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Oh how I remember my season of dating far too well. It seems funny to think back onto those days where I was so swept up in the drama, the romances, the starry eyed feelings but the truth is, it was all so real. At least it sure feels real in those times.
Dating can be such a fun part of your young adult life, but it can also be really traumatizing as well leaving you feeling worthless, or betrayed. On this episode of The Branded Cowgirl Podcast, I sat down with Jacque O who was actually interviewing me, and getting my perspective on dating, marriage, and singleness as a Christian.
Not going to lie, some of the questions were hard to answer and can bring up some not so great memories. But I think it is so important to share the truth of dating and how God intended relationships for us.
Please note, I am NO expert and am only sharing my own beliefs and what I have learned from the Bible.
What’s it like being a married woman vs. being single
Marriage is one of the holiest things I have ever done. Your life is completely conjoined with someone else and I think it’s such a beautiful thing. However that can bring along challenges too. You really need to work together as a team and make compromises instead of always just trying to get the things you want.
Marriage has made me a lot more selfless, whereas when I was single I was a lot more self focused. My happiness comes from a different place now. When my husband is happy, I am happy. And as a single woman, I was all about me, and believed that any man who came along needed to follow my lead and do what I wanted. Which in reality is such a toxic way of thinking.
I wanted a man to kiss the ground I walked on, but I wasn’t willing to give anything in return. Being married has really softened my heart and made me want to serve my husband and not wish for anything in return. I just genuinely enjoy doing things for him out of my love for him.
How do you know when you’ve found “the one”
Full honesty, my season of singleness was never very long. I had my first boyfriend when I was 16 years old in my junior year of high school. After that I had a boyfriend for most of senior year and into the first part of college. From there I casually would date for a couple months before getting into my next relationship which would last about year and a half.
It probably seemed like I had a lot of relationships from the outside, but truthfully I was very picky and knew what I was looking for, and as soon as I felt like they were not “the one” I would stop wasting both of our times and break up.
The balance of being a “good Christian” and having fun dating
From a young age, I always felt like I had a very strong moral compass instilled in me, and I knew what the Bible said about sex before marriage and agreed with that with my whole heart. Frankly, I was terrified about having sex so that also helped me stay abstinent.
Of course though, as I got older and got into more serious relationships, there were temptations. And I will be the first to tell you that I am not a perfect person. I have slipped up and made mistakes and there are things I wish I could take back.
My beliefs have changed over the years though. It’s a common misconception and one that I believed strongly, that if I am just a good person I will go to heaven. Which is far from the truth.
Your ticket to heaven cannot be bought with good works. And thankfully so. Jesus died for us on the cross knowing we are sinners, and he died for our sins so that if we trust in him, we will never perish. He paid our debt that we owe. It is already done. So you don’t have to “do” anything other than believe in him. Isn’t that a beautiful thing?
When it came to dating, I never felt like in order to “have fun” I needed to sleep around. And I always found the guys who agreed with that to be way more attractive than the ones who thought it was weird.
There is this lie that you need to “test drive” the car before finding the right one. And I think that really takes away the beauty of true love and finding someone worth being with that is so much more than just having “good sex”.
Why Do Bad Things Happen To People
While I do not have the answers to everything, there is one thing I know for sure. This is where faith comes in. If everything was perfect in your life, you would never believe, you would never hope for or desire anything.
Sometimes God may put you through a test to help you grow as a person. And sometimes it can be so hard to see the bigger purpose when we are in the middle of the storm. But friend, please know that the plan God has written out for us, is so much better than anything we could ever create for ourselves.
As humans, we are broken, and flawed, and yet, God still loves you more than anything. He wants to help you through your struggles and hold your hand in the midst of your battles. But you have to be willing to let him. He is not going to force it on you.
Truth be told, this is one of those episodes that I cannot type well into words. This blog post is the EXTREMELY condensed version of our conversation and barely scratches the surface of everything we talked about. So please, whenever you have the time, actually listen to the full episode. I think it may just pull on your heart a little bit.
Love you friend.
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I'm Sarah Elrod
I'm a Cowgirl turned serial entrepreneur.
I'm a horse trainer, western wedding photographer, business coach and ranch wife.
I help women in the western industry grow thriving businesses from rural America.
When I am not strategizing new marketing tactics, you will find me riding my horses, cuddling my cattle dog, or kissing my hot husband.
There is also a good chance I am buying way too many outfits from western boutiques.
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