I am sure the Pastor was shaking his head at me as I was trying to justify dating while still being married. I have been separated for 5 years now and I am still not divorced. I have been seeing articles and books everywhere on dating and marriage. We are even in a message series at church on, you guessed it, Marriage!!!! There is no doubt God is using this season of my life in preparing me for marriage. The ex I am separated from is honestly one step away from death but he is not dead. His death probably would warrant a divorce however with my luck I would probably still have a hard time getting the dang thing granted. These days I pray to God that by some miracle I will look online and it will say divorce granted. I probably have a better chance of winning the lottery and I don’t even play. In my defense I live 3000 miles away. In his defense he is so caught up in his addiction I wonder on a daily basis whether I am going to be informed he has passed. I filed for divorce in 2010 and believe this shows intent to divorce. I used all these as strong points of convincing the Pastor I was ready to date. Then there is the part of me that is scared God’s greater plan involves a reconciliation between the two of us. This would become a great test of obedience and faith. One my annual goals for 2015 is to get the divorce finalized. For 3 months now I have been planning and trying to figure out how to accomplish this goal. So in the meantime, I was thinking I can meet some nice Christian God- fearing man. Spend the time getting to know him as I am working on obtaining the divorce. As the divorce is finalized we can start planning the wedding and walk straight from the courthouse to the chapel. Whoohoo what a plan, right? Then Pastor says ” I think once the divorce is finalized you should have a season of waiting” Are you frigging kidding me ?!?!?!?! All the arguments swelled up in my head. I had to remind myself I was talking to my Pastor and that I had solicited his advice. In his mind I am sure he was thinking, she is not listening to me. In my mind I was telling myself that God was speaking to me and it was what I needed to hear and not debate. Its been five years of waiting and not to mentioned I hadn’t been in a relationship in over three years. Well I did have a two-week relationship about a year ago. Too many red flags. But that don’t count, See I am responsible enough to make healthy relationship decisions. I know God loves me and I know its time to start dating. Ummm NOOOOOOOOOOO! Pastor asked me a question ” How long you plan on being married this time?” I assumed he was asking this to test my knowledge on a healthy fruitful marriage. I was thinking if I answered correctly he would indeed retract his “season of waiting” concept. So I was like forever Pastor. This is true. I do want my next marriage to be my last marriage. I want a Christ centered marriage and like I had been saying for the past 4 years now, I want to do things right this time. I quickly learned that Pastor didn’t ask me that question because he was testing me , he was asking me to teach me about time. He broke it down so I looked into the future instead of being stuck in the moment. I am 35 right now. I still have till I am about 87 to live. If I get married when I am 37 we will still have a good strong 50 years of marriage ahead of us. That became the ah ha moment of our conversation. I came to the conclusion that maybe I had been rushing things. Will it really hurt to have another 2 strong years of spiritual growth? Not at all, I would rather have a healthy happy marriage ordained by God due to my obedience to God. Sometimes I wonder why we are in a hurry to do things. God is not in any hurry. This is one of the main reasons why I love living in Tennessee in oppose to California. The slower pace sells me every time. Even though the pace is slower out here society will always try to dictate a faster pace than God ever intends.
The Devil Made Me Do It!
