10 Things I Learned in Year 1 of Marriage

(And jeez, there’s probably a lot more than 10)

Bowman Wedding-Ceremony-0248.jpg

 

I became motivated to write this post because of Savannah Locke  who is JUST the most precious human and amazing writer. I follow her on Instagram and she gave a little “here’s what I learned in year 1 of marriage” snip-bit.

 

Thus I became inspired.

 

Marriage is funny. Year one has been dramatically different and better than I thought it’d be.

 

#1. If you think you have inside jokes with your significant other now… just wait till you get married. 

OH MY HEAVENS.

The amount of inside jokes Noah and I have now is one of my favorite things. The amount of times we have gotten in extremely goofy moods and laughed until tears have streamed down our faces is way more than I can count.

I love that we have learned how to communicate with just one word or one weird look. There are moments where I can figure out exactly what he’s thinking by his facial expressions in a situation.

One time, we were watching a movie with friends, and Bill Murray showed up on screen. Simultaneously, we both looked at each other and said in unison “BILL FREAKING MURRAY” and then died laughing.

The best.

 

#2. You will never stop learning about each other. 

On the flip side of communicating with one word or one look, there are also things that still completely catch me off guard about Noah.

We still have to overly communicate things at times. I can’t always figure out what’s going on in his head.

I’ve had to learn how to ask really good questions and which questions he NEEDS to be asked.

For the most part, I understand broad overviews of how he thinks. But there are also times where I have to have him explain it to me so I can understand his interactions and reactions in certain situations.

Lately, he’s been really into the idea of going bow-fishing. I have no clue where this came from. But I’m still learning about him!

 

#3. Saving sex for marriage was SO worth it. 

I will never be able to talk about that enough.

Having boundaries and guarding purity and honoring it for marriage has made everything so much more worth it.

Honestly, we could both preach on this for hours.

If you want a more in-depth discussion or if you’re in a relationship where you’re having trouble being envisioned for that, I would love to spill my guts about how worth it is on this side of marriage.

 

#4. Yes, you are going to have fights. 

And yes, many times they’re going to be either about 1) really stupid things or 2) really intimate, vulnerable things that you’ve never had a conversation with anyone else about.

These fights are SOOO good. I’ve never left one of these fights NOT feeling closer to Noah.

Here’s the key to fighting well:

  1. Get it all out. Don’t do the whole “I’m just going to pout and not tell you what’s really going on with me” thing. That’s dumb. Stop it.
  2. Admit when you’re being a butt head. If about halfway through the argument, you realize you were completely in the wrong and that guilty feeling starts to creep in? Yea.. don’t ignore it. Get to apologizing. And admit you’re being a butt head. Then your spouse can agree with you and say “Yes, you are being a butt head” and you can laugh about it.
  3. NEVER reject a hug when they want to hug it out. Always at least end things with a big ginormous hug. You won’t regret it.

 

#5. Married life is amazing. But single life had its perks too. 

For so long in my single years, I had moments where I was really convinced that married life had to be better and that single life was the worst.

If only I was married… I would think.

I’m confident that Paul knew exactly what he was writing at the beginning of 1 Corinthians 7.

Neither one is better than the other. I think there is a season for EVERYTHING. I think God writes stories in a million different ways.

Getting married to Noah and being his wife was and IS the best thing for me. Of that, I am convinced.

But between singleness and marriage… they can’t even be compared.

As a married woman, I get to sleep in a bed with a really hot guy (heyooo) every night. I get to always come home to someone. I have someone to process things with and someone who loves me REALLY well and shows me/tells me often.

As a single woman though, I had a lot of freedom in making decisions that I don’t necessarily have now. My choices and my actions didn’t affect a ton of people. In fact… it mainly just affected me. Move wherever and whenever I want? Sure! Go on a really long trip just for fun? Go for it! Completely change career paths? WHY NOT!?

They both have their benefits.

If you’re single and have the desire to get married, I would encourage and exhort you to savor your single years. They will be much shorter than your married years. Don’t get so caught up in the longing for a different season that you miss the current one. 

 

#6. If you were one of those people who joked to your friends who were getting married that they were going to get pregnant in their first year of marriage, God will laugh and make you that person instead. 

