Becoming the Person

“Becoming who the person you’re looking for is looking for.”

Maybe you’ve heard a sermon or read a blog post with a title along these lines. If you haven’t, basically it teaches us that we need to work on bettering ourselves before seeking relationships in order to be fruitful. I’m going to expand on that and what I’ve learned since hearing similar messages during my teen years.

When I was in high school, I felt left out. It seemed like I was the only girl in my friend group (and sometimes the school) who hadn’t had a boyfriend. And if you know anything about high school, it’s that it is awkward, rough and often builds insecurities within you.

I remember how badly I wanted a guy to look my way, to tell me I was pretty or show any interest in me. And it didn’t happen. I wondered what was wrong with me, I had the lowest self esteem & frequently asked God to “make me pretty.” I would pray all the time asking God to bring a good man into my life.

I remember when every new year came around, I’d think to myself “maybe this is the year. Maybe this is the year I’ll finally get a boyfriend. I mean I am [16] now.” And this thought went on year after year, but was left unfulfilled. Of course, by my senior year I felt hopeless. I’d think I was doomed to be single forever; that I was ugly & unworthy of love by any man. Such toxic thoughts I had (being single actually kinda rocks, y’all).

Looking back at this version of myself breaks my heart. You see, I didn’t have the best relationship with God in my early high school years, so I didn’t seek my worth in Him.

I searched for worth in worldly things like relationships, leadership roles and my GPA. I got good grades, I had an officer position on my dance team & made somewhat of a name for myself through other extracurriculars. Though it felt good, I was still unfulfilled. I thought if I just had a boyfriend that I’d somehow be content with my life.

Every now & then, guys would show slight interest in me, but that interest usually only lasted a week or so before they got over it. I’ll be honest- I liked the attention at first, but I never felt like I could honestly be in relationships with the kinds of guys who talked to me. Most of them weren’t believers, or at least didn’t have their faith as a priority, but I wanted someone who put Jesus first. Again, I’d pray for God to place a “good, Christian guy in my life,” but here’s the truth:

I didn’t deserve one. I was looking in the wrong places. I was not strong in my relationship with God & I prayed to ask for things to fulfill my selfish desires, not to know Him fully.

When I was in 9th or 10th grade, I heard a lesson taught at church called “Becoming who the person you’re looking for is looking for” and it was very convicting to me. The whole sermon was about becoming strong & content in your faith before seeking out “Godly relationships.” The gist of it was that if you’re looking for a man who puts God first, you should be a woman who puts God first, and vice versa.

Why? Because if you’re looking for a partner who can help you walk closer to the Lord, that person is probably looking for the same thing. We are not called to be unequally yoked. Fellowship in Christ between believers is going to be more fruitful and light bringing than fellowship between a believer and an unbeliever, or believers who are poor in faith. Settling for an unequally yoked relationship with someone just because you desire to be in a relationship will only spoil your fruit & leave you unfulfilled. We see this in scripture in Psalm 1:1-3:

“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.”

This lesson changed my perspective, but I still struggled for a while. I didn’t quite grasp the point because my faith at the time was still weak. I still really desired to be loved, not taking into consideration how much God loves me. It also took me a while to understand that the purpose of this lesson shouldn’t be missed- we should becoming the person we are meant to be in Christ. Our relationship with God should be at the forefront of our lives. We shouldn’t aim to be “a better Christian” for the purpose of finding a mate who is also a Christian. We may find that person because of our strengthened relationships in Christ, but our journey to improve our walk with the Lord should not have strings attached.

“Becoming the person” isn’t about doing it for the “person” your looking for. It’s about being the same kind of person you’d want to help you grow nearer to Christ so you can do the same for other people. It’s about cultivating good company and fellowship in ALL your relationships, not just romantic ones.

If your aim after hearing this message is to do it only to find a partner, your heart is not where it should be. The point is to become the person God has called you to be. Chase after the Lord so wholeheartedly that you’re not distracted by those standing still or running in the opposite direction inviting you to come with them. Run after the Lord, follow the path he has for you because that is what’s best for you.

Maybe someday a suitable Christian partner may run beside you and you can chase after God together; but if not, just keep on running.

Become the person God wants you to be.

Until next time,

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