As Jesus did, a godly man will also exemplify the fruit of the Spirit (not just talk about it!), so that there is clear and tangible evidence of the condition of his heart.  No rationalizing or guesswork (on your part) will be required or involved.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).

A godly man will draw you closer to the Father—through his actions and his speech—and be a spiritual leader who will challenge and encourage you in your own spiritual growth.

"Remain in me, and I will remain in you.  No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine.  Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches.  If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. …  This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples" (John 15:4-8).

Spend as much time as you can observing a man in action (and if possible, without him knowing you are taking mental notes or are even at all interested).  How does he treat others?  Who are his friends?  What is his reputation?  Does he do what he say he will do?  Is he trustworthy?  Is he a leader in his church or community or family?  What is his relationship like with his father and mother?

Ultimately, you will only know if you are ready to start dating again (and with whom) when the Lord shows you that you are ready.  Like the old spiritual says, "there is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole," and if you seek the Father, you will be restored and renewed (emotionally, spiritually) and reminded of your precious value and identity in Christ. 

Relish this season of singleness when there are fewer distractions (and possibly commitments), during which you can spend more time working on yourself and growing stronger in your faith.  May God be glorified in you and in the life and kingdom work here on earth you have left to come!  

HE is … Cliff Young, a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and a veteran single of many decades.  He has traveled the world in search of fresh experiences, serving opportunities, and the perfect woman (for him) and has found that his investments in God, career and youth ministry have paid off in priceless dividends.

SHE is …
Laura MacCorkle, Senior Editor at Crosswalk.com.  She loves God, her family and her friends.  Singleness has taught her patience, deepened her walk with the Lord and afforded her countless (who's counting anyway?) opportunities to whip up an amazing three-course meal for one. 

DISCLAIMER:  We are not trained psychologists or licensed professionals.  We're just average folk who understand what it's like to live the solo life in the 21st century.  We believe that the Bible is our go-to guide for answers to all of life's questions, and it's where we'll go for guidance when responding to your questions.  Also, it's important to note that we write our answers separately (we think they sound eerily similar sometimes, too!). 

GOT A QUESTION?  If you've got a question about anything related to living the single life, PLEASE SUBMIT HERE (selected questions will be posted anonymously).  While we are unable to answer every inquiry, we do hope that He Said-She Said will be an encouragement to you.

**This column first published on June 24, 2010.

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