Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Is Your Husband Worth Waiting For?
You've been waiting a long time for your appointed man of God to find you, but he seems to have gotten lost somewhere. You perform the duties of each day that you find yourself in, hoping that today is the day that your wait finally ends, but it doesn't. The sky darkens to signal the close of another day and you still haven't been found. It's beginning to look like you're playing a silly religious game of hide-and-seek all by yourself. You're hiding, but no one's looking for you but the wrong guys. Your faith is tested even more when you find out that your shacking cousin, Tammy, has just announced her engagement to what appears to be a pretty good man. How could that be? Tammy has been in three relationships within the last three years and she doesn't even know what abstinence means! And now, she seems to have found the one man in the whole world who's perfect for her. Even the pastor seems to be happy for her and you're left feeling like you've missed God somewhere... somehow. What if the wait isn't worth it? What if abstinence isn't necessary?
Believe it or not, there have been many women before you who've gone through the same emotions that you're going through. They've questioned their walks; they've questioned their faith and they've even questioned God. Nevertheless, they stood on the promises of God and their faith produced the very blessing they'd been praying for. Like you, they'd been tempted to settle for an Ishmael or two, but something in them wouldn't let them give in. This is the reality of a woman in waiting and it is a story that will continue to be told until the end of time.
Some women wait on God for their husbands, while others wait on God for "a" husband. There is a different mentality associated with both groups of women (of course). Women who wait for "a" husband usually marry the first man who makes sense to them. They choose their husbands based on their own strengths, strongholds, personalities, weaknesses, fears and personal beliefs. Women who wait for "the" appointed man of God (their own husbands) don't choose their own husbands. Instead, they let God choose their husbands for them, and of course, a woman who waits for the God-appointed husband is stretched more in the arena of her faith. She waits, and sometimes, it feels like her wait is for nothing. She's pursued by some really good prospects... men she'd love to end her wait to be with, but her focus isn't so much on herself... it's on the will of God. You see, she understands the purpose of marriage and the reason for the wait. She understands that not just any man can have her because when she decided to "faith her walk" instead of faking it, she had to tap into a measure of faith that she did not yet possess. It was then that God began to increase her faith because she used the small measure of faith that she had to trust Him. What she didn't realize was that a single woman doesn't have to live on as much faith as a wife. How so? A wife not only prays for herself, but she prays for her husband and the members of her household. To whom much is given, much is required, therefore, the responsibilities and roles of a wife negates that she have the wisdom, knowledge, understanding and faith she'll need to perform those roles and fulfill those responsibilities. In other words, when she went before the Lord and asked her for "her" appointed man of God, she had to join her faith to God's Word. When she did, the Lord began to change her, giving her the measure of faith that she needed to be qualified for marriage. Any woman can get married, but only a wife has the faith and understanding she'll need to stay married.
The bible tells us that a man who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord. (See Proverbs 18:22). The bible did NOT say that a man who finds a woman finds a good thing; it said he who finds a "wife", meaning that something has to happen to the woman to change her from being just another woman to being the wife of the man she's assigned to. When a woman marries, she doesn't become a wife; she becomes a married woman, but a wife is already declared ready by God, and then, she's released to be found by her appointed man of God. That's why he obtains favor when he finds her. He had to have an incredible measure of faith to trust God for her and bypass all of the beautiful, and oftentimes, seductive women who cross his trail everyday. A man who waits on God for his appointed wife is a man God has already declared to be "faithful", meaning, his wife can trust him with her heart because he has the heart of God. He has been declared by God to be a husband not just another man.
When a woman decides to become a wife-in-waiting, she is simultaneously deciding to have her faith stretched, to be tested randomly and to give up many of the things and people that she's come to cherish. She doesn't go from being a woman to a wife; she first becomes a wife-in-waiting, meaning, she is prepared by God for the role she's about to take on. Marriage isn't some small event that we'll all visit someday; it is a reality. It's a whole new world. In marriage, there is no "me" and there are no "I's"; there's only us, ours and we. In other words, marriage is not for selfish people, but amazingly enough, a woman (in her natural state) is a selfish creature. If she isn't prepared by God for her role as a wife, she'll be a selfish, married woman who makes unreasonable demands that she, herself cannot live up to.
Why shouldn't you settle for an Ishmael? I can only answer that through a personal testimony of my own. Recently, I found myself being pursued by a man from my past... a man I knew would be a great husband and father. Nevertheless, our first conversation told me everything I needed to know... he was not the one for me, even though my flesh wanted him to be the one. He was a decent man who wanted many of the things I wanted, but he just wasn't my husband so I had to be selfless and end our communications. We didn't talk for anymore than a few days because I'd heard what I needed to hear and I didn't want to block Mr. Right with Mr. Good Enough.
