My husband and I were watching a television series called Planet Earth. You may be familiar with it. Videographers enter into some of the most intricate and unfamiliar parts of our planet and capture it on film. This particular episode was about jungle birds.

How does this pertain to single ladies? Well, I’m getting there…

One thing is for sure: you cannot help but witness the extravagant displays on this earth without standing in awe of the Creator himself. God was so deliberate as he intimately wove the fabrics of this earth together, from animals to plants to human beings. I believe that we can learn so much about life by getting a glimpse into His creation.

As I was watching the dynamics of jungle birds mating in this particular episode, I listened to the commentator discuss the elaborate procedure. In observing the instinctive way that birds mate, I wonder if we’ve somehow gotten it all backwards. I couldn’t help but parallel these truths with our own human relationships and interactions.

Let me give you a few of my observations:

1. The first thing I noticed was that it was the male birds who were extravagant and ornate. Bright and beautiful colors and patterns, lavish feathers of all shapes and sizes, loud and boisterous chirps and calls. But the females, well, they were “modest” as the commentator pointed out. Plain in their appearance. Dull colors, quiet chirps. They were out simply to be won, with no need to dress or impress. They had an innate knowledge that they were valuable, and that they deserved great things. And so they sat, quietly, waiting confidently for the pursuit.

I wondered at how we as women have strayed so far when it comes to understanding our true value and worth. I wonder how we have become so fixated with using our appearance, body image, and sexuality to gain favor and value and love. We, too, were created with undeniable innate value. Created in God’s image, we were meant to believe that we deserve great things. Why, then, have so many settled for less?

2. The second thing I noticed was that the females were very picky  Even with the bright colors and bold noises of the males, it would take “nothing short of an outstanding performance” for them to even have a shot with the highly valued females. They would settle for nothing less than the best. Nothing less than”magnificence” would do.

My heart breaks for the many women I have met who have settled for less. Women who didn’t believe they were worth magnificent, extravagant, and crazy love. I’m saddened by how easy it is for women to give their hearts, sometimes to the most undeserving of men. Women will only be choosy when they believe that they are worth choosing. When they believe they are a treasure worth finding and a gem worth keeping. We have strayed so far from our God-created identity.

3. The third thing I observed was that there was no desperation on the part of the female birds. No need to make sure they got to the right place, were wearing the right feathers, or had the right body style. They sat patiently, just where they were at. They knew that in the end the males would find them because they were made to find them. And in the end, it always worked out that way.

I think part of the problem as Christian women lies in our fear of trusting God. Deep down, we want to trust Him, but we wonder if we really can. We wonder if He will really follow through. We wonder if He knows us as well as we think we know ourselves.

I look at these birds and their relationship “standard” in light of my past experiences. I look at them in light of the experiences of countless women I meet every day in my counseling office. I look at them in light of story after story of broken hearts and a desperate desire to be loved, to be valued. It seems as though our culture has really set us up for despair.

We live in a society that is completely opposed to this model of interaction. We’ve adapted a currency of value that has nothing to do with true love and everything to do with sex appeal, fashion, and beauty. A culture that has fooled women into believing that they must earn the right to be loved.

…dancing around, ruffling our feathers, showing off our colors in the desperation of finding someone to love us - all the while trying to convince ourselves that we are worth being loved. A culture of women no longer believing they have the right to be picky, but rather to, “take what you can get.” A culture that has forgotten that they are worth remarkable and that they are worth magnificent.

I don’t claim to have all the answers, but as I reflect on these things I’m left with two prayers:

Women, may you be challenged to acknowledge and accept your true value in the eyes of your Creator. May you be strengthened to settle for nothing less than seeing that level of worth in the eyes of the one who pursues you.  

Men, may you be challenged to become more and more magnificent and remarkable as you draw closer to the One who created you, relying on his sanctification at work in your life to produce in you this level of splendor.

And may you then come together in the beautiful unity of your God-created selves. A beautiful union that reflects the majesty and the brilliance of our Creator; a God who cares about the birds of the fields…and even more, cares about you.

All the single ladies - be encouraged. You are worth magnificence. Wait for it.

Article ran originally on truelovedates.com. Used with permission.

Debra K. Fileta is a Licensed Professional Counselor specializing in Relationship and Marital issues. She, her husband and two children live in Hershey, PA. She is the author of the new book True Love Dates (Zondervan, 2013), challenging young men and women to do dating in a way that is psychologically sound, emotionally healthy and spiritually grounded. Visit www.truelovedates.com and follow her on Twitter to get your dating questions answered and to learn more.

Publication date: August 6, 2013