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singleness

Marriage

Your Husband will Not be Jesus

March 15, 2017

Even though I’m now married, I find myself still clicking on the blog posts about “preparing for a husband” or “advice for single ladies”. You know the ones I mean. Now I click for a different reason. I click to see how accurate the information is that they are providing. I spent 30 years of my life clicking on those post trying to make sure I was doing everything just so to prepare for marriage, or to make it happen quicker, or to be ready. And I’ve come to one conclusion.

You’ll never be ready.

You could read 1200 of those articles/posts every day and you’ll still not be ready.

But I suppose if over the last 3 months of marriage (because you know three months makes you an expert lol!), if I had one piece of advice to give to single ladies hoping to be married one day, it would be this: your husband will not be Jesus.

I thought I had a pretty realistic expectation of marriage and of my husband but I had read one too many articles and one too many books that had put the role of husband next to God.

You know, he’ll lead you. He’ll give you grace when you fail. He’ll show mercy when you scream at him. He’ll always compliment your cooking. He’ll take notice when you clean the house. He’ll never say anything hurtful to you. He’ll always say you’re beautiful when you wake up with sleep in your eyes and smelly breath. He’ll lead you in study of the Word and always pray every night with you.

He will be Jesus to you.

Now please hear me loud and clear, husbands do have a huge responsibility to love their wives as Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5:25). But learning to do that does not happen overnight. It’s a process and a process in which your husband will fail at times. Your husband will not be perfect. Your husband will NOT be Jesus.

Your husband will need grace. And respect. And love.

Just like us, ladies, need those things.

Expecting your husband/future husband to woo you like Jesus is an unfair expectation and ultimately will only lead to disappointment. The only person who can show you an infallible, perfect love that truly fulfills is Jesus, not your husband.

If our hope is not firmly grounded on Him, we’ll be sorely disappointed when we realize that our husbands, well…are not Jesus. Our husbands can show us Jesus but they’ll never be Jesus.

I feel like in the church today we give these unfair expectations to women preparing for marriage. We read those verses of how husbands are called to love their wives like Christ loved the church but we forget to mention that husbands are human and even though this is their call, they will fail. Yes, they’ll get back up and try again but they will fail. It is our job to love them regardless.

So today, ladies, I’m telling you what you may or may not hear in church: your husband will fail you. He will not always love you just like you thought he would. He will get grumpy when he’s hungry. He will get mad. He will struggle to say I’m sorry when he’s wrong. He may not remember that you love fresh flowers.

But he may remember the M&M’s. He may spend hours fixing the car. He may tell you look beautiful when you feel like crap. He may go to pharmacy to get you medicine when he himself doesn’t feel well either. He may clean the back porch when you didn’t expect it. He may challenge and sharpen you in your faith. He may try really hard to show Jesus to you.

But he will never BE Jesus. So don’t expect him to be.

Pray for him. Love him. Give him to Jesus. But do not place on his shoulders a weight that no man, no matter how wonderful, can carry. Remember your worth is found in Jesus, the only one who will not fail you. And on the days, when you’re disappointed in your husband’s inability to meet all your fairy tale ideas that you might have been taught in church or in one of those sweet little Christian blogs, grab your husband’s hand and love him. It’s a process and you’ll learn together.

Photo by Joe Terranova
Journey

Coming Home {A Love Story} // Part 1

December 4, 2016

December always seemed to be the month that I remembered how single I was. I hoped against hope that maybe I would get my Christmas miracle and God would send the man into my life who would be there to stay. But year after blasted year, he never showed and I was stuck watching the most ridiculous Christmas Hallmark movies one more year while shoving more than one chocolate-covered cherry in my mouth.

And then last year, the season was different. I can’t really explain it. It was just that all of a sudden I felt okay, even willing to enjoy my singleness during the Christmas season. (Enjoying my singleness during the rest of the year wasn’t nearly as hard as Christmas.)
On 12/6/15, I wrote in my journal:
Oh how things are changing. I can’t even see all the changes but I can feel them–I sense a shifting beneath my very feet and it is scary yet even more exciting.

For so long I’ve felt out of place–without a home, unsure where I fit. And I think there’s a reason that I haven’t felt settled here. Sure it’s gotten better but I think there’s something more coming.

Back in the summer when I was in Honduras, I felt like “he”–my husband–was coming very soon and then when I got back after awhile that hope/belief faded because nothing happened…

As I was thinking about the “set time” for my husband to come into my life, I felt overcome by this thought that maybe the reason I haven’t met him yet is because he’s not here in Cairo (where I live) because this isn’t where I’m going to be long-term either. I don’t know–maybe it’s all speculation. Maybe I’m feeling hopeful because it’s Christmas but maybe it’s something more–a lot more. Praying, Lord, You continue to order my steps and show me Your way.

Ignore the raccoon eyes, please.

A few short weeks after I wrote this journal entry, I began to sense the Lord putting in my heart the word, HOME. I knew it was a promise of more than a place, that it was a promise of the husband I had prayed for but I was scared to hope. I had been disappointed by hope too many times. So I did what any other Christian woman would do. I spiritualized the word and convinced myself that the only thing that God meant by giving me that word was that I was to find my home in Him. But in my heart, I knew. I knew there was more to that word.

