Read: Philippians 4
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:6-7).
My little sister called and in a muffled voice said, “I have kidney stones.” At the time, she was 20 years old and living in Spain on her own without anyone to care for her. As I hung up the phone, knowing I was leaving her alone in her pain, I was suddenly filled with worry and fear. What if she couldn’t get to the hospital? What if the doctors there didn’t have the right medicine? What if she doesn’t get help soon enough? What if…
Then the Holy Spirit crashed my “worry party,” reminding me of the verse in Philippians 4:6, “Do not be anxious about anything but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God…” In that moment, God was challenging me with one question: “Do you really trust me Ali?”
I thought I did. But given my anxious state, I was brought to my knees, asking for forgiveness. I realized that allowing anxiety to overrule, was just another way of saying, “God, I don’t really believe you can handle this situation.”
Is it possible to live a worry-free life? I once heard someone say it was “irresponsible” not to worry about our loved ones. But I don’t recall any instance in which Jesus was steeped in anxiety. Concerned, sure. Compassionate, absolutely. But when the storms were raging on the seas and the disciples were worried sick, Jesus was asleep! That to me says Jesus didn’t let His surroundings dictate or steal His peace. He had complete trust that our Father in heaven was in control.
God knows the destructive power of anxiety. That’s why we’re instructed so many times in the Bible, “Do not be anxious about anything…” It can consume us, swallow us up, destroy our quality of life. This keeps us from being able to hear God and living out fully what He calls us to do. It crowds out the space in our hearts and minds that God reserved for the fruits of His Spirit. He wants us to be “…filled with all joy and peace” as we trust in Him (Romans 15 :13), not anxiety and fear.
As I gave my little sister and her sickness over to God, ”by prayer and petition and with thanksgiving,” I realized it was possible to live in His peace, even in a worrisome situation. He desires nothing more than for us to surrender our control, allowing Him to carry our cares, worries and concerns for us. But it’s up to us to let Him.
Dear Lord, I am sorry for letting fear and worry consume me. Please help me to deal with any anxiety by giving it over to You, trusting that You are the healer, comforter, and ultimate problem solver in all situations. Thank you that as I put my trust in You, you will guard my heart and mind with Your peace. Amen.
*Take-away Treasure: What are you tempted to worry about today? How can you give it over to God?
I’ve been reading your blog and you have such great advice. I have a few questions I was wondering if you could help me with.
What’s a girl to do when she lives in an area without many guys? Move? I’m not really into the online thing but would like to find a good guy and live in a rural area. What would you suggest for someone in my situation?
Thank you for your questions. I can totally relate to how you must be feeling. I don’t even live in a rural area and I too have wondered at times where all the ‘good guys’ are. Or if God has forgotten about me all together! So take heed my dear sister, you are not alone in feeling this way and the good news is He does not forget about any of us, ever. As Paul says,
“I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)
When it comes to trusting God with matters related to our hearts, societal pressures can easily get the best of us–especially when our surroundings (aka dating pool) look less than hopeful. So what’s a girl to do?
Well, God has been teaching me a thing or two about how to approach this whole relationship thing and bottom line, it boils down to trust. There have been numerous times, when I have been overtaken by fears and anxieties about never finding Mr. Right, and God will whisper to my heart, “Do you really trust me Ali? Do you really believe I am the Creator of the heavens and the earth and everything in it? Do you really believe I have the very best plans and purposes in store for you? Do you really believe I can provide for ALL your needs?”
Every time this happens, my heart softens like a big ball of silly putty in the Lord’s hands as I reply, “Yes Father, I do…but help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24)
We all know trusting God and choosing to live by faith and not by sight is easier said than done. So today I want to address and de-bunk three myths that can creep into our psyche’s, robbing us from the peace, joy and contentment He intends us to have when we put our full trust in Him:
MYTH #1: I must be in the ‘right place at the right time.’
After living in the Philippines for two years after college, I was faced with a decision of staying in Asia for another two years (minimum) or going back to the US. At age 25, many of my friends back in the US seemed to be getting into serious relationships and finding their “Mr. Rights.” I couldn’t help but wonder how choosing to stay in Asia would affect my love life. This is an excerpt I wrote in my journal during that time:
Lord, if I stay in Asia, will I be single forever? I feel like you are telling me to stay here, but what if I am missing out in meeting new people? All my friends are dating and meeting people and I’ll be stuck here…alone. Should I move to a place where the chances of meeting and marrying someone are higher?
