Nothing brings thoughts about love and romance like Valentine’s.
Hint: Guys, this is the perfect excuse to ask her out!
Mr. Dreamy seems to come to mental life, placing him in picture perfection right…about…..now……sitting across the white linen-dressed table: he’s the epitome of studly perfection and looking fine, flashes his strait pearly whites your direction with a smile that says “She’s Mine!” You have on the cut.est.outfit.ever and those daily workouts have paid-off girl. Shimmering hair that’s never looked better, make-up done like angels themselves painted a masterpiece, manicure and pedicure showing off–music floating overhead, wrapping your evening in romantic deliciousness. His dream-boy eyes lock into yours…your heart puddles at your feet, under your favorite heels of course….he signals for the waiter who presents the loveliest vase of red roses, three to be exact. You have won him. He leans towards you reaching his hand across the table touching yours, your heart skips a beat and begins to race, glancing briefly at your empty ring finger, he lifts those steamy, ocean-blue eyes to meet yours, takes a deep breath in and says your name, you feel heat rushing to your neck and cheeks as he says, “I’d like to ask you something? I’ve given this a lot of thought…..I want to ask, would you…..” Your mind is abruptly challenged and begins to fog. Suddenly caught in confusion, trying to focus you shake yourself. Wait…wait….what is he going to say! You look towards him. His face begins to lose definition. Straining to see clearly….”what were you going to ask me?” Your voice feels hollow, thinning to a mutter. Leaning forward you grip tighter on his hand and repeat, “What, what were you going to ask me?” A familiar, annoying tune begins to rise in your ears. Your view awakens to an empty ceiling-the morning alarm announcing it’s time to get up and start your day. Ughhh. Why are the best moments only in dreams?
Most days, that fuzzy outline of Mr. Perfect may pass unnoticed. But with Valentine’s approaching, whether with excitement or loneliness, we girls have a laser-focused, keen eye as to our state of current affairs.
If this Cupid-inspired day comes without event, and you hear about all your friend’s “special moments” with their sweethearts, romantic pictures flooding your world unannounced, it can really try your romantic patience. Wall Flower. No one special. Nothing to celebrate. For.the.love.
Where is Mr. Right?
Our home is lively and full. I’m in love with each of my four lovely daughters and three adorable sons.
With this houseful of teens and young adults, it’s a wonderful thing to have the cutest ever 7 year old son, who keeps life footloose and fancy-free.
Our girls, whom I have the great privilege of mothering and mentoring, are often in deep conversation over a host of things life brings to them, like boys, like who’s dating whom, who just got engaged, and guess who’s getting married this weekend? Sometimes, more heart rendering things like who’s pregnant, whose heart got broken – watching life unfold for others that now seems different than ever dreamed.
Hot topics around here!
They are standing on the edge of the future, looking intently outward into the abyss of the unknown, and wondering….
Every girl dreams about being The Princess, and to someday meet her Knight in Shining Armor, The One who sweeps her offer her feet and they begin Happily Ever After. Every girl wants to be “that girl” and every girl wants to be The Bride. The One who stole his heart. The one picked amongst all the fair maidens. She stands high above the rest, The Fairest of All.
It’s a God-shaped dream to desire to be loved.
Cherished. Esteemed. Adored.
I very much look forward to Valentine’s Day. My Sweetheart proposed to me on Valentine’s and I’m so thankful he did! Celebrating each year is that much sweeter. We treasure our special moments and how perfect that day was. I’m so happy he picked me and that I said “yes”! We often go back to the places he took me that incredibly dreamy night, kind of like taking a “tour of our love.” He’s such a romantic! He plans fun surprises for me and most of the time I have no idea where we’re going – just like he did that lovely day leading up to when he got down on one knee, asked me would I marry him, and could we do life together?
He has made me high on his priority list, and he makes every intention of letting his love for me shine! He steals my heart!
But there was a time my story was not so sweet. There were many years of grief and heartache. Valentine’s Day only represented a shallow grave for what I thought life with a man would bring me. A grim reminder how short my marriage fell from what I had hoped. Love and trust shattered beyond recovery. Misshapen inspiration. Misplaced dreams.
