This post really resonated with me so I’d like to share it. Whether you’re single, in a relationship, or married; I think we can all benefit from the message of friendship as a key component of marriage. Take a look, it’s a good read 🙂
3 If clouds are full of water,
they pour rain on the earth.
Whether a tree falls to the south or to the north,
in the place where it falls, there it will lie.
In my words: It is what it is. Things will take place as intended or as designed by nature.
4 Whoever watches the wind will not plant;
whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.
In my words: How can you expect results if you’re so busy worrying about the circumstances that you don’t invest in doing the work?
5 As you do not know the path of the wind,
or how the body is formed[a] in a mother’s womb,
so you cannot understand the work of God,
the Maker of all things.
In my words: So much is beyond our own knowledge. If we can accept that, then why can’t we acknowledge that we won’t always understand what God is up to?
11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
In my words: Maybe things don’t look so great or even interesting. Maybe you’re in an ugly situation. But perhaps, given time, that ugly situation will turn into something beautiful in God’s hands. Perhaps that not-so-interesting job or place or thing will end up becoming so much more than what you originally envisioned. God has seen, not to mention created, all of eternity. It’s beyond our ability to comprehend.
Great post; because we’ve all wondered. I think one thing to think about is that your desires or hopes or prayers don’t only come from you. One thing I prayed about when I faced this same question is that God would align the desires of my heart with what he wanted for me. That if it was not in his will for me to get married, that I would let those desires go. Everything in our life is given purpose by God. And sometimes that purpose has nothing to do with us and everything to do with others. One positive result of your hopes and prayers is this blog and the many women who have been able to relate to you and your struggles and your honesty. I was reading the other comments and wholeheartedly agree that we should live our lives to the fullest regardless of whether we’re single, in a relationship, married, divorced, etc. But that doesn’t mean the desires of our heart have to be ignored; they should be prayed about and given to God. Listen for what he tells you about them or through them. Look for how he uses those hopes and prayers in your life and in the lives of others.
It’s good to have goals. It’s healthy to plan and work toward accomplishing things you want in life.
But what if the goal is something hoped for, yet not promised?
Now older, I see a bigger picture with more possibilities. And one of those possibilities is that I will never get married. It’s hard to swallow, but if I’m being a realist, I have to consider it. My parents refuse to believe it. Apparently if I pray hard enough or expand my horizons or agree to date someone I’m not interested in, love will blossom.
It just hasn’t happened yet.
I cannot count on both hands and both feet the number of…
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A perspective on chivalry as an act of service and humility, something I believe God would agree with. I know as a woman, I really appreciate when men behave like gentlemen. Great post!
This past Christmas Eve, I went to church with my wife, my sister, and my brother-in-law. We arrived a half hour early, which was a half hour too late. All of the seats were taken, and even the standing room in the back was filling quickly.
The four of us were able to carve out a spot to stand near the rear of the church. My wife and I have twin babies, and my sister had just given birth to her first child a week or two before. As we set up shop in the back, I thought to myself: “Well, we’ve got a young woman with a newborn and another woman with twins; surely a couple of the many men already sitting will jump up to offer their seats to my wife and sister. Nick and I can stand for the whole service, but there’s no reason why our…
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In a recent conversation with some friends, I related a story about a young woman whose conversation I was unable to block from my hearing. I complained and rolled my eyes at how young and immature she is and the way in which she is playing into society’s supposed promotion of women’s liberation. I couldn’t stand the way in which she talked about her multiple boyfriends and casual relationships as if it was the most enlightened way of life. Because the truth is that it’s unnatural. You can’t pretend that sex means nothing and that living a promiscuous life doesn’t do any damage. As I told my friends about this instance, my tone was annoyed. But I think the truth is that I was disturbed and later God pointed out that instead of judging this girl, I should be praying for her. I should be considering that very damage in her life and hoping that it can be repaired rather than condemning her.
Thank you Matt Walsh for your perspective – a much needed one. And I’m so glad that Jeremy reached out to you for advice on abstinence in today’s world. However, my one point of contention is to not make the mistake I did. Although I am equally unhappy about what that health teacher had to say, it’s also not right to condemn her. We have a responsibility to speak truth into people’s lives but not to judge them. That’s for God to do. Obviously, this young woman has some misguided sense of reality and a true disconnect from much-needed wisdom. Unfortunately, she’s in an influential position and could do some serious damage with the kids she’s teaching. I think she’s wrong but instead of condemning her, let’s pray for her and others like her who desperately need to know the real truth. God loves her, the young woman I mentioned, and Jeremy equally.
