“You’ll never be satisfied in a relationship until you’re satisfied with Jesus.”

If you’re single, you’ve probably heard the well meaning, albeit superficial-sounding, vague admonition thrown at you usually by seemingly content married people. Great. How in the heck do you find contentment with Jesus when you feel the daily nagging ache for true earthly love—the love that even God said is the better way (Genesis 2:18)?

Really, I’ve found there’s only one way. Date Jesus. And the reason why married people “insensitively” tell you in so many words to do this, is because they know that marriage doesn’t solve all your longings for intimacy and belonging. They’re trying to give you the hint that, while marriage has it’s advantages and is overall a good thing, it isn’t the end all to loneliness and love hunger. Many have discovered this only after they got married and were still lonely. Now they’re letting you in on the secret:  only by dating Jesus will you find what you’re truly searching for.

I just so happen to be married, but a few years ago when I was single—and lonely—I began dating Jesus. Now that I’m married, I still date Jesus. My husband, great guy though he is, can’t possibly be all I need for unconditional love, security, intimacy and belonging. Nor I for him. Without dating Jesus, I’d still be as lonely as a raft at sea.

Is it possible? Is it weird, thinking of Jesus as a romantic interest? And how do I do it?

The Bible tells us that when we get to our heavenly kingdom, we (his followers) will walk the holy matrimony aisle as his bride, celebrating our own great wedding day with our Prince of Peace (Revelation 19:7-9). That means to me that while we’re here on earth, we are in a sacred courtship with the King of kings. We’re in the relationship-building stage, getting to know him mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, but not getting to be united with him physically … until our wedding day. There’s nothing weird about thinking of Jesus like your greatest romantic interest, even if you’re a guy. He wants that kind of intimacy with you so that he can win your heart with his amazing, perfect love, and make you ready for the big day when you get to live happily ever after with him.

So how do you date Jesus? Here are some ways that work for me, but the sky is the limit for creativity—just like any true dating relationship. The key is to make it spontaneous, personal and a major priority. And then you’ll find that he begins showing up for dates—sometimes with flowers, love notes, and rainbows!

Read his love letter daily. My best experience for getting into the Word daily is by reading the One Year Bible in the New Living Translation. It’s broken up into 15-minute daily readings from Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs and is a very readable, intimate version. I’ve done this the last five years, and I can’t believe how much he’s revealed to me about Himself and the relevance of his Word to my daily life. If you don’t like going back and forth so much, try the One Year Chronological Bible (NLT).

Write letters. This can be done in a notebook or on your computer, but open up to God regularly with your thoughts, cares and concerns. Express your love for him. Make future plans with him. Write just like you would to a most intimate lover. This brings him in so close and personal, and you can bet he’s reading every word you write. Get ready for him to respond!

Record his answers. In my prayer journal where I write letters to him, I also have a section where I write all the things he does or speaks into my life. This is such an awesome record to have because I forget. I go back periodically and read about all the intimate secrets he and I have shared, character qualities he has demonstrated to me, and details he has worked out in my life. And I am so amazed at how they add up to significant events and opportunities. I see on paper how he’s continually romanced me through the years. He’s taught me that all the great qualities I see in earthly men are just a dim reflection of the pure qualities in the One who created them.