Olive Juice

We fast and pray asking for the Lord to bring healing in our times: for men to be bold and to walk in to relationships with women, for women to be soft and willing to be molded by God’s gracious plan in their lives, and for God to give the good gift of marriage to those who desire it.

Have you ever mouthed the words “olive juice” to someone? The lip movement is the same as if you were saying “I love you!” I didn’t realize, but this is actually in the Urban Dictionary, the word is out! If you haven’t heard this before, you may stop reading now and try it out on someone (be careful who you choose) or watch yourself in a mirror.

I have come to use these two words, “olive juice,” to describe certain relationships. The kind where the actions and/or words of one party seem to be communicating more-than-friendship (I love you), but he/she doesn’t really mean or want anything more than an awkwardly defined friendship. Have you experienced this kind of relationship?

When does a male/female relationship cross the line to something more than friendship? What if the olive juice mouther is unaware of what his/her actions and words are communicating? Or what if he/she is aware, but likes the flirting game? Does the receiver call the olive juice mouther out and hold him/her accountable? Or should the receiver continue wondering and allow their heart strings to be yanked back and forth like a yo-yo until all is revealed?

The rules for how relationships move from friendship to dating have changed throughout the years. Today, there seems to be more time spent in the friendship zone than in years past, which lets more room for those “olive juice” moments to occur. I get it, relationships are risky business! Developing a friendship with someone is important, and the time in the friendship zone can give you valuable insight about the heart of a person before the butterfly feelings ramp up and cloud vision. Where it gets tricky and messy is when one party starts jumping across the friendship line without expressing their intentions or feelings.

I can only speak from the female perspective, but I desire for a man to be intentional and communicate his feelings without a veil of confusion and inconsistencies in actions and words. I know it can be scary to move a relationship from friendship to dating, it will change things, and there is always the possibility that she won’t return the feelings, but I think honesty and taking the risk are character building traits of godly men. As women, we play a role in this process too and here are a few thoughts for navigating these relationship waters.

  1. Keep our friendships with men God-honoring!

Until there is a verbalized and official transition to a dating relationship, this man is our brother in Christ (not that he stops being a brother when dating, but the allowances change). So as we relate to him as a brother, we don’t get physical or toy with emotions if we have no intent of this developing into more than a friendship. If we do develop feelings during the friendship, it’s okay to open the door and allow our interest to be known through the use of God-given femininely wiles or open conversation.

  1. We owe it to our brothers and sisters to protect hearts!

 This “Olive Juice” stuff plays with the emotions and heart of another person. It’s really the opposite of true love, because it’s more concerned with the “I” in the relationship than the feelings of another person. Even in a friendship, there should be an element of sacrifice and concern for the other person. A good friendship should want to be honest and respectful of the other person’s heart. This means that we (girls) have a responsibility to make sure guys know when they are consistently sending mixed messages. It’s okay to ask what he means by such-and-such comment or text message or action.

I find that texting has opened a door to the ease of sending mixed messages. A little emoticon here or there, a flirty comment, or extended texting communication is at the touch of a finger without the added vulnerability and accountability of face-to-face conversation. If the bulk of our communication with a man is done by texting, this could be a problem. Phone calls are better than text-only conversations for keeping things real and accountable, but nothing replaces face-to-face honesty for seeing true intentions.

  1. Until he’s our husband, he could still one day be someone else’s husband.

Relationships are hard enough without having to deal with scars of the past. Not every dating relationship will lead to marriage, so it’s important to remember we take the good, bad, and ugly with us from one relationship to another. Song of Solomon warns throughout “Do not arouse or awaken love until it pleases.” I prefer not to be a scar someone carries with them, but an encouragement to be all God intends for his life. We also owe it to other women to not ruin guys for our own kicks, and most of all we have a responsibility to God to treat each other with respect.

Olive juice is used in dirty martinis; it’s the ingredient that makes them dirty. This may be stretching the analogy, but “olive juice” words and actions in relationships make them murky. Explore friendships with men, by all means, but let’s work to keep them free from ambiguity and misleading murkiness.

Ephesians 4:2-3 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”

Song of Solomon 2:7 I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or the does of the field, that you not stir up or awaken love until it pleases.

We’re all in this together!

Michelle

 

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Post from a Reader: Plan to be Surprised

In January, we began to periodically feature posts submitted by readers of the FastPray blog. It’s encouraging to know there is a whole community of Jesus followers fasting and praying on Mondays.

