A Vision Worth Holding Onto
"Waiting on the Lord" Series
from Virtuous Daughters, November 2015~Volume 15, Number 8
First of all, I would like to start by saying that I will be preaching to myself. If you happen to benefit from it, that’s great. I most certainly have not “arrived,” and my guess is that I will not be arriving anytime soon.
Ever since I was little, I have always wanted to be married and have a family. When I was around 10 years old, I figured I would be married by 20, so I just had to wait 10 more years!!! Well, I just had my 32nd birthday, and no Prince Farming…(Yes, I meant that. I’d rather have a farmer than a charmer.) Needless to say, singleness has been, and continues to be, one of the greatest struggles of my life. So I’m going to share with you a few thoughts that I hope will turn your eyes (and mine!) back to the faithfulness of our Lord Jesus Christ…
Proverbs 3:5-7 "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil." I have been thinking about this passage a lot the last few days. I hear it all the time, but I think I sort of missed something really important. I was wondering, how much of my heart is really trusting in the Lord? If I’m worried about my future, and when Prince Farming will FINALLY show up, am I really trusting the Lord? I had to conclude that probably only a small portion of my heart was really trusting Him. That is sad, because He is completely trustworthy and faithful. The Bible says “His faithfulness reacheth to the clouds.” In my head, I know that, but getting my feelings and attitude to follow through and exude that wholehearted trust—that is the challenge. I would like to challenge you as well to throw your wholehearted trust on the rock-solid faithfulness of God. He will not fail you.
Proverbs 18:22 "Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD." Being a wife, in the true Biblical sense, is one of the most blessed things in a woman’s earthly experience. (I am not speaking from experience here, because, you know, the lack of Prince You-Know-Who.) But we can see in Scripture the value a Godly woman has in a man’s life and in the lives of her children, church and community. As single ladies, we can sit around and pout because we’re single, or we can be preparing for someday being that wife and mother. This is acting on faith. Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” I have suffered from the “I Don’t Want to Put Much in My Hope Chest Because I Don’t Know if I’ll Ever Get to Use It” syndrome. Whether or not we decide to invest in a hope chest, we can certainly be filling the coffers of our character with pleasant and beautiful things that will someday benefit our future families, and will certainly benefit the families we have now, as well as all with whom we come in contact. How about these for starters:
The Law of Kindness--Proverbs 31:26 “She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.” We simply cannot go wrong when this law governs us.
Diligence, Industry and Productivity--Proverbs 31:27 “She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.” A girl preparing for a household someday needs to have the know-how and the get-up-and-go to accomplish many things, and she needs to be skilled in many different areas. Now is the time to practice this. Not only will it bless our future families, but our now families will love us for it!
A Passion for the Gospel of Christ-- Philippians 4:3 “And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.” God didn’t call us women to be preachers, but He will give us opportunities to speak and write boldly and graciously for Christ. We can pray for these opportunities, and that God would give us a passion to help advance His kingdom. God may place an area or people group on your heart to pray for. Who knows, maybe you will get to minister there someday, if that is God’s will. But there is always someone you can minister to, right where God has you! It’s important to not miss the opportunities God places before us, because we are so focused on what we would rather be doing.
Submission to Earthly Authorities-- 1 Peter 3:5-6 “For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.” One true test of our character is how we as women respond to the authorities God places in our lives. How do we react when our Daddy asks us to do something we don’t want to do? Do we strive to get our attitude in line, or do we give in to disrespect? What about when our authorities are not perfect? (Hint: they aren’t perfect, and we need to be able to handle that respectfully, too, remembering our own need for the kindness and respect of others.)
