Saturday, November 29, 2008

Learning to Love

I’ve had a day of sweet conversations with dear women (my mom this morning; two of my married friends, Emily and Cassandra, over coffee this afternoon; and two single friends, Tiff and Jayna, at my place late tonight). Our talks had very little to do with guys, but they sparked some thoughts which now become tonight’s blog.

How can we single girls love men sincerely and selflessly--in the midst of a sexually saturated and self-absorbed culture?

Now before you read on, please understand: I am no expert in this area of relationships! In fact, I have more questions than ever before. But I have such a desire to learn how to love my brothers in Christ, how to honor God in the midst of the messiness of relationships, and how to live by principle—and not just passion.

So here are a few things that have either helped me along the way or that I still desperately want to learn:

Pursue: sincere love. (“Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart.” 1 Peter 1:22)

Pray: for your brothers’ purity. (If my struggle as a woman is this intense, I can only imagine what guys are going through!) When you see him take that second glance, shoot up a prayer, “Lord, help him right this minute. Give him strength to fight lust and think on what is pure and lovely and right and true…”

Practice: patience. Wait on God, not on a man. We’ll need to do this for the rest of our lives, as wives and mothers too, and today just gives us another opportunity to set our hope on the Lord and wait for His timing and purposes in our lives. (“He acts for those who wait for Him.” Isaiah 64:4)

Promise: nothing—outside of a relationship. Don’t give all your precious time, energy, emotions, physical affections, and daydreams to a man who isn’t interested in you enough to pursue a relationship with you. If he’s not committing, you shouldn’t either. ("Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life." Proverbs 4:23)

Privatize: your parts. Girl, your boobs, legs, and butt do not need to be hanging out for anyone but your man! And then, within your marriage, let it all hang out all the time! ("But among you there must not be even a hint of immorality, or of any kind of impurity." Ephesians 5:3)

Purpose: that Christ will be your first love—whether you are single, dating, engaged, or married. No man can or ever will be God. (Let man be man and God be God!)

Provide: a safe place. From your inward motivations to your outward body language, let yourself be a woman who is beautifully safe for a man to know and be around. Are you prodding him on sexually, or are you encouraging him in the Lord? ("But encourage one that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness." Hebrews 3:13)

Preach: truth to yourself. Don’t listen to your emotions; command them! (“The heart is deceitful and desperately wicked; who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9 “…whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and He knows everything.” 1 John 3:20)

Praise: the Lord continually. He gives and He takes away. He is always good, and He knows what He’s doing. And He’s wise enough to not always give us what we think we’ll die without.

Like I said, I am no expert, but boy do I want to learn and live these principles! Wish I could have one more conversation today—with you. I'd love to hear your insights, thoughts, wisdom, feedback…