Have your insecurities sabotaged past relationships? Are you beating yourself up constantly for your shortcomings and shortfalls? Are you confident that you won’t bring self-condemnation and self-doubt into a new relationship? These questions are important to ask ourselves because the answers will help us to deal with stuff in our hearts. Some of us are still struggling with issues that we had before we even began to pray about marriage or crossing paths with the man that is to be our husbands. These things are heart issues that we need to confront, because Jeremiah 17:10 tells us, “But I, the LORD, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.” God looks at our hearts, and He rewards us based on what’s going on in them.
We know that God doesn’t like arrogance, and that a prideful attitude greatly displeases Him. He loves humility, and Jesus Christ tells us in Matthew 18:4 that the way to be great in God’s eyes is to humble ourselves like little children. In our effort to avoid a prideful heart, some of us go to the extreme opposite. We allow ourselves to be punching bags because we don’t value ourselves the way God intends us to.
Heavenly Father knows that we’re going to make mistakes and missteps. He knows our proclivity to injure ourselves and sometimes injure others in the process. We all have our issues, there can be no doubt about this, but we must remember what the scripture tells us. Romans 5:8(NLT) says, “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” Jesus Christ came on the scene when humanity was at its worse, and he did so because of God’s overwhelming love for us all. So, God’s love isn’t dependent on our performance, because as soon as we get one issue resolved, another one will surely pop-up. The quest to hold up the standard of Christ is never-ending in this earth experience, but we have the wonderful pleasure of waking up each day aspiring to meet it. This is what God’s love is all about. It is understanding our potential and capacity through His love, and having the commitment to aspire to be better today than we were yesterday.
We are works in progress. As we seek God and open our hearts to Him in prayer and through His Word, Philippians 2:13 affirms that He will work in us and give us the desire and power to do the things that please Him. It’s God through Christ doing the work, not us. Our responsibility is to let Him be at work by asking Him to show us what needs to be addressed. Then we need to trust Him, as we are led and guided through the indwelling Holy Spirit to overcome and move forward.
God also has a special work for us to do. We have a calling to fulfill, because we are a destiny people. This means that we have neither the luxury or time to look at what others or doing and what is happening in their lives, but often this is what we spend our time doing. On our jobs, we’re envious of those getting promotions. We’re trying to rush God to bring that man across our paths so we can be engaged because all our other friends are married or engaged. We’re too occupied with trying to be like everyone else, when God has called us to be unique.
We may not be a social butterfly. People in a room may not light up when we enter it. Some of us have a quiet spirit, and we’re compassionate and tender in a way that is very special to God, but may not be to others. Our responsibility is to stand in the uniqueness of what we are, and what we’ve been given; because God has a purpose for it. No one can do YOU the way that you can.
Ecclesiastes 6: 10 (NLT) says, “Everything has already been decided. It was known long ago what each person would be. So there’s no use arguing with God about your destiny.” Your destiny is revealed moment by moment as you embrace the reality that you are wonderfully and masterfully made. You’re God’s masterpiece. There will never be another you!
We must remember at all times that the love of God is the benchmark for our every endeavor, especially when it comes to marriage. This isn’t just the love of which we invest in others. It includes the love we have for ourselves. Self-love is the appreciation we cultivate for our own uniqueness as it is used in service to others through God’s love. It is an understanding that we are ever growing and developing into the very best version of ourselves. We may not be there yet, but if we continue to trust God, we’ll get there. Our confidence in this very truth causes us to stand in the reality of our Christ-identity, and this is the person our future spouses deserve to meet. ■
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.
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