Written By Yong Xin, Malaysia, originally in Simplified Chinese
The guy ahead wasn’t much to look at. He was not tall, didn’t seem to give two hoots about his image or clothing, and seemed kind of boring. He was definitely not the type of guy that a girl falls for, I thought to myself.
Eventually, he became my boyfriend.
The year before I met him, I had made a commitment to God. I was experiencing a spiritual low that year, and frankly, my heart did not desire God. I also didn’t have many godly friends around me. So I prayed to God and decided that I would use that year to really get to know Him and grow close to Him. I wanted God’s love to fill me, His Spirit to dwell in me, and I wanted to stop living a worldly life.
At the time, I was surrounded by some great guys. But God impressed on me to guard my heart and not enter into a relationship lightly. I decided to spend this time thinking seriously about my requirements for my future partner.
Among other things, I wanted him to be good-looking, taller than me, mature, loving and gentle. He should also come from a good family background, be smarter than me, and so on. All in all, I wanted a partner who excelled in all aspects. So I prayed for God to arrange the best for me, and to bless me with a “perfect” partner.
Then I met this brother-in-Christ while we were serving together in Campus Fellowship at church. At the time, I did not have a positive impression of him. I felt that he did things carelessly, did not have an opinion of his own, wasn’t able to handle many things at one go, did not consider other people’s feelings, and spoke very bluntly.
After serving together for some time, we started talking more with each other. In the beginning, our topics revolved around church ministry; we discussed the difficulties we faced in serving God and encouraged each other. Later on, we started to share more personal issues. Over time, we were talking to each other every night before sleeping.
Slowly, I realized that he was not as bad as I had imagined. Contrary to what I had thought, he was not careless or ignorant in the way he did things, but was responsible, attentive, and meticulous.
For example, when we hosted events, he would ensure that everything was properly arranged—down to each person’s duty and the transport arrangements. I also noticed his quiet humility. He was not one to show off in front of others; instead, he would always quietly serve in the background. While other people chatted and laughed at the dinner table, he would be the one pouring water into their glasses. But over and above all, he was someone who loved the Lord. As long as there was an opportunity to serve God, he would—without question and complaint—do his very best for God.
Slowly, I became attracted to him. We decided to seek God’s guidance as we explored a relationship together. We became spiritual partners—we read God’s Word and shared with each other. The more we learned about God, the more we understood each other. We promised to read the entire Bible together, and to hold each other accountable in our spiritual growth.
Over these months, God took the lead in our relationship; we experienced many of God’s blessings, and became increasingly certain that our relationship pleased God. We also knew without a doubt that we were able to love each other only because God first loved us (1 John 4:19).
God had to shatter my “boyfriend standards” to make me realize that He has the best in mind for me, and that I should not make a choice based on my own cleverness. In other words, I should not look for a partner who merely pleased me, but someone who pleased God.
Sure, my boyfriend may not have the best qualifications in the eyes of others. But I know that he is a man who loves God, and who emits the fragrance of Christ. Most importantly, he prioritizes God over me. He recognizes God’s sovereignty over his life, and believes in God’s authority.
There is no such thing as love at first sight, because love is a conscious decision and requires commitment from both parties. When I decided to get together with my boyfriend, I was making the decision to love this man each and every day no matter what. He was not someone I had originally expected I would end up with, but I see how God’s hand has guided the two of us to be where we are today.
Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Let’s stop clinging onto our own desires and trust that God knows what’s best for us.