We fast and pray asking for the Lord to bring healing in our times: for men to be bold and to walk in to relationships with women, for women to be soft and willing to be molded by God’s gracious plan in their lives, and for God to give the good gift of marriage to those who desire it.

Plan to be Surprised. This was the theme of the 2007 movie Dan in Real Life. The movie documents how the main character Dan, played by Steve Carell, deals with the twists and turns of life interrupting his plans. In one of his most serious roles to date, Carell nails the overly anxious and protective parent who is closed off to new possibilities for himself. But the movie concludes with a short monologue about life and expectations and Carell tells the audience “Instead of asking our young people, ‘What are your plans? What do you plan to do with your life?’, maybe we should tell them this: ‘Plan to be surprised.’”

In thinking about my own life, especially in the area of dating and unintentional singleness, I wish I would have learned this much sooner. The past ten years have been filled with anxiety, trying to fit the square peg into the round hole and then being frustrated with God that it’s not working. All in all, I struggled (let’s be honest, this should be present tense too) with expectations. When I went away to a small Christian college, I expected God to introduce me to a nice Christian man who would marry me a year after graduating. When that didn’t happen, I was confused and angry with God and at a logistical loss of what to do with my life. Why? Because I had a plan in mind that went totally awry. I wasn’t flexible and open to His plan. I wasn’t planning for surprise.

Granted, there are some expectations in the dating realm that we should hold onto, basic values such as shared faith, mutual respect, and compatibility. But outside of the core areas, are we too inflexible and clinging to our expectations? Are we leaving enough room for God to move and work, and surprise us along the way? Sure your first choice in the romance department may look like a 5’ 6” blond hair soccer player. But what if God has in mind a 6’ 3” dark haired nerd? Why do we pressure ourselves to be married by a certain age? What if a longer time of waiting deepened our reliance on God, making us stronger women of faith?

One of the consistent prayers on the Fast Pray blog that I love is for women to have soft hearts toward God and that we would be pliable toward His plans. As shown throughout Scripture, people have made many life plans that God has interjected and changed. But time and again, God’s plans are better and wiser for us than anything we could have devised. Scripture confirms this by saying: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8.28). I wonder what plans and dreams Mary had in mind for her marriage and family before the angel Gabriel delivered a message that changed her life and gave hope to ours.

Life may not look like we dreamed it. Our plans may fall by the wayside. But we have not been abandoned. We know His plans are good, though scary and different they may be. Let us approach His throne with soft hearts and open hands. Let us plan to be surprised.

~Lindsey

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Blessed is She Who Has Believed

We fast and pray asking for the Lord to bring healing in our times: for men to be bold and to walk in to relationships with women, for women to be soft and willing to be molded by God’s gracious plan in their lives, and for God to give the good gift of marriage to those who desire it.

 

During the Advent season, I was reading Luke’s account again of the virgin birth. I always love to stop and think about the fact that Elizabeth would have been considered too old and Mary would have been considered too young. And that either pregnancy would have been a scandal of its own variety, but somehow the narrative of God’s incarnation has both of them carrying children at the same time. What a beautiful and bizarre first meeting they must have had after the angel visited Mary. As I was reading it this time, I saw a new line that caught my eye. This is what Elizabeth says to Mary, right before the Magnificat:

Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!

And I just stopped. What a line of praise and trust and faith. Two women, surprised to find themselves first-time expectant mothers, staring incredulously at God’s faithfulness in awe. Elizabeth lifting up Mary’s faith as a blessing. And all this while the only adult man in the story has been recently struck mute for his unbelief (sorry, Zechariah). Isn’t this a bit of a crazy story, when you stop to think about it? Considering the cultural norms and gender roles of the day, the unexpected pregnancy for both women, and the Spirit-led responsiveness of one child in utero…wow. God writes so many unexpected stories…and stories whose encouragement transcends time:

God sees women who have been quietly believing and trusting His promises to be fulfilled.

Mary and Elizabeth weren’t doing things that looked amazing, special or “paradigm-shifting” to anyone around them. They were living faithful lives – one as a married woman who had perhaps grown used to the name of barren, and one as a young, single woman found to be pregnant before marriage. And yet God plucks these women out of their lives and sets them in the very beginning of the story of the Incarnation. And I would like to think that years of quiet belief enabled both of them to be ready to respond when God called. A woman who, like Mary, could then embrace the unforeseen shape of God’s call on her life: “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”

In order to believe, I need to keep on remembering his promises to me.

