She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. –Proverbs 31:12
This is to my single friends, hopefully as an encouragement…
I am married…it’s still hard to believe! For years I wondered whether or not I would ever get married, whether or not that was truly God’s plan for my life. From early on, I had decided to let God write my love story, because I learned the hard way that Satan likes to use boys to hurt girls emotionally (and vice-a-versa, of course), and I am still dealing with some of those scars today. I rarely “dated” boys as a result of my experiences and my decision to let God be in control, and was truly content for a majority of my college career—until all my friends started getting married.
As I attended wedding after wedding, and as I watched my closest friends move into a new phase of life (one that I deeply desired), I made a decision to follow and trust Him instead of worrying and stressing—figuring that He knows me better than I know myself, and knowing that life is better when we do things His way. I read in Proverbs 31:12 that the woman described brought good and not harm to her husband ALL the days of her life—which means even before she knew him! What a challenge that verse presents…but I decided to do my best to achieve that goal.
I kept one secret from Brennan until we were 10 days away from getting married, but it was for a good reason. In 2002, while on a porch in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, I began writing letters to my future husband in a little journal, not knowing that he was so close to me! I wrote with the intent of giving it to him right before the wedding. This journal contains great memories and many special notes, including one entry on July 14th (five days before we officially started dating) that simply said that I knew I was going to marry him—because I did! I kept a timeline and notes about our relationship, things that we will laugh about in the future and will want to remember for years.
I gave that journal to Brennan the day before I left for California (for our wedding), and was SO excited for him to read my prayers for him, for us, and all the other treasures those letters contain. Eight years of praying for him, writing to him, most of which before I even knew his name. Eight years of wondering, of searching, of aching for the love that I now know.
Writing those letters helped me maintain my focus on purity and on “not settling” for any guy that came along. Sure, I wondered every time I met a new guy, “could this be him?” But none really seemed right. And, honestly, God really protected me all those years, because it was rare for a guy to express interest in me. My focus remained solid: I sought to know the Lord, to keep myself pure, and to serve Him wherever He led.
When God led me to move to Pennsylvania from sunny Southern California, so many people asked me if it was for a guy. I honestly was able to say no…but, of course, a hope existed in my heart that I would meet my “Prince Charming” and finally find true love. I moved, began to build friendships, went on a few blind dates (most of which were laughably terrible), and found an incredible church. It was in this church that I began to find my “place” in Pennsylvania—as this is my mission field. This is where God called me in 2002 and 2003 to serve, and this is where He called me in 2008 to live. I started a singles’ ministry at my church, as it was truly needed (the irony is that I met my husband one week before the class started). That same month, I became part of a team that would plant a church in Harrisburg that fall. God was clearly using my talents and abilities for His purposes and glory, and I was so content!
I began to realize that my singleness all those years was never a mistake—I was able to devote so much time to serving the Lord without distraction, including the ability to lead a month-long mission trip to New Orleans and fully devote myself to our mission there. Had I been in a relationship, those things would have been much more difficult. God had specific plans for me through all my years of singleness, and I don’t regret a single moment!
Now, about 500 days after meeting Brennan, I am married…I am beyond happy to have someone with whom I can serve the Lord just as passionately as before, but now I have a teammate…a partner…someone to support and to be supported by…and I love it. But, had I not obeyed the Lord in faith, where would I be today? Had he not obeyed and trusted the Lord, where would he be today?
For those who are single and longing for marriage, please consider what I have to say (especially teenagers/college-aged friends): Keep yourself pure! Don’t give into temptation to satisfy your desires, and don’t let the world influence you. I know it’s tough, but the fact that Brennan and I remained completely pure has brought an incredible dimension to our marriage already! We don’t have the baggage that comes from past physical relationships, which gives us such a sense of freedom with each other. Even as our wedding approached, we refused to give into the temptation to not go home at night, knowing that it would make marriage even sweeter because we no longer have to say “goodnight” and depart.
God has very good reasons for the “rules” that He makes—especially for purity until marriage. Don’t give up a piece of your heart to someone who isn’t your husband/wife! You can never get it back, and it will always haunt you. And, really, is it worth the future pain and heartache for today’s desire?
In my opinion, this goes for modesty, too. I truly believe that modesty is not outdated, and it is not “prudish”. It is a way to show respect for your future husband before you even know him! He is the only one who deserves to see your body, and you are showing love to him “all of your days”by being modest in how you dress (Proverbs 31:12—“She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.”). I don’t believe that you can go too far in bringing respect to your future husband NOW, even when you don’t know who he is. I believe this glorifies God, as well, as you honor His guidelines.
As someone who has lived out what she now says, I pray that you will obey the Lord and remain completely pure for your husband. It is truly the best gift that you can ever give to him, and he deserves your BEST.