Saturday, May 05, 2012

all the single ladies

Before I met my husband, I was single. I never had a real boyfriend.

There were guys I had kissed, but none of them seemed to want to be in a relationship and those encounters quickly fizzled. I was constantly perplexed about why other girls could get a guy to be willing to be their boyfriend and I could not.

For a while I decided that I didn't want/need a boyfriend, and that things were much better being single. I didn't need a man to validate my existence because I knew that Jesus loved me as I was. And no, Jesus was/is not my boyfriend. This phase went very well for me.

During my time of focused single-hood I made a lot of really monumental decisions for my life. I decided that I didn't want a boyfriend until I met the man who would be my husband. In order to make sure that happened and I didn't go falling for every handsome face that seemed like a godly man, I made a list of qualities I knew I would require in a mate.

I don't remember all of them, but a couple of them were:

  • A man who is a reformed Christian
  • A man who'd be willing to forego all forms of birth contraceptives
  • A man who'd let me homeschool the kids
  • A man who wouldn't let me be in control
  • etc.

I had been praying (and I still pray this way) that the Lord would form me into the kind of woman that woman was meant to be - woman before the fall and sin. I also prayed for a spouse who would be the man as Adam and men in general were meant to be - before the fall and sin. Now I am not now, nor was I ever foolish enough to think that I would become the perfect woman or find the perfect man. I just know that there is a design that God intended for both men and women in the beginning, and I don't think His purpose has changed ever since. 

I started reading the Word, and trying to understand what that might entail.

This was a really good exercise for me because as I started learning, the more the Lord was able to work on my heart and change my attitudes (quite frankly, He's still doing that). When you start researching gender roles in Scripture, you can't help but read about marriage, submission, leadership, etc. 

When I finally did meet my husband, things went quite a bit different. I played hard to get instead of leaving the door wide open. It was a challenge for him to figure out if he liked me and if I was worth leaving his family to travel half-way across the country to court me. We hashed out our pasts and offered each other forgiveness. We talked about the things that were deal breakers, and the things we'd be willing to sacrifice for the other person before getting into the relationship at all. 

I have found that a lot of people become unhappy in their marriages and divorce because they start to realize that their spouse wants something different than they do, or that they had no idea about this or that aspect of the person until it's too late. They don't talk about the important things at the beginning because they don't want to frighten the other person off because it's "too heavy." Honestly, if you can't talk about the heavy stuff at the stage where you're interested in getting to know a person as "more than friends" then that's probably a good sign that you shouldn't be "more than friends." I think a lot of heartache and mistakes can be prevented with a lot of honesty before things get too intense.

If you are a single woman, and would like to be married one day, I strongly suggest you start doing your research into who God would want you to be. Not just for a husband, but for yourself. When you figure yourself out, you are better able to figure out what you want; what you can and can't live with. 

Lastly, I was given a good piece of advice about preparing for marriage by a young single man. "Women always concentrate on looking for the right man, but how many are concentrating on becoming the right woman?"