DISCLAIMER: So I've never been married. And I'm not engaged or dating. But I do know my fair share of married people, and hope to one day be one. So that’s my qualifications on the subject - just incase you're wondering.
I'm 23 years old, and over the years I've been in a few relationships. I've fallen into what I thought was love (several times) and I've done weird stuff because of it. Like buying a pet fish to impress a boy with how responsible I was. Turns out fish hold very little weight on the responsibility scale. In the end the fish died and I was left alone… ghosted, by both boy & fish. Rough times.
I'm pretty familiar with heartbreak. I know what its like to feel the kind of hurt that makes sleeping, eating and general human functions seem impossible. Even worse, I learned that I too am capable of hurting someone in that way. Somewhere in the middle of all that mess I found myself frustrated with what seemed to be a pattern. What was I missing? Why was every relationship failing? And why was this failure turning me into someone I never imagined becoming? After several steps back and a few lifestyle changes I found my answer. And it pointed back to me. First God, but then me.
What I didn't realize was my worth. Yes, "worth." That five-letter word used at every woman's conference that has ever been and will ever be – yet so often completely missed in our life pursuits. I knew about worth, I grew up in church, I was loved on and cared for by many. But what I didn't realize was the honor of worth. The responsibility of worth. The preciousness of worth. The confidence of worth. The gift of worth. And how our understanding of worth changes relationship.
I discovered – first painfully and then joyfully, the characteristics within me that reflect God’s heart. Slowly I found that these qualities were GOOD but could ONLY thrive in a God context. I saw my ability to love recklessly… much like Christ does us. But I also found when given away prematurely, out of place and to the wrong people how quickly that kind of love becomes chaos. So, I bent toward purpose. Holding firmly onto the dreams hidden in my heart, I learned to guard what’s valuable and cultivate the call of God on my life.
Now what does this experience have to do with Marriage? Honestly. I don't know. Raissa just wanted me to make what I’m about to share with you longer. And the only way I was able to write what you’re about to read, is through all of what you just read.
What I do know is this – the moment I found my worth I began to look at relationships differently. I now choose to remember people are on the other side of my obedience. I now choose to do my very best in cultivating relationships in their proper time. To choose the right context. To find those who sharpen me as I carry the responsibility to do the same. I now choose to remember that through it all, the goal is always and forever others.
Thoughts on Marriage:
The enemy wants to reduce our thoughts, our decisions and our actions in this life so that we never walk into our Genesis charge. To never see the potential in ruling with Christ. As women we must be wise when giving our love away – when choosing where we invest, who we cultivate and where we'll remain. Marriage is a gift, a God construct designed in the likeness of his church. In the end, this partnership is much more than love between two people but rather, love united with a mission for others.
The honor of finding partnership has the challenge and call to build. Personal intimacy with Christ ushers intimacy between two people. And when two or more are gathered, God dwells among them. This is how family is built. United with Christ and then one another to bring heaven on earth. God wants us to choose partnerships that invite him to dwell all the more. To grow families who are the church. To build homes in hearts, and to manifest his presence tangibly for others to cling to. Relationship is a reflection, an echo, a testament of who God is. Relationship is not scary, not impossible, and not unattainable. It’s is a path we choose to walk through in this life.
So when we look at a man, may we not see physicality, charm, wealth or common interest – but may we look to the eternal. Because it is in the eternal that fullness is stored, fullness far greater than this world is capable of holding. May we not settle but examine the God dreams within us and measure potential against the call of love on our lives. May we find a personal conviction to foster a future for both ourselves and others. And bring heaven on earth in the fashioning.