Tag Archives: marriage

Beyond The Pencil-Prick Life

The question should never be, “When will I meet that special someone?” Instead, this is the question we focus on: “Does my life exemplify Christ to the world?” Whether single or married, one fact remains true of all lifestyles: the safest place to be is in the will of God. If He allows us to enjoy the benefits of marriage for the next 50 years then we will do so within the boundaries of His will. If He gives us the freedom to spend our days as a single person then we shall lavish in the moments and spend our time for the Kingdom. Without Him, I am lost. With Him, I have all I need. So it isn’t a matter of finding someone, or being someone such as a girlfriend, a wife, or an old maid. It is a matter of fostering a right relationship with the King of all creation. After our 80+ years on this earth we will move on into eternity. Everything on this earth will fade in time. We will be taking nothing more than our spirits to heaven. We won’t have Mr. and Mrs. titles in heaven either. Whoever the godly man is that we marry is not the means to an end. He plays a part in God’s story as well. Our job in his life is to build him up and encourage him forward. Too often I hear single people swoon over marriage, “Oh! If only I was married… When I get married… Things will be different when I’m married…” It all sounds so final. All the “someday-when-I’m-married” stipulations will hold no bearing to the truth about marriage being a temporary, earthly example of Christ and His Bride. The ultimate relationship is with Jesus Christ. Not even death can separate that relationship. He is our first love. Meaning nothing should EVER take His place within our hearts. Even if we marry the greatest guy in the whole world, that relationship STILL falls short compared to our love relationship with Christ. We are not necessarily held responsible for whether or not we marry, but whether or not we fulfill our calling. It is that big. It is that crazy, wild, and adventurous. It will bring us to life like nothing else in the entire world. Our callings stimulate us and shape us into the representatives Christ has called us to be.

I’ve had some of the sweetest, most exhilarating moments with God. I’ve shifted away from the busyness of life to meet with Him in some of the most remote places where His beauty shines and His Spirit speaks softly. I am filled to the brim with unspeakable joy, peace, and the assurance of His security. He is ready to pour out His blessings and share His love at all moments throughout the day. The reason the moments happen less frequently than they should is because I get too busy. I misplace my focus and start building my little earthly kingdom or I get distracted by the shiny objects in this life. He fills my heart afresh every time I meet with Him. But it goes against my human nature to seek Him and please Him. My spirit and my flesh are at war all day every day. The more time I do spend in His presence, the stronger my spirit becomes and the more Christ becomes my sole focus. I know Satan can’t stand a powerfully selfless child of God. He subtly brings on the distractions. And before I know it, it’s been weeks and I haven’t had one of those awe-inspiring, soul-refreshing, spirit-awakening moments with God. We mustn’t let go of our first love. We cannot let ourselves get so busy we neglect that meaningful and life-transforming relationship. The way we treat Him is going to hold bearing on the way we treat our future men. Will we give our time to Him even in our busiest pursuits?

And when we come fully alive, we will encourage our significant others to become fully alive. The verses concerning two being better than one truly make this point: we can do marvelous things for the Lord as a single person, but when two people come together and pray into something and encourage each other along, build one another up, and step out into darkness together, they can light up the world. That’s why it is so important to make sure we are both chasing after the same goal. And the goal above all goals is to glorify God in everything we do. We find a guy with that same focus and we’ve found a treasure.

“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)

What amazes me is that God is always moving. Even when I sleep, He continually originates desires and plans in my life to tug me along on His glorious and adventure-filled path. Everything in the universe is the story of God. God created all things to glorify Him. I want any role in the never-ending story of God. I want my life to shine a light on Him. I desire to bring GLORY to God in ALL I DO! And when we partake in this story-no matter our role-we get to participate in the glorious, heavenly after-party of God. We are allowed to come into His presence because Jesus Christ came to this miniscule planet to save us. He saved me. He rescued me. My life BELONGS to Him. I was made for Him-for His glory. That is such a jewel to possess. This life is NOT about me. It is about Him. What can I do with my pencil-tip-length of life to bring glory to His name?

Life. He is the way, the truth, and the LIFE. In Him, our spirits come alive.

