Quick note from Debra: It’s #TrueLoveDates Week! With that in mind, I thought it would be the perfect time to introduce you to the latest member of our behind-the-scenes team here at TrueLoveDates.com! Alexis is a young woman who is passionate about Jesus, and she’s joined our team to help spread the word that there is a better way to do relationships.
I invited her to write her very first guest post, and as I read through it, I was so excited to hear first-hand how God is using this book and ministry to revolutionize, heal, and bring perspective to so many hearts and relationships. I’m beyond blessed to be a part of this ministry! Thank you all for being a part of what we’re doing here! May we all know His love more deeply this year, and may it overflow into all of our relationships. — Deb
“I am SO ready for marriage…”
It was the year of 1997 that I snatched my mom’s dusty old wedding veil, scooted a stool over to her vanity mirror and gently crowned my head with her veil. I stared into my four-year-old baby face convinced I was ready for marriage. Something about wearing that veil sparked what was already dwelling in my young heart; I knew there was something special and mysterious about the “marriage kind-of-love” that my parents obtained.
My Grandma knew this burning desire of mine and I remember asking her, “Grandma, when can I get married?” Naturally, she said, “You can get married as soon as you don’t need your stool to reach things, Alexis.” My eyes glistened. I was so excited because I knew that day would be soon.
It’s been 17 years and those desires still dwell in the very core of my being but before the summer of 2014 they were dwindling as past relationships left my heart bruised. I was losing hope in finding the kind of love my parents have; the love that isn’t perfect but is worth it. That was the love that seemed impossible to find.
It’s probably worth mentioning that I have never been in an official dating relationship. I didn’t even start “dating” until college. However, just because I haven’t officially entered into a dating relationship, does not mean that my heart has been kept safe from hurt.
True Love Dates came at the perfect time for me. Just as my standards for my future man were subconsciously getting lower and lower, God used True Love Dates to rebuild the idea of love for me that I am now experiencing first hand in my own love life. Here are 4 Ways TLD Changed My Love Life:
1. You attract what you are. Ouch. Admittedly, this one hurt to hear a bit. When Debra said this I was caught off guard. Of course we don’t want to believe that we have attract those who have broken our hearts. What she meant is that we tend to attract and be attracted to people of similar states of emotional health. Needy love “drives you toward another because of your disparity. It binds you together in codependency and unites you in fear” (True Love Dates, pg. 96). A needy person is attracted to a needy person because they both selfishly meet each other’s needy needs. It’s a mad cycle. So, be someone you would want to date; get healthy. The first step to getting healthy is to look in the mirror and give enough time for the proper care because being secure in who you are is the best gift you can give to others.
2. “Here’s my heart, heal it.” Bleh! Imagine the pressure of being responsible for someone else’s healing or being someone who places this expectation on another. Honestly, I would crumble under that expectation. I truly believe God uses relationships to bring healing, however no one person should be expected to fix another. “We cannot bring complete emotional healing into the life of another person…Even with our best intentions, we are ineffective in the end” (True Love Dates, pg. 137). God is Healer and can bring your heart back to health. We will never bring full healing to anyone nor should we expect to receive healing through a significant other. In relationship, we should encourage one another to find healing through Jesus Christ alone, always pointing to the True Healer.
3. It should be natural. When entering into a relationship, the progression should be natural. You shouldn’t have to force feelings or emotions. With the right person, what becomes a friendship should naturally flow into a dating relationship, and your dating relationship should naturally flow into an engagement, and the engagement to marriage. “When the time is right, you will find that your feelings, growth, and connection to each other will naturally propel you into the next season…” (True Love Dates, pg. 77). If he or she is the right one for you, understanding when to take the next step into the relationship should feel like a natural progression not a burden.
4. “Say Yes to Sex.” I remember sitting and listening to Debra speak at Saddleback Church when she said this. She had the audience in complete shock. It was not what we were expecting to hear especially at church. Here is a problem in the church, so often we associate sex with sinfulness. Sex only becomes a problem when we choose to misuse it. When it comes down to it, “we were never meant to say no to sex…because it is one of God’s most invaluable gifts to human beings…We were never intended to say no to sex, but it’s important to understand when to say yes” (True Love Dates, pg. 107). There is a simple reason why God’s desire for us is to experience the beauty of sex within the union of a marriage – to protect us. Sexual intimacy is an expression of a life-long commitment and “should be the product of true intimacy rather than the foundation upon which intimacy is built” (True Love Dates 112). Instead of viewing sex as sin realize sex as sacred.
True Love Dates challenged me; it challenged my view on what relationships are about, it challenged the way I viewed myself, others, and God, and it challenged, to my very core, the ways in which I handled my previous relationships. I am encouraged as I read stories of real life people, dealing with real-life relationships, and the joys and hurts that came along with them.
October 5-11th is #TrueLoveDates Week! In celebration of the one-year birthday of True Love Dates, Debra is giving away a free Relationship Consultation to 2 people. Have a question on your heart that you’ve been wanting to ask Debra? Then you don’t want to miss this give-away. To be entered to win, share your favorite article from TrueLoveDates.com on your Social Media, and comment below by telling us which one you chose to share and why! The Winner will be drawn at random and announced October 12th!
Alexis Alvarez has a passion for recognizing the action of God in all seasons of life, joys and brokenness alike. She works behind-the-scenes for TrueLoveDates.com and loves writing curriculum for Bible Studies. You can explore and follow her passions via her personal blog and twitter.