PAIN MEDICINE: WIFE IN WAITING.

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Image Credit: colorblindPICASO via creativecommons.org

As a single woman in my 30’s, the question I get , without fail whenever I meet someone new, or when I meet someone I know after a long time is, are you married? When I answer no, there’s usually a slight pause, and then the follow up question, so you’re dating? Err no, then follows the inevitable, why not, you’re so beautiful? (like that has anything to do with the price of gas) This will either lead to one of two things, either an awkward change in the direction of the conversation, or more often than not, an attempt to decipher me. An attempt to get to the bottom of why am I not married or at the very least dating. Followed by the inevitable list of suggestions and advice on how to ‘remedy’ my situation. Now I have had this conversation or a variation of it more times than I can count, along with the concerned looks. For the record, I am waiting on the Lord’s best, and His best will come in His perfect timing.

 

Are you ready for God’s best?

In our ‘quest’ for God’s best, we often forget that God intends for us to be His best for our spouse as well, He will not shortchange either party. I don’t know who God’s best for me is, and I can honestly say there is an upside to not knowing who he is. Make no mistake, I get frustrated sometimes because I don’t know who this man is that I pray for, sometimes I ask God can we just get there already,  but I have learned to trust my Papa, He knows best. How can you be so calm about it, you ask? First let me say, I didn’t get to this place overnight, it has been a journey, which began when I chose to submit to God. For starters, I used to have the list, you know the one, he must be tall, dark and handsome, has to have a job and so on, that list. Then I re-dedicated my life to Christ, so the list morphed to he must love God, he must be tall, dark and handsome and so on, right down to how he should love me and how he will show this love to me, I wasn’t leaving anything up to chance. I needed God to know what I desired in my future husband (like He didn’t already know). In 2012, I joined a ministry called Jacob’s Well whose mandate is to restore family and marriage to God’s original order and purpose. For the first 6 months, we were learning about submission. After the first class on submission, I knew I was nowhere near ready to be anybody’s wife, there were things I needed to learn, there were strongholds that needed to be broken, and there were changes that needed to occur in me before God could trust me with His son. The most important lesson I had to learn was true submission to God. True Submission to God is allowing Him to drive, no co-driving, back seat driving, making suggestions or offering to read the map…none of that. Submission is trusting that with God in the driver’s seat, you can’t go wrong…mind you this doesn’t mean that you won’t have trials and adversity, it just means that you will get through them that much stronger, and more resilient because if He brings you to it, He will most certainly get you through it. Submission is a choice we make daily, it’s not a one time, good for eternity deal; submission is a choice we must make daily. To submit or not to submit, that is the question (I couldn’t resist).

Fast forward to November 2013, a few girlfriends and I decided, in obedience, to do 21 days of fasting and praying for marriage, at the end of which, we were led to read a specific book, and do some Holy Spirit led exercises. One of the tasks we had was to list all the attributes we would like for our husbands to have, and after listing them, to pray on the list and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to us the truth behind the lists. The revelation behind the lists was broken down into categories: qualities driven by wounds in me, qualities fueled by desires only God can meet, qualities that are my God given right to expect as a wife, and emotion based qualities. Let me break it down for you using examples from my own list.

Qualities driven by wounds in me: These are the qualities that are a reflection of wounds I had from past relationships (some of the wounds came from family). My list had; considerate, caring, generous, gallant, supportive, thoughtful, comforting, and will never take me for granted. You would think these qualities are no brainer right, I mean it should go without saying that any Godly husband should eschew these qualities right? Wrong… in my case it was more a result of having been burned too many times. I had given my all in previous relationships without getting anything back, I am loving, caring, loyal to a fault and dependable, but with the exception of two relationships I’ve been in, I only ever got lies, hurt and being taken for granted. It wasn’t only in relationships with men either, so you see it wasn’t really a question of him reflecting Christ and therefore having these qualities. It was about scars from my past. We all have scars, and trusting God for His best means recognizing and accepting those scars, and allowing God to deal with them so that we don’t miss out because of misplaced expectations, or worse still destroy the marriages we do get into because of aforementioned misplaced expectations.

Qualities fueled by desires only God can meet: My poor husband, I have had some really unrealistic expectations of him.  One of the qualities I on my list was that he MUST understand and accept me, flaws and all. Again, this seems like a no brainer, except, understanding me, and accepting me flaws and all, can only come when he has an intimate relationship with my Heavenly Father. We have this misguided notion that there is that one human being who understands you completely, and accepts you knowing and understanding all that they do about you; your “Soul mate”. Sorry boo, only God understands and accepts you completely and unreservedly, so only He can teach your husband how to understand and accept you without reservation. God knows me and understands me best, so only He can reveal me to my husband, and teach him to understand me and accept me flaws and all. So that item has since been replaced by; has an intimate relationship with God. I know that my husband loves God more than he will ever love me, and that is a comfort to me, because if his love for God is greater than his love for me, then God will reveal to him and teach him how to love me, and he will most definitely be God’s best for me. Similarly, only God can reveal your husband to you, only God can help you understand and accept him without reservation, so guess what honey, you need to love God more than you will ever love your husband, as long as you have an intimate relationship with God, he will teach you everything you need to know about yourself, your husband and your marriage.

Qualities that are my God given right to expect as a wife: Leader. Our God is a God of order, and in His order, the husband is the head of the home, so it is not unreasonable for me to not only expect this of my husband, but to encourage it as well. Conversely, it is my husband’s God given right to expect me to submit to him as my husband, again in God’s order, a wife is to submit to her husband, just as the Church submits to Christ {Ephesians 5:22-24}; let me just interject here to say this, ladies it is impossible to submit to your husband, unless you are fully submitted to God. Let me give that to you one more ‘gain, ladies it is impossible to submit to your husband unless you are fully submitted to God, so if just the thought of submitting to your husband makes you want to gag, then Houston, we have a problem.

Emotion based qualities: Some qualities are based purely on emotions e.g. happy, jovial, cheerful, lively etc and shouldn’t really tip the scales one way or the other. Emotions are trivial, and should not be used as guideposts of any kind. The enemy’s first line of attack is often our emotions, by manipulating ‘how I feel’ he is able to gain a foothold in our lives, but only if we allow ourselves to become subject to our emotions.

What exactly am I saying? Submission to God is the key to getting His best for you. Submission means God is well and truly doing the driving because when you start co-driving/backseat driving, giving suggestions and offering to read the map, He is no longer the driver. Submission means you trust God to do what is best for you in every area of your life, even when it doesn’t look the way you expected it to. I encourage you to sit at the feet of the master and present him your list of requirements, and let him reveal to you the whys and wherefores that have led you to that particular list. Allow Him to reveal the scars then, allow Him to heal them. Relinquish your list, and trust that your Heavenly Father will give you nothing but His best for you, because here’s the thing, when you submit, and trust, you stop being the obstacle in your own path. As you relinquish and trust, ask God to reveal to you the areas in you that need dealing with so that even as He is bringing you His best, you are also His best for His son.

Have a blessed week,

Ciao bambinas.

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