This is a guest post by my friend Dr. Renee St. Jacques, a doctor in psychology. Her blog, Heart Doctor, is all about the issues of the heart…in all areas of life. The excerpt from her blog post, Manifesto of a Christian Single Woman, provides excellent advice and encouragement to today’s Christian single women. You can follow her blog here.
Have a standard…that’s not based in brokenness…
So many women have a ‘wish list’ of what they want in a spouse. That’s very normal and it can be healthy to have that.
However, the ‘wishlist’ can end up being the painting of a perfect man that….doesn’t exist.
And even if he does exist…it may revolve around things like having a nice car, nice body, big house…that honestly doesn’t really matter to God.
The question is…Where did you get your wish list? Where did you derive that from?
Does it come from your own expectations and desires that are…rooted in brokenness?
Maybe you dated a guy with an anger problem…now you want someone who ends up being.. a push over.
Maybe your Dad was never there for you…now you want a man that basically…worships you.
I encourage you to take off the ‘broken lenses’ you see life through…the ways you blend what you want with what God truly wants…and seek God for a standard that isn’t rooted in your brokenness. Yes, go through the healing process but also just ask. He’ll show you!
Also, look in the Bible. In there, you’ll find a wealth of things that will help you value and recognize a good man. To God, things like character is emphasized way more than we prioritize it in our ‘wishlist’…
Don’t be presumptuous…
Furthermore, I encourage you to not be presumptuous. Do not assume you know what you want..what you need…Only God knows what you really need and what will be good for you…in your 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, etc.
Yes, only God knows.
A lot of girls reject amazing guys because they aren’t who they imagined themselves with…not their “type.”
Majority of my friends who are getting married in this season would definitely vouch that they never imagined themselves with their spouse when they first met him.
We can’t be presumptuous. Do you really know the future? Be open to what God has for you.
Have a standard but don’t rip people off because you think they “aren’t good enough” for you.
He’s not your girlfriend, He’s not your father…
Ladies, you have to know that men are extremely different than women. We were created very differently…
I encourage you to know the differences. Learn how to communicate with them. For example, women need to be loved but for men, they need to be respected. It’s important to learn these kinds of differences.
He’s also not your father.
Sometimes I see girls who want that love, affirmation…identity… that they didn’t receive from their dads, to come from their husband.
The truth is that if you didn’t get what you needed from your dad, you’ll have to get it from another dad….your Heavenly Father.
Only God can meet that need.
He’s not enough…
He’s also not enough. Men were created to be a vessel of God’s love…Sometimes they are a very good vessel and sometimes, not so much. They were to represent God to us!
But no matter what, they were never created to be enough to meet all your needs. He, too, is imperfect. He cannot complete or make you whole. You will have to learn to look to the One that is enough…God…to meet that! And I would encourage that you get that now versus learning that the hard way.
Someone gave me this analogy once– it’s like having a meal. Jesus should be your ‘main meal,’ your main dish– the core of your nutrition and meeting your needs. Meanwhile, a man should be like ‘dessert’– it’s a treat, it’s a blessing, it’s a good thing but it’s not everything!
If you only ate chocolate as your main meal…you’d get sick! He’s only a blessing, not your ultimate source.
Get ready, get ready…
Many women prepare more for their wedding day than for a lifetime of marriage. (Yes, it’s important but keep in mind, it’s only one day!)
Every woman needs to prepare themselves as they move into a very critical new season of marriage…and the single season is your chance, your window of opportunity…
Do you have issues, addictions, insecurities you need to take care of? Do you have unhealthy patterns that you may or may not know that you operate in?
Whatever you may face, it’s important to do your best to go through the preparation – to get yourself healthy spiritually, emotionally, physically, relationally, financially…so you can be faithful with the little so you can be faithful with much.
Sometimes we have a Hollywood picture of what marriage will be like…but I encourage you to take the preparation time seriously so you don’t end up running a ‘marathon’ with a ‘broken leg’… no one is ever really ready for marriage but you can be more ready than not.
Don’t put your life on hold…
Finally, I encourage the heart attitude, the inner manifesto of the heart to….not put your life on hold.
Think about it: God is going to provide marriage in your life in the right time and the place, with the right person, if you let Him lead you…
The day that happens is already on the calendar of heaven! God knows the beginning from the end.
Why suffer on your way to that time mark/milestone in your life? Why pine away and be sad when you can seize the day and use this special season of singleness to get prepared, to know yourself, to cultivate your relationships with God and others, to do things you can uniquely do more of in this season (like travel!) to enjoy your season?
I encourage you: Savor the season.
God is worthy of your trust…He wants the best for you (He desires to bless you even more than you want it!) – and He’s a good father that provides “good and perfect gifts”…
Proactively use this season to seek God with a heart full of faith and hope…and be open to what He has for you!