For the single ladies, and all who have a Heart for mentoring and matchmaking, I'd like to recommend a great book, Get Married: What Women Can do to Help it Happen, by Candice Watters.
Candice Watters is the founding editor of Boundless Webzine, a website for young adults affiliated with Focus on the Family. I first discovered Boundless during my last year in undergrad while working in the computer lab. During my work hours I would sit at the computer and read articles, amazed and perplexed by the many new things I was learning.
About two and a half years worth of Boundless articles had challenged my heart and mind before I met Devin. I was intrigued by the unconventional council Candice received from her mentor, Mrs. Morken, to "pull a Ruth"* with now husband, Steve. I was inspired by contributors Ted Slater's quick courtship with Ashleigh, and Suzanne Hadley's equally bold article Not Your Buddy stating why she would not be best buds with any guys.
Get Married was released one month after Devin and I became engaged, but I since I had been so blessed by Candice and the Boundless team, I decided to buy and read it regardless of sparkly addition to my left hand. Having so much of the wisdom that I had gleaned over the last few years in one concise source, I was able to see just how greatly Candice, Steve, and the ministry of Boundless had influenced my convictions and lifestyle in a positive way that did indeed help position me to marry a handsome and honorable man.
The principles described in Get Married that I was able to see in our story were the ideas of stewardship, mentoring, networking and prayer. Like me, Candice Watters is the the oldest of five children. It was easy for me to relate to her motivated achiever personality, which caused many of her articles to really hit home. As I read, I realized that the way I was living might have caused me to 'miss' my husband due to my goal oriented nature. Instead, I became aware that I needed to use the valuable years of my twenties to their best advantage if I wanted to be a wife and mother long term. As I took all of my concerns to the Lord, my heart became open the possibility of marrying in the midst of a rigorous graduate program even if this meant delaying school (although it has not as of yet), if He would be so willing to present the opportunity.
During this time, I had been mentoring with Kathleen, who had a son living in Israel (Devin). Many of the women in our congregation, including Kathleen, would comment about us having things in common and possibly being a good match. I started to take them seriously and went to the Lord in prayer. Although I had not yet met Devin, the Lord blessed me with a peace to be open and intentional about seeing where a relationship with him might go if he expressed interest.
Since Devin was living an ocean and a continent away, I obviously would not have met him through a singles ministry. The Lord worked through my mentor (his mother!) and the women of our congregation, as well as deeply invested times of prayer that allowed me to discern the Lord's heart in the matter. I had faith that I was not just being influenced by the opinions of the ladies, but also by the Spirit of God inside of me. A true love was growing. This faith, as well as the support of our community gave me the confidence to say "yes!" to his proposal after only three months of defined dating (preceded by a month of emailing from afar then a month of friendship).
Ruth* is a common player in Get Married. Interestingly enough, since Devin is an Israeli Jewish Believer, and I'm Gentile Believer, I really "pulled a Ruth," not just in Mrs. Morken's terms, but in the literal sense! Devin's God has been my God, but now his people are my people! Baruch HaShem Adonai!
I do believe the wisdom I gleaned from Candice was a prophetic message for my life, and I believe it is the same for so many women of our generation!
*Mrs. Morken instructed Candice to "pull a Ruth" noting the intentionality with which Ruth presented her need for marriage to Boaz. To see how this played out in Candice and Steve's relationship, you'll have to get the book!
How Long to Date?