Friday, June 17, 2011

When Prince Charming Has Yet to Arrive

Do you desire to marry? Is your dream to be swept off your feet and to one day be a husband/father or wife/mother?
If so, why? Is it because you believe it will make you happy? To know pleasure in the pure context of marriage?

God has been confronting me with these questions lately. As some of you may know I've made the decision to not date, but this does not mean I do not think/dream about marriage and having my own children one day, like many young people.
I am still learning to treasure and to take advantage of my single years. It can be a challenge in our day and time, as most any single person will tell you. One reason being that in the eyes of many, being single equals rejection by the opposite sex. In many people's eyes, if you don't have that special girl, or a guy who adores you, you pretty much have no identity. Through these years God is teaching me to find satisfaction and to place my identity in Him alone; to rely on Him for fulfillment, acceptance and joy. I find myself marveling at His wisdom as I realize how incredibly wise He really is. Because truly, without these single years to teach me to focus and to rely on Him, I would enter marriage with the expectation that my husband would bring me true happiness, fulfillment, and unfailing love and devotion. In reality, only God can fill the void in your heart, only He can bring you true fulfillment, full satisfaction and unwavering devotion. Yes, a marriage/a spouse is a wonderful gift, and they bring much pleasure I am sure, but only God can truly satisfy.

So I feel like God is asking me, and perhaps you-- "Why do you desire to marry? Why do you ask Me for a spouse?" Not because He doesn't know -oh He knows us better than we know ourselves- but because He wants us to examine ourselves- our motives and desires. Last night I read this verse in James: "And even when you ask, you don't get it because your motives are all wrong--you want only what will give you pleasure."
Is that your goal in marriage? Pleasure? Or is it to glorify Him, to better serve Him?

Psalms 37:4 says "Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart's desires." He wants to give us our heart's desires, but first we must learn to delight in Him, to put Him first and to have Him as our focus and to gain pleasure and satisfaction in Him. He is the only one who can truly and fully satisfy. No other can satisfy like He does!

 At times it seems He withholds from us the things we desire. Why? Because He loves us and knows what's best for us. He knows that if we go into marriage with false expectations, not only will we be disappointed, but there will be marital issues because we will be placing expectations on our spouse which he/she can not meet. They were not meant to fill the void in our hearts, God is. He needs to be number one, the focus of every relationship. Marriage is meant to glorify God and to testify of God's goodness. It is a picture which speaks of His even greater plans to one day be joined with His bride "happily ever after." The marriage commitment is a lifelong one, and it is a commitment to selfless living. It is not to be taken lightly!
And if it seems like God is taking a long time in summoning prince charming to the scene (or the princess bride, for any guys who may read this), I encourage you to be patient, rest in the knowledge of His goodness, His love, and His perfect timing. Don't give in to the pressures of this world and settle for something less than God's best!

And again, take advantage of this time of singleness! As Paul says in 1 Corinthians, "But a married man has to think about his earthly responsibilities and how to please his wife. His interests are divided. In the same way, a woman who is no longer married or has never been married can be devoted to the Lord and holy in body and spirit." Take advantage of the single years to "serve the Lord without distraction." Learn to trust God now, it will better prepare you for trials later on.
As someone once said, "Our greatest need is for a Savior-- God met that need, why should we not trust Him with the lesser need of providing a spouse?"

I hope you were challenged, encouraged and blessed in reading this-- may God give you not only the patience to wait, but joy and gladness in serving Him as you do!

Sincerely, your sister in the Lord,

                               Victoria Christine Bullock 


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