That’s when God swooped in and sent one of His ‘angels’ to encourage me. I met a woman who told me a story about her friend who was fighting the call to go live and work in India as a missionary because she feared she would never get married and have a family. She was in her mid-thirties and she knew she would have to start a family soon. Then she had a dream and this is how she described it:
I saw myself sitting in the center of the palm of God’s right hand. In His other hand I saw a man, also sitting in the center of His palm. Though I couldn’t make out the face of the man, I knew in the dream it was the man He had for me to marry. Then, I saw God’s hands moving together and when they touched, God took my hand and put it in the man’s hand. He then released us, hand in hand, into our united calling He had for us…
The woman knew the Lord was speaking to her through this dream. As long as she stayed in close fellowship with Him, she would remain in the center of His will and he would take care of the details of her heart’s desires. Needless to say, she met her husband in India months later, who was also called as a missionary there. God is faithful!
Sometimes we think it is our job to strategically place ourselves in the ‘right place and the right time’ as if we need to help Him out or something. No, He knows what He is doing. We may not know the full picture, but our job is simply to obey where He is leading us, whether it is to live in a small rural American town or a giant city half way across the world. God is so much bigger than geography; He cares about proximity…to Him.
MYTH #2: God can’t work through the virtual world.
In this age we live in, there are many new ways people are meeting and mingling. Fortunately or unfortunately, many of those ways are virtual. If you’re anything like me, you may have developed a ‘stigma’ against anything that resembles anything close to online dating. Ugh…right?
Well, I must say I am warming up to the idea. People in the Christian community have different opinions on this, but I think it can be a good option for people like the gal who asked the question today, who lives in a rural area. It can be a way to meet new people, make connections and get conversations going. With this said however, we must keep in mind that God is with us throughout the process, to help us move forward in His wisdom and discernment. I encourage people who are having difficulties meeting people, to prayerfully consider putting up a profile on at least one Christian dating site and be open to how the Lord might work through it. I love God’s words to Joshua,
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
Trust that God will be with you as you venture into new ways of meeting people in this modern world.
MYTH #3: He doesn’t fit everything on my ‘list’ so he must not be ‘the one’.
Sometimes we are not meeting people because we have created unrealistic expectations of the type of person we want to be with. There is this line of thought out there that if we make up a “wish list” of all the traits we could ever hope for in a mate, then “poof!” God will drop Him in our laps. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying we shouldn’t believe God for the impossible. But we must continue to stay connected to His Spirit and make our requests based on the standards of His Word. For Jesus Himself says,
“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you wish and it will be given to you.”
Notice we must remain in Him and His Word. Where in His Word does it say you should desire a perfectly chiseled man with huge muscles and a huge wallet? Nowhere! But it does say we should desire all that which is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable (Phil 4:8). A slightly different standard right? We must know God’s Word and align our desires to it.
We should continually be checking in with God and asking Him to expose any faulty or false expectations that have crept into our consciousness and ask for His heart, His mind and His preferences when it comes to considering a mate. We can even pray David’s words in Psalms 139:23-24:
“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
Ever since I made my ‘list’ of character traits I would like in a husband several years ago, God has since streamlined it majorly! Why? Because I am continually checking my heart and allowing Him to mold and change me as He sees fit. As I continue to mature and grow in my faith, my desires are becoming more and more like His. Honestly, they look a lot different (and better!) than what the world tells us we should want in a person. What a reason to rejoice!
Do you have a list? If so, take it out and re-evaluate it against God’s standards. Make a new one if you have to. Or toss it out all together. Ask God to help you see the men around you from His perspective and to give you eyes to see what He sees in them. You might be surprised at who God may bring to your attention. It may be someone you never expected, whom you may have overlooked or written off before because he didn’t fit the stringent list of character traits you were looking for and thought you needed. God knows what we need in a mate, so we’re better off leaving the choosing to Him.
If there really are a limited number of men where you live, pray and ask God to give you extra portions of faith in His power and plan for your life. Be sensitive to how the Holy Spirit is leading you. He may tell you to keep doing what you are doing, serving and working where you are, trusting that He is orchestrating behind the scenes on your behalf (read story of Ruth and Boaz in the Bible). Or He may lead you to be courageous and venture into new ways of meeting people online or through other social groups. There is no formula, just make sure you can hear His voice. Without this ability, we can so easily be deceived.
