Dating Jesus: The Single Cure for Loneliness
- 2008 11 Feb
“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.
Walk and talk. Every couple falling in love enjoys leisurely, frequent walks, hand in hand. Talk to him as a best friend because he is truly there with you. If you like music, bring your headphones and make it a worship time. You will feel so refreshed in his love.
Set real dates. These usually occur in nature for me. I’ll go to a river, a park, a garden or up in the mountains with my Bible and worship music and hang out with him for an hour or two in beautiful seclusion. At this point, he usually starts showing off, captivating me with his majesty, pointing out amazing things he formed with his bare hands … for me. Taking in sunsets, sunrises, star gazing or walks after rainstorms also make inspiring dates where I’ve communed with him at incredibly deep levels. His presence feels as near as my very breath. No human could touch the holy romance of the intimate moments we share during these times.
Make cards or gifts for him. One Valentine’s Day when I was feeling particularly lonely and a bit sorry for myself, I got out the construction paper, glue, glitter, and markers and made Jesus the fanciest valentine ever. I felt so happy when I was done, remembering I did have Someone to love and dote over—Someone who just so happened to have invented love. And there he was, waiting to capture my heart as well!
Study Him. Remember falling in love and yearning to know everything you could about a person and what they’ve done? I love looking into fascinating facts and phenomenon about nature because they tell me about the amazing One who made them. I’ve checked out things like snowflakes (it’s easy to check out pictures online of some of these things), northern lights, galaxies, quarks, bugs (I happen to be fascinated by color, intricacy, and variety), rainbows, fractals, mysterious sliding rocks in Death Valley, Lechuguilla Crystal Caves in New Mexico and so many more of the mysteriously beautiful creatures and creations worldwide. The more I learn about his creation, the more I fall in love with his limitless imagination and power.
Through dating Jesus, you’ll begin to see and hear him in your life every day … through nature, other people, his Word, and in the way he arranges the details of your life so intricately and beautifully. Don’t miss the chance this year to truly enter the most wonderful dating relationship of your life. Even after you’re married, you’ll be so glad you did.
When Julie Ferwerda isn’t wrapped up in her heavenly dating life, she’s writing for Christian magazines and websites, keeping up with two teenage daughters, and enjoying life in central Wyoming with her husband, Steve. She is the author of the book for singles, The Perfect Fit: piecing together true love. For more info, go to www.julieferwerda.com.