"Life is so incredibly strange… "
I surmised aloud as we sat together on the park bench. Lost in thought, I gazed off into the winter scenery ahead, the tall trees bare from fall's dismantling of their leaves. "It's funny how things turn out the way they do… relationship-wise… it's too bad we don't get a crystal ball in life.
But I've learned after being married I'd rather be alone the rest of my life than be utterly miserable with someone…. that's the worst thing ever." I told her.
"Having a crystal ball would sure make it easier…" she affirmed. " I do believe life is much too short to be miserable and stay in a marriage that is… everybody has some problems… but if it's a marriage with abuse it's time to move on. Maybe eventually you'll find someone who will appreciate you."
"Maybe…" I trailed off. "It's much too soon to even consider someone else." I replied. "Part of me can't help but want to be selfish for awhile anyway… do my own thing… a career, pursue some goals and dreams, travel some. It would have to be someone who took things slow, valued friendship first and God first and foremost. If it happens, it happens but I'm not going to go looking for it, forcing something. If it's meant to be the right guy will show up… I saw something online the other day, a girl was really wanting her boyfriend to buy her the little blue box with an engagement ring… at that moment I was thinking to myself… all I want is a large box with a pizza inside… that sounded pretty perfect." I grinned at her.
She laughed in response and shook her head, "I don't know why things turn out the way they do…" she replied. "I think it's often that people are undoubtedly right for each other and make a good match but for whatever reasons they don't end up together… timing has a lot to do with it I think… it seems so many people talk about someone from their past they realize later on in life they were really suited for… they just didn't realize it at the time or take a chance on them. Other times two people weren't necessarily right for each other but their reason for crossing paths had some specific reason known by God however brief. I also think some people… the one they believe they were suited for… that the person was actually a missed bullet, a close call, what have you… what they believed could have been the best thing to happen to them in reality would have been a nightmare… "she grimaced "I guess you call those unanswered prayers."
"True, " I said… "I just wish we got a memo ahead of time telling us which one is which!"
The Missed Bullet: Discerning Good From Evil
In life we don't want to be with someone we later wish had been a bullet missed, sleeping with a close call we actually caught, or living in a nightmare with someone who once tried to sell us a dream. In life there will be men who will try to sell you a fairytale and have the intentions of an evil stepmother. These are the con men, the sociopaths, the narcissists, the alcoholics, the drug and porn addicts, the users and abusers. Everywhere we hear the words "Don't judge" and we do need to realize that everyone is at a different place in their journey of progress yet often in life we absolutely do need to discern good from evil… Godly from the UnGodly and that pertains to dating especially.
What Happens When We Don't Marry A Godly Man: Broken Hearts
Recently my children and I were reading Tony Evan's book Kingdom Man Devotional before bed. Curled up in pajamas on the couch in our den I sat between them nestled under a blanket and read as they looked on following the words. In Evans book he talks about how so many men today are not being Kingdom men… and as a result women and children are suffering… our communities are suffering… our nation is suffering. During the pause in our reading we discussed what makes up a Godly man. As my children began sharing… " a man who follows God"… "a man who reads his bible with his children"… " a man who leads and sets a good example" … "a man who obeys God, who doesn't lie or cheat and loves his wife only"… "a man who puts God first, then his wife"
After they excitedly each shared everything they had been learning, there was a brief lull and my daughter spoke:
"I don't know a man like that."
My heart hurt for them and for what should have been; a Godly man in her life… and yet on some level I felt guilty that I didn't get them that, like a one time missed opportunity of fetching milk at the store that had repercussions years down the road… they, my children didn't get that, what they needed… and they realized it. My son didn't say a word but his facial expression by my quick glance affirmed what his sister had spoken.
I picked up where I had been reading and continued without comment because it was up to them to form their own discernment through learning. Inside I grieved for what I had wanted for them, reminding myself to later that night to pray for their dad, that he would give them what they need. Then I continued… after coming to the end of another short paragraph, I spoke...