We must continually and consciously trust and entrust the desires of our hearts to the Lord, for a truly surrendered heart is where His fountains of peace, joy and contentment flow during periods of singlehood. Rest in the fact that the Creator of the entire universe is totally and fully capable of matching you with another person on this planet!
I hope these so-called ‘myths’ will no longer keep you from seeing God at work in your situation, whatever it may look like. As you go about your day today, remember this: All the days ordained for YOU were written in His book before one of them came to be (Psalm 139:16). Isn’t that an awesome and comforting thought?
Friend, God has you and your heart’s desires covered on every side and in every way. So be still, and know that He is God! (Psalm 46:10)
**Did you find today’s post helpful? Do you have anything to add? Join the conversation by leaving a comment…I would love to hear your thoughts!
Millions of people around the world celebrated the resurrection of Christ over the weekend. For many though, the joyful celebration ended after the sermon and life will continue on as normal this week.
But as my pastor says, we are ‘Easter people’. Easter people continue to live out the Easter message, even when the Easter bunny has come and gone, the Easter egg hunts are over and done with and the Easter baskets are found and emptied of their bright yellow peeps. Easter people not only know what the Jesus story says, but they know what it means. Christ was resurrected from the dead so we can have eternal life with God AND resurrection life here on earth.
I love how the Apostle Paul describes this so-called resurrection life:
“This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us an unbelievable inheritance!” (Romans 8:17, Message)
How awesome is that? Adventurously expectant…touching God’s Spirit…confirming who we are…filled with hope, joy and blessing! Who wouldn’t want to live the resurrection life?
The challenge for many is not wanting resurrection life, but how to live it out. How do we practice this resurrection life?
Living the resurrection life is quite simple really. Romans 8:17 tells us it is a gift we receive from God, so we must simply make the choice to receive it. In order to receive it, we must believe it. Too often we get hung up on whether it’s true or not true, or on little details like whether Jesus literally rose from the dead in bodily form or not. It’s not that we shouldn’t ever contemplate these things, but we should never let them distract us from the Truth. The Bible says if we believe in what Jesus did on the cross, we will be ‘raised up’ (John 6:40) to live out the adventurously expectant Christian life through the empowerment of His Spirit.
Choosing to believe is the first step towards living the resurrection life. Here are four other practical steps we can take to make room for Jesus’ resurrection life to manifest fully in our lives:
1. Surrender. We’ve got to surrender our own ways and take up His. This is a conscious decision. Will we continue to go on living according to our own will, or will we allow Him and His Word to direct our path? Matthew 16:25 says, “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.” It is only when we surrender control of our lives and give Him the reigns, that we experience the true fulfillment and satisfaction we long for. This is when His resurrection life can make a home in our hearts, flourishing and bearing fruit in all areas of our lives.
2. Seek. If after attending church on Easter Sunday and you felt no connection, conviction or meaning whatsoever, there is only one thing to do: seek His face! Scripture tells us that he who seeks WILL find (see Matthew 7:8). It is a promise! When I re-committed my life to Christ nearly 5 years ago, there was a lot I didn’t understand about God and why He had to send His son Jesus to die for our sins. So I made it my personal mission to seek out answers. I studied the Bible, read books, asked questions and prayed to God for understanding. The more I sought Him out, the more He revealed Himself to me. Try it… He never breaks a promise!
3. Serve. Part of living the resurrection life is to rely on His empowerment to serve others. Jesus himself said that we would do even greater works than He did because we would have the Holy Spirit living in us (John 14:12). If we have been saved, we have been given the Holy Spirit to dwell within us. It is also important to ask God for the supernatural filling of His Holy Spirit, so that we can most effectively serve the needs of others around us through His power and not our own. God gives each of His children special and specific gifts (Ephesians 4:11-12) through His Holy Spirit, which enable us to complete the works He calls us to do. If you don’t know what your gifts are, pray and ask Him to show you. There are also tests you can take online to help you discover your unique spiritual gifts. Don’t delay!
4. Sow. Scripture tells us when we live to please the Spirit, we will reap life from the Spirit (Galatians 6:8). This means when we sow or invest our time and efforts into things of spiritual value, like loving, forgiving and serving others, spending time studying the Word, praying, and taking good care of our physical bodies, which are temples for the Holy Spirit, this will result in God’s life and character growing inside of us. This makes for a Christian life that is not dead or boring, but vibrant and alive in Him!