 

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Myth of “The One”

Our view of “the one” is sometimes distorted by fairy tales and even a few Christian scholars. The myth concerning “the one” is that in all the world there is just ONE particular guy that will fit perfectly for each girl. If we marry someone and run into a few rough patches in the relationship, we may start wondering, “Was THIS guy *the one* or is there someone else I was SUPPOSED to marry!?” Fear and doubt set in. We worry if we picked someone other than the one we were supposed to marry.  And now, what does that mean for the guy we were really supposed to marry? Did he marry someone else, which would inevitably be the wrong one for him too? And if he took someone else’s *one,* what does that mean for her guy? This train of thought can go on and on, and then we are blaming all the sad stories on people who married the wrong one.

God created us in a specific way to be encouraged, challenged, tested and benefitted by a certain type of guy. There are many men in the world that could possibly be the perfect one. We will meet a few of those guys in our lifetimes. Some are not physically attractive to us. Some are even married. No use in getting anxious about this. It’s not like we’ve missed our chance. He is probably in our lives to show us what kind of guy we’re looking for. He’s not there for us to covet or wish death upon his wife. Nope! He is a prime example of the type of guy for us. In all fairness, there are others like him and someone else will suit us better.

When we finally say “I do,” he is THE one. Through thick and thin, sickness and health, we’ve picked the one. This takes away some heavy pressure and tinges of confusion. When things start to get a little rough in marriage or we’re not “feeling the love” at the moment, it is NOT because we married the WRONG guy. Trouble, issues, disagreements are going to befall us all. Welcome to life! All of our relationships are going to have conflict. And we are going to work through that conflict. Just because my best friend doesn’t like my new shoes or laughs at me when I get weak in the knees for Super Swampers (offroad tires) and M/T SideBiters (rims), is no reason to call off the friendship. Or let’s say the best friend actually offends us. We might want some space for a little while, but it’s not a deal breaker. Same goes for marriage, we don’t need to call off the marriage because I want a dog and he wants a cat, or he wants to hang out with his friends when I want a date night. We work through our troubles and grow closer to one another. When we argue we do so lovingly and respectfully. There is no benefit to use cutting remarks like, “I should have married Johnny.” That isn’t going to help the case or bring resolution to the problem. It is going to add fuel to the fire and slice into our guy’s trust bank. It’s better to alleviate the worry or doubt when thinking through the problems: he is the one. There’s no use trying to justify a desire to run away or leave the relationship.

Before marriage, before boyfriends, and before pursuing a guy there should be a holy pursuit of God. As we build upon our relationship with the Lord He will reveal our identity and purpose in life. That identity enlivens and strengthens us for the work He has prepared for us. The rest of our lives are spent working and cultivating that beautiful responsibility.

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” –Eph. 2:10

Marriage is a sign of a heavenly connection for which we yearn. A man loves a woman as Christ loves the Church. A woman respects and submits to a man as the Church does to Christ. There are many earthly signs of heavenly realities. In the Old Testament it talks meticulously about measurements and images of an earthly temple built for the Lord. The temple was a replica of the heavenly throne. It doesn’t even come close to the heavenly beauty, but it is an earthly example. When compared to the imagery and description God puts into marriage as an example of a heavenly relationship with Him, it is just a foretaste of future glory. Marriage is an earthly example of Christ and His Bride. So, even as beautiful and exemplary as marriage might be, it is only an illustration of what we truly aim for: eternity with Christ. Our true contentment is wrapped up in that relationship–Christ and His Church. When we understand that purpose we are able to depict a clearer picture of marriage to the world as we love sacrificially and unconditionally.

 

Disclaimer: This concept is based on what I believe a marriage could be. I am not speaking from experience. I have been proposed to more times than I can count on both hands, but I am confident there is someone indescribably better for me: a compilation of the right character, calling, and personality in a guy. The truth behind “the one” is that it is a choice we make. I will wait for the one I choose to be my one and only. I understand that marriage is not simple and it is not a solution to some dark hole of emptiness. It is an opportunity to bring all the beautiful uniqueness of my life and my experiences into a recipe with another guy’s life and experiences to create an even more beautiful picture of God. I understand that marriage is a blessing. It is a chance to share life with another and to give sacrificially and love wholeheartedly. I’m not going to put pressure on the poor guy to measure up to “the one.” Instead, it’s a choice we make. I will take responsibility for my choice. When I do say yes, I understand full-well that he is going to be “the one” for me by choice, not default.


