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To Every Single Woman with a Calling: If Not While Dating, Then Never!

 If the person you are dating isn’t fully supporting your passion now, don’t expect him to do so when you are married.

It’s amazing how unwise we can become when we are emotionally involved with someone we are dating. I speak from experience, so it’s best to listen up.

If the person you are dating isn’t supporting your passion in a significant way both financially and with their time, don’t expect them to do so when you are married. Dating is the time when everyone does their best to please and impress their partner. People shower and put on deodorants and perfumes. They do everything they can to please you and win you over. Trust me, when you actually get married, all that settles down a little. This is true whether you like it or not. It’s hard to be productive for a long time while living as intensely as people do when they are dating. People are rarely themselves when they are dating. They put on a show. But when marriage happens, you know them as they truly are.If Not While Dating, Then Never

The question is:  If he is not heavily invested financially and otherwise in your passion when he is putting forward his best foot and trying to please and captivate you, is it smart to expect him to be afterward? Maybe, but likely not. Men and women think different. They are created differently. Men pursue women until they catch them and then without fail, the excitement and chasing slow down.

As part of my philanthropic work, I mentor young people, especially young women through our organization Shaping Destiny. These young women really feel called to serve orphans for the long haul. They have moved from different states and made tremendous sacrifices to train themselves to serve the poor. And they really want to continue to do so in the long run.

It’s not uncommon for a young lady to be dating a guy who isn’t financially supporting her passion in any significant way.  All of these guys are sure to say they love orphans. I mean, who wouldn’t? Some of them may show the fact that they are sponsoring an orphan through a popular ministry as proof. However, the unspoken but understood message is that they don’t have a lot of money and can only sponsor one child or donate to support one missionary. Since they are already doing it somewhere else, it’s okay for them not to support the passion of their potential spouse.

And it’s amazing how young women often rationalize this lack of investment in something so important and central to their lives.

You know I view the unspoken excuses these guys make? It’s all baloney. It’s empty air. It’s a miserable excuse. I think it is an ominous sign, an indication perhaps that the guys may be motivated by blind lust not love–even though they themselves may not be aware of it.

I don’t know how their love is, but here is how I see the kind of love you must have for someone you want to marry. That kind of love favors. It’s not democratic. If you are going to financially support one person to serve orphans in the universe, it’s going to be her! You don’t even have to think about it. And I believe God feels the same way and likely brought her into your life for a new season of service.

Related: Focus: Why it is usually better to give both your time and money to one organization

The way I see it, if you live in the U.S. or Europe, you can always find a way to get $35/month to do something you are passionate about. You can mow lawns for God’s sake! It isn’t really about the money. It’s all about the kind of love that is passionate about the lover that it puts her first without making excuses. And if someone doesn’t put you first when he is trying to convince you that it is right to marry him, when will they do it? After?

Volunteering time is never a substitute for significant financial support in this case, why? As a guy, I know a lot of guys who will go to church on Sunday not to meet with God but to hang out with young beautiful girls. Volunteering time is good, but it’s not enough. In fact, here is a good test. If the guy you are dating is very rich and money is easy for him to give, then for him, his time becomes the weightier gift. He still needs to support financially, but you want to make sure that he also supports with his time. If on the other hand, the guy is like the rest of us, struggling financially, then his financial support becomes the weightier gift. Of course, he still must support with his time.

Rationalizing away the signs of weakness revealed when a guy doesn’t support your passion financially by saying he doesn’t have money or is helping out somewhere else will only come back to bite you in the future. The truth is,  a lot of guys will give money to support the passions of women they aren’t even taking seriously. How about a guy who says he is taking you seriously? Volunteering time is good, but when it comes to someone you are dating, you just have to be supporting financially in a very sacrificial way.

When I was dating my wife Ellen, if she had not financially given to support Shaping Destiny, an organization I was sacrificing my life for and was passionate about, I absolutely would not have married her. Not only that, I was excited to marry her because I was sure that one of the reasons she married me was because she loved my passion for serving the poor and wanted to join me to do it together. Yet, she was in nursing school preparing to be a nurse and I was in medical school preparing to graduate and work as a doctor. I wasn’t necessarily going to work full time all the time in orphan care and neither was she. But because serving the poor is a heavy passion of mine, I still wouldn’t marry her without seeing her commitment financially and otherwise. I didn’t have to worry about medicine because we both were already in it. We loved it.

I also don’t care much for what people say. You have to walk the talk. You know, back when I was younger, I might have said anything even without thinking about it to please a young lady I particularly liked. A faint love for the poor might have arisen in my heart just because I loved her.

I teach people who have a calling in a particular ministry that their spouse doesn’t have to be directly in the line of that ministry, but your callings have to agree with each other and the spouse needs to show passion for your area of calling. He needs to support it with his time, treasures, and talents. And unless an unlikely miracle happens, the greatest interest in your passion will be seen before you actually marry that him not after. As such, be sure that you are happy with his level of passion and commitment to your calling prior to marriage as shown with evidence of works, not just talk.

This is especially crucial for women of faith because many agree that wives are to be subject and submit to the leadership of their husbands. Smart people don’t elect a lifetime leader whom they aren’t sure will passionately support the things that they are passionate about. The choice is yours!

Here is my final advice:

Don’t sell yourself short. You are worth far more than you think. If God has given you a passion or calling, you deserve a guy who will fully support and embrace that passion. And he must prove it by his deeds.

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