It’s true. And I’m not bitter! This wasn’t an overnight decision. But it calmed my heart through many nights.
The process took prayer, Bible study, and a helpful article from Boundless.org.
First Corinthians 7:34-35 also directed my heart, “There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband. And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction.”
Isn’t this verse amazing? The reassurance was knowing that this decision was so that God can speak to my heart. It was a different way of opening up my life to the Lord. This is very different from a decision made in haste, with the intention of closing off one’s heart in an attempt to control the flow of affection and genuine love in one’s life.
As with many decisions I’ve made for God, I experienced a deep sense of freedom. And it was almost immediate. The Holy Spirit quickly showed me habits and ways of thinking that have been holding me back because I was actually undecided on this issue.
I’ve also been rewarded with a good time of observation. I listen, learn and watch other people in their relationships and marriages. I’m happy to take note of what people go through, and most of all, how godly couples make Christ the center of their marriage. The Lord has also shown me the heartbreak and confusion that unsaved relationships go through and the frantic emptiness that people try to fill with performance and doing more of something that isn’t based on God.
God blessed me with resources. I re-read a booklet from Reformers Unanimous on co-dependence. He showed me my pattern of relationships over the last ten years. On paper, if I read the behaviors of my tendencies, I would conclude that this was someone who didn’t want to be in a relationship. Maybe that’s true. The Lord immediately gave the comfort of the Holy Spirit to continue facing things about myself that I needed to surrender to God. (Here we go again with the surrender, right?)
Three things that He brought up to me. Remember that these are lessons God has for me. If you’re in a different season in your life, they may not resonate with you. I’m just sharing how God made this personal for me.
1) It’s not interest. It’s vulnerability.
I’m a magnet for guys in transition. Or they seem to be on the brink of major change. Sometimes…okay, fine, OFTEN, I’ve confused their vulnerability from their situations as interest. It’s better to get to know someone when they feel that they are their whole self.
2) Unconditional acceptance
Listen from my gut-center. Just observe what people do, instead of asking leading questions so that it produces an acceptable answer that I want to hear.
3) Be agreeable and stay humble.
Can we say, “correction queen?” I can immediately spot when there’s a flaw in logic or speech. Even the slightest twang in pronunciation. I had a great habit of correcting people. So, God was kind enough to tell me to stop it.
4) The best place to see each other is at church.
Imagine that! This lesson de-programmed the world’s standards on compartmentalizing church as the last place on the list for people to meet. But, for me, I was able to let go of the pressure of deciding where and how to spend leisure time. Also, not coming from a Christian background, these lessons are new to me. New means “difficult,” at first.
For all faith purposes, God can easily let me know that “operation heart-on-hold” ends early, and I may not need to complete the year. The joy is that I made a choice to clear out other clutter that may have been weighing me down and holding me back from really big messages that God needs me to hear. I don’t want to miss them!
My prayer is that you find a way to love and support other single people in your life.