All she ever wanted was the white dress, the ring, and the husband. She awaits being able to walk up to him and say “I do.” She wants to feel his embrace and his willingness to protect her, commit to her, and have eyes only for her. She wants to be carried beyond the threshold and into their future, where she will be submissive to his every wish -because his every wish is to love and support her. That is all she ever wanted and dreamed of at a young age. She was always preparing to be his wife. Whoever ‘he’ was. However, even after being in a relationship and desiring all of this, she still awaits for God to say it is time.
I wanted to be perfect, completely perfect. How would Mr. Right find me if I wasn’t perfect, just as he was? Crazy, right? I wanted to be well dressed and put together, so when he finally came to know me, nothing would push him away. I wanted to be his Mrs. Right, from head to toe. During my journey into a relationship, I went in with this skewed mindset of finding Mr. Right. I assumed that if he never saw my flaws, he would find no reason not to be with me. I would be viewed as attractive and ready to transition from a great girlfriend into an even better wife. After all, isn’t that how it works?
You see, the problem was that I was single for so long, and during that time I never utilized my singleness. I wasn’t using that time to grow in the Lord or understand who I was becoming in Christ or what my purpose was. Instead, I only wondered who I needed to be with a man. Due to my neglect, it became difficult to know what it would truly take to be in a committed relationship. When I met my current boyfriend, I dealt with a couple of insecurities I didn’t even know resided in me. There were things that were not up to him to resolve, but had to be taken up between me and the Lord. I then learned that leaning on your boyfriend for everything can make room for idolatry, disguised in the form of love. During your season of dating, it is important to want to love righteously, while leaving room for the Holy Spirit to work on both of you.
God has always wanted my attention, and I thought I had been giving it to Him. I didn’t realize that what I was giving him weren’t properly meeting His requirements. A true relationship still had not manifested. Also, how would I know what a true relationship felt like if I had not yet mastered the most important one? After learning certain things about myself, it was time for God to begin to use my relationship with my boyfriend to further understand my relationship with Him. I noticed how things in my earthly relationship began to parallel what God wanted from me, spiritually. When I first got together with my boyfriend, like most women, I was so excited to be with him and couldn’t wait to see what God had in store for us. Little did I know, it was going to be a process of self-realization and pruning. We started off great; our goal was to always have God in the forefront and the center of our relationship. We would state in our prayers, “Lord, allow us to grow closer together as we grow closer to you, and continue to be in the center of our relationship.” Without realization, we created a formula that we didn’t know would be the basis of our relationship. God would be our magnet at the center of our relationship and we would never be able to get to one another without having to pass through God first. God was waiting for such a declaration to tactfully devise a plan for our relationship.
I remember how in love I was with him, in the beginning. The warm feeling he gave me, the constant butterflies, the affection...I loved it all. But as the smoke cleared, the glee subsided and the “Honeymoon Stage” ended. That’s when the change began. So, what exactly did God begin to work on?
1, My Singleness
I finally had a boyfriend; however, our timing was off once summer ended and we both headed in separate directions for grad school. We suddenly found ourselves in a long distance relationship. I had to constantly be reminded that I was not married and that he was not yet mine. I had to understand that and treat our relationship as such. In a spiritual sense, we are still considered single, because God has not yet recognized us as ONE. This was EXTREMELY difficult to accept, because the culture around us contradicts this way of thinking. God was finally giving me something I always wanted, but I had to receive it His way. Understanding how to avoid idolizing marriage, but instead work towards it was a necessary step, along with remembering which relationship is most important.
2. My Purity
I am a virgin, and I have always wanted to honor God with my body. However, that wasn’t always easy. I began to resent the very thing that God gave me to be set apart and an example. I didn’t realize that at the time. Therefore, I didn’t always honor God with my thoughts and actions. I fell into pits of lust, and I hated myself for such a stronghold. After being with my boyfriend, that was and still is the hardest part of our relationship. But when I compare where we were and where we are now, I thank God he freed me from my stronghold and gave me a sober mind to resist temptations.
3. My Love
I love my boyfriend and I also love God. But I had to understand that no matter what, God always comes first. I didn’t realize that due to my prior ideology of fairy-tale love, I fell in love with the idea of love. I put my boyfriend in a light that wasn’t righteous. I was consumed by finally having the attention of someone that I didn’t guard my heart, and God saw this. Because of this, there was a period during our relationship that we purposely took time apart from one another. I felt God had lead us to do so. This is where I began to love him righteously and see him the way God wanted me to. Not only did I learn how to do that, but I also learned how to open myself to be loved.
4. My Insecurities
To this day, God continues to show me the different layers of my insecurities. My relationship shined light on the things I didn’t feel secure in. It showed the way I viewed myself and how hard I could be on myself. There were times when I reverted back to my old way of thinking. I was always surprised when my boyfriend said, “I love you” or “you're beautiful,” because I didn’t always feel that way about myself. I believed those were also teaching moments that God used to show me how He sees me, as well.
5. My Spiritual Life
This was the area in which I grew the most. This was a very important area of my life. The times I was alone, in prayer, fasting, and crying were the intimate moments that I got to tell God everything that was on my heart. I spoke to Him about everything: my boyfriend, my fears, our plans, goals, and wanting to draw nearer to Jesus. I told God everything. Sometimes I’m afraid to, but He wants to know I trust him. That is where I am today -learning to trust and have faith in an unreserved way. Even when I may feel discouraged, I know God is the one divinely putting everything together.
There you have it! For this reason, I want women to enjoy their time with the Lord. Time is God’s love language. Because I was so consumed with being in a relationship, I missed out on opportunities to form a real relationship with God. So instead, it happened in my relationship with my boyfriend, and he has been here for the ride. God doesn’t choose our mates, but He will use His word to help you make a decision. I still want to be the girl I mentioned in the beginning -ready to jump the broom and live happily ever after. However, if God didn’t continuously work on me and my boyfriend, we would have walked into marriage two halves of a broken piece. Marriage would not have fixed these issues but enhance it. My story will not be like the next person’s, but the objective is still the same: first, enjoy your singleness in God and everything else will be added.