“The devil made me do it!” Eve told Adam, and Adam told God, and we tell God. Is it not true Satan is behind all this discord? Wait, how come Satan is not getting punished for the choices I am making then. Satan had his consequences, he was thrown out of Heaven. The Devil is also a spirit therefore he can not be punished for our bad choices.As noted in Romans 8:28 we are punished by death for the acts we choose to commit. This verse explains we die for our sinful nature. Please don’t be naïve , we sin everyday up to 24 hours in a day. The stronger our relationship with God is the more we tend to sin. So what exactly is sin ? Meriam-Webster has 2 main definitions of sin. I am not content with any of them really. My own definition would be; an act brought about from the ideas of Satan in which causes death to all humanity. The bible is very specific on recognizing not one sin is greater than another. So regardless of the magnitude of sin, the consequence is still spiritual death. So this an idiotic, over zealous creature caused all humanity to be put to death. Well thank you Satan for dooming all of humanity.The good news is an Omniscient , creative, passionate spirit of God came and saved us from this impending doom. Jesus’ life and death on earth rectified this dooming reality for all of us. Then lets review some the most difficult questions. Do you believe a murderer is worthy of this grace? The bible says if the murderer accepts Christ before earthly death the murderer has a home in heaven. What if the murderer dies before hearing the gospel, the good news, the redemptive power of Jesus blood? Will this man find his way into heaven? God has a place in his heart for them as well. I look back at my marriage and the man I married. He was a horrible husband and unfortunately still is a horrible father to our children, I often ask God ” Will this man ever change?” God tells me “Yes, he has to make the choice to change. It’s not you who will change him ” I often think of the things this man has done to us and think ” he does not deserve the grace of God!” but I have to put myself in check and know it is not up to me to decide whether he deserves the grace of God or not. Everyone deserves the grace of God. God is battling to continuously discontinue evil from this world. I assume He probably doesn’t need our added stress of being judgemental as well. We are renewed on this earth as we accept the grace of God. We will be made new. When I think of all my sin and stupidity, I think of Christ suffering and death. He didn’t take on the sin of the world as a whole but rather took on the sin of each of us individually. Please, let us remember every time we choose to sin we add another thorn on his brow and mark on his back. Just a little to think about before we chose to deliberately defy God again.
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My Identity in Being Single
” The antidote to loneliness is not found in marriage, at least not by itself. It is found in our relationship with God who is always with us , the true Lover of our soul. It is found in friends and family . And it is found in the family of faith, the eternal community of the church.”~Peter W. Chin
I have been single for 5 years now . Two failed marriages which brought about two wonderful children. I often wonder if I am considered a true child of God because of my failed marriages. Upon biblical research I have discovered there are two categories to being single. There is the unmarried and then there is the widow. The unmarried seems to mimic the ones who are yet to be married and has yet to produce offspring. The widow is the woman who lost her husband to death. A widow is more likely to understand a single mother than an unmarried. But if a single mother has never been married it seems she may not understand the dynamics of marriage therefore may not be as knowledgeable than a widow may be. This is where my lack of identity in God comes into play. When I see the word unmarried in the bible I can not help but realize that is not the category for me. Then I read about the widow and once again discredit the category. I was beginning to think I would never fit in with the world or others in my church. I can sympathize in many ways however I am still not them. I read this article last week and found no encouragement as it was geared towards the unmarried. So that made me think, Am I justifiably single ? Am I loved by God and other Christian believers? Then I received a free download for a book titled .THRIVE. http://livingwithpower.org/products/7-day-thrive-challenge-download/. The book brought into perspective not just the unmarried but the widow as well. Now I had discredited being a widow but the more I read into it my true identity was revealed. I am a widow. Whew, I said it and now I feel like a true child of God. Yes the man I had married is very much alive physically however he is very much spiritually and emotionally dead inside. I have spent nearly 5 years grieving the death of my marriage. How could anyone in such situations such as myself not qualify as being a widow? Now that I am familiar with identity what’s the next step?
I was chatting with a co-worker and He told me he had been married once. Been there , done that. If you would have asked me five years ago my response would have been quite similar. Been there done that 2x and I don’t believe third time is the charm. Figuring out who I am as a Christian and my identity is the first key to contentment in being single. One being my relationship with God has grown and I truly believe God has another man in sight for my future. My true love, the one he has intended me to be with all along. I believe growth is a main key for me today, But being patient is more important . While patiently awaiting my true prince I focus a lot on becoming a Proverbs 31 Woman. I devote myself daily to becoming a wonderful wife to my new husband. We are blessed that God loves us enough to trust us with being single. Even the Apostle Paul was content in being single discover for yourself in 1 Corinthians 7.
Simple Prayer:Lord God Almighty, Thank you for loving me enough to reveal your will for my life. Please help to prepare me to be a Proverbs 31 woman and to stay content during my single years. Help to mold me and shape me into the best wife I can be for my future husband.In Jesus NameAmen