Is it OK to ask a friend to set me up with a potential mate?

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Is it OK to ask a friend to set me up with a potential mate?

Apr 30, 2012 |Candice Watters
Question

As a woman interested in a guy, after giving all the signals of interest, is it OK to try to get a mutual friend to try to suggest me as a potential mate? Maybe the guy is unsure or not confident enough to ask me out even if I think he might be interested. Is this like fourth grade? Or is this a part of having people in our lives to tell us either, "good idea and good match for you; let me suggest you and try to set you up," or else "bad idea he is totally not a good guy for you."

I am trying to be patient in waiting for this guy to ask me out, but I have a feeling he thinks he is out of my league when really I don't think that and I am interested in him and trying to give him the signs without crossing any lines. Is it OK to use a mentor or mutual friend in this way? What do you think?

Answer

It does sound a lot like fourth grade, at least where I went to school. That's about the time I gave a boy a piece of paper that pronounced: "I like you as more than a friend. Do you like me?" It was a multiple choice note with three boxes (yes, no, I'm not sure). I simply wanted to know if he liked me and this seemed an efficient and not-too-embarrassing way of finding out. But efficiency is not the goal on the path to biblical marriage. (There are many reasons fourth graders are too young to marry!)

There is a way to include older, wiser married believers in your life, in the context of a church body, that provides opportunities to talk about your desire for marriage and even your interest in a particular man. But in that setting, the goal should be accountability toward spiritual maturity, as well as protection, not orchestrating a date for Friday night. What you describe sounds like manipulation — trying to influence events to your favor and will. And it doesn't typically end well. If a relationship were to grow out of your efforts to let him know you're interested, you'd always have that as part of your story: that he was too dense to notice you, or too timid to pursue you, without you first giving him a nudge (not to mention that you thought he thought you were better than him.) That's not a fun story to tell, and if the pattern continues (which is likely), it won't lead to an Ephesians 5 marriage where the husband leads sacrificially and the wife respects and helps her husband gladly.

Rather than "using a mutual friend or mentor this way," I think you would be wise to ask more mature believers in your church to pray with you for patience and godliness. Patience, far from being at odds with intentionality about getting married, is among the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) and is essential to godly relationships. It's hard to wait, but it's good. God uses waiting to make you more like Christ. Paul wrote, "Godliness with contentment is great gain" (1 Timothy 6:6). Patience and intentionality don't cancel each other out. When we willingly embrace waiting sacrificially, for God's glory, He uses it to make us more like His Son.

Don't wait on the guy; that only leads to frustration. Wait on God. When you do, He will renew your strength (Isaiah 40:31) and give you the ability to rest in Him and be patient until the time for marriage is at hand. You may not feel able to wait patiently; that's natural to the human condition. You can't manufacture patience. But you can ask God for it. Start by thanking Him for this opportunity to cultivate patience. Every time you feel impatient, let that remind you to pray for patience. The more you turn to prayer, the more patient you will become, not by your own strength but by His (Zechariah 4:6).

The Lord knows the plans He has for you and whether they include marriage and to whom. Even more than talking to mentors about all this, you need to be talking to Him in prayer, asking Him for wisdom and reading the Bible, His Holy Word. It is there that you will find wisdom for life, including how to relate to the young men in your life (1 Timothy 5:1). Look ahead, with a fervent desire to grow in godly maturity, trusting and fearing God more than you fear being alone.

In Christ,
CANDICE WATTERS

Copyright 2012 Candice Watters. All rights reserved.

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