Who’s talking to you?

Our home congregation here just finished a short gospel meeting with Mr. Sidney White from Florida. His lessons each night were well-presented, however there was one statement in particular that really stuck in my head.

I forget the exact context of this example, but he gave the example of a young college girl that once came to their house in tears over a break-up. She told him and his wife that she had dated several young men and nothing had worked out. She felt that “maybe God was trying to tell her something.”

In response, he asked her,

“Have you ever thought maybe Satan is trying to tell you something?”

He went on to wonder if maybe Satan weren’t trying to tell this young girl – and all young people like her – to lower her standards, settle for less than the best, and look for a mate who might not have the Christian values she was looking for.

Mr. White said, “Sometimes we give God credit for things He doesn’t do.” God wants us to hold on and wait for the good things He has promised for those who obey Him. Satan wants you to give up early and settle for being just short of the goal.

So I know I’m still very young and relatively newly-married, but I would like to say this to those out there who are still looking (and yes, that includes those who might be engaged, because engagements can be broken but marriage is forever):

Hold on to the picture of a Godly spouse found in the Bible and have the strength to wait for him or her. Don’t settle for less because you fear being alone longer than society says is acceptable. It is better to wait than to find yourself yolked to a spouse who will not help you get to Heaven. That voice you hear sometimes, telling you that your standards are too high and you need to relax a little, or that no one else will ever love you if you give this person up, or that you’re getting too old to wait any longer and might as well go for it… that is not the voice of God. That is the voice of Satan, and he wants you to miss out on the joys of a strong Christian marriage and the help of a Godly spouse to get you and your children to Heaven. That is not to say that marriages to non-Christians never work; there are too many examples to the contrary to say that. But you do enter into what could be years of struggle and heartache and hurt until that conversion occurs, and even those who are strong going in run the risk of losing themselves along the way. Be careful, singles. Marriage is not just a pretty ring and social media congratulations and pinterest decorations and professional photos. It’s forever, and that’s a really long time to settle for less than what God has intended for you – which, by the way, is more and different from what you have intended for yourself.

And to those who aren’t looking for spouses anymore, but hear that voice in your head about other things – to accept that job, even though it will take you away from your family and from church services; to sleep in this Sunday morning because you don’t want to wake the kids; to skip church tonight because it’s too cold outside; to lower your standards of integrity and honesty to make a few extra dollars that “won’t hurt anybody”… that is not the voice of God. We must all learn to recognize that voice for who it really is, and for what he is really trying to do. Don’t give credit where credit isn’t due.

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Not Exactly a Clean Start

Sometimes when I look back on the first few weeks of our dating relationship, I really wonder why the Mister stayed with me past the first month.

I. was. disgusting. No, seriously. We started dating in the last 2-3 weeks of our sophomore year – the weeks leading up to and including final exams. I’m still amazed I even passed my Spanish final, since I’d get through the same four flashcards every night before giving up and goofing off with the Mister instead.

We would be at the church of Christ student center just off campus until at least midnight every night (at the earliest), and by the time I staggered into my dorm room I was too exhausted to shower. Well then the alarm would go off the next morning and I’d hit snooze until the last possible second, inevitably pulling my hair into a ponytail and running to class, notebooks flying. After class we’d be back at the student center and the cycle would continue.

Like I said, I don’t know why he stayed with me. I definitely did not start off our relationship clean and polished.

I’ve decided since then that comfort is one of the most important factors in a relationship, even over whether or not he makes you laugh or if you like her cooking. If she can’t cook, you can get take-out. If you can’t pass gas in the house, you will explode. It’s that simple.

And that doesn’t just apply to gross things, like passing gas or being sick (yes, unfortunately that’s happened). It also applies to things like singing in the shower, dancing in front of the microwave and screaming in high-pitched terror when a leaf that looks like a bug blows across the sidewalk.

(And all those things don’t just apply to me, by the way.)

Now I don’t mean you get married and just let yourself go completely. You do still have to take care of yourself (trust me, showering is still not optional), and I still get dressed in the morning hoping the Mister will like my outfit, but you also can’t check into a hotel every time you have to blow your nose or use the bathroom.

Although I will admit there are some things the Mister and I still don’t acknowledge that the other does. Like when the bathroom fan is on and you hear the air freshener dispense. There’s no reason for that; it just happens spontaneously as the universe wills it.

And it will stay that way.