I always think of a sermon I heard on Hebrews 12:2 (…looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross…) which emphasized that the verb for “looking to” at the beginning of verse has the sense of continually turning, or to keep on looking. So true. We forget so quickly. I can’t vaguely think about “Oh, God is faithful and He said some stuff about that.” I have to turn the eyes of my heart toward His word and look deeply at His promises. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that this is no easy feat for me…I quickly switch back into my selfish, self-reliance mode and I’d stay there, were it not for God’s faithfulness in pulling my heart back to Him.

We can encourage the faith of others.

One of my favorite things about this passage was a note from a commentary:

Those that have experienced the performance of God’s promises themselves should encourage others to hope that he will be as good as his word to them also: ‘I will tell you what God has done for my soul.’

As women who are praying together to see impossible things become possible, I sometimes forget that this is some of our calling. A call to be women who identify and encourage faith in others. To say “I see faith growing in you!” To celebrate God’s faithfulness with other women in whatever particular shape it shows up. And also to say “God is faithful” and tell our own stories. Even the stories with question marks, with grief, with unfinished endings, with many years of waiting…because, in the end, we are women who have seen the Lord be faithful in what circumstances we find ourselves. And we are trusting on His promises for the unforeseen road we’re walking. In the end, as the angel told Mary, we’re trusting the God who sees and acts in the realm of the impossible:

“And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.

Praying with you and for you,

Amy

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Guest Post: Motherhood Misunderstood

We fast and pray asking for the Lord to bring healing in our times: for men to be bold and to walk in to relationships with women, for women to be soft and willing to be molded by God’s gracious plan in their lives, and for God to give the good gift of marriage to those who desire it.

I became a mom, as the world defines motherhood, almost 15 years ago to the day. My oldest was born May 14, 2001, and the boys that followed him (yes, they are all boys) are now 9, 11, and 13. Throughout the past 15 years, I’ve had my share of “teachable moments” as a mom as I have navigated the waters, very choppy waters at times, of raising four boys. I’ve not only learned a thing or two about raising children, but I’ve actually learned quite a bit about motherhood, and what I have discovered goes far beyond the neat and tidy definition of the word. My perspective of mothering has broadened to a panorama that includes women of all ages, walks of life, and marital statuses.

The suffix “hood” signifies a group sharing a specified condition or state. So, the term “motherhood” implies a group sharing the condition or state of being a mother. Let me tell you right now, while birthing a child may gain you entry into this group, true motherhood is characterized by far more than gestating, laboring, and delivering. The very essence of the word peels back the outer layer of being a biological mother, and exposes a deeper, more adequate meaning of helping a younger generation grow up and mature in more than stature, but in wisdom and ways that will impact generations to come.

Yes, true motherhood stretches beyond the stretch marks and is borne out of more than a womb. Its offspring develop and grow by compassionate hearts and a willingness to devote the time necessary to make a difference. Motherhood is a sisterhood of women passionate to see the next generation flourish.

I was recently given the opportunity to spend some time with 27 teenage girls. We were able to have in-depth discussions about purity, relationships, and what God’s Word says about them. Now remember, I am the mom of four boys, so offering “motherly” words of encouragement to these young ladies was a bit abnormal for this boy mom; however, I cannot tell you how blessed I was to be a part of that immensely important conversation. Since then, the dialogue has continued with a few, relationships are forming, and plans are being made for more opportunities to foster maturity and growth in this area of their lives.

Having that opportunity with those teenage girls reminded me of so many other spaces the Lord has created for me to “mother” outside the traditional meaning of the word. These spaces span a couple of decades from my young adult years until now. They include leading Bible studies and small groups with middle schoolers, high schoolers, college girls, and young moms. While “mother” may not have been the title of the role I stepped into for that season, I was definitely able to “mother” while leading these young ladies.

So, what qualifies us for entry into this elite club called “motherhood?” In my opinion, it’s really rather simple. The only thing you need to be a card carrying member is a willing heart of compassion that is available to walk through the doors of opportunity the Lord opens to impact the lives on the other side that are waiting to be loved — lives that already have a biological mother, but for whatever reason, God has placed you strategically in their lives to make a difference. For that space and time, God needs your wisdom and willingness to plant seeds of faith in their impressionable hearts and water those seeds with the words of life and truth you’ll speak to them from a mother’s heart.