Lololololol

We got pregnant almost exactly 6 months into marriage. And I regret every time I joked with anyone about how I hoped they would get pregnant quickly.

3 more months till Bradley Grace Bowman makes her appearance.

 

#7. It’s okay to learn to be dependent.

Hear me out on this one.

I prided myself on my independence in singleness, dating and even engagement.

I was always told that being dependent is a bad thing.

And yes, in a way, it is.

But in marriage, learning how to become one with your spouse and learning to let them affect you is a HUGE process.

It’s also safe. SO incredibly safe.

For the first 3 months of marriage, I was so confused and angry about how easily Noah could affect me on the other side of marriage. Becoming his wife allowed him to have access to deep places in my heart that no one else on Earth had. And it felt so uncomfortable and vulnerable.

And I felt like I had to guard and protect and hold myself together… to keep myself unaffected by him.

But that’s not what a healthy marriage is.

I’m SUPPOSED to be one with him. I’m supposed to be affected by him.

Just let go. Learn how to depend on each other and let the other person affect you.

 

 

#8. Spending time with God is just as important as it’s always been. 

It never stops being important. It’s just as necessary to hear from God and have intimacy with Him on the other side of marriage.

I need Him now just like I’ve always needed Him.

 

#9. You have to be more intentional to get quality time with friends. 

I’m still learning this one.

But really, if you stop being intentional with your community and your friends who are both single and married, then friendships will dwindle and fade.

It is SO easy to get caught up in your little “marriage bubble”.

Don’t fall into the trap!

Make it a priority for both you and your spouse to schedule consistent time with groups of people and intentional times with members of the same sex.

Friendships are still important! Don’t let them fall through cracks.

 

#10. Marriage does not always have to be hard. 

It really doesn’t.

It can be the most fun, life-giving, wonderful thing. And if it’s not, get prayer! Talk to people! Get quality time with other couples and have them help you with your conflicts.

I have loved realizing that Noah is my #1 fan and the best teammate I will ever have. Doing things TOGETHER is far better than trying to operate in our individual strengths independently.

 

LET’S GO, YEAR 2!

Advertisements

This Isn’t A Perfect Love Story

There’s a part of Noah and mine’s story that most people don’t know.

Our friends and family here in North Carolina know.

But if you’ve been keeping up with my life through social media, there is an aspect I’ve intentionally chosen to leave out.

In fact – if some of my students are reading this – I have lied to them about this part.

Consider this my apology. Sorry, guys.

Here’s the real story.

In January of 2014, I joined Christian Mingle, feeling lonely and pretty hopeless about the dating scene in Raleigh. 

In case you’re wondering, that’s not a good reason to join a dating site.

I never paid for the site but it was flattering having guys “wink” at me or try to message me. I vaguely alluded to how to get in touch with me in hopes that if I guy actually took time to do the research, he would figure it out. And at times this worked – I went on a couple of dates with a few guys.

Eventually, however, Christian Mingle became a place where I was getting my attention needs filled. I was on it way too often and consuming too much of my time seeing how many people had viewed my profile. I had started using it to fill the void in me of not feeling lovely or worth pursuing.
So I deactivated my account. 

As last summer came, I began prophetically proclaiming over all of my single friends that they would begin dating. I felt like there was shift in the seasons and that I was to speak it out over friends who had been believing for relationships. And it started happening!

Many close friends began dating relationships and I was thrilled beyond belief for them.

Yet a part of me ached. It was like I’d missed the blessing.

The weekend before Memorial Day, on a Saturday morning, I sat in my girls’ group crying that I had missed it. And before I went to a Heidi Baker conference that night, I felt grace to re-activate my Christian Mingle account.

I don’t know why. Maybe out of desperation. But for whatever reason, I re-activated it.

I went to the conference needing Jesus; completely desperate for fresh revelation and a touch from Him.

After worship, Heidi stepped on stage.

And if you’ve ever heard her preach, you’ll know that she’s kind of all over the place but in the best way. She lives a life of consistently and constantly listening to the voice and urging of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, she probably always diverts from whatever plan she originally had intended on speaking about.

She looked out and said: “God wants to restore hope tonight for things you’ve been longing for. Especially with marriages. So if you’ve been wanting to get married, stand up.” 

I stood up. So did half of the room.

