Thursday, August 15, 2013

Open Letter to Young Single Women

I'm speaking to you from the other side. I know it's hard where you are. As hard as raising children and being a wife is, I understand that you are not there yet, and where you are is hard too. The worst part for my planning personality was just not knowing. I wanted to know what the future held, what to expect. You are anxious to get your life going, to get on to "real life". But know this, you are living your life NOW. You are growing and influencing the Kingdom now. Looking back, I envy your free time and your opportunity for ministry. Take advantage of the unique time in your life that you may not have again. 

But because I am on the other side now, I can warn you of dangers to come. One of the biggest threats to your safety, your emotional & spiritual health, and your future children is men. The reason it's the biggest threat is because you can learn from and get past other mistakes fairly quickly. If you smoke pot, drink too much, get arrested, make a wrong friend, believe a wrong doctrine, or alienate your family, you can usually come back from all of those pretty quickly. Those things matter, but whom you marry matters more. Sure, there is divorce for Biblical reasons like abuse, abandonment, or unfaithfulness, but those divorces are not without consequences. But most bad marriages don't have those "outs". You are "stuck" for life. (I am NOT writing this to married women, so don't write me about that, lol.) 

I want to tell you a bit about my dating experience. In high school, I made a decision not to date until after I graduated. This was a personal conviction that I had. I had recently had a huge hole filled in my life by a father figure that came into my life who gave me lots of needed security and love. If you are estranged from your father or are not close, or he, for whatever reason, can't be your security during those teenage years, I would challenge you to pray for someone to fill that role. That's what I did, and God certainly answered. I think this is a huge protection for young women. 

When I got to college, I wasn't looking for a date or a boyfriend. I was looking for a husband. Now, of course, you have to get through those first steps, obviously. But anyone who obviously was not husband material was off the list. My mom had scared me enough of marriage. I wanted romance, but not at the cost of my future marriage. I was able to look ahead and see my children, see him with my children. I was able to see him working hard to support our family. Most of all, I was able to look ahead and see if his relationship with God was strong and lasting. In college, I knew guys that I thought would fit the bill, and I had a few really good friends who fit what I was looking for, but nothing moved forward, and I couldn't understand why. I was introverted, but there was something else going on. (I now know that it was mostly just God protecting me through His grace.) But one outspoken guy friend finally told me one day. He said, "Guys don't ask you out because they know that asking you out is liking asking you to marry them." He was exaggerating of course. I was not one of those girls who talked about marriage non-stop or pressured guys to commit or anything. (I also wasn't in a hurry because my dad had basically forbidden me to get married before I graduated from college.) That friend just meant that I was serious. I later asked a boyfriend if this was true, and he said, "absolutely". 

Matt Chandler says, "Don't try to find a neat Christian guy. Find a godly man. There are far too many neat Christian guys around church, and far too few godly men." Any pain a break-up with a non-Christian or a neat Christian guy or even just someone who is not for you may cause, I'm here to tell you that that pain does not even BEGIN to compare with the pain of a failed marriage. Even if the marriage doesn't end, it can still be failed. Imagine taking your children to church every Sunday and teaching them about God only to see them going the other way, following a father who was just full of words when you were dating but now wants nothing to do with God. Imagine your home wrecked with addiction- alcohol, gambling, pornography. These and worse have happened to very close, very godly friends of mine. It could just as easily have happened to me. No one can tell the future, and sometimes godly men do get derailed. I am just trying to encourage you to make every effort to protect yourself and your future children from a half-way man. 

Protect yourself. Pray for God to protect you. Be picky. If we as women let them know we're serious, men will rise to the challenge. God made them that way. Above all, trust God. He wants what is best for you.

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