A dating Single Opinion

The snow has come and stayed in my part of the world. It is early, however I’m not surprised by sudden weather changes anymore. Having an adventurous temperament, the abrupt changes can even be satisfying. Even the dullness of a lingering grey sky can benefit me because it makes me search out places to brighten my day.

It’s this search for the light that led me to a conservatory of plants and flowers that were displayed in exhibits titled Tropical, Arid, and Temperate. I’d packed my older camera and macro filters I hadn’t used in a long time. The camera was light in my hand as I snapped pictures of water droplets, yellow and red rose petals, and thorns on cactuses. And I was happy with the lightness of the shots.

If familiar with photography, you know it’s all about the light–determining the light of the environment and setting up the camera to expose that light for the effect you desire.

It wasn’t until I’d reached the last exhibit that I noticed why my camera had been letting in so much light. It was set at 800 ISO! A little side lesson on photography–the higher the ISO number the more light BUT also the more noise. This means the pictures will have a grainy look. This grainy look may do well on outdoor night shots for example, but not on close-up flower shots that you generally want clear and sharp!

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I hadn’t taken the time to check all the settings on my camera nor to check why the photos were light in an environment that generally takes more adjusting to get the right exposure.

Not very wise of me. Not very wise at all.

When I’d review the shot on my tiny camera screen, I’d assumed the light was okay without looking further into the details of what was really happening–too much noise was also getting into the picture.

And reflecting, it’s in more areas than photography where I’ve not noticed the noise in my life because I did not prepare and did not pay attention to the details.

For example, I’ve jumped into dating relationships before first getting to know the mens character, fixated on my light of hope to the point of compromising my own convictions. But the noises of incompatibilities eventually splintered the relationships.

In hindsight, and through all I’ve learned since then of God’s design for marriage, I know the hurts of those broken relationships may have been avoided if I wisely (and courageously) had taken the time to pay attention to the details by 1. spending more time getting to know one another before dating  2. being aware of feelings that can cloud compatibility issues and, 3. loving and respecting one another by always moving each other toward our relationship with God.

By doing these three steps, too, I’d be preparing a foundation for a marriage honouring God first, that exposes the light of His truths, and that brings focus to each of our gifts and how He wants us to use them–what I like to call a Kingdom Building Marriage.

Ideally this all sounds great and I’m yet (or maybe never) will live it out in a marriage relationship. And I know what I’ve proposed is quite counter-culture that even singles within the church (I’m quite sure as have witnessed it and been there) find it hard to stay out of the world noise that often tells of a different way to date.

But, like adjusting the camera’s ISO to create the clear picture we desire, we can set our minds and hearts on God’s light who always provides, protects, and brings us peace.

For wisdom will enter your heart and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you. Proverbs 2:10-11

My son, do not forget my teachings, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years, and bring you peace and prosperity. Proverbs 3:1-2 

Your turn. Love to hear your thoughts (& learn more!) on God’s design for marriage. If married, are there ways you could help singles in your church toward godly dating and marriage?

(Note that the pictures in this post have been edited with a noise reduction feature in my software!)

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Lynn J Simpson, Certified Professional Life Coach at Inspiring Hope in You

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12 thoughts on “A dating Single Opinion

  1. I think there needs to be a spiritual revival of holiness in the church. So many people in our world are hurting because of relationships and ways of doing things that end in so much despair. In the old days…the ones we look back at like they were pure, but were they? Anyway, I remember a history teacher I had in high school. He was as ancient as the hills and proudly told our class of 17-18 year olds that he had only ever romanced his wife, no one else, and he overshared a bit by saying they waited until their wedding night. I remember that talk more than 30 years later, though I don’t remember why he told us that. I think he was responding to another student saying something modern. It seems the old ways were more romantic. I think our culture would benefit from them greatly. It’s a jungle out there. Prayer works, though. It worked for me. I am still praying for you too, by the way, Lynn. 🙂 I am a yenta at heart. Ha ha!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hear you Sandi! There are a lot of people hurting from relationships and I am not just referring to the romantic/dating/marriage kind. It’s so sad to see estrangement from siblings, parents, children too (although understand when there is so much brokenness leading to safety issues and boundaries are necessary for sure). Your teacher was courageous and caring to make that statement to a load of 17-18 year olds! When I think of the old ways, I think of courtship which is not something you hear of often anymore. And I think of a friend of mine who loves the period movies like Pride and Prejudice for the chivalry and respect men and women have for each other. Chivalry shall never grow old in my books! Thanks for your prayers!

