Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Lie #2: I need to reach a certain level of spiritual maturity before God sends me a husband.

(Please excuse the tardiness! I have been down with a terrible cold these days. I think I'm getting out of it now!)

First of all, if that's the case, who sets the level? In all of my Bible studies and research for seminary papers, I never found a passage--or even a verse--that said, "When you commit no more than 5 sins a week, you will be ready to marry." That seems a little trite, I realize, but it used to make me so angry when someone would tell me, "You just haven't matured enough spiritually for marriage." Let me tell you, marriage has actually shown me how spiritually immature I am at times!

That being said, I do believe that if you have not allowed God to take center stage in her life, you might want to analyze your relationship with Him before thinking of marriage. A part of my testimony is that I truly allowed God to have my entire self. While I had moments of doubt and wondering why I had not yet married, I constantly prayed that God's will be done in my life--with or without a husband.

No, I do not believe that there exists some magical level of spiritual maturity for marriage. However, while you spend your days as a single woman, why not use the time to deepen your relationship with Christ? Instead of whining or doubting, just allow Christ to live in and through you. You'll find that, although it's not necessarily a "requirement," you will reach a more mature level of spirituality as you allow Him to fill your life completely.

Lie number 3--later this week, I hope!

Monday, June 26, 2006

LIE #1--God will give me a husband because I asked Him for one.

Remember, He hears our prayers and answers them according to His will. He knows better than us what we need. Over the years, I have heard many single women say, "God will give me a husband, because I desire one", often reciting the following: "Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart" (Psalm 37:4, NASB).

I spent 35 years as a single person. In the 10 years I spent asking the Lord if marriage fit in His plan for me, I learned to delight myself in Him. What I learned is that the very desires I had came as a result of that delight. In other words, when I learned to delight myself in Him, His desires became my desires. You see, it cannot be the other way around. We often selfishly declare to Him, "I want this or that, and Your word says that if I delight myself in You, you'll give it to me." But, surprise! It's the other way around. We don't choose our desires first, and then delight ourselves in Him to receive them. When God, Himself, is our delight, we want nothing more than what He gives us in the moment.

I cannot tell you that I have carefully researched every verse in the Bible on prayer, although I would like to say that I have. I can tell you, though, that many of us take quite a casual approach to God's sovereignty and purpose for us and then quote things like, "If I ask Him, He'll give it to me!" I remember when I had about 17 years old and a friend of mine invited me to go to the beach with her family for a week. Oh how I wanted to go! My parents often let me go places with my friends, so imagine my surprise when my mother said, "No." I whined, I'm sure. I probably cried. But, years later, the things I didn't know about my friend's family became public knowledge, and I understood why my mother said no. She knew more than I did, and she knew that by not allowing me to go she protected me from potential harm. God knows what we need and when we need it.

Instead of struggling each day wondering why God hasn't given you what you asked Him for, why not try simply enjoying your relationship with Him? I guarantee you that as you delight yourself--honestly--in Him, His desires will become yours and before you know it, your eyes will truly turn towards Jesus.

If your husband is in His plans, He'll provide Him when the time is right. If He has another purpose for you, it will be perfect and as long as you adore Him, you will be fine.

Lie number two--later this week!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The List of Lies

You think the time has come. You just turned 23...25...or, gasp, 30...and that spot you have saved for a diamond ring still remains available. You cry, "Oh, Lord, I cannot wait anymore! The marriage bells have rung for most of my friends and I still sit here alone! Send me a husband--any husband!" Perhaps the thoughts that crowd your mind more than anything center around all of those things you have accomplished and the years of preparation you have invested in order to become the perfect wife. Maybe that list you made has check marks all over it, and you simply know that your time has come! Your question remains the same: "Why am I still single?"

My dear friends, before you read any further, I suggest you take out your Bible and read Psalm 139. Then, return to the computer and at least give an audience to what you find written here. Of course, you must come to your own conclusions. Above all, you must honestly allow the Lord to search your heart and show you where your hope lies.

The following list contains some of the lies that circulate concerning singleness and marriage. For today, just look over the list. Check back every few days to see the list explained, number by number. Please read the list with an open mind and take time to see if these lies circulate in your own heart. Finally, please save your immediate thoughts (i.e., angry reactions) until you have seen the explanation.

As promised (but in no particular order)...


1. God will give me a husband because I asked Him for one.

2. I need to reach a certain level of spiritual maturity before God sends me a husband.

3. I cannot truly use my gifts and talents as a woman until I am married.

4. I will never find fulfillment as a single woman.

5. I cannot express my "maternal instincts" if I do not marry.

6. My loneliness will disappear once I am married.

7. I am content in the Lord, so now He'll send me a husband!

8. He fits my "perfect man list" perfectly--he must be "the one!"

9. If I don't find him soon, I will have to sacrifice some of my deepest convictions about marriage in order to find him.

