Words of [Dating] Wisdom Pt. 1

Bet you thought this was going to be from me huh? Well nope, it's from dearest Sister Kathy McElhaney! Who can give better advice than somebody who is happily married and loves God?
Here are some questions I asked her and her answers.





1. What was something you learned while courting/dating that you didn't know before you were doing so?
Before Les and I met, I dated a few other guys.  One thing I learned during that time was there were things that just weren't acceptable to me.  I wanted to be treated with respect and as a person with a brain!  Not all guys did that ;) Submission does not equal doormat.  God created Eve as a helpmeet, not as a slave.

When Les and I started dating, one of our first outings was to Six Flags Magic Mountain.  That day I learned that being myself was the best thing I could be.  Sure, I wanted to look nice, but it was a very hot day and we ended up riding Tidal Wave and looked like drowned rats! (Click HERE to read that blog post)  At the end of the day Les told me, "You scored big points riding the Tidal Wave. Not every girl would do that!"  Considering the many adventures we have gone on in the past 22 years, I'm glad I learned that it's not just about how I look all the time!


2. What is one of the most common, but not obvious, mistakes you see young people do while dating?
A common mistake with Apostolic young people is not checking with their pastor before pursuing a relationship with someone.  Even the ones that come from approved "fishing holes" may not be approved by their pastors.  Just because a guy/girl shows up at camp, sings in the choir, and dances in the aisles, doesn't mean they are living right.  Appearances are deceiving and emotions can really get messed up if you jump the gun.  Friends from that person's church may not know what the pastor knows.

3. To my understanding you met Les at the age of 25. What were some issues you had to deal with being "old", as you mentioned in one of your comments on my blog before.
From the time I turned 18 and graduated from high school the questions started.  Every time I attended a camp or convention, I came home to "Did you meet anyone?"  There was a lot of pressure to hurry up and get married.  This came from every direction.  I think many were well meaning, if they were happily married they wanted that for me.  But I also heard, "You're too picky" more than once.  NO!!  I was not too picky!  Marrying the wrong person is one of the greatest mistakes you can make.  Even after Les and I started dating, people were impatient.  What was taking so long? I have never regretted marrying Les, and I have also never regretted waiting.
4. What is some advice that you could tell a single Apostolic? Male and female?
Enjoy being a single Apostolic!  It's okay to be single, to travel, to go to school, to have tons of friends, to work and have spending money. I did all those things.  I went on two missions trips and to many, many camps and conventions. 
Trust your pastor.  Elder Morton had to tell me "No" about more than one guy I was interested in.  It was hard, I don't deny that.  But he was right!  Listen to his advice, listen to the advice of your parents and other adults whom you trust.
Don't give your heart away too soon.  You don't need to tell every person you ever go out with that you love them.  (Les is the only one I said that to.)  Don't rush love.
Keep your relationships pure - in words and actions.  Les and I did not kiss until our wedding day.  Many think it's okay to kiss when you're engaged, but engagements can be broken.  Then what?  Five years down the road you  realize you kissed someone else's spouse!  Don't do anything that you will regret.
Be very careful with texting and email.  Les and I wrote letters, that gave us time to think about what we were saying.  That's not always the case with electronic communication.


5. Now getting a little bit more specific,what advice would you give to anybody who is considered "old" and is single?
Hang in there!  Don't rush God's plan for your life.  Yes, there will be times that you get discouraged, but keep trusting.  Do NOT settle!  Keep waiting. 
Realize that most people mean well, but they don't know everything about you.  Even if they make you angry, answer with kindness.  I had to wait for God to move Les from Tennessee.  Maybe your future spouse is across the country or in another land, just keep trusting.
Dr. James Dobson talks about the "critical decade" this is between ages 16 and 26.  This is the time when you are making major life decision.  You will change so much in that decade.  If you hurry up and get married at 18, you are still in the changing time.  Many hit 30 and don't recognize the person they married because they have changed so much.  You may not even recognize yourself from the person you were at 16 - think about the styles and things you thought were cool at that age!

Being married is wonderful - I'm married to my best friend.  He has been with me through some very hard times and I have taken care of him through several surgeries. But we have also had some incredible adventures, fun vacations, and great times together.   When everyone gives their blessing (both pastors and both sets of parents) you can feel very confident that God is also blessing it.
 

Thanks for letting me blab on!  I love young people and pray that each of you will find God's best for your life, wherever and with whomever that might be!




Click HERE for part 2.

10 comments

  1. Good solid advice from one of my favorite people!!

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  2. Good post! Can't wait to see part 2. :)

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  3. I am so glad to say that's my PEEP!! What a great post! Great advice everyone should know! :)

    Chlo

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  4. Hmmmm...I'm CURIOUS to ask her MORE questions NOW!!! LOL

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  5. For some reason I coudn't comment on my blog from my phone. Anyway, thank you so much sister McElhaney for answering my questions. Those really were some words of wisdom :)

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  6. Love this post! What great words and some really good advice :) Thanks for posting this, Anali!

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  7. Wow, this is so SOLID. Practical wisdom; I definitely learned from this. Thanks Sis. McElhaney, you and Bro.McElhaney are such wonderful examples.

    Thanks Kindred, for posting on this. Veerrry needed ;)

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