Test Drives & Motocross Riders

“Let’s take it for a test drive.” John was a good-looking, successful bachelor. He liked organization and perfection. He would not compromise on one particular issue. He fell in love with Janis, but wouldn’t marry her until they took the [sexual] test drive to prove their compatibility. Janis stood firm in her belief to wait until marriage. Inevitably, their great relationship dissipated since neither would compromise on this important issue. However, in many cases, women are duped into the test-drive pit-stop. They start dating a guy who is nice, independent, financially set, and virtually perfect… until he drops this line, “How will we know we’re a perfect fit unless we take the test drive?” It makes a little sense, but most women aren’t convinced and need more coaxing, so the next lines ensue, “It’s an important investment so I’m not willing to commit unless I know it works for me. Like buying a house, or a new car, I have to make sure everything is perfect.” So it’s a big investment for him, that’s understandable. Unlike his material investments, he’s not buying a woman. Unless, she’s in a country where dowries are set and brides are purchased. To be blunt, he can’t demand to test drive a human being.

We think it’s our responsibility to take care of these guys and keep them happy. At what expense though? Is it our own virtue? That is a line that should not be crossed. God will never ask us to give our purity away. Why should we listen to a guy when he asks or demands it?

I was enamored by a pro motocross rider named Jake. He was an adrenaline-junkie, manly to the max, ruggedly handsome good looks, and purebred bad boy. He ignited the rebel in me. The fire in his eyes was mesmerizing. There was a great allure to fall for this impossible relationship. It was easy to get sucked in with no commitments attached. We were extremely affectionate with each other, but my boundaries were as intact as an electric fence. I wouldn’t go beyond my comfort zone or into roll-around-the-floor-“wrestling”-territory. He was respectful, surprisingly. One day, we had a little conversation about my stance. He inquisitively asked, “So, you won’t sleep with anyone until you get married?” “Yes, that’s right.” “Why on earth would you do that? Don’t you want to practice and have a little fun first?” “I’ll have plenty of fun when I get married. Until then, I don’t need to go there.” He sputtered, “Well then, marry me! We can fix this right now!” I wish I could say I wasn’t flattered by his words. But he was something special. Still, I couldn’t imagine myself with him. I liked him, but would never tether myself to this tempestuous man. And truly, he was really just asking for the thing I wouldn’t give until the seal of matrimony. Guys are smart and some know exactly which manipulation tactic brings results. Some use the “test drive” theory, while others stride down the commitment tract under pretense in order to get what they want. We have to see past the users and abusers, the bad boys and the rebels. I’ve encountered the bad boys and had my heart flutter from the whirlwind of risk and danger. But as my heart grows softer toward Christ and the life He has for me, I find my attraction taste has changed. The bad boy, no matter how great looking his shell, does not appeal to me in the same manner. I wouldn’t marry him so why waste my attraction and affection on him? There is something beautiful about the heart of a man after God’s will. I want to be the kind of person I would look for in a relationship. If I chase after God and pursue His will above all, I will encounter like-minded guys. If we know this and keep pursuing the wrong relationships, our hearts will grow harder and colder toward purity. It is crucial to see the truth and turn from old patterns, especially when it comes to bad boys and the temptation to let our hair down in the presence of fleshly freedom.

The philosophy that we can play now and not pay later is a lie. There will always be consequences attached to games with the bad boys and test drives with the rebels.


The Rough Patch In The Road

If you’re anything like me, you hit patches in life where you are slightly jaded by the gift of singleness. There is a wistful desire for companionship. Hopefully, the feeling passes and you are able to think clearly as a flexible single woman. The freedom and independence are big ones for me. I’m not going to give those up for just anybody. None of us should.

