Today is Valentine’s Day; if you’re single, today is Tuesday.
It’s always a little interesting being single on this day; I’ve been wished a Happy Valentine’s Day multiple times, but not sure what to say other than “thanks?” But it IS a happy day, if and when you remember that happiness and value isn’t always dictated entirely by relationship status (especially on social media).
The LORD says, “he who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD (Proverbs 18:22 ESV).” Many of us who grew up going to vacation Bible schools, gatherings, and other social events, if you were anything like me, had one major thing on your mind: “I wonder if Jenny is going to be there…” or, better yet, you know she’s going to be there; you’re all nervous and excited at the same time. And of course, when we were younger, crushes didn’t mean a whole lot: you like the girl, she likes you, then the next day, she has a crush on someone else. And obviously as you got older, it was a bit more serious; if you had the opportunity, you spent as much time with that person as you could, you really got to know them and kept in touch and developed an actual relationship. Unless you were really fortunate and you struck gold on your first try, most of them didn’t work out. But hopefully those of you who are now married can certainly agree that the LORD has given you something very good; it’s something to keep in mind when times are tough, that what you have in your marriage is from the LORD.
A distant relative of mine once (actually, much more than once, but that’s neither here nor there) told me that he and his (now deceased) wife never once had an argument, because he always did “whatever the [heck] she asked,” and she did the same for him, because they both knew the other wouldn’t ever ask them to do something that will hurt them. A Brother I think very highly of, said on a Sunday morning, “Choosing a spouse could decide ninety-five percent of your happiness for the rest of your life.” He also went on to say, “Many men quote the verse that says ‘Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands,’ but leave out the second part which says, ‘husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself for it (Ephesians 5:24-25).’”
We live in a world where marriage is often looked at as more of a burden than a joy. In the majority of weddings that take place, the bride and the groom exchange vows, usually promising love and devotion “for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, til death do we part.” They make a vow, a covenant. But as you may know, in this country, the divorce rate is over fifty percent; more than half of all marriages are headed for divorce; there’s infidelity, fighting, and so many other reasons that the marriage ends. Moses allowed Israel to get divorced because of the hardness of their hearts; they were too stubborn to work out differences. Interestingly enough, there is not one instance of a divorce in the Bible. God hates divorce; he hates it so much, he says that even if you are married to an unbeliever, stay with them (1 Corinthians 7:12-13).
There’s a movie called “Fireproof”—I would highly recommend it to anyone; it’s about a Christian couple who is having marital problems, and the husband turns to the Bible to help him repair his marriage; Scripture is full of examples and guidelines.
Some years ago at a Bible School in Indiana; an older Brother was giving a teen devotion (that tells you how long ago this was; long enough that I qualified as a “teen”) and he brought us to Hosea 2:19-20; Hosea was a prophet who was instructed by the LORD to marry a prostitute, as a living parable of Israel. Ironically enough though, even though this is about Israel, the LORD gives a list of things to look for when finding someone to marry: “And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the LORD (Hosea 2:19-20 KJV).”
Proverbs 31:10-31 describes the “Virtuous Woman;” who can find her?
I was looking back through some old stuff recently, and I found a letter (in a Word document) that I had planned to send to a girl, many years ago, in response to what had happened between us. It’s a long story that really, looking back, just shouldn’t have happened at all—I should have been wiser and not been so easily fooled. That incident left me heartbroken, but it’s all water under the bridge now. I never sent the letter, and I’m glad I didn’t, because it was really just me rambling; I do wish I’d sent something, maybe condensed down to ¼ of what I originally wrote.
Many times in the past when I was interested in someone, I felt like there was someone else in the way, whether that was competition—a guy who was interested in the same girl—or even another girl who may have been interested in me (and who probably would have been better for me): I can think of at least three different occasions where I could have either been with or at least gotten to know better, an absolutely lovely girl that was there right in front of me, but instead had my eyes on someone else, and now all those opportunities are gone. At the same time, the LORD is in control: so often in the past I tried so hard to make something happen right then and there as if it was the only opportunity ever; I didn’t trust the system and play the “long game,” and it felt like time was never on my side, that if it didn’t happen then, it never would, and I’d miss my chance and it would be gone forever. Lesson learned: wait on the LORD. A friend of mine who got married a few years back, said that when he was single he asked the LORD to find him someone who could help him, and that he could help. Right after his wedding (at the reception), he told me and a few others that he was “kind of at a loss for words right now”—it was the day when he got to see how his big exciting love story all came together and everything finally made sense, that every decision he had ever made, had led him to where he was, on his wedding day.
If you’re like me and are single and waiting and believing that your turn is coming, ask the LORD to help you become the right type of person while you wait, and ask him to help your future significant other do the same, so that when the LORD brings you two together, you’ll be ready for each other. If you’re trying to do the right thing and asking the LORD for help, he will take care of you. He’s able to do exceeding abundantly above all we can ask or think; he is a Sun and shield and will withhold no good thing from them that walk uprightly (Psalm 84:11).
Side Note: Valentine’s Day candy is 50% off at most grocery/drug stores tomorrow; if you’re single, you don’t have to share it with ANYONE.
Joy and gladness,