Love Dispels Fear


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“Perfect love casts out all fear.”

I know the Bible tells me this, but there are times when I’m still afraid.

Maybe fear comes from a job loss, a diagnosis of illness or an approaching storm. We can feel afraid when the power goes out, a car swerves into our lane or our child isn’t home on time.

And while some fear is a God given way of keeping us safe, living in a state of fear is not what God intended.

He wants for us to be so intimately acquainted with him that we trust he’s got our back no matter what.

Knowing God loves us causes us to feel safe. In his love, we become who he created us to be. He loves us no matter what we’ve done or neglected to do. His acceptance of us, as his wonderfully made sons and daughters, drives away fear.

Remembering what he says in his word and holding fast to those promises of faithful love will banish fear in those situations which threaten us.

I must keep choosing to stand on his word because it is true. All else is a lie.

And in that place, in his presence, fear evaporates. Peace comes. I can rest.

Safe or Scary?


Is online dating the wave of the future?

I recently met a woman who politely, yet with scrutiny questioned my decision to employ internet dating sites to meet a husband. This was after I told her about my husband and I meeting online.

Her comments went something like, “Isn’t that a pretty daring thing to do? I mean, I’ve heard such horror stories about singles meeting really creepy people on those sites.”

“Well, it’s true there are some crazy people out there,” I acquiesced, “but both my best friend and I met our husbands–amazing, quality men–online. We also have other friends who met on the same site. So obviously, not all of it’s bad.”

“What site did you use?” she asked. I chuckled internally thinking it usually doesn’t take long before someone’s curiosity overrides their previous ‘sensibility’ about internet dating.

“We met on christiancafe.com, but I also tried eHarmony. Some of the guys were not okay, but my friend and I helped each other screen them. Really, it was fine,” I assured her.

Don’t be crazy!

It’s true I’ve come across numerous sites (like internetdatingstories.com) that depict the horrors of psycho encounters with online daters, but quite honestly, most of them surprise me with their foolish pursuance of predators. What do people think when they communicate with someone? Is society so quick to jump into a relationship (or bed) that people don’t take the time to find out more about each other before running ahead to the next step?

My friends and I never considered meeting a guy unless we had developed a substantial connection through multiple email messages, first through the site and then possibly through our private email, and after a few phone conversations.

Surprisingly, only a few stories I’ve read seemed to describe legitimate complaints of being taken in by seemingly honest individuals who somehow manage to live as Jekyll and Hyde.

All of that to say that with social networking drawing us closer together from farther away, online dating is here to stay and growing in popularity (see unitedfamiliesinternational.wordpress.com/?s=online+dating+statistics for some interesting statistics). So is is safe or scary?

Using wisdom, discretion and accountability will keep it safe. When in doubt about someone, let it go; the best person out there for you is one you feel good about from the start. I posted some safety tips in an earlier blog titled Meeting Face to Face.

Meeting online can lead to great relationships and even marriage. Read through my previous online dater posts for more of our story or check out testimonials on christiancafe.com for other encouraging tales of wedded bliss.

Be safe and online dating shouldn’t be scary.

 

Meeting Face to Face


Perhaps you’ve met someone interesting online, and you’d like to meet them. Let’s assume that you have invested time emailing with each other, first on the dating site and then through your personal email. If this has taken place all in one night, stop! Go back to the post titled Are You Kidding before proceeding!

Once you have confidently exchanged meaningful emails, and bravely entertained a few phone conversations, you may finally be ready to meet face to face.

So let’s talk about safety guidelines. Remember, crazy people exist out there who can adeptly charm with written words or maneuver conversations to create breathless wonder. Try to recognize and avoid rather than meet them. We want our internet dating experiences to remain sincerely pleasant if at all possible!

First, call upon a trusted friend to help you discern the character of your matches. I cannot highlight this enough! If it weren’t for my dear friends, I could have ended up stalked (nearly happened!) or flying off to another state to meet a naked man—thank goodness my friend confirmed my suspicions that men describing their state of undress while talking with me on the phone would not share my particular values even if they desired to share my bed!  So, if your friends concur that this person you hope to meet seems safe and worthy of your attention, you have passed level one.

Secondly, you MUST heed any waving red flags. You know those prodding little question marks that keep floating up during your conversations? Don’t swat them away. Look at them. Listen to them. What are they saying to you about this other person? Sometimes those alerts in our heart warn us about potential danger emotionally or spiritually, but they can also point to situations needing further examination. For example, a friend of mine met someone she really liked, but he had some chronic, long-term health issues. She wrestled with the impact that may have on her life and implications for the future.  After some careful consideration, prayer and discussion (with me of course), she decided that he would be worth it. They married and are thrilled they did, even with the challenges his health has presented!

Finally, take some common sense precautions: Meet in public for the first time preferably during the day. If possible, have the person meet you at a neutral place rather than your home, especially if you live alone. Believe it or not, I even went with a friend when she met her date! I hung out at a nearby coffee shop. It ended up that he was a great guy, and after their date, we all enjoyed a wonderful time of conversation together! And, I took my twenty-year-old daughter with me when I went to Australia to meet my internet boyfriend(now my husband) for the first time.  I knew she would instantly discern if something wasn’t as it should be!

At the very least, you should walk away from your meeting feeling safe and satisfied with a greater understanding of your online suitor. At best, you will know the moment you see him or her that they actually are the one you have waited for your whole life. At least, that’s how it happened for me.