We sell ourselves short if we settle for someone who isn’t a godly leader. Just as we might get a dear friend’s opinion on something important in life, the same consideration should be given to marriage. And God is the first one we should go to for permission. When we know we have the support of the Almighty Creator of the Universe we know we have something worth fighting for-no matter how tumultuous the trials or how many times the romance wanes. I know God’s ways are sovereign. I know He is all-knowing. He sees who I will marry and He knows the course of my life before it even takes place. The kind of guy I want is someone who reminds me of God, someone who encourages me to grow closer to Him. The whole purpose of marriage is to reflect a glimpse of God’s heart for His Church–to grow deeper and deeper in a sweet communion. Our relationship with Christ is like a marriage commitment. We even grow in similar steps as someone who is pursuing a romantic interest. If only we could see Him that way. If we got butterflies when thinking about Christ, wouldn’t we want to spend more time with Him? Wouldn’t we want to get to know Him more? We’d read His letters [Bible] and reread them. Sound a bit like Christianity as it should be? Yes. We are supposed to fall head-over-heels, madly in love with the One who gave up His life for us. It’s great to have a guy who will say, “I’d die for you.” But the thing is someone has already fulfilled that sweet line. Christ did die for us. That is a guy worth getting to know fully. Let’s work on that relationship foremost, always. And in light of knowing the truth about Him, it should change our views about guys and relationships. We shouldn’t settle for just any marriage prospect. One of my biggest desires is that none of us settle. I hold each woman reading this as dear as I would my own sister. No matter the story, none of us should lower our standards. Even those who don’t feel worthy. We’ve been redeemed. There’s no settling for second best. God will give us peace and discernment in this huge decision. We must be patient and grow in the knowledge of Christ. We must cling to Him and He will direct our paths. I refuse to settle for something less than God’s best. And because of that, I’ve waited a long time. I love my singlehood, but there are a handful of hard moments. It’s not supposed to be easy. There is long-suffering at times. I’m not going to promise laughter, ponies, and rainbows the whole trip. There will be thunderstorms, tears, and earthquakes that kill some of our hopes and dreams of this guy and that guy being “the one.” There is hope, joy, contentment, and fulfillment throughout this journey as we trust and follow after God’s truth. The moment we take our eyes off of Him we notice how fun the dark side looks. We may even eyeball the happy couples and become discontent. As we practice self-control we can live in a peace that passes all understanding. When the right guy comes along, all the waiting will have been worth it. There’s only one guy worth having out there and that’s our future husbands. Let’s forget the hot bad boys we would have a hard time rejecting, or the good-looking distractions that sway us from our God-given goals. Those guys become regrets later. God did not intend for us to jump from relationship to relationship. He wants us to treat these guys with respect and lovingly guard their hearts as well as our own. We must be careful and prayerful in each and every one of our relationships.

1 Corinthians 10:13, “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you can endure.”


The Trap of Selfishness

“If I could speak all the languages of the earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.” -1 Cor. 13:1

Go with the flow. The ambition of most is to keep up with popular trends and be socially acceptable. Unfortunately, our social evolution is a severe regression of the generation prior. It stems from evidence found in Genesis. This morning I read where Babylonians built a tower for themselves to magnify their greatness which was a blatant disregard for God. I’ve seen a mutation of this attitude run rampant in our culture today. All the girlfriends get together to complain about the men and this is the longstanding petition: “Think about yourself; what makes you happy?” As if all of life should be centered on our own happiness. This fickle emotion is fleeting. To base a relationship on happiness leaves many marriages in a tumultuous spin. It is becoming more common for relationships to end based on, “He doesn’t make me happy anymore.” Hear the selfishness dripping from that comment? No longer does, “Till death do us part” apply. Sadly, it would be more appropriate for those vows to be rewritten as, “Till I don’t feel like it anymore,” “Till it gets too hard,” or “Till I’m bored with you.” It devastates our morals and family values when divorce is such a quick and easy commodity. Why work at it if we can just turn him in for a newer, more exciting model? We put so much emphasis on what we can get out of the relationship. We can’t expect our relationships to look any different from those in the rest of society with this attitude.

First, it is selfish to base our relationships on what we get from the other person. There is another person—of equal value and importance—whose emotions and needs should be considered. He is loved by the Creator of the world; he is made in God’s glorious image. He deserves respect. How can we be so careless in these relationships? Are we leaving these guys better or worse at the end? We are accountable for how we interact in relationships. Each relationship is a gift. Learn from the opposite sex; see a different side of God’s character through that masculine being.

Second, it is unhealthy to be dependent in relationships. We can’t expect our partners to fulfill us. Some jump from relationship to relationship as frantically as possible to prevent an ounce of loneliness from seeping into their lives. We shouldn’t be afraid of being alone. Truth of the matter is that we are never alone (“I am with you always even to the end of the age.” Matt. 28:20b). It would be so beneficial for us to spend a good chunk of time evaluating break-ups and our attitudes. It is important to take time to heal from painful situations. It is not the next guy’s job to make us feel worthy.