So I’ve had the great privilege of watching and being fascinated with who a real man is, and what his life looks like from the inside.
Our oldest kids are looking at that magical bridge of “marriage” and wondering when they will cross it. Many of their friends are planning weddings or already hitched. All of my girls have talked about their future weddings. None of them currently are dating. We simply have fun dreaming together and looking out for fun wedding ideas and discovering their personal style. The perfect month to get married and what kind of wedding dress they like. I’ve even started collecting odds and ends, hanging on to ideas in anticipation of this blessed event.
We just can’t help it. We are girls.
Until that day comes, this God-shaped dream is simply that. A Dream.
My girls are beginning to realize the weight of the decision of going into a relationship. From hard lessons they’ve learned through their own hurts and personal disappointments, to their vantage point of friends or other girls who have picked wrong guys, ending up broken and stranded. We have deep talks about how should a relationship look as a Christian, and what qualities and character traits should be present in someone to be “datable”?
Let’s not ignore the fact: we girls are emotional. We can get sidetracked in all sorts of ways. We can be easily infatuated and sucked in by a guy’s cuteness or talents or smile. Or his nice car, great job, or need I say, amazingly fit body?
I’ve been privy to this downfall. It’s so easy to justify giving a guy a chance, or believing the best in him even though his poor reputation is well-known, or move past a red flag and still want to give someone time to prove himself. After all, maybe “I’m the girl” who can make the difference in his life and change him for the better? We are really good at wrestling with our emotions and heart-strings, allowing them to win, brushing wisdom and conviction completely aside.
And suddenly find ourselves lost in the territory of “dangerous love.”
Jeremiah 17:9 states
“The heart is deceitful above all things
and beyond cure.
Who can understand it?”
Funny how God our Father knows us so well!!
I have to look to Him and His Word for advice. I have to look at our best example, the life of Jesus, to see how things stack up alongside His ideas. Relationships can be confusing. How easily swayed from a determined course our emotions can take us when our heart is being tugged by someone who’s captured our attention? We are all too willing to let go of Who anchors us to The Dream in the first place, latching on to something that makes us feel good in the moment instead.
I’ve been inspired by a thought that’s stuck with me.
“We can love, because God first Loved us.”
Think about it and let it soak to the inside.
If God extended Himself first, to love us, how did He prove Himself?
His Son Jesus demonstrates God’s love through servant leadership. He proved His love through Sacrifice. He gave freely and selflessly.
Isn’t this why we fall in love with Him?
In fact, isn’t that why we trust Him?
How can we relate Christ’s example when it comes to dating and marriage?
His life demonstrated a love that was entirely about everyone else! Not about Himself. He didn’t “lord over” even in His Lordship.
Instead, He loves. He pours out. He lavishes. He covers.
He loves humbly and compassionately.
On my best day, I don’t deserve any of it. He loves me, in spite of me, and because of me. Enough so, that when He died on the cross, I was on his mind. A Loving, Living Sacrifice.
His love swallows me so whole that He is blind to my disabilities. I’m completely “lovable” to Him. Isn’t that a powerful kind of love we can sink our soul into?
This is what makes Him so irresistibly captivating!
God is so in love with you! If it’s up to Him, He’s not going to settle for anything less than what He has in His heart for you! God is on the lookout for His Girl. He’s going to be watching, waiting, perfecting His love in your life, nurturing your heart with His Truth and Light, and protecting you from harm’s way and from relational failure….IF you will first hide your heart in His!!
You may know this recent quote suggesting that in order “for a guy to find me, he will have to seek God’s Heart deep enough to find me there.” Have you hidden yourself in God’s Heart? Have you been willing to give him all?
Christ loved first. Do you love Him back?
Is your heart held captive by God? If so, you will be a satisfied and fulfilled prisoner willing to hear His Voice, and to obey His Perfect Will.
Be made whole in Him. Seek His face about love and then wait it out. Look to Him and trust Him with His opinions.
What this means is that your Righteous Pursuit of God’s heart will lead you into God’s Divine Will for your future. This may mean your Father will shield you from a guy discovering you until God’ knows he’s ready for taking on the responsibility of your life and capable of offering true godly love.
