When most of us remember our childhood dreams of one day marrying a prince, having a big wedding and a happily ever after, we do so in disappointment. We are all moved by the purity of our childhood hope. All our tears are unearthed by the memories of a moment in time when we believed that our lives would unfold with such precision and simplicity. Somewhere along the path of heartbreaks and disappointments we have left behind the dreams we once had of a happily ever after.
Like many of us, Ruth felt that her status, her poverty and ultimately her past made her less than other women. And who could blame her?
She lacked the right pedigree, position and purity that most men would have been expected to desire. She was not a Jew, she was a widower and she was not even wealthy.
Just like Ruth, we too have scars from our pasts. We have children from previous relationships, broken hearts from failed courtships, low esteem from physical and psychological abuses- we bear all kinds of freckles from our past. We feel a burden of guilt and shame from our past mistakes wondering if we missed our Boaz. But unlike Ruth, we often find ourselves looking up and asking God, “where is my Boaz?’
Let’s explore how she handles those tough times when she is hidden from within the earth, waiting to be unravelled.
Guarding Her Mind and Heart
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23
The mind is like a door. Most times we have no control of whom or what approaches our door, however we can control what gets in our minds. The limits of your mind define the boundaries in your world; if you cannot control your mind, you cannot control your actions.
Guard your mind at all costs; guard it from the lusts of your heart as well. The heart of a person is deceptive above all things. The heart will want what it wants. But you owe it to yourself to lock out anything that doesn’t add value to your life. These are the days of your life. The choices you make every day will have lasting effects on your goals, hopes and dreams. This is your life, you set the parameters. After all is said and done, you are the one who will be left to process and nurse the emotional residue and the scars created.
Your heart is the essence of who you are-the core of your being. It is where your hopes, dreams and passions live. It is the bridge in which connects you with God and other people. It is the wellspring of life. If you let toxics get into your heart, whatever flows out of the heart becomes toxic. And likewise, it will be seen in the way you relate to God, your family, it will reflect in your ministry and everything you do.
Guarding your heart does not mean locking it up and throwing away the keys. It does not mean suppressing our feelings or denying their existence all together. Guarding our heart means acknowledging them but making a choice not to act by the feelings. It means making the right choices despite our weaknesses. Denying or hiding your feelings is an act of fear while guarding your heart is a choice to protect what matters most to you.
The Waiting Room
All of us want to be loved, that’s a fact. There are those of us who feel incomplete unless they are in a relationship. Unless there is a man in our lives, we fill alone, depressed and sad. Sadly we don’t always choose to be alone
It’s a Friday night and you are all alone at home because you have no one to share your weekend with. You’d rather be with a special someone but what you have with you are difficult nights, lonely holidays and tear stained pillows. You would do anything to alter the current state of affairs. This is not the time to get distracted and get hooked up to someone you have no desire of sharing the rest of your life with. So while others are compromising and destroying their lives, there is a reason God has set you apart for this particular season–let’s call it a spiritual curfew. God’s wisdom and timing is perfect because He knows that if He lightens the burden before you are ready–or your Mr Right is ready–you will be like an unanchored ship and you will most likely drift away.
Sometimes life throws you lemons and you wish you had someone to share your pain with. It seems like you are the only one in the world who’s struggling, frustrated, unsatisfied, barely getting by. But that feeling is a lie. If you just hold on and look up, God will give you the courage to face it all alone for another day.
Your time is coming when the one you are looking for will find you–don’t go looking for you. He will find you and make it all okay. Because we all need a little help sometimes–someone to help us hear the music in their world, to remind us that it won’t always be this way. That someone is out there. And that someone will find you–in God’s appointed time.
Here you sit scouring the internet looking for something that will help you not feel that longing feeling. You need someone, something…but don’t know what. You are trying to figure it out and sometimes hit on something phenomenal, but it makes the craving stronger. Then you feel even stronger feelings of that longing.
Our inner longings are not necessarily sinful in themselves. What is wrong is demanding that those longings be satisfied here and now, or insisting on meeting those with material things. The deepest longings of our hearts cannot be filled by any created person or thing. This is one of the most liberating truths I have discovered in my own struggles. For years, I looked to people and circumstances to make me happy. Time after time, I would find myself put out and disillusioned. People can move, change, fail or die. It took the loss of some of my closest loved ones some years ago to waken me to the truth that I would always live in a state of regret if I was looking to people to satisfy me at the core of my being.