And she begins to pray. That spouses would come. That hope would be re-ignited. And most fascinating to me, she prayed that marriages would come out of that conference.

“Keep your eyes open! Look around the room! ” She prayed. “Lord, would marriages come out of this conference!” 

It was hilarious. But my spirit began to break and shift as hope pressed its way in with every word she prayed over us.

Noah was supposed to be at that conference.

Friends of his were there.

But that day, he was helping a friend with their car and wasn’t able to make it.

So four days later, the hottest guy on Christian Mingle tried to send me a message.

He was really the only one I cared about trying to find, so I did extensive Google and Facebook research (yes – I’m that girl) and found him.

I sent him a message explaining who I was. We kept talking. He was really cute. And loved Jesus a lot.

A week and half later, we met in person for the first time at Caribou Coffee.

That’s the real story of how we met.

Through Christian Mingle.

unnamed-1

We hate that.

Seriously, we would not recommend Christian Mingle.

But God used it.

But one of the hardest parts about our relationship is that we had to create a friendship from the ground up. 

We didn’t have a history of common experiences. We were complete strangers who were interested in dating each other but had no idea about the other person’s past.

So the first time we dated – it was a mess.

We tried really hard. Our hearts were in the right place.

But I was a bit of a control freak who had unreasonable expectations for what dating relationships should look like.

And he was a commitment-phobic guy who didn’t know he had emotions or how to be vulnerable with me… or community.

And ultimately we broke up because we were on two completely different pages. In short, I said to him “Hey. Either have a goal of marrying me or don’t pursue me.”

So he broke up with me.

In the two months that we were broken up, God addressed every inch of control in my heart… examining it in and out. As I tried to maintain bitterness at love, God cracked my heart open and began showing me that real love has no control. 

He started showing me how I had even tried to control my relationship with Him – I wouldn’t completely surrender to my love with Him because I knew the power of love. I knew that it could control me in ways that probably weren’t logical. And I wasn’t sure if I was okay with that.

But He kept planting seeds of hope.

He also kept teaching me how real love is a choice. That regardless of feeling it, or not feeling it, God’s love for me is the most powerful because He chose me and picked me as His own. He didn’t feel love for me and THEN decide to die for my sins. He chose to love me and rescue me from the pit of Hell. I was picked. He wasn’t obligated. 

After my spring break trip, thinking I was over Noah, I came to church hope-filled that the best really was to come.

I walked to my usual seat. The band came on stage. And then I saw him after not seeing him in three weeks.

And I lost it.

My spirit broke inside of me again, moved by my feelings for him that I thought were dead.

That was who I wanted.

I looked at God and said “If I get to pick, I want him. I will wait however long it takes. And I don’t care how it looks or if this is illogical. But I want to choose him.”

Two weeks later, he asked me to talk.

He told me he was still crazy about me.

We began an intentional friendship.

And the next week he told me I was what he wanted. He chose me. And he would do whatever it took to win me over.

This shattered every. single. one. of my rules.

Rules about saying things so intensely.

Rules about pursuit.

Rules about guarding my heart.

It broke them all.

But Jesus consistently has said, “I’ve always promised you extravagance. And that had to break all of your rules.”

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

We spent a month and a half becoming friends again; hanging out in groups, running random errands together, not hanging out one on one.

Then we spent a month going on dates. And me being overwhelmingly and extravagantly pursued by a man who realized exactly what he wanted. Who had become vulnerable and was willing to share everything with me. Who left me feeling like the most loved woman in the whole world every night as I went to bed.

(If you’re wondering… this was never the case the first time around).

And now. We have been in a relationship for a month.

I can confidently say I am not dating the same man I was dating before.

I can also confidently say that I am being pursued by a man who is day after day, all in.

It’s still messy. Nothing about it is what I would have written. And nothing about it is what I would’ve expected. There are still many things we’ve had to face as a couple that I wouldn’t have chosen to put in the story. There are also many things that have been put in the story that have overwhelmed me with unexpected joy.

But that’s the point.

I couldn’t have written my own love story if I tried. 

I love that it’s mine. I love that it isn’t finished yet. I am being broken and refined in more ways than I knew I could be, but it is making me look so much more like Jesus.

I realize I am breaking so many “dating” rules by writing this; by writing this love story as if I know this is it.