10. I need to flirt and go out with more men--that way I'll surely find the one God has planned for me!

Check back soon for a breakdown of the list...starting with number one!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Will I Ever Be "Found?"

He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD.
Proverbs 18:22 (NASB)

If you borrow my Bible, you will find written in the margin beside that verse, "Will anyone ever find me, Lord?" And, underneath that comment I have written a date: May 14, 2005. Before I met my husband, that question sometimes lingered in my mind and in my heart. To the outside world, I didn't have much hope. Long before I allowed God to truly govern my life, I started to wonder why I had to experience life alone. Sure, I always had wonderful friends and a marvelous family, but that charming Edward Ferrars, who seeks the hand of Elinor Dashwood at the end of Jane Austen's "Sense and Sensibility" never seemed to seek mine. Nobody asked me to the Senior Prom. I passed through 4 years of college without meeting that "one and only." When I thought that maybe, just maybe, I had met him, it turned out that he married someone else! (I happened to leave the country on his wedding day, taking my first trip to Mexico. Isn't God amazing?) All in all, I figured my chances were over.

As I experienced dashed hope after dashed hope, I began to learn some valuable insights about God. In 1994, I surrendered my hopes for a husband to the One who created me; who knew my inner being even before I was formed in the womb. The surrender did not come easily at first. I am a woman! What woman does not long for the gaze of a man that loves her? Why do you think we like Jane Austen and movies like "The Wedding Planner?" But, little by little I allowed God to take away that focus I had kept on my lack of romance and I experienced Him replace it with a romance-of-sorts with Him. He became the one who comforted me when I felt scared. He became the one who smiled at me when I used my talents to please Him. He took away that desire to hope that each new Christian man I met might be "the one." He filled me with Himself.

Years passed. I moved to Mexico in 1999. While living in Mexico City, I turned 30. Surely that meant that my chances for a husband had passed. My friends began to have there 2nd and 3rd babies, and I started to have my 2nd and 3rd gray hairs. During my 2 years serving in Mexico City, the Lord instructed me, through His word, that He--God, the King--would call me beautiful! What comfort I received knowing that the Lord of Lords and King of Kings considered me beautiful! I reconfirmed my desire to trust Him and simply live for Him, and He kept His promises and loved me unconditionally. Even through my year and a half away from Mexico, studying at a seminary in NC--where everyone meets their spouse--God kept me for Himself. Oh, the difficult moments of wondering why came and went, but He never let me go.

In the spring of 2004, I had completed my first full year back in Mexico City. My 10 years of allowing God to romance me had also taught me incredibly. I learned to use my gifts and talents as a single woman to serve the Lord freely, without distraction. I spent time with families, observing their time together and learning from the husbands and wives. I became a "surrogate aunt" to several missionary children, using my freedom as a single woman to give their parents some breaks and build relationships with my "nieces and nephews." You see, God uses our qualities as women whether or not we have husbands. Never without a husband did I consider myself a "half-woman." A woman serving God will be a woman serving God, regardless of her marital status. Does it seem difficult at times to live in a world that pushes romance and sappy love stories? Yes, it does. I remember one evening while I rested on my couch simply crying, literally, to the Lord saying, "You know my heart! You know I love You! You know I desire to be a wife and a mother, but Your will, not mine, be done!" He kept me to Himself.

Then, later in 2004, I met Angel. Quickly, I knew that God had sent me the answer to my prayers. While I spent 10 years letting God romance me, I also prayed consistently that He would let me know when He presented my husband to me. I never prayed for a date. I never prayed for a boyfriend. I simply said, year after year, "Lord, if You have him planned for me, present him to me when You decide the time is right." And He did. What freedom! I didn't have to wonder if the cute single Sunday School teacher might find me interesting. No worries consumed me over whether or not my wonderful seminary brother might want something more than my friendship. God became my "match-maker" and I simply waited for Him to give me His best for me. And, it was worth the wait.

If you, my dear sister in Christ, find yourself waiting for that person that God has planned for you, I encourage you to use your days to their fullest. Live for God. Allow Him to keep you all to Himself. Wait for Him to say, "My beautiful daughter, here is the one I have chosen to give to you. I have prepared him to love and cherish you, as I have done thus far. I will not leave you now, but will continue to love you and strengthen you as you learn to love another." Enjoy His attention, and use your gifts and your talents that come from Him to enrich the lives of others. He knows you by name, and He knows your deepest longings. Live freely and bless His name. You, too, will be called Beautiful.
I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion.
Hosea 2:19 (NIV)

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Get It Going soon

Hey folks! What is this new blog about? All will be revealed in a matter of days...I hope! :)