When we are a part of this society of women, we must not be threatened by each other. As a mom of four boys, I welcome the help I get from other members of the society. There is a dear sweet older lady who has spoken into my boys’ lives throughout the year on various occasions, primarily across her dining room table at a weekly teatime that she has hosted for nearly 25 years. My boys are always welcome in her home, and she imparts her mothering wisdom into their lives every chance she gets.

My boys are also blessed to have two grandmothers and four aunts that also have influenced their lives tremendously. In fact, several examples flood my mind of their times with Aunt Michelle, who happens to be single. She has never let her singleness define her or discredit her ability to “mother” her nieces and nephews. She has been so purposeful throughout the years to encourage them by “getting into their world,” doing things they love, and intentionally decorating those spaces of opportunity with fond memories and formative moments that speak life into them and aid in their maturity. My boys have enjoyed weekend adventures full of theme parks, a Broadway show, a private plane ride over NYC, bike rides, and fireworks on the beach. She takes each of them away for their 11th birthday on an adventure of epic proportions, but the mothering moments last far beyond the fun.

When you read these words, who comes to your mind? Is it a niece or nephew? A student? A single mom? Who might you consider walking alongside? Who needs the love and guidance you have to offer? Motherhood is far more than birthing children. It’s raising up a generation. It’s a sisterhood, a society. Stretch marks don’t define us and experiences refine us. All who are willing are welcomed, and together are triumphant in the task. Raising a generation takes multiple skill sets, personalities, and passions. So, own your place in this family of mothers, and do what God created you to do. Motherhood doesn’t have to be misunderstood when we are all figuring it out together.

~Tabitha

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Post From a Reader: Blessing & Singleness

In January, we began to periodically feature posts submitted by readers of the FastPray blog. It’s encouraging to know there is a whole community of Jesus followers fasting and praying on Mondays.

We fast and pray asking for the Lord to bring healing in our times: for men to be bold and to walk in to relationships with women, for women to be soft and willing to be molded by God’s gracious plan in their lives, and for God to give the good gift of marriage to those who desire it.

“I’ve got it-spinning!”

“Yes! I can just picture myself sitting at a spinning wheel, turning wool into yarn ready for me to knit. Lulled to sleep by the sound of the turning wheel.”

Mum and I laughed at that most unlikely picture.

“Making bread! That’s it! The repetitive motion of kneading will help you relax so you can sleep.”

“Great idea. At 10pm every night I get out the dough, give it a few bashes and sleep like a baby!”

Again, we laughed as we lay by the pool at the end of a warm 39 degree (Celsius) day, brainstorming solutions to help me sleep. We are known for being poor sleepers in our family and I’m carrying on the tradition. So mum and I were thinking of relaxing hobbies that would help me have ‘screen-off’ time for an hour or so before bed. The bricks were warm beneath our towels in the early evening and the blue sky was gradually turning indigo. It was the 23rd of December and we enjoyed the moment of fun together.

On Christmas Eve, I went back to my parents’ place to give them their gifts. I’d made a basket of Christmas baking and I didn’t want to take it to my Aunt’s house for Christmas lunch the next day (too hot!). Having encountered some financial difficulties this year, I’d tried to make as many of my Christmas gifts as possible (these had been greatly appreciated by all those too busy to have time for baking that I, being a teacher on summer holidays, had plenty of time to do.)

But it was the card and what I said, that made mum well up in tears. I explained how happy it made me to have parents who were my friends. That the previous day of laughing and chatting by the pool was something I really valued. To go and see action movies with my dad (because I’m the only girl in my circle of friends who seems to like them!) was something I always looked forward to. And that a positive side to being single is that I’ve been able to develop a much closer relationship with them. It all comes down to time. I’ve had time (and the need, to be honest!) to be with them much more than if I’d been married with children. And so we’ve become great friends.

This is not the specific case for everyone, but often there are blessings that we experience because of our singleness and it’s important to recognise and celebrate these. One friend has been able to develop particular ministries in her church that she has devoted a lot of time to; time she probably wouldn’t have had as a wife and mother. Another friend has built a career that required a significant prioritisation of time and has been able to witness for Christ in the corporate world. Other friends have supported family through difficult times and as the single family member, others have been able to rely on them. In doing so, they’ve developed close friendships with family members that are often rare today.