We are all born with a God shaped vacuum in our hearts that He alone can fill. We know that it is God that our hearts are aching for, but we don’t know how to receive Him for He alone can bind our wandering heart to Himself and fulfil our deepest desires. The last chapter on Her God will show you the way.
Do Not Cast Out Your Pearls
He calls you once a week–never to check in on if your mum is still in hospital or to see how the interview went. No, he only calls to drop by. Don’t even pick the call or reply to the text–you already know what it is about. Sure he has it all going on; a good job, he smells good, looks good, he has swag. You know by the end of the day, it’s not about you. It’s about being bound. You find it so difficult to pull away from this man. You have tried so many times in so many ways.
What is this connection about? You try to get more from this but this is all he offers. And you keep telling yourself that he will make you a priority. You believe that if you go after him long enough, that he will finally get it. Believe me, he will play you and take you through an emotional roller–coaster.
Ladies, The foundation of sex really isn’t a firm foundation if love isn’t a part of the equation. If that’s all you have to offer then you have erected your foundation on sinking sand… It’s so easy to satisfy the temporary but so hard to take back history. Don’t do it, say no. Do your soul a favour. Wake up woman! It’s time to drink from the well that never runs dry. Love yourself enough to let him go and make your life about you and God, everything else will fall into place.
Why do we always run for anything just to be in a relationship? You were willing to take a risk because you liked the way he treated you and the way he talked. You thought you and God can change him. Now you have found out the only person you can change is you and the only person God can change is the one who has allowed Him to. You have found out the hard way that some differences are irreconcilable.
You have felt the pain of a jacked up, off centre, out of order and out of balance relationship between an ox and a donkey yoked together. You are trying to go one way and he is going the other way and it has finally hit you–two cannot walk together unless they agree. You can go help God out if you feel he is taking too long but remember that whoever makes his bed must sleep on it.
The Torture of Desire
If you are like most singles, you are tired of the dating arena. You are tired of giving your heart out to men, having it used as a door mat and burned in the process-never to return. You are tired of pouring out your time, energy and resources into relationships that leave you in a mess.
Maybe you have given up the hope because no matter how hard you try, pray, fast or plead, you can’t seem to find the one. You have been in one too many relationships but none seem to end in marriage. Maybe you are afraid of committing to another relationship and having to go through the same pain and heartache that resulted from your previous relationship.
You feel like you have been in a boxing match where you have been losing and losing badly. You waited for things to get better and you kept going back and you kept getting hit until you finally decided to throw in the towel. Let that be the last time they hurt you, do not go back for another round. If it’s not working out let it go. A broken engagement is better than a broken marriage.
You are God’s unique creation and your life is special. You cannot throw your dreams away just because of someone else’s ignorance and blindness. Your future cannot be determined by someone else’s decision to treat you wrong. That’s their loss not yours. Know your worth–don’t let anyone else dictate your worth.
The Proverbs 31 Lady also understands that patience is a virtue and won’t rush into relationships; she appreciates when things happen naturally. Don’t rush this new relationship, what’s the hurry anyway? There is so much to learn about each other and believe me these days it’s good to know as much as possible about someone you’re bringing into your life.
Too many women get clingy and fearful and needy, and end up rewarding the very behaviour they hate. As soon as a guy backs off or seems uninterested, she starts to deluge him with texts, show up at his apartment, and go into overkill mode trying to “win” back his attention and affection. When you do this, you give the power away. You’re saying, “I’ll do anything for this, and you don’t have to do a thing.”
Wrong. He needs to do something. He needs to feel he’s earning what he wants. That’s how he knows it has value! Men don’t want it easier. They want to know that what they’re going after is worth their time. I’m far more committed to something I’ve invested in than something that was lobbed at me.
Being the One
We are all seeking the right person for us. When we’re incomplete, we’re always searching for someone else to complete us. When after a few months of a relationship we find that we’re still unfulfilled, we blame the person we are with and take up somebody more promising. But if you have been in enough relationships, you begin to suspect there is no right person, just different flavours of wrong. Reason–you are wrong in some way and you begin seeking out partners who are wrong in a complementary way.