"So… what do you think happens when we don't marry a Godly man?" I asked my daughter curious to see what her answer would be.
"It makes people's hearts break.
It breaks their heart in half…
it breaks families
then you have to live in two places."
she told me.
She was so little and yet so incredibly skilled in explaining something like the loss of divorce many adults can't explain much less wrap their heads around. I pulled her close and gave her a hug…
"You're right." I told her.
"We want you to marry somebody…" my son told me and my daughter spoke up in agreement "Yeah! I want you to find somebody and get married! I want a sister! I always wanted a sister! Can you find somebody with girls?" she asked as if I was ordering a pizza with breadsticks on the side.
Men Can Be Fooled Too:
Certainly there are men who are tricked by a wolf in sheep's clothing… tricked by the woman they date and led to believe she is a follower of God, that she will walk the path he walks, the essence of a Proverbs 31 woman, only to later regrettably discover that she bears rotting fruit, ruthless and conniving as a schemer, playing catch me if you can with his heart and life… using manipulative tactics to get what she desires, cheating and squandering her days with idle waste while their home falls into disrepair.
Turn From Sin & Progress Forward:
No man or woman is sinless… but when we are convicted of our sin and repent we are to turn away from it and press forward… There will be times we fall but we must ask God for help, get right back up and press on again. We are here to grow, to change and progress.
No one wants to feel conned, to be tricked or led to believe the path they are on is one paved with love when in reality it's crumbling ahead with cracks and pits that cause one to stumble and fall into hurt, puddles of tears and suffering due to someone we trusted, we had faith in and we gave our heart to. When dating someone we must use discernment in who we choose because no other relationship will positively or adversely affect our life (or our children) more than who we marry… because when two become one we are then joined together in each other's decisions, temperaments, vices, addictions, sins, etc.
4 Signs He's Marriage Material:
1. He's a Godly man. He doesn't just talk the talk but he walks it with God. He obeys God's commands and is slow to anger. There is nothing more stressful than living with someone who is quick to blow up, who is always simmering just below the surface and then sets this example for your children. When choosing someone it's important to find someone who is even kneeled, calm and knows when he's becoming frustrated he needs to take a break, step away and refocus. He should be a man who values his relationship with God, who reads the bible, who attends church and believes it's essential to teach his children God's word.
2. A man who values you. He sees you as an individual, a person with thoughts and ideas, ever evolving, changing and growing and delights in it as he's doing the same… he will see you as beautiful inside and out. With him you can be your authentic self and never worry you aren't enough. He will protect you at all costs and will never harm you or use his strength for intimidation. Any man can desire you… any man on the street can look at you with lust. But the right man will see the beauty that emanates from within. He's a man who will not try to change you but instead knows your past, knows your flaws and loves you as you are.
3. Your values are the same. If your core values are the same, it will certainly be much easier to raise children. If you don't agree on the same things as being important… there will undoubtedly be arguments regarding money, child rearing, sex, etc. It's important to ask him… what do you value? When it comes to children, what does he believe to be wise discipline? What are his beliefs regarding freedom, chores, structure and rules for children? It's also important that he knows he is to cleave to you… If his mother doesn't like you while dating you likely aren't going to become her favorite person marrying her son… this is the time to decide what are deal breakers and what aren't.
4. Men want respect more than just about anything… and so do women. It's so often thought by society that women first and foremost want to be provided for but really at the end of the day… both men and women just want their basic human needs to be met… to feel like they are heard, understood and loved. That includes respect. If a man doesn't cheer you on, if he doesn't support you in your goals and dreams, if he doesn't appreciate what you do but instead expects it… if he doesn't value what you believe to be important and instead just does what he wants even after you voice concerns… that's a battle that you don't want to enter. Pack it up and consider it over. He has a lot of growing up to do and you don't need to sign up to suffer for a lifetime while he attempts to grow up at your expense.
© gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com ~ 2014