My Mother has been a very solid foundation to me my entire life. I have always looked to her as an example of how to live. She taught me how to be polite, honest, trustworthy, and dependable. By her example I learned to stand on my own feet, take responsibility for my actions, and do my very best in all things. It has been my Mother, as far back as I can remember, who taught me how to live a respectable and upstanding life.
When I was a very young girl, barely two, my Mother and Father separated and divorced. I never really knew my Father, although my Mother did give him opportunities to be a part of my life. I have no doubt that he loves me, as his daughter, and that he regrets choices he made in my regard, but the choices were his to make and he made them.
I will let you in on a little secret: I am single, but I have a list of things that I pray for in a man. You might be surprised at some of the things on this list, such as “not embarrassed to be silly in public.” (And yes, this is really on the list I talk to God about concerning the man I want in my life!)
But the one I really want to talk about today is, “Loves God more than he loves me.” That is my number one qualification in a man. I have my own personal experiences in dating to support the reasons laid out in scripture, for why this should be the case in any relationship. One of my favorite passages on the matter is found in Matthew 6:33:
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Most of the time when I hear people quote this verse (or sing it), I don’t think they really grasp what God is saying in context. Back up just a couple of verses and you’ll see, “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.”
What does this have to do with dating, you ask? A lot, if you really consider it.
If you have ever ridden a horse, you know that after you have gone out as far as you are going and then turn around to come home, the horse immediately goes into this prancy-dancy kind of walk, and you can barely contain him; all he wants to do is run at full speed back to the stable. I don’t know the exact reason, but I imagine it has something to do with knowing what to expect when he gets there. He knows that the saddle will come off, the brush will be run over his hot sweaty body, and that food will appear, perhaps even a sweet treat. These are all pleasant things, and so naturally he would be very eager to get to these activities after the ride is over, resulting in a quickened, anticipatory step that you can feel as you ride.
When I hear of a great idea or plan, my mind starts racing with all of the ways it could play out, and I start running scenarios in my head, imagining what the outcome might be. In certain cases I even create full conversations with people. Sometimes it gets to the point where the very thought of it consumes my time and energy, and I feel like a racehorse at the gate, jumpy and eager for it to open so I can run with all my might to where I think the end result will be.
And yet God does not tell us to do any of those things. He specifically tells us not to worry about anything, but to be still and know that HE is God.
If you have ever found yourself at a crossroads in your life, I’m sure you are familiar with the unsettled feeling of not knowing exactly what to do next. You might have looked at possible paths in front of you and done exactly what I do, letting your mind build scenarios and imagine outcomes based on the things you know, or think you know. Perhaps you have found, like I have, that doing this often leads to disappointment, having set yourself up mentally for an end result that you believe would enhance your life, only to find out when you get there that things aren’t quite the way you imagined.
But God already knows the outcome of every situation, and He knows the timing of each little step along the way.
The other day I saw a post on Facebook which really nailed it for me. Sometimes God opens a door and you step through it, only to find yourself in a holding pattern waiting for the next door to open. You’ve heard it said that when God closes a door, He opens a window. But you notice that it doesn’t say He “immediately” opens a window, simply that He does. I found this picture on Facebook to be a very timely and necessary reminder of this fact.
God in heaven, faithful Father and provider, thank You for reminding me to be still and wait on You. Help me to stay humbly at Your feet. I pray for Your patience and stillness in my soul, that I may continue be used in Your service. I pray that as I am still, I will listen for Your leading and not take my own thoughts on the matter into consideration. Thank You for your grace, and Your love for me. Remind me always while I am waiting for You to open the next door for me, to praise You in the hallway! AMEN.