Discipleship, Just My Thoughts, MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY, Relationships

You and Your Lists

It’s no secret that most singles want to get married. I hear women, not sure about the men, say that they have a list of qualities that they are praying for. Some of them have an actual list. It may sound absurd to some of you, but to be honest, I had a list when I was single too.

My list had physical attributes specified, as well as pretty specific character and personality traits. I wrote down that list to know what I myself wanted in a husband and as a prayer of the qualities I wanted in him, as opposed to just wanting to BE married and praying for ANY husband.

I realize, however, that we women can take this to a dangerous extreme. We have a strong tendency to be DEPENDENT on this list, to be stuck on this list. What if the man that God is already presenting to you does not fit your list? What if he misses the mark, misses YOUR mark, in terms of looks, personality, family background, financial status, or character?

Don’t get me wrong. Standards are great. They speak about the value that we put on ourselves. They help us stay on the right track, remember our priorities, and make the right choices. They help us set boundaries that prevent us from putting ourselves in compromising positions, positions that will lead us to sin against God. We need standards. High ones.

As daughters of the King of kings, we ought to have high standards as He placed such a high value on us when His Son died for us on the cross. But make sure your standards are high when it comes to character. Put a premium on character and the man’s growing relationship with God, and not so much on his looks, height, weight, job, ministry, money, or last name.

Yes, there are many considerations in choosing a husband. Of course you want one whom you will enjoy looking at and waking next to. I am quite forgiving when it comes to that, NOT to say that I am not happy with my husband’s looks! I love his eyes and his loving ways. He has grown more handsome because of his love and his character. That’s way more important to me. I’m just happy that he is taller than me! And I can’t do anything about weight, as that fluctuates haha, just as mine does.

You want a husband with a good family background, not just a nice family name. All families have issues, but what matters is how your man treats his family, because it is an indication of how he will treat you and your family. It matters also how his family treats you, though it shouldn’t be your deciding factor. It’s his loyalty to you that will matter when conflicts arise. I happen to love King’s family and my last name.

You want a financially responsible husband, whom you are willing to support and cheer so that he can achieve his dreams and goals. You want a man WITH dreams and goals. Honestly, I did not even consider my future husband’s occupation. I didn’t desire to be a pastor’s wife. In other words, whether or not King was a pastor or was going to be one, I would’ve still married him. I don’t think I even thought of that. My “concern” was my freedom to continue to serve in church, therefore I needed and wanted a man who loved God more than he loved me, and a man who would lead and provide for me and our family the way God calls a man to. King didn’t have to be a pastor to be such a man. It just so happened that he was called to be one.

You want a husband that jives with your personality. I know I wanted a man who made me laugh, but when my eyes were opened to King, I thought we didn’t have the same wave length. I really thought there was no way we would work because I love and am good at word games, while he was (not anymore) pretty slow haha. It initially didn’t make sense to me, though it made sense to our friends. Today, our personalities still clash sometimes, but our commitment to God and to each other is more important to us than our petty issues.

My favorite item on that list, though, is: THAT HE WOULD DANCE WITH ME. And you know, God is just wonderfully amazing that he gave me a husband who does. A small detail it is, but it all the more has shown me what an intimate, PERSONAL GOD He is. He truly knows my heart’s desires.

You may have more considerations, but don’t ever assume that your list is God’s will for you. Chances are, your list is already based on someone you are eyeing (I wrote mine before I met King though). Don’t set yourself up for disappointment. You may not get exactly what you want or expect. Don’t be blinded by your list either.  He may not match a couple of the items on your list, but he could be the best man for you. You have been given the free will to choose, but exercise wisdom and rely on the Holy Spirit to guide you instead.

Better yet, STOP MAKING LISTS! Pray. Seek godly counsel. Get into the Word and let your mind get renewed by it, so you can see God’s good, pleasing and perfect will.  Have a grateful heart. Be grateful that you are single at the moment.  Be grateful that God has your future in His hands and He knows what and who is best for you. He knows more and better than you. Be grateful that His timing is perfect. Be grateful that you are not useless, not worthless, or have to be joyless while you are single. On the contrary, God saw you worthy of His Son’s bloodshed. He desires to use you in advancing His kingdom. Joy is from Him, not from marriage or a man or a relationship. You have God NOW. Love, grow, serve. And all these “things” will be given to you as well. 🙂

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

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. Philippians 4:6-7

 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33

Just My Thoughts, Parenting, YOUTH MINISTRY

Back to B.A.S.I.C.S.

