Monday, March 25, 2013

An Open Letter to Well Meaning Friends

Dear friends,

As you know, I am single, but what you may not realize is that I’m content with that (most of the time). Don’t get me wrong; I have no desire to remain single my whole life, so I appreciate your questions. "Are you dating anyone?" "There’s this girl I met the other day. Would you like her number?" "Have you tried these online dating services?" They show you care, even though I sometimes think they are the most hurtful things you could ask.

So let me explain my situation. I have as much of a desire to share my life with someone as anyone, but I am more convinced than ever that I should be highly selective in who I date. Dating individuals that I know I would never marry is just a distraction from the things that are really important to me. Relationships take a lot of time, and since I believe I am serving the Lord in the way he wants me to serve him, I want to be a good steward of the twenty-four hours a day he has given me.

I ask that you also keep that in mind when you make suggestions. Here’s what I’m passionate about:

It is my greatest desire to see souls saved. I long to see the growth of the church in which the Lord has called me to serve. I want to see the spiritual growth of Christians. I have a love for the BMA and I want to see it succeed in its mission of planting churches throughout the world.

It isn’t enough that a woman “is a Christian” or that she “goes to church.” If she isn’t the kind of woman who is likely to come along beside me and help me with my passion, she isn’t the right person for me. I don’t know exactly what that woman looks like or how she would help me. I’m open to discovering exactly what that means, but let me be clear. I will serve the Lord with a wife or I will serve the Lord alone, but I will serve the Lord. But please don’t ask me to “fix” your out of church family member or your divorced friend. I don’t know how.

Your suggestion that I use an online dating service is also appreciated, but it isn’t as helpful as you might think. By the time you eliminate everyone who drinks, smokes, is divorced, or is currently separated, the pickings are pretty slim. That’s not to say that “the one” isn’t among them, but I don’t want you to get your hopes up too much.

For those of you who really want to help, here is what I suggest: First of all, pray that the Lord will continue to give me the opportunity to serve him. That means more to me than anything. Second, pray that the Lord will place a woman in my life who is passionate about what I am passionate about. Third, pray that the Lord will help you see the difference between a nice woman who happens to go to church and one who is fully committed to serving the Lord.


Timothy Fish