The Day I Met Mrs. Proverbs 31: Ageless Advice for Singles

Mrs. Proverbs 31

By: Patricia Engler I braced my fingers against the warm mug and glanced nervously again at the coffee shop door, waiting. She should be here any minute… I might have known better than to get myself into this. I mean, asking to meet for coffee with the Proverbs 31 Woman? Normal young women don’t even talk to three thousand-year-old metaphorical people who live in ancient Hebrew poems, much less go out for java with them. Besides, so many other women seem to dislike this impossibly perfect lady. After all, she grows certified organic food, weaves her own clothing from ethically-sourced wool, and would never even think to waste an hour on Netflix. Yet viewing her as just another unattainable standard of womanhood to make the rest of us look bad seemed backwards to me. Surely, I reasoned, she isn’t in the Bible to be our rival, but rather our mentor. Still, maybe I should have settled for just reading about her. But—too late! The glass door opened and in she strode, right on time. “Hi,” I greeted her winning smile, “Love your sweater. Did you knit it yourself?” She nodded sweetly, drawing up a chair. “Purple is my favorite.” She set down a mug of Fairtrade tea and gazed at me like a sculptor contemplating a block of marble. “You know what’s one of the most important things about being a wife?” She asked suddenly. I blinked. Surely, she must know I’m single, without the faintest foreshadow of marriage in sight. Maybe I should change the subject for the rest of the visit, say farewell, and not call upon Mrs. 31 again until I’m seeking premarital counseling—like, 31 years from now. But she apparently missed my hesitation. “It’s to do your husband good and not evil all the days of your life.” I shifted uneasily. “I’ll keep that in mind, someday,” I replied. “Did I say, someday?” Her gaze remained even. “You need to do that man good all the days of your life, hon, and that includes today. That starts now.” Hmm. I distracted myself with a sip from my mug before responding, “And how am I supposed to do that—by praying for the man? How should I pray? If intimacy with God is the ultimate purpose of life, should I pray that he’d live out his purpose today by walking with Christ more intimately?” Her brow lifted slightly,…

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The Waiting Room

waiting room

By: Tatum- Lee Louw I’ve been waiting on God for a lot lately. For the salvation of my family, for financial break through, for meaningful friendships, for ‘him’ and a whole lot of direction. Waiting is undoubtedly such a painful process. I remember wanting to hurl whenever someone encouraged me with ‘Your wait is not in vain’, when literally each day feels like it is exactly that. Us, Christian women, can be such a ball of complaints at times. I don’t think we realize how much this negative attitude influences and distorts our relationship with God. Imagine, waking up today, with only the things you thanked God for yesterday? We would be in so much trouble, right? Like you, I am currently sitting in the waiting room. I have an entire list that is all too familiar in the heavenlies. While I am here, the time I usually use to complain, I’ve asked God to help me use this constructively. Instead of staring into a blank wall, growing impatient while waiting for the physician (Jesus) to attend to me. I choose to examine myself first. …and man! It’s been quite the journey. I have been in one place visiting entirely different areas of my life. Easy? No. Bearable? Certainly. The poet in me, titled this process as ‘The unraveling’. I have been falling apart while waiting on God to show me where to, from here. There have been things I have had to let go of, people that couldn’t go with me into His consultation room, plans that I have had to close the door on and ideas that I have had to put aside. Now, of course you going to experience phases of impatience. I did. I wanted to leave the waiting room so many times. I wanted to go and find other ways to heal my wounds, but the nostalgia that accompanied those thoughts just reminded me of the pain that comes with doing things my way. It’s important that you begin with the end in mind, during this period of waiting on God. Consider the costs and mentally prepare for it, through His word. Oh, and does His word do a great job at providing reassurance. My personal favourite: “But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will…

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The Ten Year Wait: What I am Learning in This Season

the ten year wait

Blogpost originally shared on The Titian With a Mission. Article by: Jane Merson “If you can’t live fulfilled on your own, you will not be able to live fulfilled with someone else.” ~ Justin Stumvoll Just like many of my peers, I have always had a desire to be married and to raise a family.  But, unlike many of my peers, I am still waiting to see that desire fulfilled. As a teenager, I (for reasons I can no longer recall!) considered 24 years old as the ideal age to get married.  I had it all planned out – it would give my husband & I a couple of years for us to settle into marriage then I’d pop out two or three kids before I hit the big 3-0. But here I am – 30 years old and single.  No boyfriend, no husband, and certainly no kids. Yet I’m the happiest and most content I’ve ever been. Here are just some of the lessons I’ve learned so far: Closed doors are a blessing.  Oh, so many closed doors!  A couple of (short-lived) relationships, countless crushes and many, many tears later, I am unimaginably thankful for the way God has protected my heart and comforted me through the confusion, hurt and impatience of the past ten years.  These experiences, though far from enjoyable at the time, have shaped me and guided me (often reluctantly!) and have played an essential part in this decade of waiting. (Click below to grab your copy of 31 Days of Prayer for Your Future Husband.) Single people should be encouraged, not pitied.  I can’t begin to tell you how irritating it is to have well-meaning marrieds ask me why I’m still single or reassure me that it’ll be my turn next.  Please don’t ‘label’ me or assume it’s the only thing on my mind!  In the past it would take every ounce of me to reach a place of peace (not true contentment, but part-way there at least) about being single to then have someone else raise the issue with me and immediately knock my confidence and cause me to spiral back into insecurities again.  The more others saw my singleness, the more I felt it.  And it felt like inadequacy. Marrieds, pray for singles – that they would find their spouse, by all means, but also that they would be content in the meantime –…

