Born to Pursue…

rubies

I’d like to share some information that I’ve learned through the trial and error, excitement and disappointment, joy and pain of dating….things I wish I’d known the first time around. Better late than never.

A man will pursue what he wants most. Career, marriage, sex, power, God, hobbies, family, money. It’s a God given trait. You can tell what is most important to a man by what he prioritizes.

When he’s looking for a woman, he will pursue. When he’s looking for a wife, he will pursue. And, these can be two very different things. Same goes for us. What we may want in a man and what we need in a husband are two different things. Be aware, guard your heart, and date accordingly.

When a man catches your scent and starts to pursue, what is he picking up? Sex appeal? You may have a plethora of pursuers. But, be aware that sex may be all he’s hunting. The only way to know is to take it out of the equation. Money? A different type of pursuit. There are plenty of men who will spend and live off your money too. He needs to work. Looks? They will fade. We all age, even him. A good time? We all have bad days, sick days, sad days, hard days…..Will he help (love) you through them or bail?

How about spiritual fruit? A man drawn to the sweet smell of the fruits of the Spirit will be looking for yours. That’s a beautiful pursuit.

Work on your insides while you take care of your outsides. Outer beauty may attract initially, but inner beauty will become more attractive over time. To us too. Most of what we desire in a husband, they also desire in us. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self-control. Ask God for a character that grows more beautiful by the year.

If you have the desire to marry, don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for talking about it or looking for it. Not everyone has this desire, but for those of us who do, it is not wrong nor does it make you any less spiritual when you feel or express physical loneliness. That’s a healthy, God-given desire.

A huge part of what makes a husband a great husband is his awareness of how special his wife is. His treatment of her reflects that. These are my favorite marriages to witness. You’ll want a man who continues to pursue you, even married. One who gives, serves, plans, and thanks God for you. One who truly loves you for you. If you are the one chasing him and wearing him down to spend time with you or commit while dating, this is the precedent you are setting. Wait for the man who pursues you. Treasures you. Who views being committed to you as the privilege that it is.

When the dating crickets chirp, take comfort in the fact that you are released from the temporaries and more prepared for your permanent. It may feel lonely. You may think something is wrong with you. But, God is working in you and your future mate. Pray for them and know that you are already loved, already beautiful, and already being actively pursued. Jesus woos us. He waits for us. He is the perfect gentleman. That being said, Jesus doesn’t take the place of a living breathing physical partner. I know this. But, He does love you more than any living breathing partner will. Cry out in your physical loneliness and know that He loves you.

Love is sacrifice. Love is patient, love is kind……(1 Corinthians 13). Learn what real love is so that you can recognize healthy and unhealthy love when it shows up. Learn so that you can give and receive it. Grow in your relationship with God so that your fruits will flourish. This will not only help with future romantic relationships, but also with your kids, family, and friends.

The man who is pursuing a wife will pursue you differently. He knows what he wants too…and he knows it’s hard to find.

A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. Proverbs 31:10-11 (NIV)

There are no guarantees in marriage. Uniting two imperfect people in holy matrimony is always a risk. I have learned the hard way and experienced much pain in the process. If I can help anyone avoid pain, that would be a huge blessing. I pray for wisdom this time. I pray for fruit this time. I pray for the courage to take the risk….again. Because I believe love is worth the risk. I plan to keep learning from and leaning on the One guarantee I am certain of and that is Jesus, my Rock.

 

 

Pearls of Wisdom

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Is there anything more valuable than God’s wisdom in our life? We search for it like the treasure that it is. We crave it. We just want to know what He wants us to do in any given situation. Ultimately, His wisdom comes with a sense of assurance and confirmation. If the conflict in our heart does not cease, we are not there yet. The answer hasn’t arrived.

For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you. Proverbs 2:10-11

What our hearts really desire is contentment, fulfillment, and peace. Peace with God leads to peace with ourselves. His wisdom brings peace, even when it’s the hard thing to do. If our hearts just don’t feel right about something, the Holy Spirit is speaking to us. Heed that feeling. Take note and seek wisdom. Remember, that His peace is a gift and a fruit of the Spirit that He loves to give us. We should cherish this gift as His children. Life won’t always be easy. But, if we don’t have peace, God is trying to tell us something. Listen….

