To My Single and Dating Friends:
Do you know how worthy you are in God’s eyes? Proverbs 31:10 says “A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.” You are God’s daughter. What higher honor can be bestowed upon us? With that said, confidence in our role as God’s precious daughters needs to radiate in our romantic relationships. This is not a demanding, arrogant, or aggressive confidence. This is a quiet confidence that comes from a beauty that is of “your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” (1 Peter 3:3-4)
I truly believe that our view of marriage, relationships, men, and our worth is a reflection of our past. Many of you grew up in broken homes where you didn’t see a strong father figure. Many of you have been in relationships that led to emotional hurt. Many of you find singleness to be a constant struggle and heartbreak as you deeply desire a romantic relationship.
I’m not sure if you have ever heard this, but Maya Angelou once said: “A woman’s heart should be so hidden in God that a man has to seek Him just to find her.” This is absolutely true. Your heart should be so fulfilled by Jesus, that a man has to know the Lord to know you. If we are seeking Jesus as our life supply, then He fills any void that we have.
A man is not going to fix the emptiness you feel. A man is not going to be able to cast out the bitter loneliness that you feel. Marriage is not going to make everything better. In fact, marriage has a way of highlighting our insecurities and sin. The amount of transparency that is required for a deep, beautiful marriage will only work if you trust the person that you are with. This requires a deep trust– A trust in your husband’s relationship with the Lord. If he is answering to God and in constant communication with Him, then God will be guiding the relationship.
Marriage Can Be a Wonderful Blessing or it Can Be a Horrible Burden
Marriage is wonderful when you have two people who are deeply committed to each other no matter the circumstance; when two people have put the Lord first in their lives. God should be your first love and your significant other second.
God gives husbands tremendous responsibility. Your man should love the Lord more than he loves you. You want Him to primarily care about God’s plan, God’s will, and God’s ways. Now, that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t care deeply about you, that he isn’t going to sin or that he is perfect, but it does mean that his inner desire to be who God has called him to be trumps his pride.
Boundaries in Dating are Vital
Boundaries set the tone for your marriage. The man that you are with has a responsibility to protect your purity. If that doesn’t happen in dating, marriage will be that much harder as trust is lost. 1 Corinthians 16:13 says “Be alert, stand firm in the faith, be courageous, be strong.” Rick Warren clarifies this by saying “to ‘be alert’ means to know what tempts you so that you can stay away from it.” In Matthew 26:41, Jesus says “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” We cannot depend on our flesh when it comes to sex. Sex is absolutely wonderful but only meant to be explored within the context of a committed marriage. Sex is an area where it is extremely easy to be weak and give in to our natural God-given desires in the wrong way.
So, refrain from putting yourself in a situation that might lead to sex. Choose to go somewhere public, rather than going to his place to watch a movie. Choose to have him stay in a hotel when he visits from out of town, rather than staying at your apartment. Any man following God’s plan should love that you are setting these boundaries. His job is to protect your purity, no matter the cost.
Your Future Husband Should be Surrendered to God’s Will
You want a man who will be surrendered to God’s wisdom, take responsibility, and treasure you for the daughter of God that you are. You should never feel like his mother. The media normalizes a man who acts like a child. We see women complaining about their husband’s inability to help around the house or his choosing commitment to his friends over her. They assume that this is how all men are and that, as women, we just need to accept it. This is not God’s design! You want a man that you are proud of, that lifts you up, and deeply desires to work diligently. If you are desperately trying to make the man you’re dating into the man you want or need him to be, then it may be time to let go. If you are being put in the spiritual leadership role, then it may be time to let go.
I see fear in your eyes and hear anxiousness in your hearts derived from the idea of being single. Fearing the possibility of not getting married or fearing that maybe marriage isn’t in God’s plan for your life should not dictate how your relationships function. Fear should never be where decisions of action are based. Our job is to submit to God’s plan in full.
What is Your View of Marriage?
I see a distorted view of what marriage is supposed to look like. I see either an extreme feminist view where the woman is demanding and aggressive to prove her worth or I see timidity that is identified by a lack of intentionality and direction. Women who are aggressive and demanding take away the ability for the man to live out his God-given role, while women who are timid lose their voice. Women and men are equal, but they have different roles. God has given the husband high responsibility for the spiritual and emotional health of the home and the security of his wife.
Studies show that over 50% of marriages will end in divorce. Yes, that is true. However, did you know that according to a study done by Harvard University, married couples who attend church once a week together are 57% less likely to get divorced than those couples who refrain from church? Did you also know that according to Dr. David Stoop, when a married couple prays together on a daily basis the percentage of divorce drops to less than 1%? There is something to a married couple being fully committed to the Lord and each other, both following God’s plan. If you enter marriage preparing for the world’s statistic of divorce, then you aren’t understanding God’s picture. Without a biblical understanding or healthy expectation of marriage, you aren’t ready for the blessing of marriage. Each person has to be fully committed, understanding that there is no way out, ‘til death do us part. When you walk into marriage with the mindset that the Lord is first and the only way out is death, then your marriage WILL succeed. Not only will it succeed, but it will flourish.
Be Honest with Yourself
I know that it seems like the butterflies will be there forever, but they won’t. Once the butterflies fade away, you’re left with a person’s character.
Is that person seeking God’s will and God’s plan? Your future husband will be the spiritual leader of your home–is he in a place to be that? Do you trust that he will protect you and lead your family in a God-honoring way?
I cannot emphasize enough that besides your relationship with the Lord, your marriage relationship will be your most important relationship. If you settle for less, if you don’t set the boundaries, you will have a lifetime of emotional turmoil that will cause heartbreak and unfathomable pain. You will be held back from God’s best plan for you. This will impact not only you but your kids and generations to come.
God Wants to Protect You
God wants to protect you from pain and heartache, which is why God set very clear rules when it came to marriage and finding a spouse. These are not meant to hinder you, they are meant to help you experience marriage in the way God intended.
The truth is, if you don’t raise your standard to God’s standard, how can God bless you with an upstanding, Godly husband? If you are willing to settle, then a true man of God won’t be drawn to you. These Godly men are going to be drawn to women who love the Lord and value who they are enough to set those standards.
When the enemy starts infiltrating your thoughts with worthlessness, fight! The enemy wants you to be with someone who will not encourage you in your walk with the Lord. That makes you a much easier target. Are you going to allow that to happen?
My prayer for you as you are walking through the valley of singleness is that you would truly see your worth as you are valued by your Heavenly Father; that you wouldn’t settle for anything less than God’s best for you. I pray that you would have discernment in your relationships. I pray that you would be able to see past the butterflies and see the yellow and red flags. I pray that the feelings of loneliness would not be louder than the voice of your Heavenly Father. I pray that God would protect you against the enemy’s schemes to use your singleness as a weapon. I pray that your future husband would be a man that loves the Lord and is willing to do whatever he needs to do to protect your honor.
Where is your romantic relationship today? Where do you need to surrender to God? Do you trust God enough to follow His perfect plan for your love life?
You are precious and worthy in the sight of the Lord.
With all my love,
A fellow daughter of the Most High King