Because it’s the love month, I promised my victory group that we would be talking about relationships. Last Saturday, I taught them about the basics that I believe would equip them to make the right decisions when it comes to relationships.

BOUNDARIES. If you don’t set the boundaries, there is no guarantee that the boys will set them for you. We have the power to draw that line. At Danae’s young age, we are already teaching her this. DRAW THE LINE OF RESPECT. Do not let others cross it. If you do, like letting a boy kiss you or be rough around you, you are allowing them to disrespect you. Teach them to respect you. If you yourself cross it, you are disrespecting that person and yourself. Learn to respect others and most importantly, respect yourself.

“Everything is permissible” — but not everything is beneficial. 1 Cor 10:23. Sure, there’s nothing wrong with chatting for hours. Nothing wrong with spending so much alone time together as “best friends.” If you’re already in a relationship, there’s nothing wrong with holding hands. They are NOT SIN PER SE, but if not done with great care, they CAN lead to sin. Make a decision to live well within those boundaries, not pushing them and hiding behind the technicality that it’s not a sin. Make a decision right now, so that when that time and that situation arrives, you already know what to do or what not to do.

ACCOUNTABILITY. You are accountable to God. No one can make you do anything, therefore you cannot blame anyone else for your own actions. “I had no choice,” “He was so persistent and insistent,” “I couldn’t break it to him” are mere excuses. You always have a CHOICE TO SAY NO. If you don’t like him, tell him. Do not lead him on. If you do like him, think before you act. Nothing “just happens.” Where you end up is a result of choices that you make. Stop blaming others. Take responsibility for your own actions.

Be accountable to people you know care about you and want to help you. If you’re struggling with something, seek help. Having accountability partners does not mean you’re giving them permission to lord it over you. You’re giving them permission to check on you, to give you a different perspective, to give you godly counsel, to pray for you. We can’t do everything on our own. We need the help of those who may know better.

STANDARDS. What is your vision? Do you have a vision for your life, your future? Without vision, people cast off restraint. Prov 29:18. If you don’t have a vision of the kind of man you want to be married to, the kind of woman/wife you want to be, the kind of family you want to have, the kind of marriage that you want to have, the kind of life you want to live, then you won’t have serious standards. Whatever looks good, feels good or seems good will be okay with you. Your standards get compromised once the guy is good looking or seems kind. Sometimes, even when it’s clearly a bad idea, because it is presented to you and because it is what’s available, you allow such things or people in your life. Get a vision. RAISE YOUR STANDARDS. Uphold them.

IDENTITY. KNOW WHO YOU ARE in the eyes of God. Not who you think you are, or who others say you are. If you know who you truly are, who God made you to be, it’s easier for you to make decisions. You won’t be easily swayed by the influence of others. You are the daughter of the King of Kings. You are a princess – precious, special, highly esteemed, admired, accepted, respected, loved. So act like it.

CHARACTER. Part of our identity is our personality, which God made different in each of us. Some are meek, gentle, soft-spoken. Some are loud, funny, talkative. I am one with a strong personality and I may rub some people off the wrong way. In the past, I hid behind my personality, using it as an excuse for my behavior. But God has been teaching me that I cannot do that anymore because CHARACTER IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN MY PERSONALITY. Yes, I am still the same person, but now with more wisdom and hopefully grace (haha).

Being exposed to boys and relationships, or even being in a relationship is a time of testing. Times of testing build our character. Being victorious over temptations builds our character. Giving in to them can too (not that I’m encouraging you to learn the hard way, because trust me, it is hard). Such mistakes remain as failures when we don’t learn from them. When we blame others for our mistakes, we get stuck. We’re not able to move forward. But mistakes become lessons when we take responsibility for our decisions, get up, make the necessary changes, and move forward.

SECURITY. Where does your security lie? Is it dependent on the love of a man or of any man? Is it dependent on the acceptance of a certain group of friends, your parents’ approval? Or is it dependent on the love of God for you? This is our prayer for our girls every night, that they will be secure of God’s love for them. No woman/boy/friend/man can complete you. One incomplete man plus one incomplete you, still makes an incomplete him and you. Only God can make you whole. Never enter into a relationship to fill the void. GOD’S LOVE IS MORE THAN ENOUGH to fill it, if you just allow Him to.

Security also means your safety. It’s better to be safe than sorry. It doesn’t matter if others think you’re overreacting or bordering on legalistic, because of your high standards and self-imposed boundaries. What’s more important is that you GUARD YOUR HEART AS IF IT’S A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH, because it is.