Two weeks ago I was talking to a Sister-in-Christ who was very excited because she had recently met someone. She felt this man had all the ingredients for the making of a long term relationship. They met through mutual friends, and as it turned out, both share similar interests and desires for the future; including marriage. She’s never been married before, and the new guy is divorced with two children. Professionally, they’ve both done quite well for themselves. This sister-friend hasn’t had a significant relationship in a long time, and with plenty of family and friends between the both of them, she couldn’t wait to share her joy with everyone. She was so excited that she could hardly contain herself.
In the beginning, everyone, including a few co-workers with whom she had shared the good news, all seemed excited for her and wished her well. With each date her relationship with the new beau got better and better, and she’d share a few details of the new milestones they were making, and how well they were getting along. She’s not the bragging type, but this is the happiest she has been in a long time, and it’s natural to want to share your happiness with those closest to you.
After a while, she began to notice that whenever she mentioned plans for the weekend with her new friend, she didn’t receive the kind of comments she once had. Instead, distasteful or disapproving comments were made. She began to wish that she had never shared the details of her new relationship.
We have to accept the fact that not everyone will be happy for us as we make the change from single woman to wife. For whatever reasons, there will be some folks who do not want us to take that walk down the aisle. As long as this sister’s desire for a husband was unsatisfied and she remained single, the people she had always counted on for friendship and advice were comfortable. Her single status made them feel a little superior, but as soon as her status changed, jealousy and pettiness slipped in.
The devil is happy to see the single Christian woman without a husband, and will do everything that he can to keep her from marrying. The enemy hates the strength of a family unit, because of the destiny that God has placed on their bloodlines; he doesn’t want their legacy of believing off-spring to continue. So he tries to nullify the strength of a husband and wife team in the earth, and he does this through other people.
God warns us in Proverbs 18:21 (NLT), “The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.” This is really powerful information to have. It is so important to allow God the room to help you cement a relationship through the Holy Spirit before you open it up to everyone. The less the enemy (and those he might work through) knows about your plans, the less able he is to intercept them through others. So to help you incubate the birth of something beautiful a bit longer, here are a few other helpful tips:
Celebrate in Silence
When you’re in a new relationship, you’re in sort of a ‘honeymoon’ state. Butterflies in the tummy are common for a good little while. Whenever you see the person, your stomach does flip-flops or you may feel blissfully fulfilled to have someone new in your life. It’s normal to want to share your excitement with others, but when your gut tells you, “Uh uh, you better keep your mouth closed about this one for a minute,” listen to it. Celebrate those milestones together quietly until Heavenly Father gives you the green light that the relationship is on good, solid ground.
You’ll Know When the Time is Right
Remain committed to establishing your new relationship without impetuous assumptions or expectations that create avoidable pressure. If you’re not sure about introducing him to family or friends, wait until the indwelling Holy Spirit gives you a decent comfort level about it. He, the Spirit, will give you the “all clear.” And let’s keep it real, just because the new fella sends you to butterfly-ville, it doesn’t mean that he’s the one. You will gain a lot of information about a person after spending some quality time together. So keeping the introductions to a minimum is important, at least until you know whether or not he’s a keeper. You’ll save yourself the embarrassment and time of having to explain the details.
A while ago I met someone that liked me a lot. He seemed like a very nice person, and I was open to the possibility of dating, so I agreed to meet for dinner. He wasn’t someone that had caught my interest initially, but we saw each other regularly for a little while. It wasn’t long before I recognized that his personality was not a good mix with my own. It just wasn’t conducive to establishing a long-term relationship, so I made the decision not to waste anymore of his time, or mine. I was so thankful that I had not acted impetuously and made any assumptions about where the relationship might go. I introduced him to very few people, and it saved me the anguish of having to explain to most of my friends why I was no longer seeing the new guy. Again, it’s best to wait out or simplify the introductions. You’ll know when the time is right for more.
Keeping Quiet is Good Stewardship
Part of being a good steward of God’s blessings is knowing how and when to be discreet. God expects that we’ll know how to keep certain things quiet in order to protect and preserve the treasure that He has placed in our hands. Continue to pray and ask for guidance in your new relationship. Don’t allow your emotions to overwhelm your heart, because this often causes us to become overzealous and careless. It’s not about trying to be secretive. It’s about walking in wisdom. You’ll have plenty of time to publicly celebrate when you’re walking down that aisle.■
Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
“Some Things You’ve Gotta Keep to Yourself!” written for FACM ©2016. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!