So, here we are, all inspired and pumped, preparing for the wonderful things God has in our future, and trying to make good use of the time we have now. What happens when year after year goes by and…no Prince Farming appears on the horizon to sweep us off to his 400-acre farm to raise the 12 kids we hoped for? “I thought God wanted me to be a wife and mother,” we whine inwardly. “Why prepare for this? Maybe I’m wasting my time…” And our thoughts begin to wander. “What should I be doing?” we ask ourselves. “Maybe this family vision is a no-go for me.” I know there are some very different views about the role of single daughters, and women in general. It’s certainly not my place to try and direct your path. That area belongs to the Lord and your authorities. But I can share a little of my own journey in this area. I have wondered at times what I should be doing in my single years. Should I join a ministry? Should I get a job? And as I’ve thought long and hard through these issues, I have come to the conclusion that…home is where I want to be, and I believe home is also where God wants me. Home, for me, is a place of waiting on the Lord, of working with and for my family. In His Word, God places a high priority on the family, and the home is where the family always returns to. The family is the first institution created by God. The work of the virtuous woman in Proverbs 31 is centered around her home, husband and children. Yes, she leaves home sometimes, and she engages in business ventures, but even those times are for the benefit of her home, husband, and family. In Titus 2, Paul exhorts the older women to teach the younger to have many different qualities, including being a keeper of the home. I’ve wondered, is this just for the married women who already have husbands and children? So should I be using my time and talents elsewhere? But the thought occurred to me, if I wait to learn about these things until I’m already married with a baby, I’ll be a bit behind! Also, if all the older women whose children are grown and gone see no need to be home, who is going to teach the younger women? Who is going to lead by example? On the end of Paul’s list, he tacks on “…that the word of God be not blasphemed.” So I believe these roles God lays out for men and women are essential. The family is so fragmented these days…it is my desire to counter that in our culture. I’m just one simple farmer girl, but I desire to help create a family culture that will honor God’s Word, faulty though I am. If we’re doing what we’re doing because we have seen these things in God’s Word, and to honor Him, then we have no need to give up those beliefs, even if we must stand very nearly alone to do so. My Daddy recently said if you believed something before, it’s probably worth holding on to. I think that was wise advice.
Okay, so there is no promise that every girl will get married someday. There is no promise that, if we do marry, that we will be able to have children. What happens when we look that in the face? Do we feel the panic rising? I have, many times. This reminds me of Peter, when he walked on the water to meet Jesus. What happened when he looked at the waves around him? He began to sink. He began to panic. What happened when he looked at Jesus? If we steadfastly gaze on the face of Christ, He will supply the strength that we lack. Philippians 4:19 “But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” He will enable us to endure a lifetime of singleness, if that is His will. He will enable us to rejoice with those who rejoice, even when they are receiving the gift that we have longed for, and has been denied to us. He will enable us to serve others, lose our lives for His sake, and thus find them in the end. Christ is all that really matters. This life is so very short! It is like a grain of sand on the beach of eternity. We must live with that eternity in view. Does it really matter if we marry or not? (As painful as that question is…) What does matter is if we gave Christ our all. What matters is if He has our heart. What matters is if He knows us, and we know Him. Matthew 10:39 “He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for My sake shall find it.” So let’s use our single years to draw nearer to Christ! We will not regret this. I believe God has used my singleness to strengthen my relationship with Him. It is a hard road for me—but it is worth it! My prayer is “More love to Thee, O Christ!” And I desire to grow in faith and a deeper relationship with the Lord.
Philippians 4:6-7 “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Thanksgiving is an action, not necessarily an emotion. We can choose to give thanks unto God, even in the midst of the storm, because He is sovereign, and does know what He is doing. He does all things for our good. Then the peace will come, because our perspective is turned to God, and not our circumstances. It also is helpful to list benefits of the trials we are facing, and thank God for those.
We must also keep in mind that God loves us, and will not withhold His good and perfect gifts from us. So hope in Him! He is trustworthy. He does not reveal to us what He will do in the future; we simply must trust Him. It is like walking along a mountain path, but it is too foggy to see the way in front of us. So we must just hold the hand of our Father, and take each next step in faith. He knows each situation. He knows us farmer girls who don’t have big social circles to mingle in. He knows the girls who may feel lonely in a crowd. He knows the girls who have a lot of friends, but no special someone yet. And He is sovereign over it all.
Sometimes when we give something over to the Lord in surrender, we find ourselves drawn closer to Him. There is this fellowship in handing over something to the Lord that we value so very highly, knowing He loves us and will do what is best for us. Maybe it is a tiny taste of that oneness between the Father and Son when Jesus was in the garden of Gethsemane and said, “Not My will, but Thine, be done.” This is when it really counts. Giving it over to the Lord in tears…those tears that He bottles. He values these gifts. Only He could give us grace to do this in the first place.
So, as I close, we must remember…trust in God. We will not regret it. He will lead us on the path that we should take. And He will walk with us; even when we cannot feel His presence, He is there.
Psalm 16:11 “Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in Thy presence is fulness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”
Psalm 27:11 “Teach me Thy way, O LORD, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.”
Psalm 32:7 “Thou art my hiding place; Thou shalt preserve me from trouble; Thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah.”
Psalm 32:8 “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with Mine eye.”
1 Peter 1:6 “Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:”
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