Saturday, June 6, 2015

SINGLE LIFE SERIES: The Kind of Man You've Asked Me For Won't Tolerate That

Often when you go to God and ask Him to help you with something, or ask Him for something, He will begin to talk to you about things that seem to be completely unrelated to what you asked Him about or asked Him for!  He's not crazy. He didn't change the subject. He heard you. He IS answering you.  He's trying to teach you that there is a LOT more involved than what you may think, and until you allow Him to reveal those things to you, you will never be in a position to receive what you've asked for. This is especially important for Single Christians to learn.

I've had my "list" as I'm sure most other singles who desire marriage have had. Attractive. Sense of humor. Certain height. Certain build. Love God. Respectful. Strong communicator. Romantic. He has to be this or that, or not this and certainly not that. He should at least do or have this or that. I need him to be able to do such and such at least sometimes.  These are pretty generic desires that if you were to look at every woman's list, they would be on it.  As I grew in my relationship with God and learned more about Him and myself, my list changed and so did my "type".  Some things ceased to be as important to me as they had been before. I even became more specific about some things that I hadn't thought of before, because I didn't know myself as well.  I'm sure I'm not the only one who has made adjustments to my list over time. Then again there may be others who made one list and never had to change a thing, and you received the desires of your heart. Whether you write it out and tuck it under your mattress like one young lady told me she did, or whether you sleep with it under your pillow, keep it in a notebook, or whether you carry it around in your bible or carry it in your heart, you have your "list". 

I believe that a major mistake many people make is that after we make our list, we set about finding someone who only fits that list.  We think that if he or she shows up and we see something that we didn't list, that must not be the right person. We even go so far as to keep telling ourselves and each other not to settle for less than what we asked God for. Let me pause and say this as a reminder to those of us who believe: When God answers prayers He never stops at just what we asked.  Even the scriptures refer to Him as the one who "is able to to exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think" (Ephesians 3:20) so that should be enough to let us know that when the answer to prayer shows up it will always be more than we imagined when we prayed, and actually may not look quite like what we imagined. People are often accused of being too picky when it comes to choosing who they feel is right for them.  The sad thing about our pickiness is that it can have the opposite effect of what we think. Being too picky sometimes leads us to settle for less when we think that we are not settling at all by holding out for the better. Being too picky keeps us more narrow minded than we believe we are.  It actually keeps us from the "exceeding abundantly above" that God has for us in a mate. We limit ourselves to our list, not understanding that the person who fits God's plan for our lives is that list and a whole lot more. 

We limit ourselves to specific characteristics not understanding that a whole person is a person of a certain character. People don't operate in individual characteristics. Those characteristics pour out of a full character, a whole person who is living a certain way of life. This brings me to the next thing that I want to share with you that God said to me. 

I had been talking so much to the Lord about what I wanted in a mate.  I was so specific about everything I could think of, not wanting to leave anything to chance. I was also very stubborn in my heart toward God because of my frustrations with Him. I had a habit of back-talking Him about what I felt about how He was handling things for me.  I always seemed to have something to say before I got around to doing what He wanted. It was easy for me to express my disagreement with His process, to let Him know that I'd expected more from Him than what He was doing. I'd had my ideas about how my life would and should look and I'd always expected Him to make it happen, and when I wasn't seeing what I'd always imagined, I let Him know that I was disappointed in HIM.

One day while I was doing some of my good back-talking He said to me, "The kind of man you've asked me for won't tolerate that." He was talking about my strong will and my attitude toward Him.  I've said in another post that your relationship with God will be a mirror of your relationship with your mate.  He is the one who teaches us how to relate to one another by how He relates to us, and showing us the truth about how we relate to Him.  The Lord knew the kind of man that I found most attractive so He was actually trying to help me out.  He didn't say that he "won't like it" or "won't appreciate it". He said he "won't tolerate it". So basically, the teaching moment was saying to me that if a man like that was going to be in my life, I'd have to make some adjustments to the way I communicated and responded to situations. 

What I love about God is that He didn't tell me that I couldn't have someone like what I wanted.  He didn't tell me I wasn't good enough. He just let me know that if I desire to be with someone like that, I would have to be someone that someone like that would take notice of and be attracted to and it had nothing to do with my outward appearance, but with my behavior. Even if he was drawn to me for my appearance, once that behavior showed up, he'd be turned off. This was an opportunity for growth in how I communicate my feelings and thoughts, even when, and especially when I'm disappointed or am not in agreement with something. Understand, that for many men, the way I behaved up until that point wouldn't be an issue. They might be able to love me right through it, work their way around it and never leave me. But I wasn't asking God for many men. I was asking Him for specifics and He just let me know that these particular characteristics in him won't tolerate these particular characteristics in me.