What does God’s best look like? Of course it will be unique for each individual, but it will follow a set a guidelines God has created in order to protect us. We cannot simply fall into a right relationship; we bring the right relationship from our experiences. This relationship reflects the greatest relationship of all: Christ and His church. Christ gave Himself for the sake of others. The church responds for the glory of Christ. Both are selfless. What we learn from our personal relationships with God prepares us for personal relationships with people. In Him we find contentment, no matter the situation. In Him we find our confidence, our purpose, and our freedom. Everything we do centers around what we understand about God, ourselves, and the value of other people. If we don’t have a proper understanding of those things our relationships will continually crumble and fall short. It starts with understanding who God is. Only then can we understand ourselves and other people. God created each and every individual on this planet. He created all in His image and of equal value. If we could get past our selfishness we would treat others more like Christ has called us.

 “We know what real love is because Jesus gave up His life for us. So we ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters.” (1 John 3:16)

“This is real love—not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.” (1 John 4:10)

And this is just a taste. Christ is love. Inevitably, that means it starts with a concern for others… not our own happiness.


Best Friend Or Lifelong Rommate?

When we know a guy has no relational chance with us, it is unfair to foster a best friendship with him. It confuses and breaks hearts. Best friends are inseparable. One is usually nonromantic, the other sways toward love. The signs are clear and it doesn’t take us women long to figure out whether we want to pursue a relationship with a great guy friend or just keep things simple and generic. When we have a best guy friend at our beck and call, we’re not looking for relationships elsewhere. We are too bonded with someone we’ve spent hours of quality time. We need to be discerning about our friendships. Best friends will always contribute more of their hearts than average friends or breezy acquaintances. So when a future is not foreseen between the two people in a friendship, it is often torturous to give away more time, effort, closeness, vulnerability. These things draw people together, knitting their hearts closely into a bond that is hard to break. I have felt the pain of close friendships broken and it has been as though a break up has occurred. Had I been more careful with my heart or theirs, my friendships could have been salvaged.

Picture this scenario: two best friends are hanging out. They adore each other’s company. He, in fact, has the strongest feelings for her. He’d die for her, bend over backwards to make her happy. She knows how much he loves her and she has a strong bond of friendship with him. She likes everything about him, but doesn’t have a romantic interest in him. Another guy doesn’t come along in her years of friendship with him. Finally, she thinks no one else will come along. So she settles for her best friend. She would rather have an adoring roommate for the rest of her life than no one at all. But does she want to make love to him? Not in the least. The idea sickens her. So, she gets what she wants: an adoring roommate that she ignores at night. As a man, he quite normally longs for an expression of love from his wife. Without it, he is plagued by the sexual images that pop up like targets on a hunting game, attacked on the daily with ideas and maybe even attention from other women. If he’s not getting any at home, he is more susceptible to the lure of other women. Let’s say the worst happens. He sleeps with his openly flirtatious co-worker. He feels terrible and does right by admitting the sin to his wife. She only married him to have an adoring fan follow her around the rest of her life, so when she hears his atrocious confession, she is ruthless in her judgments. How badly do you think that might destroy his masculinity? First, he’s finally accepted by the woman he loves, only to be cast into the roommate zone. He feels emasculated by being denied the gifts of marriage. So when adultery takes place and his best friend brutally exiles him forever, he’s left confused and unsure of the right approach for relationships in the future. I surely do not want to be the kind of wife who provokes unfaithfulness while donning the façade of loving wife. A best friend does not do this to someone. This behavior is selfish and unloving.

The summation is we shouldn’t just marry our best friends because they love us. As wives, it will be our opportunity to build our husbands up in Christ as leaders. Of course we want to marry someone who will adore us. It is unfair to settle for a best friend if the adoration and honor are not reciprocated.

It’s hard to say what the right direction is in every situation because each is unique. Friendships are not always best but neither are dating relationships. The main concern in each encounter we have is how we resemble God in the relationship. God wants to teach people beautiful lessons through our lives. We are able to minister to people just by being ourselves and living real lives. We have the ability to cause ripples in the world and touch immediate lives that will later affect other people-complete strangers to us. We have to open our eyes and see beyond the little details of one particular relationship in front of us and realize how we interact with this person may change the lives of other people he comes in contact with later. The way we interact with guys and how we respect and honor them will uplift their spirits and give confidence so that when they meet other girls they will treat them with respect and honor as well. We need more respect and honor in the world. But that isn’t going to happen on wishful thinking. It takes strong young women to say, “I’ve had enough of this broken world, I will be the difference so desperately needed.” Our guy friends and acquaintances deserve better and so do the women they will encounter later.