My talented friend, Anna Edwards with her fabulous company, Dustmade, offered a New Year’s special to have necklaces made with your “word” for the year. I had her hand-stamp my word “HOME.” and it has hung around my neck many days this year as a reminder of the promise God had given in that word.
I remember driving to my parent’s home (my current residence) late one night and having a sobfest as I drove telling God how He wasn’t answering my prayers. I instinctively put my hand to my neck. I had forgotten I had even put the necklace on that day but as I held the necklace plate and rubbed my fingers over the stamped letters, I calmed and as clear as clear could be, I heard the Lord say “I am answering your prayers.” 
I had no idea what was about to transpire in the months ahead. I had no idea how God was moving puzzle pieces together. I had no idea how much promise this year truly did hold. I had no idea that God was preparing my heart to answer my prayer in a way I never expected. He was planning to answer it with more…more than I could have EVER imagined.

(I know, I know, you’re thinking, but where’s the rest of the story? It’s coming…stay tuned! ;))

Singleness

“Chronically Single”

December 8, 2014

I’ve never been at all motivated to talk about my “chronically single” status on any form of social media. Do I talk about my uncanny ability to not catch a guy with my sister friends? Yes. Do they get it? Some of them. Some of them do offer encouraging bits of advice and some of them are in the same boat and just “Amen” all my complaints/questions. And then some of them say stupid things like “Oh I get it, girl” when they were married at 19. I’m sorry but no, you do not get it.

Truthfully most of the time, I’m okay with being single (meaning I’m not a blubbering mess crying my eyes balls out waiting for a man.) Do I want a man? A resounding YES! But…I will never be that girl that shamelessly throws herself at a guy simply because I no longer want to be single. Not happening. I have too much respect for myself to make a fool out of myself. Some guys dig that but I don’t dig guys who dig that. And I’m never going to be that damsel in distress. My mama didn’t raise no dummie! I come from a line of very strong and independent women who never had the idea that we needed to be rescued by a man. The only man that ever rescued me was Jesus. And I’ll never be that girl to “lead” the relationship. I don’t want to wear the pants of the relationship. I like my dresses just fine. I want a man who will pursue me, who will not be afraid to point blank tell me he’s interested in me and ask me on a date. Maybe I’m old-fashioned. Maybe that’s not the way it happens anymore. But I’m not gonna lie, I’m a pretty strong-willed girl and I already have to make every decision about my life as it is; I don’t want to have to make every decision about a relationship too. If a man isn’t strong enough to lead, I don’t want to follow.

So you may read that last paragraph and say “Oh girl, I know why you still single.”, puff your lips out and shake your head back and forth in disapproval of my bluntness. And maybe it’s true. Maybe that’s why. So let me tell you the other side of this “chronically single” thing.

It hurts.

It hurts that at 28, I’ve never been in a real relationship. It hurts that I’ve not met a man who thought I was worth the pursuit. It hurts to celebrate every holiday alone. It hurts to long for someone who loves me enough that he’s willing to break through some of my hardness and care for me. It hurts that at every decision point, I wish I had someone to help me choose the best but I don’t. It hurts that after I post this, people will readily pass out judgement.

Christians will tell me I should be satisfied and contented at just where I am. And friends, whether it sounds like it or not, I am. But that doesn’t change this deep longing within me that God, Himself put there. God said it is not good that man/woman be alone. For years, I’ve been made to feel guilty when I expressed the desire to marry, that how dare me as a Christian not be satisfied with God alone during this “chronically single” season. That there was something not completed in me and for that reason God kept me single. Y’all, I’m calling BS! There is nothing impure/sinful/discontented about my desire to be married, to be loved and to love.

Some may say “maybe God’s chosen you to be single”. I’ve thought about this. Heck, when you’re 28 and have not one man you can say was a boyfriend, you have time to think about this. But here are my thoughts on that. God is our Father and He loves us with a love so BIG and GREAT we’ll never be able to fully comprehend. Would a Father who loves us that much taunt us with deep a heart desire that He has no intention of ever giving us? I could be wrong but I believe based on His character the answer is no.

I do believe that one day (and I do hope it’s soon!) that I’ll meet (or maybe I already know) a man who will love the Lord with all his heart and be willing to win my heart (even if it means a bit of a fight). I know me and I know I’m not the easiest person in the world. I don’t really recognize when a guy is trying to show me he’s interested. I make up every excuse in my mind about why he would be doing those things that show interest other than he’s interested and then usually by the time I do recognize he really was interested, he’s done trying. So whoever this man is that God has for me, well he’s got to have a little fight in him and/or be extremely direct.

My heart longs for him. Sometimes to the point it physically hurts. I long for the day we say I do but more so I long for the days after. The days we create a home together. The days that his dreams and my dreams become our dreams. The days that I can lean against his back and say I’m here for you and the days when he wraps me in his arms to let me know I’m not alone. The days I wake up looking into his face knowing he loves me fully. The days where we go pick out a Christmas tree together. The days I can introduce this man to my Honduras family. The days we excitedly prepare to welcome our little one. The days we pray together and serve the King together. Oh how I long for these days to come.

And they will. I trust my God that they will come. That he will come.

When that day happens, y’all better get ready. I’m going to be bragging on him all the time! Today, it’s one of those hard days when the longing is almost unbearable. Even still, I can look back over the years with gratitude for my “chronic singleness.” I’ve learned so much. I’ve done so much that maybe if I had of been married I wouldn’t have done. I’ve become a person who is better prepared to love another for a lifetime. The time has been hard but definitely not wasted. A wise woman once told me “God doesn’t waste anything.” He doesn’t.

And to my sweet man of God wherever the heck you are, I’m praying for you. And I already love you. –Your Wifey!

I have no idea who this good looking couple is but yes,
when I’m married I will wear a “Wifey” t-shirt!