Saturday, December 15, 2012

Unexpected Blessing

Our train ride home from work yesterday was unexpected. Jason ran into a friend of his that used to work in our office a few years back. Usually, when we see her, the conversation is short in that we only exchange pleasantries on our way to our seats or out the doors. This time, we sat right behind her without even realizing it. It wasn't until we'd settled in our seats that Jason noticed who was right in front of us, and he tapped her shoulder to get her attention.

We ended up talking all the way until we reached our stop, which comes before hers does. It started out light; you know, how are you doing; are you ready for the holidays; what are you plans, etc. etc. Shortly after I casually returned to my game of Angry Birds Seasons while Jason and she continued talking, I felt a light tap on my knee; my husband wanted my attention because our friend has just asked a question we've been asked before: How do you know when you should transition a friendship into a relationship?

For those who don't know, Jason and I were friends for years before we became an actual couple, so we are sometimes asked about how that happened by other people - women - thinking about doing the same thing.

My initial response to our friend was simple: The GUY does the leading (this piece of advice never changes in my book). But as she continued to give us more details, I found all kinds of words coming out of my mouth that I didn't even think about before they left my tongue - and she found them insightful and helpful to her situation.

Every situation is different because people - where they've been, what they've experienced - are different. God somehow gave me exactly what she needed to hear. I know it was God because I'd never said those words to anyone before. The advice given was unique to her situation. She asked if we'd considered ministering to other couples and invited us to her church.

After leaving our friend, Jason and I started talking about what she suggested. We came to the conclusion that we're not built for marriage counseling. For goodness sake, we've only been married for two years! What do we know?! :) We have a whole lot to learn in that regard. One thing that I do feel I have to offer - to Christian women in particular - is dating advice. The rules that apply to the "world" out there do not apply to God's daughters. His expectations are much higher for us because the men He has for us are also held to a higher standard. The standard He holds for us is not related to makeup application, education, clothing selection or income, but LOVE. God's hope for us is to be loved as close as possible to the way that He loves us. The way a man loves a woman has to remind her not only that there IS a God, but also of just how much God loves her. If it doesn't, it's not for us.

God's love is unconditional, consistent, without excuses or shame, and eternal. Any man who places conditions on his love for you, is unreliable, makes excuses for why you can't be together and/or who is ashamed to call you HIS is not a man worthy of your heart or hand in marriage or any kind of relationship. We as women need to recognize when it's time to let go of a man who is unwilling or unable to display this kind of love toward us. The longer we put off the separation, the longer it will take for our TRUE mate to find us - even if that TRUE mate is the one you have to let go in the first place.

Yes, I said it.

It's possible that you may be responsible for a good thing going BAD. A good man, who COULD love you, may be too comfortable with getting away with putting in little effort yet reaping great rewards: sex, cohabitation, gifts, one-sided commitment, unlimited time, etc. Sometimes, a man needs to be made uncomfortable in order to fully realize his love-potential. To get himself mentally and spiritually prepared to make necessary changes, unselfishly take himself out of the equation, and recognize that his truest desire, what will make him truly happy, is to give the woman he loves what she truly wants and deserves: his whole heart, and the commitment that backs it up: marriage.

Don't go thinking that every loser you wish wasn't a loser is going to come back a winner and give you what you want after you've executed your decision to let him go. Think about your Father in heaven and the way He loves you and pursues you. Be settled in that, and you'll always know in your heart and spirit that for as long as your life remains in His hands, only a God-given love will do...

Until next time,

XOXOXO - Jessika

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