Wise as Serpents Harmless as Doves –Online Dating


Jesus told his 12 disciples, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” Matthew 10:16-American Standard Version

While I believe every Christian should practice being “wise as serpents, and harmless as doves,” I want to apply this specifically to online dating. 

I don’t speak against Christian online dating sites because I never tried it when I was single. I have heard of success stories like Sheryl Taylor, featured on this blog!  Unfortunately, I have heard of tragic and unsuccessful stories, too.

Although not by online dating, I have been scammed, too. I encourage Christian women not to be overly confident that they will never be tricked by a con artist.  Many con artists have been practicing their tricky or deception for years and years.

In doing research on online dating scams, I applaud one “Christian” site, which plainly tells its audience:
We DO NOT PROVIDE BACKGROUND CHECK on any of the members. Members need to do run their own search to check a background of a member they are interested in.

Below are 2 links to articles that offer practical tips about safeguarding yourself while online dating:



What are your thoughts about Christian online dating? Share your thoughts here or post it on Marrying Over 40 Facebook's page

Wise Quote For Singles Over 35-Your Journey


Don't expect everyone to understand your journey especially if they've never walked your path!


SUNDAY FAITH 4 SATURDAY NIGHT-LIVE SUPPORT



 “Women in their late 30s and 40s are flooded with negative information about their probability of getting married to having healthy babies,” says Cynthia Wilson James, author of Marry Over 40 By Faith and founder of InSeasonMom, recognized by CBS New York and MSNBC as a leading resource for first time moms over 35.

"This is especially discouraging for Christian women who are professionals,” says Cynthia, who married for the first time at age 40, conceived naturally and gave birth at age 42 and 44 to two healthy daughters.  “Professional women may be on top of their career, but they still want a husband, someone to share their lives.

Unfortunately, most churches or programs do not minister to the needs of older single Christian women. They may address a woman not being married after a certain age in a joking manner in a sermon. But, it’s not a joke to the woman who doesn’t want to be single.”

Sunday Faith 4 Saturday Night, formerly Hope Calls Faith Walks" provides emotional support and doesn’t take the place of psychotherapy or professional counseling. Cynthia says “It’s not a substitution for professional mental or medical health advice.  It’s more like talking with someone who's been through what you’re going through; someone who can relate and encourage you in your journey with action steps. It's coaching and mentoring!”

Cynthia says she renamed Hope Calls Faith Walk to Sunday Faith 4 Saturday Night because it easy to feel strong in the faith on Sunday morning surrounded by Christians, but not as easy when you're alone, dateless on a Saturday night. She says Saturday isn't the only day live support is offered. She schedules live support Monday-Saturday.


  
SUNDAY FAITH 4 SATURDAY NIGHT- LIVE SUPPORT

The 2-Months Live Support Program includes:
   
●          30-45 minutes of live emotional support via telephone for 9 consecutive  weeks
●          Email support to stay in touch between sessions
●          Action steps you can use now focusing on your mental, physical and spiritual health discussed and emailed weekly
●          Helpful/Inspiring resources (article links/ book suggestions/ quotes) emailed weekly
●          Time to share what’s on your heart
●          Private Christian faith-based support from Cynthia who married at 40, conceived naturally and gave birth at age 42 and 44 to healthy children


For pricing and time availablity, please email me (Cynthia): marryover40byfaith@gmail.com

MEET SHERYL TAYLOR-MARRIED AT 40

Name:  Sheryl Taylor, husband - Stephen Taylor  

Age when you married:  40

State of residence:  Georgia

Current or former profession(s):  Realtor, Treasury Sales Officer, currently - Blogger about what "Happily Ever After" looks like these days.


WHEN WE FIRST MET

How did you meet your husband?

We met on a leading and popular online dating site.  We emailed and then spoke on the phone for about three weeks before we finally met.  We both liked getting to know each other a little before we met in person.

Did you think “he may be the one” when you first met your husband? 

Yes, but I had learned from past dating not to give my heart too quickly.  Through a lot of prayer and studying lots of Christian material about being single, I had learned to value myself enough to let someone win/earn my love.  My husband won my heart quickly with his kind and honest nature.