So what about you? How has God enabled you to experience a blessing through your singleness? How have you been able to carry God’s blessing to others?

Sometimes it is easy to see the ‘silver lining’ while other times we seem to only see the cloud. But if we are in that clouded time, an important tool to help keep our heads above water (sorry-mixed metaphors!) is the practice of thanksgiving. My dad, who has lived with bipolar disorder since I was 21, keeps a diary and one thing he always makes note of is that for which he can be thankful. So in those moments of depression, he looks back and sees a record of God’s goodness that may not be so obvious in a ‘down’ period. I’ve learned a lot from him about making a deliberate choice to be thankful whenever I can and to record my thankfulness as the truth to hold onto when I may experience a ‘cloudy’ season. And in whatever season, we can always give thanks to our Father for sending Jesus through whom we have grace and love abounding.

“I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus, that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge” 1 Cor 1:4-5

Father God we thank you, not as an afterthought or grudgingly, but with an overwhelming sense that in you we are loved so deeply and bought so dearly. Thank you for reaching out and saving us and bestowing on us the riches of the Kingdom of Heaven, making us your sons and daughters. You have also blessed us with many blessings today and we thank you for those. Help us keep these in mind when we are struggling with the pain of singleness and may we never lose sight of how precious we are to you. Thank you for delighting in us. Help us delight in our relationship with you.

~Chelsea

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Guest Post: Is Your Heart Yearning?

God loves to speak to me in parallels – probably because He knows that it’s one of the main ways that I hear Him and can apply His Word to my life.  He did this so clearly this morning in church.   The praise team was leading us in the Song ‘Even So Come’ by Kristian Stanfill.  It’s a song that talks about how we should all be waiting for Christ’s second coming – just as a bride waits for her groom.

Many of us are familiar with waiting as at some point or other in our life journey God has taken us through a season of waiting.   For me, God has had me on a journey for the past 4 years of waiting specifically for my future husband to come home (that is a very general summary of a journey that has been crazy, hard, unique, and many days feels impossible and pointless).   This morning as we sang the above mentioned song God gave me an incredible parallel.

The line that really hit me today was this: “Like a bride waiting for her groom, We’ll be a Church ready for You, Every heart longing for our King.”   For those of us waiting for a spouse (whether we don’t know who that person is yet or we do and we’re waiting for the time to come when we will be united in marriage) we can resonate with this line of the song.   We know what it’s like to wait for our groom (or our bride, for all the guys out there).   Our hearts truly do long for that person and to do life with our spouse, the one God has chosen for us.

As we sang, I recognized the level of yearning that I have for my future husband – it’s often very deep and intense – I long for the day when my future husband is here.   But….do I have that same level of yearning and longing for the return of Christ – do I long for my Savior more than I long for this human who will one day be my husband?    It was a challenge to me of the longings of my heart and if/how they align with my spiritual walk with Christ.

The lyrics continue and say how we’ll be a church ready for You (Christ).  We hear a lot about preparing ourselves for marriage and preparing ourselves to be a Godly wife or Godly husband.   I’ve read books and heard speakers talk about getting my life in order so that I’m prepared and ready to be the wife God designed me to be, so that when my husband shows up at the perfect time that we’re both ready for life together.   Maybe you’ve even heard the concept that you’ve not yet met your future spouse because God is still preparing him/her for you or vice versa.   This is all good stuff – and yes we should be preparing ourselves to be a good spouse in whatever ways we can during our time of being unmarried. But….I again was challenged – am I, are we as the Church, ready and getting ourselves ready for the return of Christ?   Are we investing in our relationship with Christ so that we can know Him more intimately?   Are we sharing His Gospel with those around us so that they are ready for His return?   Do I have an eternal perspective on life or am I just thinking of the here and now, forgetting how my life today and many of the things that are important to me will blow away with the wind when Jesus returns?

My challenge for you this week is to think about how you are or have prepared yourself for marriage (whether you’re currently married, soon to be married, or praying for a future marriage) and compare that to how you are preparing for Christ’s coming.  Are you being a disciple?   Are you pouring His love into others and using what He’s taught you to walk alongside others?   Are you sharing the gift of hope and life with those you come in contact with?  And is your heart yearning and longing for that day in a way that it has never yearned or longed for anything or anyone else?

May we all be able to say with confident and longing hearts: “Even so come, Lord, Jesus, come!”