This can go on and on–series polygamy–until you admit that while a partner can add sweet dimensions to your life, you are responsible for your own fulfilment. Nobody else can provide it for you, and to believe otherwise is to set yourself up for eventual failure in every relationship you enter. It is not until you run into your deepest inadequacies that you realize it is not every other man who has to work on their issues. It is you who has to work on yours.
Maybe it’s time to stop looking for the one, maybe it’s time to stop pursuing the one and start concentrating on being the one. Be the one and let your one find you.
By now you know what is expected of The Proverbs 31 Lady and if you have already taken up the challenge to become that woman then you already know that you have so much to offer a man. You deserve the best and I believe that good man will find you when it’s time. What time? God’s time of course! Take this time of singlehood to work on your mind, body and heart–we want the good man to find you when you are ready not preparing.
There is a place you need to be for this man to find you. Rebecca wasn’t waiting by her window when Isaac found her–she was watering the camels. Has the search for the one put your life on a stand still? Have you decided to get someone on the side as you wait for your Isaac to come along? Start positioning yourself for a blessing. Drop the side shows and start the journey to the well. Start watering the ‘camels’. Instead of him finding you trying to ‘get there’, let him find you ‘already there’.
Loving yourself is an integral part of being the one. You cannot give that which you don’t have. You love others as you love yourself–it’s starts with you. I know over the years a lot of things might have happened that made you hate yourself. But if you have already taken up the challenge to become The Proverbs 31 Lady, take another look at the mirror–there is so much to love. The greatest love affair you can have outside your relationship with Jesus Christ, is loving yourself.
The Power of the Alabaster Box
In biblical days, when a woman reached the age of availability for marriage, her family would purchase an alabaster box and fill it with precious oil as part of her dowry. The wealthier the family, the more pricey the bigger the box would be. When a young man came to ask for a woman’s hand in marriage, she would respond by breaking her alabaster box at his feet as a sign of honour and acceptance…profound, right?
On that day when Jesus was eating in the house of Simon the leper, a woman who was a sinner came in and broke her alabaster box at the feet of Jesus. She kissed His feet and wiped them with her hair. Her alabaster box was filled with her dreams and a hope of a new beginning-she was a sinner.
Ruth broke her alabaster box when she followed Naomi.
“But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.” Ruth 1:16
Ruth’s story is a portrait of total surrender. What was in her alabaster box? Her people, her surrounding and her faith-that was all she had. By leaving with Naomi, she was giving up the three most important things in her life. She gave up her all to experience a new faith, a new surrounding and new family. She didn’t know what the future held but her sacrifice paid off when she finally met Boaz.
What is in your alabaster box? Yours is probably filled with who you are, what you have dealt with, and maybe your dreams of Mr Right. It is filled with the hopes and dreams of having that man that will always be there for you, protect you, provide for you, love you, and lead you. In reality, God can provide you with all this things. He will always be there for you, protect you, provide for you, love you, and lead you.
So why is it so difficult to break your alabaster box at the feet of Jesus? Why can’t you entrust your hopes and dreams to God?
You would like to give it to Jesus but you are afraid that His plans are not your plans. Breaking your alabaster box at His feet may mean giving up your hopes and dreams of a happily ever after. It may even mean giving up your friends, surrounding and your faith.
Nobody promises that it is going to be easy. Total surrender may mean giving up relationships that are not headed for marriage, giving up sex before marriage and fleeing from youthful lusts. Just like Mary, it means declaring to God, “I am the Lord’s servant, May it be to me according to your word.”
You’ve been gripping so tightly to your alabaster box and searching for a man worthy of you breaking your box at his feet. After a few relationships and a million broken pieces to put together, you need to stop searching. A marriage isn’t going to feel that void in your heart and there’s not a single person on this earth that is worthy of me breaking your alabaster box for.
Take your alabaster box to Jesus and break it in His presence, for He is worthy of such honour. When Ruth gave up her old life, she experienced new friends, a new faith and a new surrounding that led the path of Boaz to hers. The sacrifice paid off. By doing this you are letting Him know that His will-not yours be done. Let him be the one to worry about your future-He died for you, surely he can give you a future to look forward to.