What I love about God is that He didn't tell me that I couldn't have someone like what I wanted.  He didn't tell me I wasn't good enough. He just let me know that if I desire to be with someone like that, I would have to be someone that someone like that would take notice of and be attracted to and it had nothing to do with my appearance, but with my behavior. Even if he was initially drawn to me for my appearance, once that behavior showed up, he'd be turned off. If he thought I was the prettiest woman in them room, one conversation could make me the ugliest. If he didn't think I was the prettiest woman in the room, a conversation with me might heighten his attraction to me because of who I show him I am on the inside.

You see, we are good at making lists and laying them before God, but we don't always realize that a person like what we described is attracted to certain characteristics in a mate.  If you don't possess those characteristics that person you are looking for may never cross your path or if they do, may never look at you twice.  You may notice them but they may not notice you. You may even have a conversation with them and hear everything you've prayed for, but if they don't hear the same from you, they will be fine not to ever speak to you again. People who live on a certain level or who are of a certain character don't like some things. They like other things. They aren't comfortable in some places or may be comfortable in places that make you uncomfortable. They behave differently, and live every single day, a certain way. They have pet peeves, likes and dislikes. They have things that they can deal with and other things that they absolutely will not tolerate. This principle is true in choosing a mate as well as in choosing a career.  You can't go just anywhere and behave or even dress just any kind of way, and then say, 
"This is just the way I am and they just need to accept me for who I am" or "If you love me you'll accept me and love me for who I am". Though that is true, it is only true to a certain extent.

What have you asked God for?  What's on your list?  Does it seem like God is talking to you about everything except what you have on your list? Well of course He is!  The list has already been established. Now He needs to teach you about the supporting cast to the list, all of the other characteristics that you didn't think of that make up the whole person. For instance, the kind of mate you've asked God for may need a clean kitchen. Do you keep a clean kitchen or do you just clean once in a while? Or it could be the opposite. You could be preparing by learning to keep a spotless home but when the one you've asked God for comes, it may be that he does most of the cleaning or cooking. I know a few women who don't have to cook at all! In a situation like this you may find yourself lacking in an area that you didn't know you needed to prepare in.  God knows everything about everybody so when He seems to change the subject on you, it's best to follow His instructions. 

Understand that just as you have a list, that person, your type,  has a list also.  They are asking God for certain things too.  This is not to discourage you into giving up on your desires but to encourage you to allow God to develop you into a better version of yourself.  This is not to say you're not "good enough" per se, but we are all constantly growing and as you allow Him to grow, mature, and stretch you, you will be a happier more fulfilled individual with or without that certain person in your life. Believe it or not, this is God's desire for all of us, to be whole happy, and fulfilled whether someone else is there or not. I'll call this His ulterior motive. It is ALWAYS to better YOU for YOU FIRST.

Our true desires come from the One who is able to fulfill them. But just as you have to prepare yourself to have a certain kind of career by educating yourself, it's the same with preparing for the kind of mate you desire. If you truly desire to have a certain career, you don't find out how much education and training you need and then say, "Oh I'll never be good enough to be that".  Instead you choose to do the work, go to school, get the education and training so that you can have the fulfillment of that desire.

We go to school and take so many courses that we say we will never use in real life.  But those courses are necessary and even if you may not use those specific math problems ever again in real life, you need to understand that you will use the skills you learned in those courses. You learned to reason. You learned to see patterns. You learned to solve problems. You learned how to research. You learned how to think a certain way and it is those skills that you will go on to use in everyday life. Those courses helped to shape your character.

To my fellow Single Christians I say, whatever life courses the Lord has you taking right now, trust that they are needed, even if they seem totally unrelated to what you have in your heart.  Preparing for marriage is about way more than learning to cook, keep a clean house, keep a job, who will handle the money, and how you will handle disciplining the children. Submit to God's process and understand that as He prepares you to receive what you've asked Him for, more importantly at the same time, He's simultaneously, preparing you to also be able to live without it. When that person comes they will be so much more than you had in mind when you prayed. But more importantly, before they even show up or even if they never show up, you will be so much more than you thought you were.  This is also a part of the "exceeding abundantly above", for He will exceed your expectations not just of a spouse, but of yourself.

I do not own the pic used in this post. Source: 

No comments:

Post a Comment