“God never denies us our heart’s desire except to give us something better.” – Elisabeth Elliot
I saw this Instagram post on my news feed this morning, and it inspired me so much I had to write a post about it immediately. When I read it, my first thought was more of a champion cheering of sorts in my head that said, “YES!” Exactly.
Oh, how I have thought different. Oh, how I have endured long days and lonely nights wondering when my “Prince Charming” would come along. Oh, how I have tired on this long road of waiting.
I am 30 years old, and I am from Texas. Which means that most of my friends are married with three children by now. I, however, didn’t marry someone from my high school or who I met in college. Instead I moved halfway across the country to pursue a career in the entertainment industry – acting, and now writing. And here in Los Angeles, it is few and far between to find a Christian man period – much less one you have a deep and meaningful connection with, much less who’s in the same life stage as you, much less someone you’re actually attracted to!
My friend, whoever you are reading this, whoever of you out there are struggling with the wondering of the truth of this beautifully captured statement I so desperately struggled to believe… I am here to tell you that God is good. And you should never, never, never settle for anything – or anyone, rather – than he absolute best for you.
You ask, what is His absolute best? A man who loves Christ more than he loves you. A man who is a leader, has integrity, who would be an amazing husband as well as father to your future children. Does he have a temper problem? Is this the man you want to father your children? Does he sort of share your faith? What will you tell your children about your different views? How will you raise a cohesive family if you don’t stand on united ground?
“As for me and my house,” Jesus is the only foundation strong enough to hold up my future marriage – and not only just hold it and help it survive, but He is the good, great, and faithful foundation that I know will help it to thrive. Relationships and marriage are difficult enough when you do share the same faith, values, and goals for your lives. I believe it is so important to set ourselves up for a successful marriage that will assist in building the Lord’s Kingdom here on earth while we have the chance to.
Marriage isn’t about us. It’s about reflecting eternity. It’s a picture of how Christ loves and pursues us and gives us so much grace even when we don’t deserve it. Your future spouse will let you down. They will fail to give you what you think you need. But when you put God first, when your “Prince” isn’t so “charming” your marriage will still thrive.
I have made compromises and sacrifices for what I ultimately believe over the past three decades. I have regrets and mistakes I’d rather not remember. I’m sure you do, too. But I am also so incredibly confident in God’s power and ability to forgive, to wipe clean, to provide a fresh new start for your journey to find a godly man who will help you to raise a godly family and ultimately live a godly life.
If you are still waiting, God is sill working. He is still preparing you. He is preparing your future husband.
A year and a half ago I walked into the young adults group at the church I had been attending for five years. It was like it was God’s perfect timing in that season of my life to walk through those doors, to find a seat all alone, and to look over across the room and wonder, “Who’s that?!”
It was my now future husband. It was God’s goodness made tangible in my life. It was the end of a long and arduous journey of waiting. It was the beginning of what would be love. Real love. True love. Christ-centered love. The kind of love that is better than a fairytale.
I now realize God wasn’t “holding out on me.” He was wanting so much more for me than I could have ever asked or imagined. In fact, I found a list I had written when I was 20 years old – one decade ago – of all the qualities I wanted in a husband. And Clay embodies every single one of them. And so much more.
“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you…” – 2 Peter 3:9
“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” – Psalm 27:4
“But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” – Isaiah 40:31
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” – James 1:17