On Mondays, we pray and fast during lunch, asking God to raise up men as leaders in the church and in marriage, to change our hearts and make us more like Christ, and to bring marriage to those that desire it.
One thing I appreciate about my pastor is that he tries to touch base with every member of our church and offers to meet with us to talk and pray through any situations we may be experiencing. We’re a small church, but still, that’s a big time commitment.
Usually, my conversations with him revolve around singleness. Once, when I was complaining about how busy I was going out with friends, putting myself in situations where I might meet someone, and even contemplating changing churches to find a church with more single guys, he challenged me with this thought:
“Emily, your actions suggest that you feel that finding a husband is dependent upon the things you do, and this is going to carry over into your marriage someday. You are going to feel that keeping your marriage together and happy is dependent solely on you, not God, not your husband. Do you want that full responsibility, or are you going to trust God to work?”
My pastor wasn’t telling me to stay at home, sitting around twiddling my thumbs, realistically expecting God to drop a husband in my lap, but he did challenge me to re-evaluate my faith in God’s plan and provision for my life. I realized that the pressure I was putting on myself to do and be everything in order to attract someone wasn’t sustainable as a single, let alone in a marriage. Relying on my own strength and savvy was setting me up for disappointment and burn out and growing bad habits that would hurt my future marriage.
When I think about the three themes around which we fast and pray, these are areas where we have to let God lead. I have no power to save and work in the hearts of men and prompt them to lead in marriage. Left under my control, my heart would continue in its deceitful and selfish ways. And, unless God builds my house, I’m laboring in vain.
It’s both freeing and frustrating for a Type A like me to realize the truth of fact that no “wisdom, no insight, no plan” of mine (including finding a husband) can succeed if it’s not of the Lord (Proverbs 21:30).
The past couple of weeks, Amy and Anna have challenged us to trust God with our life stories and to view our lives as testimonies of God’s grace and goodness. This week as we fast and pray, let’s praise God that He’s the Author of our stories. That He’s sovereign over all areas of life (whether we are single or married) and sovereign in working in the lives of others. Let’s pray that we allow Him to work, protecting our hearts from destructive habits and thoughts, as we seek to walk each day in obedience by faith.
Journeying with you,