Is he solely dependent on God? Is his level of commitment as hearty as your own?
Maybe you’re in a relationship and asking yourself, does he love me, or love me not?
I believe how God expects men to love His girls is this: He loves first.
What does this God-kind of love look like?
He leads by example.
Does he love selflessly? Does he know how to love you with his heart in a spiritually connected way, without a physical relationship?
Does he honor God?
Does he honor and respect you? If so, he appreciates the fact that you belong to God, and he keeps his hands to himself.
Is he truly a friend? Does he push you to higher things in life, like inspiring you to love God more fully and intimately? True love that lasts begins and ends on this level. Passion is both the icing on the cake and also the first thing to leave. It will never be an anchor that holds a relationship together or will ever last. And it’s completely out-of-order if it’s before marriage.
We girls need to be Righteously pursued. We need the confidence that we’re worth fighting for! A smart girl will allow a guy to work hard at winning her heart. After all, it is being held and guarded by God. If his actions don’t line up with what you know in your heart is true, do both of you a huge favor and pass this one by. He is not the one. Don’t wait around for him thinking “this day will surely come” or “I’ll teach him how to do that.”
Look to Jesus and how He loves. Does this person live up to that kind of love? If he doesn’t yet have the capacity for whom God intended him to be, then he needs to wrestle with God about that, alone. You can’t help him. If a guy is still wrestling with his weaknesses and level of maturity, don’t even waste your time! You’re created to be a wife, not his mother.
NEVER date “potential.” E.VER.
If you’ve gone past friendship or courtship into physical intimacy and you’re not married, no matter your age or marital status, you must break off this relationship and get alone before God. Let Him reset your focus. Your dependency is off-course. You are not ready for a relationship, marriage or re-marriage. Your hope and confidence need to be restored in Jesus. There is brokeness that needs mending of the spiritual kind, and no man can do that for you.
Being dependent on Jesus alone makes His counterfeit unnecessary.
Prayer. Pursuit. Passion. Praise.
We can love, because much love was first given. It’s the same thing with a solid, lasting relationship.
A real man, knows what he wants, and his trust is in Jesus. He will find you, because He has been found by God. If his heart is truly buried in Jesus, then it’s only a matter of timing that God will bring your lives together.
I don’t believe dating websites, singles memberships and things that lead us on a chase to find “true love” are necessary.
I believe in God: the Ultimate Matchmaker. Seek Him. Find Him. He’s your Heavenly Father that will withhold nothing from His kids. He desires to lavish your life with Love beyond imagination. This is the only life worth living. Why settle for less when your life is worthy of so much more?
In my story, I had come to a place where if it were just me and Jesus, I was more than good with that! He is truly the Lover of my soul! But God was more than gracious! Where personal heartache, brokeness and loss once defined my life, my loving Father chose to send me hope, love and adoration through this amazing guy I get to call my husband. I have enough years behind me to be able to speak to these things with due diligence and proof.
Take this from a girl who can honestly say, at one time, all I knew was one who loved me not.
Once you know real, true love, it’s so easy to spot the counterfeits. The imposters.
No need to shred the daisies. He loves me? He loves me not?
I have tested God. I have found Him Faithful. This gift in my life is the sheer gracious favor of my Heavenly Father. He is teaching me so much!
My husband loves me like True Love should! He LOVES me. He is kind. He is patient. He is giving, serving, grateful.
He loves first. He protects. He shelters. He shows up. He covers our family and provides. He is a wonderful father. He is submitted. Prayerful. He soaks in God’s Word and waters his life in praise.
His love is pure. Wholehearted. Jesus-centered.
His life is marked by integrity and character.
He is honest. His eyes are clear and bright.
What is in a man’s heart matters.
God knows what you need.
Prayer. Pursuit. Passion. Praise.
Father Knows Best.
He Loves YOU!
Read Psalm 37:3-6 NLT:
1 Don’t worry about the wicked or envy those who do wrong.
2 For like grass, they soon fade away. Like spring flowers, they soon wither.
3 Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.
4 Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.
5 Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you.
6 He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.
7 Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act.
To Delight in The Lord means, He has become my identity!
He has clothed me with a robe of His Righteousness, thus your innocence;