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  2. First of all, your flower photos are beautiful, Lynn. 🙂 And your insightful advice of a Kingdom Building Marriage is great and is an essential part of marriage that is sadly forgotten these days. I pray God will send you a partner who shares your heartfelt views. Love and hugs to you!

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    1. Thanks Trudy for all your thoughtful words! I did have to discard majority of pictures from that shoot but glad a few could be salvaged with the help of Photoshop’s noise reduction tool. Thanks for the prayers and always love and hugs to you too!

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  3. I love your beautiful flower photos, Lynn! And snow there to stay? Oh dear. I’m hoping we have a few more weeks before it settles in here in Wisconsin! I am grateful for the wisdom and foundation that God has given you looking forward to marriage. I think the biggest truth of all is that we rush into it without listening to the Lord’s prompting. You are so right that all of the noise in this world can become deafening, in so many of our choices! You are in my prayers that God will continue to lead you on His very best path, and send you the man that He chooses for you!

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    1. Bettie, I hope the snow stays away for you too for awhile longer! The world is noisy and we really have to tune into those whispers of the Holy Spirit, don’t we? And take those breaths before making decisions. I’ve been guilty of ‘shiny object’ syndrome and learning to create more space between thoughts and decisions. Thanks for your prayers! Have a wonderful weekend.

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  4. Well, the pictures are gorgeous. Absolutely, Lynn.

    But your reflections, the wisdom won through the hard experiences is so strong and mature. Your words will have a major impact on women who feel desperate or past by or have thought of settling for less than what they hoped for in a relationship.

    I admire you so … this is a powerful post …

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Linda! As a wise women yourself who counsels women, your words are especially encouraging to me. I honestly didn’t plan on writing posts about singles! I’m not sure what God is up to! Maybe it is something that a woman needs to hear where she is right now whether in a dating relationship she’s compromising on, or feeling extra lonely. Sometimes we’ll never know how our words are being used, and that’s okay! However, it’s a blessing and encouragement to read your posts and comments, always. Thanks! And have a wonderful weekend.

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  5. The pictures are breathtaking Lynn! I love how you have fine-tuned your craft and have such a deep passion for reflecting beauty in this art of capturing it on film. It’s just amazing.
    And I LOVE how you reflected your process of photography with dating and cultivating relationships. I agree completely with it all. After almost 18 years of marriage, I can honestly say it takes both people to reach deep, love sacrificially, and live in utter grace with every detail of every day- all inspired and motivated by Christ who fills us with the ability to honor one another in these ways.

    I pray God will place someone who is perfect for you and has the same strong faith-filled heart to pour into your relationship and even a possible marriage someday. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for being so open and honest Lynn. The photos are beautiful too!

    I’ve concluded that choosing someone to marry is the most important decision a person has to make. It’s much easier to change careers, buy a different house or new vehicle, but divorcing, being single again and remarriage are changes with devastating effects for many people. I now pray that all my single friends will choose a spouse with a beautiful heart; a heart who loves God. We all will get more wrinkly, balder, greyer or fatter on the outside as we age, but a person with a beautiful heart just gets more beautiful on the inside as they age.

    1 Samuel 16:7 says “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

    I think God was bang on! A beautiful heart is most important!!!

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  7. Amen to that put the Lord first and he will give us the desires of our hearts ,relationships, homes, family, careers ,health or just quite time with him ,the most important of all our personal relationship with him .
    Have a great day as we trust and obey

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