The Lopsided Proposal

God told me we’re supposed to be married.”

 If God allegedly tells one person a marriage is in store, but never confirms with the other person, 10 times out of 10 it is actually a human-orchestration. God can and will speak directly to each of us. In relationships, we can’t take someone else’s word as the final answer. It may not be the other person’s intent to manipulate. They just want to be in a relationship so desperately and pray and pray and pray. Maybe they didn’t hear an answer and assumed since it wasn’t a “no” it might work. Or, they could really dream up a sweet little convincing tale like one of my friends did for me.

“I have to tell you something,” the opening line from my guy friend’s mouth. We spent a lot of time hanging out in a big group of friends. One night before basketball, he was teaching me to drive manual. He took the opportunity to mention his dream from the night prior. As it turns out, we were telling people in this dream that we were going to be married. Yes, it was weird to hear this, especially since I was trying to figure out which gear I was in and how to let off the clutch, and where was reverse-for both the truck AND the conversation?! It was too warm and tight in that truck. I couldn’t escape. My hands were slipping on the wheel, my throat was closing. This was panic! I wish I could say it ended there and my panic was for nothing. Unfortunately, true stories never end that gracefully. His next line, “So I actually started praying about us getting married. I figured that dream meant something.” Before we had met up he had been at the church… praying about us… getting married. Now, remember, I’m stuck in the driver’s seat maneuvering this foreign feeling vehicle. If I was in the passenger’s seat, I think I would have been clambering out the window at this point. He did not read my discomfort and belted on, trying to get his main point across as quickly as his nerves would allow. “I was sitting there, in the dark. Everyone had gone home. I prayed God would give me a sign if we were supposed to get married. Just then, the cross lit up like a Christmas tree! I checked! No one else was there. So, I knew it was God.” He didn’t know when, but he was positive we were going to be married. The only thing I could muster through my shocked mouth was something about my age, being too young to even consider the “M” word. My tendency in past years was to say the right thing to make people feel good. Even in a case where I may have been mortified, I would say something like, “That is interesting. I’ll pray about it.” Instead of the words from my heart: “ARE YOU SERIOUS!? WHAT POSSESSED YOU TO SAY THAT OUT LOUD? FRIENDSHIP …DISINTEGRATING…FAST!” We were going in different directions in life, at an entirely different pace. I was 15 years old, far too young, with far too many dreams and goals to start a committed relationship. He was a little older and looking for something serious. There were many things that couldn’t line up in that relationship. So on we moved, in different directions with a few good memories to reminisce.

Just because someone shares their interest in us or even asks for a serious consideration of marriage, it does not mean we have to settle for the first offer that surfaces. There is always a choice. Even if we get older or lonely for a companion, a wrong relationship will never be as enlivening as pure singlehood. We look for God’s ultimate plan, whether it is two years of single living, ten years; or for some, a blissful eternity. Relationships are wonderful, when God is at the center of them. If we do get married, or even go out with someone, we should be crazy about the guy’s personality, hobbies, goals, and looks. We should be supporters of his dreams, while not compromising our own. We should be at the same pace with him so that one is not carrying or hindering the other. And by that I mean spiritually pursuing a similar direction in life. If he is a local doctor called to a small community in Florida and she is a world traveler called to the mission field in Africa, chances are they’re not going in the same direction. The pace is also determined by spiritual depth. If one is a generous, compassionate pastor, serving the Lord with everything he has and the other has an interest in material wealth and frequent cruise ship endeavors, I might wonder if God is coordinating their relationship. A healthy and holy relationship is so rooted in Christ that every expression draws a couple closer to the Savior. It is not unrealistic to wait for someone who fits this description. God has the ultimate destination and the ultimate spouse out there for each of us. After all, He is the Creator of Love. His stories are not fictitious, unrealistic, or pretentious. His ending is always just right for everyone. But we get anxious for stand-ins and counterfeits, take detours and snuggle up to settlement.

We should never settle. When we follow God’s leading in a relationship, all the fights, all the romance, and all the challenges are worth it. If we know we are making the right choice before we jump in with both feet, five years later when the bumps appear or the climb gets steep, we won’t look back at the beginning and wonder, “Was it God or my emotions directing this?” The right relationship is always worth the wait.


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