I was in a relationship where everything seemed right on paper, but my heart was troubled. I couldn’t figure out why this guy who I assumed must be “the one” because he seemed to have everything on my list, just didn’t lead to peace. I tried to adjust and make changes to help ease the discomfort, but I still had turmoil in my heart. I thought maybe it was me, maybe I just wasn’t used to being really loved and that’s what he was doing. So, I gave it more time. I remained honest with him about my struggles and lack of peace. He reinforced my possible reasons like maybe it was because I was a naturally anxious person, this was new, and I was scared because of my past. He said he was willing to be patient with me and wait until I felt safe enough to fall in love. It wasn’t happening. So, I continued to plead with God to either take the discomfort away or reveal why on earth I had it.

I woke up at 4:30 one morning with very clear answers on exactly why I needed to end it. With clarity and conviction, I wrote the reasons down so I could recite them clearly when I called to let him know. In the aftermath, I saw so many confirmations of what God had revealed. His wisdom and me ending the relationship led to peace. It was hard, but the peace was worth it. God had answered and I obeyed. When we actively pursue His will, He is faithful to reveal it. Peace follows…

Turns out love is more than a “list”. Breakups are never easy, but if there is a lack of peace and comfort, they are necessary and wise. Whether it’s a career move, a friendship issue, a difficult family member, or a romantic relationship question, God has wisdom to share. He is very much active and aware of our concerns. He wants to help. Let’s let Him. Sometimes, His answer is to stay quiet, sometimes it’s to speak up, sometimes it’s to wait. But, when He answers, the best thing we can do is respond quickly. The way the chips fall are on His shoulders, not ours. Thank God we can trust Him with the outcome. This gives us peace. The outcome is His baby and we are His. Rest in that fact.

When we pray first and then follow our instincts, we can trust that the Holy Spirit is active. God is in control and He will never let us down. Pearls of wisdom will help us personally and help us help others in the process. God longs to reveal wisdom to those who seek it. It may be a struggle, but the pearls are worth it. Peace is the prize for pearls.

 

To Seek His Face?

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What does it mean to “Seek His face”? I woke up this morning with the strong inclination to do just that. “Seek Me. Seek My face.”

I play hide and seek with my girls and they squeal with excitement as they search and find me. It’s fun! The looks on their faces are priceless. Their eyes are wide as saucers when they find me and their laughs are contagious. I think a game of hide and seek is in our very near future. I feel the same way when I hear from God and even more when He blesses me with the courage and strength to obey. It’s in these moments that I imagine He may squeal with delight too. They tend to feel so few and far between…..

Look to The Lord and His strength; seek His face always. Psalms 105:5

Remember the cultural phenomenon “what would Jesus do”? This saying was about seeking Him. Seek His will. Seek His words. Seek His wisdom. Seek His character in any given situation. To seek means to search for, to discover, to look for, to ask for…To seek can be grueling. To seek can be hard work. We may not necessarily like what we find because it’s not the “easy” thing to do. We may be so scared of what could be found, that we stop seeking altogether. But, to seek His face is the prize. His face is the pot at the end of our rainbow and well worth searching for. Matter of fact, His face IS the rainbow after the storm.

Ask and it will be given you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7

I don’t think this verse means we will always get exactly what we ask for. I believe it means that if we are seeking Him, we will find Him. Being the perfect parent He is, He won’t give us everything we ask for. In His ultimate mercy and wisdom, He gives us what’s best for us. No matter the circumstance, He is always best for us. He is the prize. Ask, seek, search, grow….

One of God’s favorite “hiding places” (if you’re seeking Him) is in the Bible. It’s His love letter to us. It’s His instruction booklet and owner’s manual. His word is there for our own good, not to punish us. His word is there because He loves us, not to condemn us. His word is there to instruct and direct us, not to force us. It’s there to convict us, not to shame us. Seek and you shall find.