( Guest Post )
Since graduating high school almost 7 years ago, I have attended, 6 weddings, been a bridesmaid 4 times, caught 2 bouquets and have attended 9 baby showers all by the age of 24. After being in or attended so many weddings, people start to say the ever popular ‘you’re next!’ phrase. When that happens, simply say ‘we will see’, smile and keep on dancing away.
It’s extremely easy to become discouraged when 90% of your friends are married with kids, married, engaged or coupled up. That leaves me in the barren wasteland of a dating pool in which there is not a single prospect in sight. This isn’t a ‘woe is me’ post or a diss to some of the great guys that are currently available, who happen to be not only my ‘brother’s in Christ’, but actually literally like my brothers, but a post on what to do next.
In my hamster wheel of a mind, it goes from, “Do I get a new job?”, “Do I move?”, “Do I think about attending a new church?”, “Do I start buying cats?” or “Mission field?”. As a 24 year old, Jesus loving, independent, adventurous single, what am I to do until Lord willing ‘prince charming’ comes along? I’ve called out many times in prayer crying, frustrated and even angry saying ‘Lord, I am weak and lonely, I need you. I trust you but what is it that you’re trying to teach me?’
As humans, we desire relationships and as women we desire a husband.
Someone to lead us, love us, protect us and to help provide for us. None of these things are wrong but are they an idol? Is a husband something I desire more than I desire Jesus, the only man who will love me perfectly and more than anyone else? Until Mr. Right comes along what do I do? How do I prepare practically and spiritually? How do I make sure my heart is more in love with my Savior more than a man?
We can’t seriously expect to sit around and wait for Prince Charming to show up on a gallant white steed and whisk us away to his castle and live happily ever after. Yes, I partially blame Walt Disney for this skewed view of what romance looks like. I’m sure that some of the ‘happily ever after’ things may be true, I wouldn’t know yet, but we need to be preparing and investing in others for the Kingdom of Christ. We need to be preparing our hearts, finances and cooking skills for when ‘our turn’ comes around. The Proverbs 31 woman is a perfect example.
She is; trustworthy (v.11), hardworking (v.15), wise (v.16), strong (v.17), generous and compassionate (v.20), prepared (v.21), not lazy and takes care of herself (v.22), works, entrepreneur, and takes care of her household first (v.24), doesn’t fear the future (v.25), speaks wisdom with truth and grace (v.26), not idle (v.27), she’s a blessing (v.28-29) and fears the Lord (v.30).
Are any of these qualities within me? Where do I fall short? I know in many areas I fall short, but I’ve been really challenged and convicted to pray that the Lord would reveal areas that I need to grow in.
The Proverbs 31 woman is a beast. She is the ultimate woman.
I want to first off; be a woman who loves Christ above all, seeks to grow and share Christ and also one who invests in people. I also want to be a blessing to a husband, a partner for ministry, someone that he can trust and depend on. After serving on two short-term mission trip teams, one in 2012 to Uganda and one this past summer in Albania, I learned a lot on both trips but specifically in Albania, I learned what genuinely loving people looks like.
Love isn’t just hearts and butterflies in your stomach, but it’s sacrificial, difficult and often inconvenient. Every one of my friends who are married, including my parents, have said that marriage is work and that there are times when it gets hard because it is two sinners living together and being used by the Lord to not only sanctify each other but to ultimately glorify Him. Even when I hear people say how difficult it can be, they have also said that it’s amazing and incredibly worth the difficult times. This doesn’t shy me away one bit, but until then I want to prepare my own heart and pray that the Lord would do the same, but also use this time of singleness to be used mightily for the Lord.
Albania, like I said taught me what it looks like to genuinely love like Christ. It was an amazing trip, but extremely stretching. Love is not always lovely. There were times when I was frustrated, inconvenienced and just wanted to have ‘a second to breathe’, but I wouldn’t have changed a thing. The Lord grew my heart for the lost and those who could be considered ‘unlovely’ but also my heart to serve in missions in the long-term.
That desire in my heart is unwavering. I love people. Genuinely.
Not always perfectly, but it’s the Lord who sustains me and continues to deepen it. This is a quality in a future spouse that is EXTREMELY important to me. Someone who loves Jesus and all of his people. Like I’ve said not perfectly, but strives and grows. I desire a man who would rather be inconvenienced and uncomfortable for the sake of the kingdom and souls who need Jesus desperately.
However, on the flip side, I need to be that woman. I strive and pray the Lord molds me into the kind of woman, who like the Proverbs 31 woman is tough yet compassionate, speaks the truth in grace, takes care of herself but is willing to work hard and be tired and dirty. But most of all one who loves Jesus, his people and a woman who is a blessing to her ‘future husband’.
I, myself am a work in progress and can’t wait until the day that I too can walk down the aisle in a white dress to a handsome man who loves Jesus ultimately more than me and dances the night away into her ‘happily ever after’. But until then I am striving to seek hard after Jesus and ‘fight the good fight’ (2 Timothy 4:7).
In the meantime, I am keeping my eyes set on the Man who loves me infinitely and perfectly. The Man who has changed my rebellious heart of stone into a soft- humble one that is seeking the lost and investing in souls, because we are all eternal. Get your eyes off yourself and onto loving others and preparing your heart for whatever blessings the Lord will bestow on you.
Kylie Helms is a 24 year old Southern Californian who is a humbled servant of Jesus. She loves coffee, traveling and sports.