How long did you date him before you married? 

We only dated 8 months before we decided to get married. 

Were you a little nervous about getting remarried after being single for years? If yes, how did you ease your nervousness?

I wasn't very nervous.  I had only been single for 7 years prior to meeting my husband.  We both had been married previously, and our past mistakes served as learning tools for our marriage to each other.  We both felt very calm, as if the Lord sent us to each other.

FAMILY AND FRIENDS REACTION

What was the reaction of your family and friends when you told them that you were getting married?

Our family and friends had mixed reactions.  Most of them are Christians, so they wanted to make sure we used good discernment in moving forward with a second marriage.  My husband has two daughters from his first marriage.  I don't have any children from my first marriage.  It was a huge adjustment for his daughters.

Was anyone discouraging about the institution of marriage and encourage you to reconsider? If so, how did you deal with the negativity?

Both of my husband's daughters from the previous marriage were very disheartened with the institution of marriage overall.  I think, initially they were shocked at the thought that their dad would be married to someone other than their mom.  We both tried not to pressure the girls to accept me.  Time, lots of prayer and patience paid off with both of them.  Our family and friends, in general, were supportive. As they grew to know us individually, they expressed their support even more.  

OUR WEDDING


Where did you get marry?

We had a simple elopement in Savannah, GA. It included a ceremony in a historic park called Monterey Square.  The package included a bridal bouquet, a groom's boutineer, petifores, sparkling cider and pictures.

What do you remember most about your wedding day?

 How calm we both were and how it felt like the right path to take.

WE ARE MARRIED

What misconception(s) did you have to overcome in marriage or discovered wasn’t true?

We both knew that marriage was just the start of everything.  I had the idea that because I had married the wrong person originally, the second time would not have any of the same issues that the first marriage did. I quickly learned that, although no two individuals are the same, there are many issues common to most males.  I think my husband would agree that is true for women as well. 

What do you enjoy most about married life?

When I was younger and single, I always got frustrated with people who said "if you are with the right person, it's easy".  I thought you should love someone enough to try to change for them or vice versa.  However, I finally realized what they meant when I met and married my husband.  Sure, we don't always agree, but there's no real drama between us.  It's very comfortable without being boring.  I enjoy feeling that i have a true partner.

ADVICE TO UNMARRIED SISTERS

What misconceptions do you think never-been- married singles have about marriage? 

I think that it's easy to make judgements about others and their circumstances, in general, if you've never been through that situation.  I found this to be true with motherhood.  I've gone back and apologized to some friends for judging their parenting skills before I had my daughter.  I think I was judgmental prior to my first marriage and thought I could do the marriage thing better than others.  However, I learned in a very painful way, that I did not know much about marriage.

What advice or words of wisdom you want to share with single sisters?


Do your part by being prepared for "when" God blesses you with a marriage partner.  Self-educate yourself by reading, studying, or watching Christian information about marriage and about singleness.  Observe your married family and friends, but don't judge them.  I'm sure you've heard it, but make a list of what you want.  Include your negotiable characteristics and no negotiable characteristics.  It really helps avoid the temptation to ignore something when you meet someone.  I think women especially, think they can change undesirable characteristics in someone with a little time.  Be a whole person on your own and don't accept anyone who isn't whole also.  

MEET CANDRA EVANS-MARRIED AFTER 35


Name: Candra Evans

Age when you married: 36

State of residence: Ohio

Current or former profession: State Government Employee and Small Business Owner



WHEN WE FIRST MET
 How did you meet your husband?

We met on a good old fashion blind date. This is why I encourage singles to not be shy about expressing their desire to be married. The topic of relationships frequently come up in casual conversations. It can be a perfect time to briefly mention a desire to be married. You never know who knows who and how connections can be made down the line. It doesn’t work out perfectly every time of course, but it is a good opportunity to meet new people.
 Did you think “he may be the one” when you first met your husband?

When I met my husband, I tried not to have great expectations. A string of failed dates can do that to you. (smile) So it wasn’t until the end of the evening, after I returned home, that I felt something in my heart nudging that he was the one. We spoke on the phone and went out together for another month or so before agreeing that yes, this is it!


