On My Own Terms

Proverbs 13:12(NLT) says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.” This is one of those yummy truths that every single woman who desires to be married should digest completely. It will require us to ponder this wisdom very carefully. It is necessary that we begin by examining the word ‘hope’; it ought to be one of every Christian’s favorite words. Hope is a joyful expectation, and if we’re being honest, a lot of us single sisters don’t have it. We have an expectation when it comes to the type of partner we desire. We may even have an expectation about the details of the wedding, but for many of us the joy is missing in action. It is imperative that we get on the case pronto with this one, because if our hope is in Christ, joy must be its defining characteristic.

When hope is deferred, it means that we may need to put the fulfillment of our joy on hold. Many of us that have been praying to cross paths with our future marital partners think we know a little bit about ‘hope deferred’. We may even go so far as to say we’ve kissed our fair share of toads, and none of them have turned into a prince. In our estimation, the elusive Mr. Right is our hope deferred, and we can attest that after a few years of waiting, it can indeed make the heart sick. There’s very little worse than having your expectations raised, only to have them doused. This is what makes many of our sisters in Christ reluctant about putting themselves out there, as they might have in the past.

Here’s the thing that our Precious Heavenly Father wants us to chew on, when our hope is in Christ, the desire of our hearts is never indefinitely deferred. If what you and I desire is according to the Will and Word of God, it WILL come to pass. And for some of us, our faith isn’t quite making this leap. We’re not sure it’s the Will of God for us to be married, and this is the hurdle that we have to get over in order to cultivate faith in our quests.

Marriage is God’s institution. He ordained it. Heavenly Father could have left Adam by his lonesome, but God didn’t do this. In Genesis 2:18(NKJV), He said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” It is very important that Christians learn the deep connection of a union, and one of the reasons God set up marriage is to teach us the greatest lessons about unity in Christ.

For those who desire to marry, God desires it for them more than they can ever desire it for themselves. God is not withholding the blessing of a spouse. So, we have to ask ourselves a hard question that requires a brutally honest answer. Are we deferring our hopes because we want everything on our own terms? One of my sister-friends said this to me the other day. She said that she’s been willing to accept so much and make so many concessions for men in the past, and it still doesn’t work out. Now, because of the disappointments in her past relationships, she believes she’s entitled to have things on her own terms and has adopted an approach of inflexibility.

Her disappointment is certainly understandable. She has exhausted a lot of emotional energy and time into the wrong situation. But it could be that she is backing herself further in a corner and putting more separation between her and the blessing she expects. It’s possible that even after spending years praying and waiting for Mr. Right, her heart is still not humbled towards God, she has not changed, and she has not renewed her mind to the love of Christ.

Isaiah said in Isaiah 64:8(NLT), “And yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter.” When our hopes are in OUR dreams, and not in the dream God has for us, disappointments are likely to happen. The dream Heavenly Father has for us is a tree of life that keeps on giving. It’s a dream that we ought to be joyful and excited about. We should be fully invested in it, because God is going to make it happen in the very best possible way. Proverbs 23:17-18 tells us that when our hearts are anchored in obeying His Word and honoring Him, He will reward us and our hope will not be disappointed.

The psalmist wrote in Psalm 25:11-12(NLT), “11 For the honor of your name, O LORD, forgive my many, many sins. 12 Who are those who fear the LORD? He will show them the path they should choose.” God knows best when it comes to your future, and He requires that Jesus Christ is at the center of your desire to marry, so that you will follow the path that He has laid before you. When Christ is our focus, it means that our desire is based on the call to be a loving example of his love. The Holy Spirit will produce joy within because our hope is in Christ, and because our heart is to please God by being the kind of wife He desires us to be. Sign over your quest for marriage to God’s terms, and let your terms take a backseat; then your hope will change from deferred to fulfilled, because Jesus Christ will make your dream a tree of life.

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.

“On My Own Terms” written for findchristianman.wordpress.com. Copyright©2020. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

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