Monday, July 24, 2017

The Wait, Part 4: Married & Young Challenge (Perspective Prayers + Avoiding Idolatry)

Saturday, I joined a Facebook group called M&Y Saved and Single (5 Day Challenge). This group, run by husband-and-wife team Jamal and Natasha Miller, co-founders of Married and Young, includes singles from all around the world who are preparing for marriage. This FREE challenge, which begins July 31st, is designed to teach those of us in a season of singleness how to pray for our future spouses (even if we haven't met the person God has for us yet). As I mentioned in my last post, I've been thinking about marriage a lot lately. Since I was a little girl, I've always pictured myself being married (and yes, I AM that really annoying person who already knows what colors and music I want for the reception 😂), but this is...different. I've never had a "right time" set for marriage, never a specific age "requirement" to be married by. If you had asked me at 21 or 22 if I was ready for marriage, I would've resoundingly said NO. In this first month and a half of 23, though, something has shifted. I'm not dating anyone, and I don't even see any "prospects" on the horizon right now. To some, this may sound "crazy," but I feel God positioning me for marriage.

Image source: Facebook
I joined Jamal and Natasha's challenge group by happenstance when their live broadcast appeared in my Facebook feed. When I signed up, I felt excitement coupled with a sense of peace that I've never experienced before. I'm not afraid of where God is getting ready to take me, I'm just optimistic about the future. The challenge hasn't even officially started yet and I'm already being blessed by the nuggets of wisdom and encouragement that the Millers and various members of the group are posting on the Facebook page. Before the challenge officially starts and we begin praying for our future spouses, Jamal and Natasha are giving us a kick-starter course on how to get ourselves right spiritually before God brings us the right person.

This morning, Jamal shared a powerful word about perspective, explaining that we need to humble ourselves before God. We need to recognize the one-sided lens through which we see ourselves and acknowledge that because God is omnipotent, He can see us from every angle. Once we recognize that, we have to open up to see ourselves the way God sees us, so He can repair the broken areas before He sends us a spouse.

Jamal also touched on another subject that really resonated with me: How to separate earthly, spousal love from God's love. He explained that in relationship with our spouses, we need to be careful not to place the selfish burden of supernatural love on to our natural spouse. They shouldn't have the responsibility of providing us with a love that only God can give. That's deep! It made me think of something I saw on Instagram Sunday night. Ironically, one of my favorite poets, Jackie Hill-Perry, made a short video geared toward--of all things--women praying for God to send them a husband. Right in my wheelhouse. The clip had a playful tone to it at first, but then, Hill-Perry became serious. She said:

"Sometimes you hear the saints talk about the type of husband they want [and they say], 'I just need a man that's going to love me with all his heart all his mind and all his soul.'...This is the thing: We do want spouses who love us well, clearly, but if that's all we're praying for, that's not enough. What you have to pray for is a husband that loves God more than he loves you, because it's his love for God that's gonna make him love you well.

I think some of these women don't realize what they're saying when they say [they want a man who loves them with his all]. So you want to be an idol? You want to be a golden calf to a man? That's not what you want. You don't want a man who worships you. You want a man who worships God, and through his worship of God, he honors you."

This is exactly what I've been praying about.

Marriage has been weighing on me heavily in the last month or so, but I'm being careful not to be consumed by the idea of it, especially since I've never been married before. If I blow the idea of marriage out of proportion during my season of singleness, it may be harder to appreciate the union that God gives me. No relationship is perfect. My goal is to approach this season with realistic expectations. Let us pray.

God, I come to You asking for guidance in this season. I feel You shifting me towards something new, telling me to position myself to be married. As I and other singles reading this begin to prepare for covenant, I pray that You will open our eyes to the areas we need to work on in our own lives. And while the work is being done within us, we trust that You are also preparing the heart of the one You designed specifically for us. Help us to learn not to question or rush You. Help us to surrender our lives and desires to Your will, knowing that You know exactly what and who we need. And when You send us our future spouses, help us not to worship each other or the idea of marriage, but to focus on You, the One who knew us before the beginning of time, the One who loves us better than anyone on earth ever could. Most importantly, let our lives and our unions be a reflection of who You are.

In Jesus' name we pray,


To join the Married & Young Single and Saved 5 Day Challenge, click here. Challenge starts July 31!

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