This post is part one of three in the series 3 Paths of Prayerful Discernment: the importance of prayerful discernment in dating and marriage, stories from 3 Catholic women.
Lexie from 4 The Love of Lexie shares her story of discerning her decision to date only faithful Catholics. Lexie truly believes that God is leading her to pursue marriage with a man loyal to the teachings of the Catholic Church, and committed to loving Jesus with his whole heart.
Why is it important to seek God’s will first in dating and marriage?
The idea of choosing God’s choice for our partner over our own isn’t one that settles well with many people, even with some Catholics. To be honest, it didn’t sit well with me either at first.
We’re always surrounded by the, “It’s your life, do what you want,” message. The thought of having power over my own life, especially when it comes to dating? Count me in!
Buuuutttt, is it really a good idea?
To answer this question, it’s important to understand the concept of seeking God’s will. As stated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, we are created by God and for God (CCC 27).
If God created us for Himself, it means that we’re made to serve Him, and that He desires us to live by His will. It makes sense, too. Think about it; when we pray the Our Father, we say the words, “let Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” That prayer came from the Bible, and if the Bible is written by God (which it is), through the prophets, then it illustrates that God desires us to seek His will.
That alone is enough of a reason. If God wants it, we should want it.
We also know that God created everything and knows everything. And since we don’t, it makes sense that we live by what He knows is good for us. We have our own will, and we all know that His way it better than ours. As stated in Isaiah 55:8, “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the LORD.”
Living our lives for Jesus means giving Him every part of it. That includes our relationships, as we know that God designed man and women for each other and to glorify Him (also see CCC 1602-1605). If our lives are meant to glorify Jesus, then our relationships, by logic, would be included in that.
How did you discern what model of dating relationship to pursue?
I’ll be honest: at first, I didn’t necessarily care about dating a Christian. But that was before I even considered myself a Catholic. Once I became a Catholic, I slowly realized that it would be cool to be with someone whom I could talk about Jesus with. Then I realized that I should be dating, specifically, a Catholic.
Even though I didn’t fully understand why myself, I came to this conclusion through prayer. It was like I was being called to it. But then as I grew into my faith, it made even more sense to me.
It’s God’s desire that we all follow Him through the Catholic Church because the Church is the original Church. Upon appointing St. Peter to be the first leader of His Church, Jesus gave the Apostles the important job of leading the Church so that as the years went on, we could all continue to be a part of the Church that was established in 33 A.D. Jesus did this (partially) so that we could continue to spread the Good News and live in accordance to what He wants us to do.
Through the Church, we have Mass and other ministries that allow us to celebrate the Eucharist and live as His disciples. How do we know how to act? The Catechism of the Catholic Church, along with sacred scripture, instructs us how to act so we can live in line with His will.
I believe that God wants us to glorify Him with our romantic relationships, as all we do in life is meant to glorify God. To do this, we strive to act as God would, and we magnify God’s messages.
God wants us to glorify Him with our romantic relationships Tweet this.
The things in our marriage that would magnify God aren’t only the message of the Gospel, but the other teachings of the Church as well, such a being pro-life, respecting God’s idea of marriage being one man and one woman, and being open to children (aka: not using contraception).
Additionally, our Faith is centered around the Eucharist, the literal body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ. It would make sense to me that we form a romantic relationship with someone who believes in it. In fact, according to a priest that I know, rejecting any of the teachings of the Church is to reject the Church, and thus to reject Christ.
Therefore, I can’t romantically involve myself with one who rejects Christ, especially someone who doesn’t believe in protecting the unborn.
Now, before I go further, I’m not saying that my significant other will be perfect with the teachings. I’m not perfect. In fact, I’m at confession more than I would like to admit. What’s important to me is that my future spouse accepts and truly believes in trying his best to live according to the teachings of the Church.
I’ve found many articles detailing issues that arise from Catholics rejecting the Church’s teachings. For this and many more reasons, it’s important to truly accept all that’s written in the Church’s scripture, tradition, and Magisterium.