From my inbox, an email from a high school student named Jeremy:
“Dear Matt, first I want to say I really like your blog. One of my teachers actually mentioned it in class once after you wrote something (she didn’t mention it in a good way lol) and I went and looked you up so I’ve been following you ever since. I know you get so much email so I don’t expect you to see this but in case you do I wanted to get your opinion about something. You write a lot about relationships and everything so I’m wondering if you think abstinence should be encouraged in school?
Reason I’m asking is because we are doing our sex ed lessons in health class now and the topic has come up. Yesterday my health teacher was talking about safe sex and someone mentioned abstinence and she said it wasn’t realistic…
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I’ve been traveling a bit lately for both personal and work-related reasons. As much as I love life on the road, there are things about it that are just plain annoying. You know what I’m talking about, right? Wannabe-cop TSA agents, delayed-for-no-apparent-reason flights, airplane seats designed for Kristin Chenoweth, and non-existent airplane food and blankets. I mean, either turn the airplane temperature up by 20 degrees or give me a dang blanket already!
Now that airlines are charging for everything except breathing, one of the newly challenging aspects of flying is the no-holds-barred fight for overhead luggage space. No one wants to pay to check bags anymore, so there’s now not enough space for everyone’s over-packed carry-ons. That’s where Southwest comes in handy for me. Two free bags per ticketed passenger and I can stroll onto the flight with just my laptop and a medium coffee. Sigh. So nice!
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Have you ever hit a point when you can’t remember the last time you laughed wholeheartedly? When you’ve been so burdened, stressed, and frustrated that you don’t even know what to pray for anymore?
Maybe you know in your head that you’re supposed to wait on God’s plan and that he knows best. You may be aware that there are reasons that things don’t turn out the way you want. But that doesn’t necessarily make things easier.
My advice: Keep talking to God. Keep trying to get to know him and his will. Persist because it’s what you need to do and God will enable you to keep going. Sometimes he is pulling things together and he needs you to wait. Sometimes you were better off not getting what you asked for. Sometimes you grow and learn as you wait, and your prayer ends up completely changing.
Take a look at this man’s struggle to pray when he loses the ideal job; it’s a great reminder of God’s wisdom and foresight.
To be a reflection of Jesus’ love is to reflect true beauty and that’s what shines through to others. They notice it, they feel it, they want to know where it comes from. I love the verse she closes off with.
What are the expectations we place on God? When things go wrong, do we grow distant from him? Do we question why he’s allowing us to go through so much pain and suffering? Do we get angry with him and rile at him? Do we ask ourselves why we even bothered praying about it when it looks like God doesn’t care?
Some advise us to keep our expectations low in life so we can protect ourselves against getting hurt. Does that apply to God? Perhaps we should be evaluating our expectations against the word of God. We need to look at our source of information on God – the Bible and our own connection with him – and then compare that to the expectations we have of God. Are we expecting his good to be based on our definition or his? When God says he has good plans for us (Jeremiah 29:11), do we take that verse at face value or do we think about in context of the God we know whose wisdom goes far beyond our perspective (Romans 12:2)?
When things are falling down around us and we want to rant and rave at God because he isn’t answering us the way we want him to, we need to take a step back and consider what we know of God.
- God is a LOVING God. There’s no one else who loves you more. But remember that he also loves ALL of us, even those we see as enemies.
- God is JUST. But his justice doesn’t necessarily look the same as it does in our minds.
- God is WISE. He sees a much bigger picture than we do and he knows what’s coming down the line.
- God is JOY and PEACE.
- God is PATIENT. His patience ties into his wisdom as well and that’s what we need to remember when we’re feeling impatient with him because his answer may take much longer than we think it should.
- God is FAITHFUL. If Jesus can die on the cross for sinners, don’t you think he will do everything in his power to honor his relationship with you?
- God is STRONG and ALL-POWERFUL. There is literally nothing that he can’t handle.
In addition to what we know of God’s character, we should also take into account that his plans involve us. He asks us to have the heart of a servant.
This isn’t a one-way relationship. God has a special role for each of us and in our service, people witness the love of of God. Sometimes what happens in our lives is not about us, it’s about the people around us who witness our relationships with God.
So, take a fresh look at your situation and try to see how God’s answer may tie into a greater purpose. That doesn’t mean he’s not looking out for you but it does mean he has a much broader perspective. I believe we shouldn’t lower our expectations of God, but adjust them to align with God’s character and his promises.
Read more in this blog post titled Expectations.