Audio: I’ve Got This Friend - The Civil Wars
“I don’t care whoever it is you marry so long as he has a solid character because he has God in his life.” - my mom
Actually, my mom said that in Tagalog (hahaha). Anyway, we had this conversation a couple of weeks ago. We were in the car and I told her, “Ma, I think there’s a possibility that God wants me to stay single for life. You know, like Paul.” She replied, ”You’re getting ahead of yourself. And God. Personally, I think you’ll end up getting married someday.”
Then I asked her if I should look for someone like my dad and a bunch of other stuff concerning marriage. I asked her how she met my dad, what it’s like when they got married and how they are now. I remember asking her that because I have overcome the stage of creating a laundry list of romantic expectations that I so diligently pursued in high school. It was so exhausting because a) I didn’t set the bar high and b) my heart was fixed on temporary emotional high and not on delighting in God’s love. It got exhausting because there is only one person out there that God has foreknew and predestined for me to be with and yet I always took matters into my own hands, orchestrating things instead of letting God work. (If you’re wondering, yes, I believe in predestination of the saints…but that’s a different topic worthy of a different post. hehe)
Time and again, I am reminded by God. ‘OK daughter, you’ve had a rough experience in the romance department. Let me take care of that. For the meantime, I need to deal with you for your own good.’
Instead of looking for the right person, God is in the business of making me the right person.
This is both a reminder to myself and hopefully a source of wisdom for others as well. Let’s not even begin with guarding the heart (though this is the essence of my post); let us begin with what Paul considers “of first importance”:
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures… (1 Corinthians 15:3)
We have to begin with knowing who God is and making Him known to the ends of the earth. We have to let God work in us as He works through us. Once our identities are set in Christ, only then will we be able to shield our heart from the treacheries of our emotions…
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? “I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.” (Jeremiah 17:9-10)
…and worship God from the inside.
Then hear in heaven your dwelling place and forgive and act and render to each whose heart you know, according to all his ways ( for you, you only, know the hearts of all the children of mankind) (1 Kings 8:39)
But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart. (1 Samuel 16:7)
Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the heart. (Proverbs 21:2)
Having our identities set in Christ will also impact the way we relate to our family, friends, to everybody else. If God is number one, all of our relationships will be ten times better (understatement). What we have in mind will be nothing compared to what He has in store (1 Cor 2:9) not just with marriage but on the entirety of our walk with Him.
It’s hard to resist not telling that someone that they’re so wonderful (and on the inside, your heart is screaming I Think I Wanna Marry You). A pastor/one of the people I look up to recently told me that I have to think in lifetime terms. It’s precisely the difficulty of being vulnerable plus the element of commitment that we should have a firm grasp on the importance of having a relationship with Jesus,first and foremost (that was one long sentence :P).
Basing from conversations with my mom and with married people I know, you can’t “un-feel” so the wisest thing to do would be to let things run its course, pray ceaselessly, HAVE ACCOUNTABILITY (your pastor for example or even a parent). Get right with God and let Him give you life to the full (John 10:10) so we won’t find our worth in the people around us. And as we run the race marked for us, someone with the same priorities will come along. In my case, he may not look like Mark Hamill in the 70s (Luke Skywalker) but I believe the radiance of Christ in his life will be the attribute I will fall for :)
Father, until you bring that one person and I together, teach the both of us Your ways and help us guard our hearts. Guide us into all truth through Your Holy Spirit and keep our minds alert. Let us be so sensitive to Your voice. Help us live in a manner worthy of Your gospel. Remind us that there is much to do for Your kingdom. We repent, Lord, in the name of Jesus for placing people above You and for forgetting our first love. Increase our faith and love. This I pray in Jesus’ name, amen.
I feel like this was written for me.