Now like all newborn babies, I'm sure Ishmael was adorable. I'm sure it was amazing for Abraham and Sarah to see and hold him for the first time. But despite how incredible Ishmael was, he wasn't the promise that God had in mind for Abraham and Sarah. In Genesis 17:19-21 (NIV), God said, "Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant...And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and increase his numbers...But my covenant I will establish with Isaac whom Sarah will bear to you by this time next year."

 

When I read this story, it helped me realize that as long as I'm being picky about the right things, that was OK. While Ishmael was a great blessing, God had something even greater in mind for Abraham. Fortunately for Abraham, despite his disobedience in trying to make his own way, God still blessed him with what He intended.

 

But unfortunately, when it comes to relationships, one bout of settling could potentially have lasting, lifelong effects. It could result in a broken heart, a broken marriage, or even worse, a broken relationship that distances us from Creator of the universe. And while redemption and God's grace allows for second, third, fourth and even hundredth chances, it only makes life that much more difficult when we settle.

While an "Ishmael" could be good enough to date or even to spend the rest of your life with, I decided then that no matter how long it is that I'm holding out for an "Isaac." Now the jury is still out, however, on whether he'll have any resemblance to the Simon LeBon of old. And that's probably OK with me either way, minus the tacky '80s attire of course.


Christa Farris currently lives in Nashville, Tenn. where she serves as the Editor for CCMmagazine.com, the Books and Music Editor for CCM Magazine and the Managing Editor of Special Projects for Salem Publishing.

 


Check out Christa's Valentine's Day column from last year!