After we stopped talking, I told my Apostle about him and she said something that stirred my spirit all the more and confirmed that I'd done the right thing. She said to me that my husband has been laying on his face, praying for me. Those words did something to me because I could almost see my man of God laying prostrate before the Lord and praying for me. This man has labored for me, prayed for me, interceded for me, fasted for me and believed God for me. He has made the necessary sacrifices in his life to prepare himself to be the husband God has designed him to be. Why would I sacrifice the marriage I'm ordained to have with him for a man who's never once prayed for me, believed God for me or waited for me? The one who prayed for me will know my worth! I've been married twice to the wrong men and I know how emotional relationships start and end. They usually start off with two people who are more than ready to be married or, at least, enjoy the perks of marriage. (Some people want the pleasures of marriage without the responsibilities thereof, but that's another article.) The couple says all the right things to one another, and because they're so anxious to be together, they don't guard their hearts, meaning, they believe every thing they want to believe without testing it with the truth! They've already made up their minds in relation to one another, so they intentionally ignore every sign they pass that tells them they're heading down the wrong way with the wrong person. The emotional high they get from imagining one another's potential, rather than examining their reality, sets them up to enter emotional soul ties. After a while, they began to sober up from that high feeling they get from talking with and imagining one another's potential. Eventually, talking to and dreaming about one another isn't enough, but they don't want that high to come down, so they set themselves ablaze by kissing one another. It isn't long before their kissing leads to fornication. That's when they enter the "honeymoon stage" of a relationship, whereas, they began to think they love one another because of their bodies' responses to the emotional highs they've been experiencing. They can't stop thinking about one another and they can't wait to roll around between the sheets yet again. After all, they've gassed one another up so much that the sparks they experience in the bedroom set off an explosion of emotions, dreams and endorphin. They began to make love to and kiss the people they are imagining that their partners are and not the reality of who they are. I always say that we often marry two people at the altar: the person we've imagined our spouses to be and the reality of who they are. We're interested in the imagined character, but we often divorce the real character.
During the honeymoon phase, the couple still has to do something extravagant to keep themselves on "cloud nine", so the soul-tied man goes out and buys his bride-to-be a cheap engagement ring and asks her to marry him. (Of course, in some cases, the guy gets the bride an expensive ring, but in most cases of fornication, the guy doesn't know his illegal bride's worth because he's never paid the full price for her, so he'll get her a ring that doesn't offend his monthly net worth. Let it marinate; you'll get it eventually). After Ishmael proposes to Hagar (let's keep it real), the couple announces their engagement and their highs are intensified by the praises and envies of others. Nevertheless, after they've gotten married and fulfilled their sexual curiosity with one another, they then come to the reality of who their spouses really are. The imagined characters begin to fade into the background as their real selves appear and it is then that most people realize they have nothing in common with the people they've married (outside of the bedroom, of course). Because they have nothing in common outside of sex, they spend the bulk of their marriage trying to manipulate a change into each other using sex. They play every romantic song that's ever been made, slap each other around with dildos, take extended vacations (as if the hotel's bed will change their sexual personalities) and buy books about sex hoping to learn new things they can do to make their marriages better. They don't realize that sex is ONLY made better when it's not happening (during communications and general living); the event itself only confirms how they truly feel about one another. People who truly love and respect one another don't need a bunch of gadgets or books; they simply need one another. A man who truly loves his wife is excited by the sight of her alone. A woman who truly loves and respects her husband is "set ablaze" by the sound of his voice. She doesn't need to be primed, prodded, pruned or prepped like a Thanksgiving turkey.
Finally, after life forces them to come outside of their bedrooms (and their imaginations), they come to the reality that they were not designed for one another and they have little to nothing in common. That's why so many people say they "grew apart", when the truth is... they simply grew up or woke up.
I didn't want to end up married to another man with potential because experience taught me that potential is just that... potential. Many prisoners had the potential to be doctors, but now, they have life sentences, a head-full of tattoos and cellmates who call them "Papi". Nope... I want the one who's cried out for me; the one who's received prophecies about me... the one who will know me by the spirit because the Spirit of God led him to me. He's the one who will understand my heart's intent and he's the one who has God's permission to call me his wife.
Settling for Ishmael is the same as buying a brand new car that you can't afford. Sure, you'll drive around in your new relationship and show him off to every influential person in your life. Sure, you'll look good riding around with him. Sure, he'll treat you well for a while, but that new relationship smell will eventually wear off and the bill will come. After a while, you'll be paying a price that continues to rise for a relationship that keeps breaking down. It won't be long before Satan sends one of his repo men (or repo women) to tow your guy away. It's simply not worth it. Waiting on God means you're trusting God and you're willing to go through the pruning and the pressing to receive the promises of God. You can trust God and wait on the one who's prayed and believed God for you or you can settle for the one who settles for you. We say all the time that we (women) are worth the wait, but that street goes two ways. How many of us are saying and displaying that our husbands are also worth the wait? If you're dating every man who appeals to your eyes and flatters your ears, you've already answered that question with a negative. But if you are believing God for the one He's chosen for you, and you've made the necessary sacrifices to be found by him, you are saying to God and your future husband that he's definitely worth waiting for. Know this: You can't be found if you're not waiting.
By the way, that Tammy character who fornicated her way into matrimony did not enter holy matrimony; she simply legalized her illegal marriage. Don't be inspired (or offended) by such a union because its foundation will not stand in trying times.