Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Right Thing at the Right Time


"It's very lonely," she admitted as she straightened her napkin. "My children are good to me, but it's not the same since my husband died fourteen years ago.  You're never the same without your soul mate."  I looked into the eyes of the widow who looked so much younger than seventy-one, and discovered a sadness I had never noticed before.  In that one offhand remark, the wisdom of experience spoke to me powerfully, just as it had the day before when another widow in her eighties had confided that no marriage is going to be a fairy tale romance all the time, but when it gets hard, you pray and stay.  "God is faithful!" she had urgently declared.  The power of their words was underscored by their lined faces and decades of experience.  

Most girls dream of the day we will meet "The One," who will always love us, overlook our faults, and live with us happily ever after.  When the dream collides with reality, we wonder where we went wrong.  I remember a lady who came and spoke to my high school Home Ec class about how the love of her life turned out to be an abusive, vengeful wife-beater, and I sat there, horrified and hoping desperately to avoid her fate.  This brave lady probably spared several of us untold heartache by warning us of the dangers ahead.  I don't even remember her name but I wish I could thank her for baring her soul in front of a roomful of teenage strangers.  God used her to give me the motivation to wait until I finally met my amazing husband.

It is a terrifying thing to open your soul in front of a younger audience whom you know may take every word the wrong way and hate you thoroughly.  I have procrastinated writing this post for this reason.  The verse of Scripture that was used so powerfully in my life to teach me The Right Thing at the Right Time is not always met with open arms.  In fact, the first time I read it I...did NOT like it.  It took heartbreak to show me that my ways were not guaranteed to succeed.  Finally I decided that if I could trust God when He says "He that believeth in Jesus hath everlasting life," I could also trust Him and accept that this verse is also truth.  Honestly, it wasn't until I began to believe this verse just as much as I believe John 3:16 that I discovered the perfect plan of God and why so many relationships have so much trouble.  

This post is directed to girls who are not married or possibly VERY young newlyweds.  With only twelve years of married life under my belt I am in no position to teach anybody close to my age.  I am in as much need of instruction as the next person. But for the young girls, I hope this post is a drop in the bucket of wisdom that God gives you from many older women to help you find your way.  And truly, all I'm telling you is the verse God used in my life to direct my paths.  For others He may have used another verse.  Listen to older people, watch the outcomes of the choices of the people around you, but above all, search the Bible for yourself.  God has your love story all planned out but the instructions to get you there are hidden in His word.

So, what is the mystery verse?  The verse that details what God's plan is at what time and why?  The verse that in my youthful naivete I fled? It is I Corinthians 7:34.  

"There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband."

That's it.  I could go into a long speech about what all this means, but if you are like I was when I didn't want to hear it, you won't read it.  If you are at the point where you are interested and open to God's plan for your love life, then I would hate for you to base your understanding on my words alone.  So let me ask you the questions, and let you come to the conclusions.  I will repost the verse after each question so you don't have to keep scrolling back up.  

Q:  What are the two groups of women mentioned in the verse?

There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.

Q:  What is the plan for the unmarried woman?

There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.

Q:  What is the plan for the married woman?

There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.

Q:  Why should the unmarried woman care for the things of the Lord?

There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.

Q:  Why is the married woman to care for the things of the world?

There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.

Q:  What does "holy in body" mean?  {By the way, the word HOLY means "hale," healthy, whole; the same root we get the word "holistic."  It means complete, not broken, distorted, or diminished.}

Q: What does "holy in spirit" mean? Think about it carefully.  It's easy when reading a blog to gloss over things and not really THINK, but I didn't answer the question for you on purpose.  

Q:  What are the things of the Lord?  

Q: What are the things of the world?

Q: Which category does God expect you to care for?

Q: Which category does God not  expect you to care for at this season in your life?

Why is it so hard for me to share this verse with you?  Maybe because I love it so much now, and it is hard when I see girls react to it the way I did at first.  Only God can answer the last few questions for you specifically.  I still beg Him to teach me how to care for the things of the world that I may please my husband.  I'll need Him to keep teaching me when I too am past my seventies. If you have read to the end of this post, thank you for reading.  May God bless your love life and may you trust Him with every aspect of it.  I love you! (Or I wouldn't have bared my soul just now....)