 How long did you date him before you married?

We dated two years before we married, however, that was not by choice. Ronnie expressed his desire to marry me after four months of dating. Our hope was to be married a year from then, but due to personal unforeseen circumstances we had to push our wedding date back. It was difficult but gave us more time to prepare for our future.
Were you a little nervous about getting married after being single for 35+ years? If yes, how did you ease your nervousness?

Oh goodness no! (Reply followed by Candra smiling) I was one of those women who always wanted to be married. It also helped that I was confident in our relationship. Ronnie made me feel safe and protected. I was more nervous about the wedding day itself. When you have waited years to be married, people tend to expect the wedding day of the century. So I was more nervous about that. However knowing that I would be Ronnie’s wife, brought me peace.
   
FAMILY AND FRIENDS REACTION
 What was the reaction of your family and friends when you told them that you were getting married?

For me the greatest reaction was telling family and friends that I had a boyfriend (Big smile from Candra). When I was single, I was truly single. I went out on dates but nothing ever evolved into a serious relationship. The best reaction was from my teenage cousin. I was giving him a ride home from church youth service. Like most teenagers he plopped in my car and put his ear buds in his ears to listen to his music.

Then I casually said, “Hey Donnie, I have a boyfriend.” He pulled those earphones out of his ears so fast and looked at me with the widest eyes. It was all I could do to keep from driving off the road, I was laughing so hard. The reaction to our marriage announcement was all joy, some tears, and a few sighs of relief.


 Was anyone discouraging about the institution of marriage and encouraged you to reconsider? If so, how did you deal with the negativity?

Fortunately, no one tried to discourage me. Perhaps, someone wanted to but knew how long I had waiting for that moment. I did receive a lot of advice and warnings about how difficult marriage can be. My husband and I had many conversations about the institution of marriage and shared with each other our expectations and desires. So open communication with each other helped ease any negative thoughts.

OUR WEDDING

Where did you get marry?

We married at a beautiful church in Cincinnati, Ohio. We would have loved to get married in either of our home churches but we needed a place large enough to accommodate our family and friends. I was 36 and my husband was 41. Neither of us had ever been married before. So nobody was going to miss this wedding.
 What do you remember most about your wedding day?

The most memorable part of our day was the cheering and celebration as soon as the ceremony started. A stranger would have thought that we were rock stars or something. It was then that I realized that we were not the only ones waiting. Our family and friends were waiting and praying right along with us. Our wedding day was an answer to a cooperate prayer that we would find true love. Therefore, the praise and celebration was in order.

WE ARE MARRIED
What misconception(s) did you have to overcome in marriage or discovered wasn’t true?

Because of so much exposure to divorce and failed relationships, I actually carried negative misconceptions into the marriage. I hoped for a marriage full of love and bliss but I was a little scared that somehow my husband would fail me or love me less after the honeymoon phase was over. However, I never saw any signs from him that these things would happen. I knew that our marriage was God’s will. Still, years of hearing that there are no good men out there and that all men cheat, did something to my consciousness. But now after almost six years of praying, loving, and trusting, we are even more in love. I discovered that marriages do not have to fail. Love is a choice.
 What do you enjoy most about married life?

Every marriage is different. Of course I love romance and spending time together. We both love to travel and enjoy life. But our marriage is also centered on ministry. It is most precious to me that we are a team in preaching and teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.  

ADVICE TO UNMARRIED SISTERS
 What misconceptions do you think never-been- married singles have about marriage?

It is important for singles to realize that getting married is one of the most selfless things you will do. Getting married is just as much about your future husband’s happiness as it is your own. Marriages tend to falter when each person wants to firmly hold to their individuality.

Becoming one flesh means being willing to be molded, reformed, and refashioned to complement each other. Changes to our preferred way of doing things can difficult, especially when you have been single and independent for a certain length of time. But, when a husband and wife are zealous with their love, putting the other first, neither should be left wanting.

  What advice or words of wisdom you want to share with single sisters?

Allow God to be the head of your marriage and never let anything or anyone take His place. Communication is important between a husband and wife, but talk to God about your marriage as much as you talk to your husband…even more.

