I’m a natural matchmaker. I sit in bed at night and obsess over all the single people I know, and who they would work well with.
I’ve even tried to fix some of them up, to rather disastrous results.
I’m just like Jane Austen’s Emma, though with a little more personal self-awareness.
But I can’t help the fact that it BOTHERS me when I know Christian singles who aren’t single by choice. I know that God can be enough. I know that God can give them joy, and can do great things through them, and that their lives can be full. And I know many single people who are quite satisfied that way.
Others, though, really did want to get married. And I think that’s a good thing, and an honourable thing. I don’t like thinking of people being lonely, especially when I know how wonderful a family can be.
I met my husband in university. It was a prime time to meet one’s mate; we were surrounded by single people, of the same age, and we all went to church and campus Christian groups together. Probably about half of my friends married people from university.
The other half married shortly thereafter, or else didn’t marry at all. Once you’re done university, it gets harder to find a mate. It doesn’t mean you won’t, and I do believe that God can bring the right person along any time (I know two young people in their twenties who met a mate on the mission field–in the middle of nowhere!) But it does get harder, because you’re not in a place where there’s the same pool of single Christians.
I worked briefly after university, when I was married, and my workplace was primarily female. If I’d had to rely on work to find a mate, I’d have been in trouble.
And once you’ve worked through the singles at the church you go to, what do you then do? You can try other churches in your city, but if you’re in a small city, like I am, that gets tough, too.
About eight or nine years ago some of my friends starting trying internet dating services. I was really suspicious at first. What if you meet creeps? How do you know what they’re really like? And aren’t most people on internet dating desperate and pathetic?
But that wasn’t the case at all. Five of my friends that I can think of, off of the top of my head, met through internet dating. And there are internet dating sites like www.eharmony.com.au that gives you the chance to meet compatible Christian singles close to your location without moving from home.
(Names changed) Diane was a 40-something teacher. She met a man who had been divorced because his wife left him. They’ve been married now for about five years and are quite happy.
Amy was also a 40-something teacher. She met another divorced man (he’d been divorced for almost fifteen years after a very brief marriage when his wife left). They’re having a blast.
Lorraine was in her early 30s. She met a guy who lived about three hours away. They married a year later and now have 3 kids.
Hannah was in her mid 30s. She’d dated off and on but nothing stuck. She says she was given six matches, and 3 were creeps and 2 were weird, but the last one was amazing. Great job, great family. He just had never gotten married because he’d been so busy building his business he hadn’t had time to date and the years had gotten away from him.
And Leslie was in her early 30s. She spent six years on the mission field in her 20s, and returned home at 28 thinking it wouldn’t be hard to get married now. But she just couldn’t meet anyone single. She met a man who was a farmer, super busy, and had never had time to meet anyone. She’s a vet, so it worked out perfectly.
All five couples are Christians and married strong Christians. All still go to church and serve God with their husbands. Two of my friends married divorced men (but their wives had left), and three found men who had never been married at all–no baggage or anything.
Watching them really changed my mind about internet dating. As long as you’re specifically looking for a Christian, and you’re very upfront about issues like, “do you pray? What’s your favourite Bible verse? Where do you serve in church?”, then you’re doing well.
All five did meet some men they really didn’t like, but that’s par for the course, I guess. And their identities were kept private during the initial conversations so that if the person was creepy, you could just ban them or delete them and they couldn’t contact you again.
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So I honestly now suggest to people who are single who do want to be married that they try it. Just be up front about who you are and what you want, and be very vocal about your faith, and see what happens. We live in an increasingly fragmented society, and it does get very hard to meet people. But that doesn’t mean those people aren’t there.
If you have friends or family members that are single, then, I’d say give it a whirl!
What do you think? Did any of you meet your spouses through internet dating? Tell me your experience!
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