family, work, and each other.

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May 25

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