For the days when you just can’t see things the same as your husband, put the situation in God’s hands and trust Him. He knows how to touch the heart of your spouse. If you ever feel that you are lacking something in your marriage, God knows how to make provision and fill those voids. You trust and depend on God during your season of singleness. Do not let that change on the day you say, I do.
Marry Over 40 By Faith Author Cynthia would like to thank Candra for sharing her story to encourage Christian single women. Are you a Christian woman who married or remarried after 35 or after 40? Share your story of hope, email  marryover40byfaith@gmail.com for details!

5 Warning Signs Your Date Is Mr. Christian Wrong


You’ve waited, cried and prayed as your turn seemed like it never would come. You’ve seen friends get married and remarried. After all the years of waiting, now you’re dating a man who goes to church. You’re thankfulness is overshadowed by the uneasiness you feel in the pit of your stomach.

Could it be that your uneasiness is actually God’s spirit trying to get you to acknowledge what your spiritual eyes already see?

1- He's only “spiritual” during church services- disregard for God’s Word.

One of the reasons you started dating him is that he exemplifies many of the qualities you want in a husband. He’s fairly good-looking, great personality, good job and most importantly, he’s so attentive in listening to God’s Word. Whether he’s singing songs of faith, in bible class or in the formal worship service, his eyes never leaves the speaker. He’s totally engaged.  

However, once he leaves the church building, he also leaves his desire to learn about God.

2-He doesn’t publically acknowledge your relationship.

He tells you that he doesn’t publically acknowledge that you’re dating because he doesn’t want others in your business. He thinks it is best that you don’t sit with him in church because you don’t want people to start asking questions.  You’ve heard that he’s dating others, but you’ve squashed your suspicion. After all, you’re blessed to find such a great catch after 40!

3- He can’t keep his hand off you AKA booty call.

'Booty Call' is an urban slang meaning when someone specifically calls another, usually late in the evening for a date, and the main purpose is for sexual intercourse.

He would never call it a booty call, but your dates with him seldom end without sex.

“He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone.”  “Don’t you believe that God will forgive us for all of our sins, including fornication?” These are two of his favorite scriptures he uses to “justify” his sinful behavior.

He never acknowledges Hebrews 13:4 (KJV):  Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.

4-He has several excuses for not marrying you now.

You can recite word for word the excuses he’s come up with for not marrying you. Sometimes, it’s because he hasn’t meant his financial goals yet. Other times, it’s because he doesn’t think you are quite ready to become his wife.

5-He is tearing you down spiritually.

Perhaps, the most dangerous other than his total disregard for God’s Word is he is tearing you down spiritually. Satan is using him to accomplish his goal of destroying you (John 10:10 and 1 Peter 5:8).

He is tearing down your relationship with God; you, who God calls his beloved (Colossians 3:12 and 2 Thessalonians 2:13).  You, who God loved so much, that he sacrificed his Son (John 3:16). You, a beloved daughter of the Lord Almighty (2 Corinthians 6:18) is becoming indifference and not bothered by sin.

What to Do?

You already know what to do! You just need to pray for strength to do what you know. But, the Enemy is telling you that if walk away from the man you’re dating, you’ll never find another…not at your age.  I say call the Enemy what he is—a liar and a deceiver (John 8:44). And from my experience, you’re going to have to say and believe those words more than once or twice.

Also, from my experience, I know the  "never find another at your age” is a lie. My grandfather who danced at his 100th birthday party had women “checking him out” well into his 80s! My mother, his daughter, who is now in her 80s have men inquiring and expressing interest in her. And finally, my grand-aunt didn’t get married for the first time until she was 65, but I married younger…I was 40!

I believe if you step out on what you know God wants you to do, He’ll add what you need. (Mt. 6:33)
It won’t be easy because you’re wrestling against principalities and powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (Eph. 6:12).  But that’s okay, you’re a strong woman because the Power in you is greater than the Enemy! 1 John 4:4





Be My Featured Faith Guest

Are you a Christian woman who married or remarried after 35 or after 40? This is your personal invitation to share your story of hope to encourage others as my Featured Faith Guest. Email me marryover40byfaith@gmail.com for details!