Valentine's Day : A Day for Preparation......

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I started writing this post with the intent to answer a question I asked God at the start of this year : How can I prepare for marriage while waiting on my future husband? I focused on this question with genuine intent to be productive. After much studying the word and a few prayers in between, God led me to a more mature perspective on what it really means to wait intentionally on Him and His perfect timing of my future with the man He's grooming to be my spouse. (helpful verses include Lam. 3:25, Isaiah 40:3 and Song of Solomon 8:4). I've never been the girl who wallows in self pity on Valentine's Day but even still, the hopeless romantic in my can't help but imagine how spending the rest of my life with a man God is going to allow me to fall in love with many times over. During this year's 21 Day Fast, I journaled prayers for myself and my future husband that included ways to prepare myself for the blessing I'm seeking from God. In seeking Him for clarity during those three weeks I realized that His answers weren't solely applicable to the topic of marriage — they were more so about becoming a better disciple of Him. That's when I was hit wit a huge reality check: Perhaps the best way to prepare for marriage while I’m single is to not focus on marriage, but rather focus on strengthening my relationship with Christ and doing more of the work I am called to do in God’s kingdom in the form of constant praying, serving, and evangelizing.

While I think marriage is a special union that I still pray God will bless me soon, it isn’t the wisest use of time now to prepare for the hope of marriage. Since my fast ended, I've instead been focusing on the greatest hope I already have that will NEVER leave or forsake me: Christ!

Though the intent of this post changed drastically before I even posted it, that doesn’t change the quality of the feedback God revealed to me. Here are the things I feel He's guiding my heart and mind to do as I wait on Him to reveal Himself to my future spouse and I and for any of you who are seeking His face and waiting on His perfect timing, here's what you can do as well:

1)Pray, pray and pray some more: If marriage is something you want in life, pray to God for a righteous man. A godly, righteous man is worth any wait. Pray for God to work in you, to expose qualities in yourself that need improvement, and to mold you into the woman and wife that will be pleasing to Him and your future husband. I’m not sure if anyone is really “ready” for marriage, but we all have certain characteristics that need to be refined and polished by God. After praying to God about marriage, you need to trust. Trust that God heard you and trust that He is in control of your life.  If we lack trust, then we become anxious.  If we are anxious, we are telling God, more or less, “I don’t think You can handle this the right way.” It’s blasphemous, really.

2) Strive for purity: “Make choices to flee from sexually immorality – any act of sexual immorality is a gift you take away from your husband.  Look for a man who treats you (and all other women) with all purity, NEVER pressuring you to be physical (Paul instructed Timothy in 1 Tim 5:1-2 to treat his sisters with all purity). Strive also to guard your heart and emotions until you are married. Be wise on who you trust and who you pour your heart out to.

3)Serve others more consistently: For me, marriage calls for serving people in a certain way and frequency that I am just now at a place to get accustomed to serving.  I wish I had been more selfless and more giving in my early twenties, and spent more time doing things for others.  I wish I would have realized that I won’t only be serving my husband, but others that entered my life once I bound my life to his. In essence, learning how to serve those who are in my life now, especially my parents and siblings, will make my transition into marriage a lot smoother.

4)Spend less time obsessing over marriage: There was a point in my life where I probably idolized marriage. Unfortunately it was all for the wrong reasons. I've wasted entirely too much time thinking about me as a future wife and mother rather than turning that focus on God.  It's so futile and shameful to think about now, but I thank God that His love for me is relentless and His grace is enough to sustain me going forward. 

5)Learned to rise early: I'm a professional napper. That's not always a good thing, especially when it means by the time I should be winding down for bed, I'm wide awake and full of creative energy. One thing that stood out to me while reading Proverbs 31 was the mention of the her rising early. This is something I plan to work more diligently on before marriage because though I wake up early some days, it’s not always because I want to but more so because I have to. Now, the days I rise early are spent talking and listening to God and they produce less stressful and tiring days. Getting that sense of peace and direction before getting into each day is crucial and I pray I never take them for granted.

6)Focus on growing closer to God: Here is a verse that stood out clear as day during my time of fasting and prayer: ‘She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life’ (Proverbs 31:12). Ever since, this sort of become my mantra. Although I hope God is revealing who he's called me to marry, there are so many ways I can do good to him before we know for sure. I can be holy!

In reality, as I continue to wait for my good thing from the Lord, I can be who I’ve always wanted to be. I can be me, using God's grace to get back to who I was created to be when He made me in His image. This is really the best way to prepare to be the wife God desires me to be and the one that I want to be. More than anything, this will help me to be happy whether I’m married or not!  

Xo, Jessica