These are just a few practical things we can do to help us live out to the very fullest, the resurrection life Christ promised us through His finished work on the cross. What will your response to Easter be this year? Will you go on living your normal life, or will you take steps to make His resurrection a reality?
**Ponder this: the very same power that raised Jesus from the dead is residing within YOU this moment. What are you going to do about it?
This week’s post comes from a dear friend and sister of mine, Katie Macy. She shares her story of how seeing two little parallel lines added up to be a beautiful story of God’s faithfulness and a story in which God further refined her through surrender. If you are trusting God for provision of some sort–be it a job, spouse, child or something else–I pray this story will leave you feeling encouraged in your own walk with God…
I wanted to have a baby for some time…John too. After being married for nearly four years, we both felt ready. I hadn’t been very vocal about this desire with lots of people. Few knew, but I am sure my heart and longings became transparent over time to friends and family.
I cried out to God often about this, but then was so baffled at why I wanted a baby so badly. All the work, the sleeplessness, the sacrifices of myself and selfishness dying. Part of me didn’t want a baby, but I couldn’t shake this desire for children. In my heart of hearts, despite the sacrifice, I knew I wanted be a mother and I knew John was called to be a father.
The timing was always wrong for a while. I had grad school, health issues, a family trip to Jamaica, a friend’s wedding, and the list goes on. But there was a moment after all these events in which I remember saying to myself, “Ok, it’s time to have a baby.” It was on my agenda and to me the timing seemed just right. It was July and this marked the beginning of trying to get pregnant.
I like to get my way, and it doesn’t die easily. I carefully planned for the days I was ovulating, believing I could somehow force this whole baby thing into existence.
Then one night at my ladies group, it was my turn to share my testimony. My sisters and friends prayed over me when it was done, and spoke some things to me about having a baby, “Maybe it’s just not God’s time right now.” It was hard for me to hear. But the truth felt uncomfortably refreshing and surrender seemed almost a timely relief. God used their words to cause my heart to surrender my desire to have a baby. Not that the desire itself would disappear or go away. But I was handing over the desire to control everything on my own terms. I gave it all to Him.
That night I went home and knew I wasn’t pregnant this go around due to my menstruation. But for the first time in a long time, I had such peace because I had truly ‘let it go’ and it felt good. I decided to live and be happy and content with my life, not wasting time trying to plan things my way. God was teaching me mighty things and preparing me for so much. For example, God was refining my relationship with my husband, softening my need to control and have everything just so. He was also teaching my husband to step up as a man and leader, and for me to move out of the way to let God work in him.
Weeks continued and there would be longings for children that would arise in me. But instead of letting worry or fear come over me, I would simply tell God. I would breathe these desires to Him and then go on with my day. It was a refining process because I was dying to myself, and placing myself in God. My life is not my own.
The fruits of placing my desires in God’s hands were beginning to grow in the daily affairs of my life. I began to seek God, not only on the basis of what I needed, wanted or what I could ‘get’ from Him, but solely for who He was. I was learning the essence of what it meant to ‘delight’ myself in the Lord (Psalm 37:4) and he was reforming and reshaping my desires to be in line with His. It was a beautiful exchange that was taking place in my heart, bringing much peace, joy and patience.
November had come (several months after we had starting trying for a baby) but I was okay with that. I felt I had gained a heart level understanding and acceptance that He was in control of it all. I had a deeper understanding of His love for me and my loved ones. When I didn’t understand something, or wondered where He was in a circumstance, I could remember that He is GOD and His ways our not like ours, nor His thoughts our thoughts. I could trust in Him BEING GOD, and me resting in the belief that HE IS GOOD, kind, safe, and big enough for it all. Ultimate surrender was setting off a new level of faith in my heart, more than words on this page can describe.
But the story doesn’t end there.
At my women’s Bible Study Group that first week of November, we were praying for our husbands. It was my turn and all the girls were praying for John and some were around me laying hands on me. Then one of the girls prayed something like this:
“Just like Hanna in the Old Testament prayed and cried out to God to give her a child because she was barren, and the Lord said to her, Go, your prayers have already been answered.” (And later she birthed her son Samuel that she gave back to the Lord.)
My spirit quickened in response to this prayer. I didn’t even know why at the time, but somehow I knew God was speaking to me through this, though it was not yet clear what. All I knew was that I could trust that He heard my longings for a child. And that it would come.
