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<< Encouragement for Today

Encouragement for Today - Nov. 16, 2006

  • 2006 Nov 16
  • COMMENTS

 

November 16, 2006

 

Encouragement for Today

 

Principle 2

 

“When to say, ‘I Do’”

Van Walton, Proverbs 31 Speaker, Director of Hispanic Ministries

 

Key Verse:

Proverbs 4:25-27, “Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for your feet; then stick to the path and stay safe. Don't get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.” (NLT)

 

Devotion:

I recently decided I needed a pair of earrings to match a dress I would wear to a wedding.  Determined to find pink earrings to set off my special-occasion attire, I drove to the mall. I did not need another pair of earrings. I had some classic jewelry to wear, but I wanted to make a fashion statement. The latest fads dictated that eye-catching, fun-loving, color-coordinated accessories were necessary. While at the mall, I found some earrings that ”would do” or so I thought. Days later, I put on my new jewelry. Just the right color, they dangled correctly and made an appropriate fashion statement, but they just were not me. I was no longer satisfied with what had once charmed me. I wanted to return them, but they were now used goods.

 

This was not the first time I had made a choice I regretted. Many times I have thought a new “accessory” would truly improve me or change my life. Later I’d learn that what I thought was essential was only a romanticized notion. 

 

Sometimes, to a woman, a man is that romanticized “accessory.” If you are a typical single woman, your future dreams probably include a man with whom to share your life. This is not unusual. God created us with that desire. 

 

Thirty-five years ago, I married my man after a college courtship of two-and-a-half years. We met on the phone, sort of. He overheard his roommate talking with me and decided we should meet. After many phone conversations we agreed to get together between classes. That was the beginning of a life-long friendship.

 

I use the word “friendship” rather than “romance” purposely. Over time I grew to enjoy the company of this young man. Over the months we increasingly chose to spend time together. As we became more and more acquainted I knew we had a lot in common. I came to admire him. His intelligence, calm spirit, love-of-family, and clear respect for me made an impression. Eventually I realized I was no longer content in his absence.

 

I’ve seen so many relationships fall apart after the wedding. Like the earring purchase at the mall, women sometimes make passionate, impulsive, or desperate “purchases” at the altar without truly considering the long-term reality of marriage. Like rushing to buy a pair of earrings that are socially in fashion but just not really you, a lovely wedding is planned with a dazzling color scheme and an impressive dress but not long after regret sets in. 

 

Each time I look at those earrings I ask myself why I bought them. Unfortunately I have friends who feel the same about the men they married. They wonder why they settled for someone who “would do.”

 

I believe it was God’s grace and many prayers that allowed me to date my husband for a long time before we married. I like to think I made a wise decision, but I can’t take all the credit. The Holy Spirit guided me in my choice for a life-long partner.  Let me share three consistent thoughts I had as I dated:

 

n         Marry for friendship, not romance. Romance is nice but like a pair of earrings, it can lose its luster. A friend is someone you connect with, appreciate, and respect. Save physical intimacy for marriage

 

n         Marry someone you know well. Allow the attraction that unites the two of you to be rooted in your minds, hearts, and souls - where true intimacy develops.  The development of a deep relationship takes time. Don’t rush into a decision that can’t be “returned.”

 

n         Marry for honest reasons. Marriage is God’s design. It is a union between two people who promise before God to take care of each other, to encourage one another, and to help each other grow towards Christ. Marry a man who loves his Lord more than he loves you! Marry a man who has learned from God how to love his wife. Don’t marry for status or money. Also, don’t fall prey to the notion that you can “fix” him once you are married.

 

My Prayer for Today:

Heavenly Father, I long for a relationship with a man who will love me and cherish me. I know You have a perfect plan for me and I pray for patience and trust to wait for that husband. Give me the wisdom and strength to accept only Your best for my life, in Jesus Name I pray, Amen.

 

Application Steps: 

Describe your notion of perfect husband. Ask God to show you what His notion of a perfect husband is. Do the two lists match up?

 

As you wait for Mr. Perfect to come along, remember there is only one perfect Man. Allow your relationship with Jesus to grow and develop to the point that know Jesus alone satisfies.

 

Prepare yourself to offer the purest gift of all to your future husband, a treasure no other has encountered. 

 

Reflection Points:   

Why would I allow the world to dictate my values and dreams?

 

Why would I settle for a man who doesn’t fulfill my dreams?

 

Since I believe marriage is God’s perfect plan for man and woman, am I willing to wait for the right man of God to come along?

 

What is the best that can happen if I wait for Mr. Right? What is the worst that can happen if I settle for a man who might not fit my needs?

 

Power Verses:
Song of Solomon 5:16, “His mouth is altogether sweet; he is lovely in every way. Such, O women of Jerusalem, is my lover, my friend.” (NLT)

1 Corinthians 6:18-20, There's more to sex than mere skin on skin. Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact. As written in Scripture, "The two become one." Since we want to become spiritually one with the Master, we must not pursue the kind of sex that avoids commitment and intimacy, leaving us more lonely than ever—the kind of sex that can never "become one." There is a sense in which sexual sins are different from all others. In sexual sin we violate the sacredness of our own bodies, these bodies that were made for God-given and God-modeled love, for "becoming one" with another. Or didn't you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don't you see that you can't live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body.” (MSG)

Philippians 4:6-9, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  … whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” (NKJV)

 

Additional Resources:     

Dreams of a Woman by Sharon Jaynes

 

Becoming the Woman of His Dreams by Sharon Jaynes

 

Every Woman’s Battle: Discovering God’s Plan for Sexual and Emotional Fulfillment by Shannon Ethridge

 

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