by Dorcas Daboni  |  8 January 2018  |

As the holidays are coming to an end, many young adults will find themselves knee deep in the middle of a strange phenomenon called cuffing season. For those of you unfamiliar with the phrase, it is the period during the cold months, anywhere from fall to winter, where people who generally steer clear of serious relationships find themselves drawn to the notion of settling down with someone. The term “cuffing” is a play on being “handcuffed” and is no longer free to roam about. The holidays can play a role in instigating cuffing season, starting with Thanksgiving and ending with Valentine’s day. Between the thousand-and-one questions from family members around the festive table about personal relationships, or all the engagement/wedding content being posted by peers on social media, very few young people can escape this period of time unaffected. At one time or another they may approach or be approached by someone with a romantic interest in mind.

So as young soldiers of the cross, how do we navigate this booby trap maze of cuffing season?

The notion of settling down is not a bad one, but settling down with the wrong person can make the world of a difference between happiness and heartbreak. With everyone on their best behavior during this time, it is important to remember that there are sheep, and then there are wolves in sheep’s clothing. John 10:26-27 says “But because you are not My sheep, you refuse to believe. My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me.”(NIV) If the person of interest does not believe or does not live as someone who believes, that is always a red flag. It’s not a matter of being perfect, but rather being honest with oneself and with God. A true believer may fall, but will not make their bed to lay where they have fallen.  Not everyone who professes to be a believer, is in fact one.

The second thing to remember is that we are not in charge of our own destiny, God is. He has a unique plan, specially tailored to individual needs and personalities. There are people He has placed strategically in our lives to make the plans he has for us come to fruition. As followers of Christ, we should be striving to live within that plan. This means that if God has ordained someone to be a spouse, He will make available the person He has hand picked to be their partner. No matter what degree of knowledge we think we may have, God’s choice will always be 100% better than our own choice. He says, “ ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”(Jeremiah 29:11, NIV) Our Father in heaven always has our best interest at heart. We can trust in where He leads.

There’s a quote that has been on my list of favorite quotes for a few years now.

A woman’s heart should be so hidden in Christ that a man should have to seek Him first to find her.” 

This quote goes both ways for men and women. In the midst of feelings and giddy thoughts, one should always remember to nurture a personal relationship with Christ. If their spouse to be is also in sync with the leading of God, they will heed his voice and draw near to the person God has chosen for them. In the end, it is that relationship with Christ that will either lead us to salvation or lead us away from it. Maybe this cuffing season will yield fruit for some. My prayer is that whatever fruit it may yield, let it bring glory to God.

Dorcas Daboni is nurse and a student. She is passionate about serving youth and young adults, and also empowering communities to make better health decisions. She writes from Pittsburgh, PA

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