I don’t. Nothing is guaranteed.

I would like this to be it. So would he.

But we are submitted to Jesus, to the process, to community, and taking each day as it comes, listening to God’s voice every step along the way.

Whether or not this is it, this is the story we’re wrapped up in right now. And it’s not perfect. But right now… today… it’s ours. We’re in it.

Don’t let your “rules” for how it should be block out God from writing your story. 

Submit yourself to His voice and to the wisdom of close friends who are also walking with Him and you.

Be vulnerable in the midst of your story with other people and listen to His leading.

Pay attention to when your spirit feels unrest.

And pay attention to when it doesn’t.

This is our story for now.

There is no part of it that you can’t ask about.

Let there be freedom in having your own story be written in a way you wouldn’t have written yourself.

I Think I’m Normal: 3 Post-Breakup Thoughts

There are things that happen on the other side of a break-up. I’m not sure if you’re aware of this. I guess I had forgotten about it since my last breakup when I was 19. But there are consistent things that happen… thoughts that go through your head.

I am still unaware of how to deal with many of them. I post this to let you know that if you, too, are dealing with the healing after a break-up and are experiencing some of these things, you are not alone.

I don’t have the answers for this. I still fight the tension between who I was when I dealt with a break-up as a teenager and who I am now that I’m dealing with a break-up as an almost 25 year old.

So here’s a little glimpse into my mind lately:

The thought: 

I LOVE BEING SINGLE. *10 minutes later* I HATE BEING SINGLE. 

This one sucks. I feel flippant. I feel unresolved. I feel easily swayed. I feel discontent one minute and completely content the next. There are moments I am so confident that this was the right thing and am hopeful for my future. There are other moments where I am miserable, full of doubt and second-guessing, wanting to do anything it takes to mend my previous relationship. Unfortunately… I’m pretty sure this is normal. I think this is part of the process of dealing with a break-up.

The Truth:

“For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters that spreads out its roots by the river; and it shall not see and fear when heat comes; but its leaf shall be green. It shall not be anxious and full of care in the year of drought, nor shall it cease yielding fruit.” – Jeremiah 17:8 (AMP)

“so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind…” – Ephesians 4:14 (ESV)

I am not one who believes truth according to her emotions. I am proclaiming that over myself, being the emotion-filled woman that I am. The truth of the situation is that in want or plenty, in singleness or dating, I am content. I am right where I should be. I am not exempt or escaped from God’s will. Even if there are moments it hurts more than others, I am content. Because God is still good. And that means His plans for me are good. Just because something is painful in the moment, doesn’t mean it’s not exactly where you need to be. 

The thought:

We totally broke up because he thinks I’m fat and ugly… he just didn’t want to say that. 

I mean… yea. That thought crosses my mind more times than I’d like to admit.

The Truth:

Really, Courtney? Haven’t we already dealt with this?

Because God says “You’re beautiful from head to toe, my dear love, beautiful beyond compare, absolutely flawless” – Song of Solomon 4:7 (MSG).

And I am enough. Just as I am. In my places of too much and my places of not enough, I am enough just as I am. We did not break up because of my physical appearance. That is just stupid. Next.

The thought: 

I missed God. I missed it. I messed everything up. This could’ve been it but I was too prideful, too controlling, too over-analytical. I ruined something good. It’s all my fault. 

Honestly… this one feels like truth more times than it doesn’t.

The truth: 

“Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God’s action in them find that God’s Spirit is in them—living and breathing God! Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life. Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. And God isn’t pleased at being ignored….

That’s why I don’t think there’s any comparison between the present hard times and the coming good times. The created world itself can hardly wait for what’s coming next. Everything in creation is being more or less held back. God reins it in until both creation and all the creatures are ready and can be released at the same moment into the glorious times ahead. Meanwhile, the joyful anticipation deepens.

All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it’s not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We’re also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.” – Most of Romans 8 in the Message.

SRT-Esther_instagram10

Bottom line: I haven’t missed anything. His will for me is perfect. And I haven’t escaped it. It’s not possible for me to escape the will of God for my life when I am seeking Him. It’s just not possible. I choose hope. I will believe the best. I will allow the joyful anticipation to deepen, even in the midst of a momentarily painful season.

How It’s “Supposed” To Be

I haven’t had many profound revelations lately.