That same week, I had a dream. In the dream, I took 3 pregnancy tests and I could feel the delight and joy of what it felt like to see an indication. It was such a lovely feeling and felt so real that in the dream, I did 3 pregnancy tests only to watch the + sign come up a few more times! I felt God say to me in this dream:
“See, my faithfulness proves to be consistent and true 3 times over…”
I thought it was a cool dream and was excited, but went on with my week. I had just finished menstruating a few days prior so was going to figure out my ovulation days again for the month of November. John and I had prayed about it and were going to start ‘trying’ again.
It was strange though because I was experiencing unusual soreness and body pains (in places I normally don’t). Hmmm, could I pregnant? I thought. No…there’s no way. And I brushed it off as wishful thinking.
But as the abnormal symptoms persisted, I decided to go to Walmart and buy a pregnancy test kit. I picked one that said “2 pregnancy tests.” The possibility of being pregnant was nearly impossible, but I thought, What the heck, I will just see.
It wasn’t until I got home and took out the box that I realized the box in one area had “2″ crossed out and there was a big 3 in its place. I had totally missed that detail at the store. This heightened my senses as I remembered the dream I had a few nights prior. There were 3 tests in the dream. Alone in the bathroom, I whispered, “What are you up to God?”
After following the directions on the back of the box, I watched before my eyes as double lines appeared. I was shocked! I laughed and cried at the same time. And to top things off, the time on the clock in that moment I found out was 3:33pm–the numbers which correspond to my life verse in Jeremiah 33:3, “Call to me and I will tell you great and unsearchable things you could never figure out on your own.”
On November 5th, 2010 God answered my desire for a child. And it was without a doubt above and beyond what I could have figured out on my own.
Surrendering the thing that was closest to my heart wasn’t an easy thing to do. But it wasn’t until I was willing to let go and move myself out of the way, that I got to experience a firsthand display of God’s awesome faithfulness in my life.
He’s longing to do the same in yours.
(Katie’s tummy is growing bigger and bigger by the day as she nears her due date in July. She and John will be having a beautiful baby girl named Elane Campbell Macy. Please keep them in your prayers as they prepare to be new parents. And pray for the remainder of the pregnancy to go smoothly, carrying a healthy baby to full term. Thank you!)
I am one of your male readers and really enjoyed your book! I also know a lot of people in my church who share similar ecclesiastical considerations as you. They trust God for a mate. They keep prayer journals. They try to engage in “joyful waiting.” But they remain single. Why is this so?
Dear (male) Reader,
Thank you for your boldness in writing in! And for your honest, real and very relevant question regarding single women in the church. I cannot give you an exact answer as to why women in your church remain single, but I will attempt to share my thoughts on this from my own experience and from trends I have observed in various churches both in Asia and the US.
Here are several reasons why I think prolonged singleness could be prevalent in the Body of Christ:
God’s Timing. Why is it that some women who have surrendered their hearts to God and have resolved to wait on Him for His choosing of a spouse don’t get married until they are well into their thirties and forties or even beyond? Did God forget about them? For many if not most women in waiting, this sounds like their worst nightmare! But when you ask the women who did marry later, they usually have nothing to say other than “God’s timing really is perfect!” If God calls us to something, He will enable us by His grace and power of His Holy Spirit not only to survive, but to live victoriously through it! It may not make sense. It may not have been easy to wait that long. It may not have been according to the the time frame in which they had wished or hoped. The whole timing thing is one big mystery. But one thing is for sure: God’s grace IS sufficient in all things! Surrendering our entire hearts to Him means we must surrender our own time clocks, trusting that He will provide for all our needs–emotional, physical, and spiritual–in each season He brings us through. If he does call us into marriage later than what is considered ‘normal’ by societal standards, we can rest under the blanket of His love knowing that His higher purposes are at work and that He is making everything beautiful in its time (Ecclesiastes 3:11).
Not called to Marriage. I do know a few women who truly feel ‘called’ to remain single. The Apostle Paul calls singleness a ‘gift’ (1 Corinthians 7:7) and for those who choose to remain single, they see it as so. With that said, God also says ‘it is not good for man to be alone’ (Genesis 2:18). I believe that if a woman has a sincere desire for marriage, it should be viewed as a good and godly desire. To these women, I say: continue to ‘delight yourself in the Lord’ and believe He will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4). It is this delighting in Him and spending time in His presence that you can count on God strengthening this desire to ‘become one’ with another man (Matthew 19:6) or He will enable you to embrace and enjoy the gift of singleness.
