Monday, January 26, 2015
Hey girls. Can I get personal here for a minute?
I recently started my favorite month long prayer challenge again. I have devoted the month of January to praying for my husband, that is, my future husband. I am living the single life. I'm okay with that. And then again.. I'm not. God has knit into each of us the desire to pair up. It's natural. It's good. It's a God-given desire. So, some days the "single life" is lonely. You can be surrounded by family and friends that genuinely love you, and you them, yet feel a little alone. Another person does not complete us. Our wholeness should come from our relationship with Christ, but there is a complimentary oneness that is born in the marriage relationship. You get little snippets of it as you grow to know and love that one person that you are working toward forever with.
There are moments of true contentedness, and moments of "God, I've waited patiently, please press skip ahead on this".
I do not believe in prince charming, love at first sight, or soul mates. Those ideas permeate our society's idea of love, but it's not realistic or biblical. In Genesis 2:22 it says: "The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man". Isn't that beautiful? God fashioned her. The word used here for the fashioning of the woman is banah. This word is used to describe the making of a temple, palaces, or forms of art. The word itself implies that the woman was not only meant to be a companion, but also an aesthetic work. I know, I know.. we are women, hear us roar, but God has given us worth and value so far beyond "I don't need a man" or "Anything a man can do I can do better". He created us uniquely the way that we are. He created us to be the compliment to masculinity.
We should embrace our femininity and womanhood. God has fashioned us. God brought Eve to Adam. He didn't create them separately and then wait for them to bump into each other. He also didn't tell the woman to search out the man. He created her from Adam's rib, making Eve flesh of his flesh, and bone of his bone. Then, God simply brought her to Adam. God is sovereign, and He has a will for your life. If God has given us the desire to pair up, then we can trust Him to bring that pairing to fruition. It's a faith walk.
There is this idea in the church that life doesn't begin until you get married and begin a life of serving Christ together. This is ridiculous. Marriage is good, we should aspire to it, but God wants us to be serving Him in our singleness too. Our life should be full and complete before we pair up. If you are not busy serving Christ as a single young woman, you won't start after you say "I do". We should be growing, focused, serving, independent, and purposeful in our singleness. When we get to the stage of marriage in our lives, who we are carries right over. We are a compliment and a helpmate to the man that God has for us.
So what is a girl to do while she waits for God to unfold her pairing in His perfect timing?
1. BE A WOMAN OF PRAYER.
Prayer is powerful. We have a direct line of fellowship with the Lord through prayer. Pour out your heart to God. Praise Him in prayer. Search out wisdom through prayer. Do you talk to your mom regularly? Perhaps your girlfriends? You talk with them, sharing happiness, fear, anger, you seek guidance, and ask for opinions. Are you there for them in the same way? Yes. You cultivate the relationship. Prayer is like those intimate conversations. If we do not cultivate our relationship with Christ through prayer, it will wither.
Pray for a heart of contentment. Pray that God would grow you into a woman of integrity. Pray for courage and strength to stand firm in your faith. Spend time praising God in prayer.
2. BE GROUNDED IN YOUR FAITH.
In order to be grounded in our faith we must be in God's word. That is where instruction and wisdom come from. Spend time studying scripture so that you may grow spiritually. If you are a woman that can be easily swayed in your beliefs, you will find yourself on unstable ground. Set aside time in your days to study God's word so that you may grow spiritually and be solid in your faith. When we have this stable foundation we can move forward, with any step in life.
3. GET INVOLVED.
Get involved in your church! God has given us all spiritual gifts, and we should use them to the benefit of the body of Christ. Plugin to your church. Serve in the nursery, help with children's program, or serve in an adult bible fellowship. Can you sing? Well, join the worship team. Maybe you're good with social media. Find a place to serve on the media team at your church. There are so many ways to plugin to your church, and use your time, and gifts wisely.
4. KNOW WHO YOU ARE.
Who are you? What are your thoughts? Your likes? Your fears? Before you can share yourself with another person you have to first know who you are. You can't explain your values and your heart unless you are grounded in your identity. If you are not grounded in who you are and what you believe, you can easily be swayed and changed. Be confident and secure in who you are.5. FOCUS.
Rather than pining away for a significant other, go out and do something with yourself! If you're in school, focus on that and doing the best that you can. Don't let loneliness be a distraction from the here and now. Focus on your school, your work, growing your talents, and managing your time wisely. If you're floundering in your singleness, marriage will not stabilize you.
6. BE INDEPENDENT.
Our wholeness does not and should not come from another person. Another person does not complete us. We find our wholeness in Christ. Before you can become one in a marriage relationship, you must be independent as a young woman. Independent in your relationship with Christ, in your thoughts, and in your decisions. Marriage brings two whole independent people together. You don't take on your husband and who he is. You compliment and balance one another. There is a give and take.
7. BE PURPOSEFUL.
Dating. It's going to happen. You're going to be asked out, and you're going to want to jump at the chance for that coffee date. Be careful not to fall into thoughtless dating. Just because a young man asks you out doesn't mean you should go out with him. If you're not attracted to him, don't agree to go out with him. We are talking across the board here, not just physical attraction. Do you like his personality? Are you attracted to his mind? How do you feel about his sense of humor? Are you attracted to the whole of his person?
There are few truly godly young men around these days. I know. Don't settle because you're lonely. Be patient and trust God for the right young man. The young man that loves God, and cultivates his relationship with Christ. No man is perfect, but you will see all of the little seedlings of christlikeness, integrity, purity, respect, and spiritual maturity. If you thoughtlessly date guys that cannot lead you spiritually, and that you're not attracted to, you will end feeling emotionally confused and hurting the guy in the process.
All right girls, that's my heart-to-heart. From one single girl to another.. seek God with all of your heart, and wait patiently. What do you think are some things you should do while you're single?