*I only used the Bumble app for a grand total of five days, so this list is not exhaustive and I am not claiming to be a dating app expert by any means!
1. If I want to be more bold and confident, then every day I have to choose to take steps of faith and do things that cultivate boldness and confidence.
Everyone has heard the phrase (probably more times than we would like) “Patience is a virtue.” For the longest time I would hear it and even say it, but I never truly knew what it meant. Well now I know that a virtue is “a commendable quality or trait.” But there’s a catch when it comes to patience, and I believe when it comes to boldness and confidence too: they don’t just come over night. They are qualities and traits that have to be learned, practiced, and cultivated. If I want bold, confident, and courageous to be words used to describe me, then I have to take steps of faith every single day to cultivate and grow those virtues. I may not know exactly what those steps are every day, but my job is to ask God what He wants me to do and what steps He wants me to take in order to become more like Him and grow into the woman He created me to be.
2. I have a very selfish and sinful heart.
I am a very honest person, sometimes to a fault. If you ask me a straight-forward, direct question, I literally cannot lie to you. Sometimes this is a good thing, but sometimes it can get me into trouble. When I was talking to the boy I mentioned in my last blog post (let’s call him Bumble Boy), he asked me a very straight-forward and direct question: “If you’re moving to Cali soon, why are you on here (Bumble)?” My answer? I really had no idea. I impulsively (which is never a word used to describe me) downloaded the app not knowing what to expect and not thinking anything would come of it. Getting asked this question then led to me realizing the selfishness and sin living inside my heart. A few days ago I started reading a book called Not Yet Married, and in the introduction I read this sentence: “While so many recklessly mingle in this me-generation, he (God) sets us free from selfishness, showing us how to put others’ interests, needs, and hearts before our own, and teaching us to refuse to satisfy ourselves at others’ expense.” After I read this I immediately realized that this is exactly what I was doing to Bumble Boy–by messaging him, knowing full well that I am moving across the country in (hopefully) a few months, I was really being selfish and satisfying my need to be wanted and validated at his expense. I was not caring for him as a brother in Christ and only caring for myself and what my heart wanted.
3. My desire to be known and loved is good but sometimes misplaced.
See my We All Have a Choice to Make post for my thoughts on this.
4. Control–the more I can’t/don’t have it, the more I want it.
The number one thing I am always grasping for in this life and will never have is control. I think one of the reasons why I really liked Bumble was because after you match with someone, the girls have to make the first move. The girls are the ones to send the first message and get a conversation started with whichever boy she wants. The reason why I liked this feature? Control. I liked the idea of being in control of the situation and being able to talk to whoever I wanted to and not have to anxiously wait and see if someone would message me first. It allowed me to be bold and go against everything I’ve been taught about dating–the men have to make the first move. It gave me power that I’m not used to having (and probably shouldn’t have). Even past that, I found my self grasping at straws in order to regain control in the conversation with Bumble Boy. In my mind, if he didn’t message me back, that meant he was no longer interested, so I needed to do something to regain his interest. Because of my need and desire to be in control of the situation, I was trading my worth and value that only comes from who I am in Christ, for validation and value that I thought a boy (who I really didn’t even know, mind you) could give me. I also started thinking, “Maybe me downloading Bumble was sorta my way of controlling and manipulating God in order to test my theory that no guy would want to date me because I’m moving to LA (thus testing my theory/feeling of not being worthy or good enough for a guy to want to date me long distance).” Not only was I trying to control the situation with Bumble Boy, but I was also trying to control God and take matters into my own hands in order to get the relationship status I really want.
5. I want boldness, courage, and being faithful to what the Lord asks me to do to trump my pride and my need for acceptance.
For the longest time I absolutely refused to download any dating apps simply because of my pride–if I met someone and actually started dating them, I didn’t want to have to tell everyone who asks that we met on a dating app. Even if me mindlessly downloaded the Bumble app was not a prompting by the Holy Spirit, through this process, I realized that in every situation I want boldness, courage, and my faithfulness to the Lord to overcome my pride and need for acceptance. I don’t want to ever hold myself back from doing what the Lord is calling me to do because I’m too prideful, too fearful, or too worried about what people will think of me. Whether that means confidently talking to a cute boy at a coffee shop (or messaging one on a dating app), boldly asking people to join my team and financially support my ministry, moving across the country with a group of friends, or just going somewhere and eating lunch by myself (I hate doing things alone, so this one is actually pretty scary for me). I want to follow the prompting of the Holy Spirit despite my fears and pride.
So, there ya go. The 5 things I learned in the 5 days I had and used the Bumble app. Like I said, I am in no way claiming to be an expert in all things dating apps, and this list isn’t even everything I learned while using it (if you want to know what else I learned, just hit me up and I’ll be happy to share). I just wanted to share my own experience to maybe help someone else before they enter into the world that is online dating. And I also want to make it known that I did not download Bumble for the sake of having something to write about on my blog. As I said before, I’m not 100% sure why I did it but I did, and God taught me some pretty invaluable things through it.
I realize that dating apps and dating sites are becoming the reality of our culture more and more. And if that is one day what the Lord legitimately leads me to do in order to meet my future husband, then I pray that I will lay down my pride, my need for control, and my longing for love and validation from a boy, and pick up boldness and confidence that can only come from God, the value and worth that I have because of my position in Christ, and surrender control to my Heavenly Father who wants the best for me.