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Who is your type?

How often have you heard people dismiss the thought of dating someone because in their biased opinion, they’re ‘just not my type!’ This was my mistaken view.

I scrolled through endless dating site profiles on-line, in an effort to find “Mr Right”. I erroneously and methodically eliminated potential mates because I thought I knew who would suit me best.

Two years after my marriage disintegrated, my heart somewhat healed and my confidence returning, I began yearning for someone else to share my life with. There had to be another man ‘out there’ for me who was ‘just my type’.

At first, I gave God a shopping list of the perfect ‘fit’, as I saw it. Slim, handsome, healthy, fun, adventurous, a good listener, emotionally available, financially independent. Then I added the ‘spiritual’ traits I wanted; prayer warrior, regular church-goer, man of the Word. After all, how could God give me the desires of my heart if I didn’t tell him what those desires were? Right? I dated men I met on-line whose profiles ticked a few of the boxes. I was willing to love them even if they only had 80-95% of the elements I was looking for. But no matter how many men I met, the “type” I was looking for, with my agenda and specifics, failed to materialise. Little did I know at the time, God was working on my humility. All part of the preparation and changing of my heart to accept the man God wanted me to love for the rest of our lives. It took an obstinate and wearying two years for me to realise the man who was “not my type” could actually be my life-partner. The irony is that when I finally let go of my ‘wish-list’ and haughtiness, there he was. I met him, my soul-mate, at our local church, serving at an Alpha course.

For you will save the humble people,
But will bring down haughty looks.
For You will light my lamp;
The Lord will enlighten my darkness.
As for God, His way is perfect;
The word of the Lord is proven;
He is a shield to all who trust in Him.
Psalm 18:27, 28-30

As is God’s perfect way, and perhaps His sense of humour, I met and became engaged to John two months later. He is the polar opposite to who I thought I was looking for. For him, life is all about the journey; eclectic, spontaneous and adventuresome. For me, I am all about reaching the destination and completing the tasks when we get there. But this insight about each other has given us a window into our very different worlds and coloured our individual perspectives. All that matters to both of us, is our desire to serve and love the Lord. We both have three daughters from our previous marriages and therefore have shared similar experiences of raising girls. We were both born in 1955 and have lived through the same pop culture, world events and generational norms that enhance our friendship in sharing music and mutual memories together. God knew this was a need for us both and our companionship is subsequently one of connected contentment.

The Bible is full of examples of women who married men who were not the right “fit” by the culture of the day. Ruth married an ageing descendant of Rahab, an outsider and harlot from Jericho. Abigail married a renegade shepherd with no financial prospects. Esther married the King of a foreign country outside her Jewish bloodline. Peter’s wife married an impulsive, dreamer who fished and then followed a fanatical rabbi called Jesus for three years, while she took care of the business and family.

These four women, however, found in their marriage, a destiny that surpassed their wildest imagination and ultimately brought glory to God and salvation to their people. When we relinquish our idea of who the right ‘type’ is for us and embrace the possibility that someone you least expected could be the one to complement you and your ministry, God will take care of the rest. This has been our blessed experience.

For who is God, except for the Lord?
And who is a rock, except our God?
It is God who arms us with strength and makes our way perfect.
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer
And sets me on my high places.
Psalm 18:31-33

My prayer is that, like Ruth, Abigail, Esther and Peter’s wife, you will know what it means to have the ‘feet of a deer and be set on high places’ with the Lord. All we need do is surrender our desires for an ideal mate and be open to the one God has for us. He knows our “type” best of all.

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