To magnify the Church is to magnify Jesus, and our relationships are meant to do so. And, to do this I believe that as a faithful Catholic I’m called to enter into marriage with one who is in full communion with the Church. Since my boyfriend and I believe in dating with the intention of marriage, we view any serious relationship as a potential future spouse. With this in mind, I’ll only date someone whom I could marry: a faithful Catholic.
As Catholics, we’re called to raise families rooted in Christ. While the mother is looked upon as the main caregiver, it’s still important for both parents to be models of faith and raise the children in the faith together. Especially with sons, since many look up to their fathers.
I want my future sons to be men of faith. Having a daddy rooted in the Church is the way to go. Having daddy be a spiritual leader in raising children in the Church is beautiful. I can only imagine my husband helping me explain the Eucharist and the Rosary to my children. My heart will be exploding!
Having daddy be a spiritual leader in raising children in the Church is beautiful. Tweet this.
I truly believe that God opened my eyes to all of this. I began praying all the time for a Godly spouse and God was like, “Well, it’s about darn time my child.” And BAM, it’s like God’s will dropped from the sky.
Why did I pray over it?
Because at the time, I had gained enough faith to trust that God would provide me with someone. I realized my own way wasn’t working and probably never would.
It’s all about having faith. So many women ditch their idea of a Catholic spouse because they’re afraid of not finding him. Keep persevering in prayer, because to find a man of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church is to find a true man of Jesus.
What does your prayer life look like as regards dating?
My boyfriend and I go to Mass together as often as possible. We also try to read books about the Catholic faith, pray the rosary together, watch videos by Fr. Mike Schmitz, read the Bible together, and continue to learn together. During the weekdays, we both read the Mass readings and reflection from the Laudate app and we’ll discuss it. Couples who pray together, stay together, amiright?
We go to confession together too. Well, ok, obviously we both can’t be in the confessional together, but we can encourage one another to keep a clean soul and to grow closer to God, especially through the sacraments. Seeing my man kneeling before Christ in the Eucharist during Adoration – yes, yes, yes!
It’s beautiful that we can share our prayer life as a couple rooted in the one True Church. What Catholic girl doesn’t want that?
How has God revealed His will for you?
God helped me realize His will for me over time. But I also realized it upon considering what Love is.
We know God is Love.
A man who loves Jesus will truly love me, because of how he understands love to be. Love is sacrificial, and to understand this in its fullness, we must understand and accept the ultimate sacrifice that has been and ever will be made: the Crucifixion.
We also see God’s love through the sacraments in the Catholic Church. Because the Church is the one true Church founded by Jesus Himself, I believe that God called me to be with a man of Catholic faith. The Church is love.
What role does God play in your relationships?
Aside from showing me how to love others in relationships, I also believe that in times of trouble, God is there for me. In trouble, I can run to Him in the sacraments, especially in the Eucharist through Mass and Adoration. God can give direction to handle tough situations and give us the faith that all will be okay.
God can help us form better bonds by growing in Christ. Does this guarantee forever with a spouse? No. We have the free will to choose to love or not. But, with all God provides, we have the resources we need.
There’s nothing He can’t provide when it comes to the struggles we have and the joy and love we search for.
Lexie Metzler is the blessed owner of 4 The Love of Lexie. A lover of her boyfriend, books, elephants, purple, and above all else, Jesus, she loves spending way too much time on Pinterest! Lexie loves all things Italian, aspires to write a book, and will read anything related to St. Therese. Currently an editor at a private trade publication, she hopes to start working more in youth ministry so she can spend her life helping young women and men develop a relationship with Jesus within the Church. Her favorite topics include modesty, chastity, and of course, relationships!
3 Paths of Prayerful Discernment
Read part 2: The Cradle and the Convert
Read part 3: A Catholic, A Methodist, and a Happy Marriage