Honestly, blogging has been hard in the past months. Not because God isn’t moving but because life looks so incredibly different than it used to. My weeks are jammed pack with lesson planning, emailing parents, grading papers, leading 2 lifegroups, discipling girls, running my church’s social media accounts, and somewhere in the middle, finding time to invest in my friendships and my relationship.

And… quite frankly…. most of the revelations I DO have are about dating. A lot of my time with God lately has consisted of talking to Him about my relationship. I don’t know if that’s “right” or “wrong” or what. But in the past week, the Boy and I have seemed to be climbing a mountain in our relationship.

It’s been marked by difficult conversation after difficult conversation, miscommunication after miscommunication. It’s been exhausting. We’ve both been tired… physically and emotionally.

Saturday morning, we sat in his car and just looked at each other. And I managed to say what we were both thinking, “Is it supposed to be this hard?”

Neither of us had the answer for that. I even used the phrase “Are we trying to make Ron Swanson date Leslie Knope? Maybe Ron and Leslie aren’t supposed to be together.” (Yes… I did say this in a legitimate serious conversation. And yes, I might’ve been crying a little bit.)

And then we just decided to try. We decided to keep pressing in. To give this relationship our all. We talked about the areas that were hurting the other person, we decided to forgive each other, to consciously try to improve, to ask God for wisdom and to move on. And we got out of the car and went to breakfast. And suddenly every ounce of heaviness just disappeared. And I sat across the table and laughed with my best friend and enjoyed my breakfast with him.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

I will not quit in a difficult seasonThat’s not the point. Seasons are called seasons for a reason – they change. And I will not let a difficult season define if my relationship has substance or not. I will not bail when things get hard. I am a woman who presses in to the hard things. It’s at the very core of who I am. I am not one who bails. And the difficult seasons are going to be the things that create the depth and strength our relationship needs.

Because here’s the thing. I don’t care what it’s “supposed” to look like. I don’t even know what it’s “supposed” to look like. I don’t know what I’m “supposed” to feel or how our conversations are “supposed” to go or how often we’re “supposed” to be having these conversations. I just know I’m submitted to God’s will for my life and He directs every detail of it. I know that God is the one who clarifies and defines the boundaries in our relationship. I know the guy I’m dating loves Jesus and is submitted to His will as well. I know the guy I’m dating is trying his hardest to pursue me to the best of his ability. I know the guy I’m dating is submitted to community and seeking wisdom from friends. I know the guy I’m dating serves me consistently and makes me laugh on a daily basis. I don’t know what it’s “supposed” to look like. But I know those are the facts. And I know he’s worth choosing to fight for.

Yes, our relationship might be Leslie Knope dating Ron Swanson. But maybe in God’s kingdom that relationship works out. And maybe it doesn’t. Maybe in a few months we’ll realize it wasn’t meant to be. And that’s okay.

But I will always choose to believe the best. I will always choose to press in for clarity. And as his girlfriend, I will fight for him.

But I also know this. I will not base the foundation of my relationship off of what I feel in a difficult season. 

I write this not to air my dirty laundry or expose all of my secrets. And to clarify, I am not miserable in my relationship. In fact, I am crazy about this guy. He consistently amazes me with his growth and humility and patience. And he’s worth sticking around for.

I write this to prepare those who are not yet in relationships. 

When you start dating someone, you will have all sorts of ideas of what it’s “supposed” to look like. And I’ll break it to you now… It most likely won’t look like that. There will be glorious parts that are way more fun and better than you ever thought they’d be. But there will also be moments and seasons that are harder than you expected.

Don’t ditch when the unexpected happens. Get to the other side of it. Let the glory in your relationship rise to the surface with the ebbs and flows of life. And rid yourself of the idea of how things are “supposed” to be. Let God write a brand-new story that has yet to ever exist.

It’s not supposed to look like anyone else’s story. it supposed to look like yours. 

Date A Guy Who…

“He’s cute, and sweet, and funny, and has GREAT hair.” 

These would probably be things you would find in my 6th grade journal, written about whatever guy of the week I had a crush on. And that would probably be the extent of the list. The fact that he had talked to me at least once that week was also a major qualifying factor. Bonus points if you chatted me first on AIM.

