In a sermon I recently listened to by Matt Chandler, he ended with this prayer for single women:
'I hope and pray that God would put in your heart a deep and consistent desire for a man, not a male.'
I think with that one statement, a massive topic has been opened... Because how true is it, that we, as single women, start with the best of intentions to date and marry a MAN, and yet, because of loneliness and impatience, we end up with just a male, just a guy?
It's like, the older we get, and the longer we wait - the more we lower our standards. The more we decide that anyone will do, so long as he is actually a guy.
Here's the thing, I'm not saying that our ideas, or ideals shouldn't change; I do think the older and more mature we get, the more realize what actually does and doesn't matter to us in a relationship. But our standards should never change. We should never ever decide we can settle for someone with less than total integrity. We should never decide we can settle for someone who can't be bothered initiating, pursuing, and laying down his life for us.
But I'll admit, I understand the temptation to settle. There are a lot of good options out there, they're just not the God-options. And I know the mentality is, particularly in the Christian world, if a girl isn't married by the age of 22, she's doomed to singleness. I know there are guys who are just totally smooth and charming, and knock you off your feet before you have chance to argue. I truly understand how tempting it can be to go for the good option. But please, keep waiting. Hold strong to Jesus. Pray for the courage, strength, and patience to wait. Remind yourself the God-option is your only option. Dont settle.
You're worth everything. You're worthy of loving, and being loved by a MAN, not just a male. You're worthy of being in relationship with a man who pursues you. Who sacrifices for you. Who honors you. Who treasures you as the gift you are.
Below are some Scriptures I've found that talk about what a man looks like, what a relationship with a man looks like, along with some questions God has challenged me with.
Ephesians 5:25 - Husbands, you must love your wives so deeply, purely, and sacrificially that we can understand it only when we compare it to the love the Anointed One has for His Bride, the Church. We know He gave Himself up completely to make her His own, washing her clean of all her impurity with water and the powerful presence of His Word. - Is he attempting to love you, and anyone in his life the way Jesus loves the Church? Will he make sacrifices to honor and better you?
Genesis 2:24 - Now this is the reason a man leaves his father and his mother, and is united with his wife; and the two become one flesh. - Is he someone you can make a life with? Is he ready to be the father, instead of always running to his mommy and daddy to make everything better? Is he someone you can be united with for the rest of your life?
1 Timothy 5:8 - And listen, if someone is not providing for his own relatives and especially his own household, then he is denying the faith and is worse off than an unbeliever. - Is he willing to do anything (that's not illegal) to provide for you and your family? Is he willing to work outside his qualifications if necessary to look after you?
1 Peter 3:7... each of you should respect your wife and value her as an equal heir in the gracious gift of life. - Does he respect you? Does he value you - all of you - not just your body? Does he recognize that you are a gift from God? Does he understand that you are of equal value to him?
Genesis 1:27 - He created humanity in His image, created them male and female. - Again, is he Christlike? Is he attempting to follow and demonstrate Jesus?
1 Timothy 6:11 - You are a man of God. Your quest is for justice, godliness, faithfulness, love, perseverance, and gentleness. - Does he pursue justice, godliness, faithfulness, love, perseverance, and gentleness? Does he demonstrate these qualities in everyday life, not just in front of other Christians?
Micah 6:8 - what else does the Eternal ask of you but to live justly and to love kindness and to walk with your True God in all humility? - Is he kind? Does he walk with God humbly? Does he think he's God, or does he understand he was simply created by God, for God's use?
1 Corinthians 16:13-14 - Listen, stay alert, stand tall in the faith, be courageous, and be strong. Let Love prevail in your life, words and actions. - Does he listen? Is he alert - does he realize this is a war we're in? Does he let God be the strength when he is weak? Does he stand up for what he believes in? Does he take courage? Does he do the right thing, even when nobody is watching? Does he do the God-things, even when they're hard? Is love his motivation? Does his love for Christ, and his love for people shine through in all he does?
It's important to say, none of us are this, yet. We're all on a journey, and will continue to journey and grow until we're with Jesus in Heaven. But it is possible to find a man who is on this journey. This is the kind of man you want, someone who is actively pursuing Jesus, and on the path to becoming all God wants him to be.
Males - it is my prayer that you would become men. That you would look to Jesus, and love Jesus, and follow Him. It is my prayer that you would see His example of how to love a woman, and follow it. It is my prayer that you would never stop looking to Him as your God, your Hope, your Strength, and your Example.
Girls - it is my prayer that we would become women of God. It is my prayer that 'God would put in our hearts a deep and consistent desire for a man, not a male.' It is my prayer that we would never settle for the good option, but continue waiting for the God-option. That we would become the women God always intended us to be, and that we would never stop looking to Him as our Saviour, our Lover, our Strength, our Peace, and our Example.