Lack of Men Pursuing. One trend that seems to be happening in the mainline protestant churches, is a lack of pursuit from the male side. Sorry men! And I am not just making this up. In her book, Where Have All The Good Men Gone? A.J. Kiesling reports her findings from an in-depth survey of 120 single Christian women. What was their most common complaint about men? Kiesling reports: “Over and over I heard the words, ‘I wish men would step up to the plate and take a risk in asking me out.’” If this isn’t enough, the Bible says, “He who FINDS a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord” (Proverbs 18:22). What are you waiting for men? Get going!
Over-guarding of Hearts. With that being said on the male side, we can’t pin all the blame on them! Women, we have our part to play too. One trend that seems to be prevalent on the female side of this relationship equation is when a woman is interested in a man, she refrains from giving him any external signals. Yes, we are called to ‘guard our hearts’ (Proverbs 4:23) and there is wisdom in this no doubt about it. But we shouldn’t take it to mean disengaging with the opposite sex all together. Though there are times when God does ask us to refrain from engagement so that a period of personal growth and establishing a spiritual foundation can take place, we need to be attentive to when God is moving us into a new season–a season of being pursued. When we get this nudge from God, and perhaps even from a male of interest, I believe it is our responsibility to reciprocate external signs of interest, if in fact here is some. If the men are bold enough to pursue, then we can at least do them a favor and encourage them by letting them know it is mutual. This can take the form of many different expressions, such as verbal communication, laughter and playfulness, making a point to sit next to the person, etc. Engaging with potential males of interest and forming friendships with them is a healthy thing and can start the ball rolling in the direction of a healthy dating or courting (whichever term you prefer) relationship. (more on this in future posts!)
Waiting Passively, rather than Actively. Sometimes we have this notion that ‘waiting on God’ means sitting on our bums and twiddling our thumbs. But I think this is a false way of thinking of it. Yes, we do wait in the sense that we allow God to reveal the person and timing of when a relationship it is to happen. But what we do in the ‘in-between’ time is up to us. We are instructed to love God with all our heart, mind, strength and soul (Luke 10:27). And that we are to live life abundantly in Him (John 10:10). I take this to mean that we are to be pursuing a lifestyle full of His activity and purpose, whether we are single or not. This could mean investing in new friendships, pursuing passions, serving in ministry, spending time studying God’s Word. My season of waiting has been my most active and fruitful yet and I am so grateful for it! My prayer has always been, “Lord, help me to live out this special season to the fullest so I can look back and not have once ounce of regret.”
Unrealistic Expectations. Have you ever heard that song by Amy Grant, “Hope Set High”? (check it out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_9r8XTryO0). It’s one of my favorites! We should set our hopes high when it comes to expecting things from God. But we must check where our hopes lie. They should be in our God who in all things and at all times, promises to provide for all our needs (2 Corinthians 9:8), NOT in hoping for a perfect mate. Perhaps some women are remaining single longer because they have painted this unrealistic picture in their head of what their husband will look like. Don’t get me wrong, I believe God loves to bless us as His children and answer the desires of our hearts. But there are times when our desires are not rooted in Him and we are just being too darn picky! Trust me, I have been guilty of this myself. But I will say that my so-called ‘list’ of traits and characteristics that I desire in a husband has continued to evolve as God continues to give me new insights into His Word. Our desires change as we mature in our faith and begin to reflect more of who God is. My prayer has been and continues to be, “Lord, please show me what kind of person I should consider in a mate… show me what matters to You….I only want what You want.” When our prayers reflect our earnest desire to live out His will for our lives, we can receive the treasure of a promise found in Hebrews 11:6, “He rewards those diligently seek Him.”
In summary, each one of us (both men and women) is called to put our full trust in God to provide for us in every area of our lives–including our love lives. While the reasons for godly women remaining single longer is somewhat of a mystery, there are practical things we can do to live out the principles laid out in God’s Word in more meaningful and effective ways, thus further transforming us from the inside out in the process. So let’s continue to ‘spur one another on’ (Hebrews 10:24) towards living lives that are pleasing and honorable in His sight, especially as it relates to this crazy, mysterious and wildly adventurous thing called love.
Feel free to join the conversation with your thoughts, comments and further questions!