Gratefully, my list of things I look for in a boyfriend has become a little less… superficial. But even now, the things I’ve realized I need aren’t the things I’ve expected.

One of the biggest things I’ve learned while dating The Boy is that dating doesn’t look how you think it’s going to look. Such is life, though. You can be as prepared as you can be, but there’s no formula for your exact relationship. You’re going to have to undergo many rounds of trial and error, finding out what works and what most definitely doesn’t. And along the way, you’re going to discover qualities about the person you are dating that you had no idea were so important.

So women, through my process, here are things I believe I should’ve added to my list…

1. Date a guy who is patient. One of the thing I am continually blown away with is The Boy’s patience. He is by far one of the most patient people I have ever met. Even when things irritate or frustrate him, he never raises his voice or yells. And I am a woman who needs a handful of grace. Unfortunately, I do have stereotypical mood swings. I am not always nice. And I am not always loving. But he has shown countless amounts of patience towards me when I am not so deserving.

2. Date a guy who isn’t afraid of your emotions. This one is huge. Women’s emotions are a lot for guys to handle. Very rarely, if ever, do they feel things as deeply as women do. So living life in close proximity with a human who feels things on a totally different level than they do is probably…. honestly… a little draining at times. Date a man who isn’t intimidated by the fact that you have emotions. Date a man who won’t run away from them, but instead will sit there and listen to what you’re feeling. And later, you can admit you were acting crazy and you can both laugh about it together.

3. Date a guy who doesn’t pursue you perfectly. Because where’s the depth in that? Now hear me out about this one. I didn’t say “doesn’t pursue you well.” But a perfect pursuit is overrated. And honestly, there’s only One who is the perfect Pursuer. Date a man who pursues you as best as he personally can, and who is consistently trying to learn more about how to pursue you better. Date a man who is a student of your heart… who is willing to take the risk and time to fail and get up and try again. Dating a man who doesn’t pursue you perfectly will teach you how to communicate in ways you didn’t know how to before. Dating a man who doesn’t pursue you perfectly will allow you to understand your own heart better. Dating a man who doesn’t pursue you perfectly, but pursues you with vulnerability, enthusiasm and teachability is a game-changer. Do not compare your pursuit with the relationships around you. This.. this right here in front of you… this is YOUR pursuit… YOUR relationship. Date a man who learns the keys to your heart and remembers them.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

4. Date a guy who isn’t afraid of hurting your feelings. In my mind, there’s nothing more irritating than someone who doesn’t tell you how they’re really feeling because they’re too scared they’ll offend you. You can’t have an intimate relationship with that person because you never know what’s really going on. Date a guy who tells you what he really is thinking and feeling and isn’t afraid it’s going to hurt your feelings. I’m not saying he communicates his thoughts with anger, bitterness or finger-pointing. But he isn’t afraid to tell you he doesn’t agree with you or that how you acted earlier that day really hurt his feelings. Or even better, date a guy who isn’t afraid to call you out on your junk, but calls you up to the woman God created you to be. Date a guy who challenges your thought patterns. Date a guy who calls out when you’re believing lies.

5. Date a guy with flaws. There’s an episode in Parks and Rec when Ann Perkins is first dating Chris Traeger and likes him but can’t find anything wrong with him. She says “He’s like a perfect human person. I can’t find anything wrong with him.” Then, not long after that, Chris gets embarrassingly sick with the flu and Ann has to take care of him in all of his.. well.. mess. And she is relieved that she has finally seen some of his flaws.

THIS IS REAL LIFE.

Dating someone who is flawless is both unrealistic and dumb. I’m not saying major, red-flag flaws here. But I am encouraging you to date someone who isn’t afraid to let you see their flaws. It takes vulnerability and a ton of bravery to let someone see the places in you that aren’t perfect. Dating someone is…

their flaws + your flaws = your relationship (iron sharpening iron)

When someone allows you to see their flaws, it also brings out your own. And with flaws out in the open, you go into situations together fully dependent on God to be the Perfect One and make you stronger. Meanwhile, you press in and sharpen each other, making each other look more and more like Jesus. Sure, it’s a little difficult at times. But it’s good. It’s soooo good. Don’t be afraid of the flaws. You have just as many. Learn to work through the mess with someone, not alone. Their flaws rubbing up against your flaws is just part of the process.