~Heidi

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Shopping Cart

We fast and pray asking for the Lord to bring healing in our times: for men to be bold and to walk in to relationships with women, for women to be soft and willing to be molded by God’s gracious plan in their lives, and for God to give the good gift of marriage to those who desire it.

Pushing the cart to the exit at Costco on Saturday morning, I was approached by a man in his late 50s and the following conversation took place.

Man: Do you own a restaurant or something? What are you doing with all of that food?

Me: It’s for a wedding!IMG_7055[1]

Man: For yours?

Me: No! That would be kind of crazy!

Man: Are you married?

Me: No.

Man: Why not?

Me: I don’t know! (easier than diving into theory and better than being snarky)

Man: Well, that’s okay. I have 7 siblings and only 2 of us are married. My sisters said they enjoyed their independence too much to get married and be bossed around by a man. Whatever makes you happy, that’s what I say. Is it okay if I get in front of you (as we approach the receipt-checking guy with the sharpie)?

And there you have it, folks, a one-minute commentary on the pervading thoughts on singleness and marriage in America.

  1. Anyone who wants marriage… is obviously married!
  2. Marriage means that women have to be bossed around by men.
  3. Singleness is beneficial for strong females that don’t want to submit to bossy husbands.
  4. Singleness is a choice.
  5. Life is only about doing what makes you happy. So you have the power to control your marital status and determine your happiness level.

I’m sure this man had no idea that his conversation with the lady pushing the overflowing shopping cart would lead to a blog post and several re-tellings of our conversation.  It’s very likely I’ll never run into this man again, but if I did, I’d like to set him straight on a few points.

  1.  I suppose if I wanted to be married I could have accepted the man’s offer in the Old City market in Jerusalem in exchange for some camels for my father, but quite frankly shipping the camels to America seemed difficult, let alone getting past the neighborhood ordinances against farm animals. There was the more recent offer made while I was descending Mt. Kilimanjaro by an African guide who desperately wanted to marry an American. I found out later, he asked another woman in our group too. I guess his love was transferrable and universal for all American women.I jest, but chances are each of us could have probably married anyone, but marriage isn’t about just anyone, it’s about someone. Someone with whom we can share life with, not just a transaction of exchange or a union for personal benefit (like a blue passport). Finding that someone is a lot harder than the Hallmark Channel makes it seem, although perhaps for some it works that way. I just think it’s an unfair assumption to believe that just because someone isn’t married they don’t want marriage. It also doesn’t mean that if someone desires marriage, but isn’t married, that they are too picky. It’s just not as easy as filling a shopping cart at Costco!

 

  1. What a sad commentary on marriage, if it’s only viewed as a place where women go to be bossed around by men. The Bible paints a much better view of marriage, and if each party lives out Christ’s call… what a beautiful thing marriage can be. Men sacrificially loving women, and women using their strength to encourage men.

 

  1. Singleness is not a stand against a subservient role for women in marriage, nor is it reserved for the resolute, dominant woman. Singleness affords great freedoms and benefits, as we’ve discussed on this blog before, but it is not meant to foster independence for the promotion of self-interests. As Christians, we are called to live in community with fellow believers and to put other’s needs before our own. Singleness should not equal selfishness.

 

  1. Singleness is a choice in as much as I didn’t choose the options that were presented to me, but it often feels like singleness chose me instead of me choosing it. I don’t know of many people that desire marriage, consciously choosing singleness. Perhaps for some, singleness is a chosen state and not just a result of circumstances, but it’s incorrect to assume that singleness is chosen by all that check that box.

 

  1. There are many aspects of life that bring great joy and happiness, but for happiness to be a pursuit, I’m afraid it’s always going to come up short. What makes me happy today, is not always the same as what makes me happy tomorrow, my happiness is fickle. The Bible has quite a different take on happiness, consider James 1:2 or Matthew 5:12. I chose to have the joy of the Lord, over the happiness-pursuit, even if that means it comes through suffering and perseverance.

 

After Costco, I went to a local grocery store to pick up two fruit trays. As I was checking out the cashier says “I hope these aren’t for a funeral!” Then as I’m wheeling them to the car, a lady says to her husband and son, “Let’s follow her!” Large amounts of food certainly draw some crazy comments.

Praying this week that Christians can reflect the beauty of a life in Christ as single and married individuals pursuing Him!

Michelle

Posted in Author: Michelle | 2 Comments