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How to Know God is Calling You to Do Something Great

how to know God is calling you

I fell in love with God as a young girl transitioning into womanhood. When I say I fell, I mean that I fell head over heels deeply in love with God. He was all I wanted, all I needed, and all I thought about. He was and is my Father and first love. Just as Mary, (Martha’s sister) chose to sit at the feet of Jesus, thats all I wanted to do, was learn more of this incredible God who loved me so much in return. I didn’t strive for money or fame, I didn’t even know what it was like to have either of those things. I didn’t strive to make my name great. All I knew in the purity of my heart was that I was in love, and He loved me unconditionally.  My intent was not to gain anything from God beside His love. I feel as though a lot of people believe the floodgates of heaven are going to open up for them to reveal what they are called to do like it was for Saul who later became Paul, but sometimes it’s just that little pressing in your heart to do something great. We often, like Elijah, search for God’s voice in the wind, earthquake, and fire, but if we are not careful we will miss the gentle voice and beckoning of Abba. Five years ago in the first year of my marriage, my husband, Kevin, worked full time as I attended college full time. I knew I wanted to make the world a better place, but I didn’t know how.  Going to church wasn’t enough, I wanted to go beyond the church and reach people who wouldn’t have otherwise been reached. I remember laying in the middle of my living room floor, (attempting to do some crunches in between homework) and I begin to pray, not some extravagant prayer, just basically talking to God about whatever was going on that day in my life. In that moment God told me to start a Facebook page called Waiting for your Boaz, so I simply agreed and got online that instant and began creating and writing. I told my husband about it when he got home from work that night and how I hoped to reach 100, maybe even 1,000 likes someday. Within the first couple of months my page reached 5,000 followers, then that first…

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15 Things You Can Do When Anxiety Attacks

things to do when anxiety attacks

Hello, My name is Tiffany, and I’m a recovering hypochondriac. No really, when my life was flipped upside down after developing severe preeclampsia at 31 weeks gestation and my beautiful little girl made her grand entrance way ahead of schedule, I began dealing with something so much worse than the recent panic attacks I dealt with in my previous years. They told me I had PTSD. They also told me I had Generalized Anxiety Disorder and boy, did it manifest in ways I can’t even explain. This type of torment shook me to my core. They basically diagnosed me as a walking, talking ball of worry. Instead of handing my fears over to God, Webmd’s symptom checker became my best friend. Every ache, pain, (and the ones I made up in my head) worried me almost to a point of insanity. If you’ve ever had an anxiety attack, you know that it can feel like walls are closing in around you. You get a lump in your throat that just will not go away, and you feel like you can’t sufficiently breathe. For me personally, I get extremely dizzy, fuzzy minded, and have chest pains, (which resemble a heart attack which just increases my anxiety all the more.) After seeing the pain in my daughter and husband’s eyes, after suffering from a terrifying three day long panic attack, and after taking more than one trip to the hospital convinced I was dying I knew I had to do something. All of my anxiety stemmed back to getting sick, and my overwhelming fear of not being able to stick around for my family. The beautiful thing about God is that when we are at our lowest, He will carry us. I don’t think He caused my pain, but I believe He has shaped it into something greater, because now I am that much stronger. And you will be too. I am praying over you and rebuking the spirit of fear, anxiety, depression, self-harm, and torment in JESUS NAME. What the devil meant for my harm, God has turned around for my good. Instead of focusing on the circumstance, I have been training my mind to focus on the one who delivered me from that circumstance. Daily you are going to have to train your mind just as I am. Daily you are going to have to hand over that fear to…

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What it Really Means to Wait for Your Boaz

what it really means to wait for your boaz

Too many people are confused with what it means to “WAIT for your Boaz.” Waiting for your Boaz isn’t about sitting around miserable and depressed in desperation waiting for Prince Charming to sweep you off your feet No. There is far, far more to your season of singleness. Waiting for your Boaz means changing your worldly mindset on matters such as dating, love, and marriage and allowing God to transform your mind thoroughly. Waiting for your Boaz is about understanding that God loves you right where you are, and you matter so much to Him. Waiting for your Boaz means learning, serving, and working whether you are single, engaged, or married. Waiting for your Boaz means finding who you are in the midst of your singleness and knowing you are whole, you are worth it, and you are BEAUTIFUL. Waiting for your Boaz means placing something you desire and love so much into the hands of an all-knowing God who has the best in mind for you. Waiting for your Boaz means not settling for this world’s ideology of what love is. Waiting for your Boaz means getting to know who you really are inside, what you’re capable of, and what you’re called to do. Waiting for your Boaz means understanding that life doesn’t start the day you find your husband, it starts the day you find Jesus. Waiting for your Boaz means embracing this season as a chance to grow, heal, and be renewed. Waiting for your Boaz means learning to love yourself, right where you are. Waiting for your Boaz means letting God form you into a modern day Ruth who knows who she is in Christ. Waiting for your Boaz means working with what you have and wherever you are. Waiting for your Boaz means learning to love the season you’re in, not delaying contentment to your wedding day. Waiting for your Boaz means preparation, it’s a time to prepare for wifehood and pray for your future husband and yourself. Waiting for your Boaz is about becoming the woman God wants you to be. And lastly, but definitely not least Waiting for your Boaz means falling in love with God, the author and finisher of your faith, the one who holds the whole world in His hands and loves you with a love you cannot even begin to understand. “31 Days of Prayer for Your Future Husband”…

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Dating With A Purpose

dating with a purpose

Blog Originally Published on DylanFrercks.com Have you ever been in a relationship and known that something just didn’t feel right? I think we have all been there at one point or another. Whether we are dating, married, or just casually talking we need to be more intentional about who we are allowing into our lives. We are faced with constant tension from the world around us and our relationships should be a safe place in which we can refuge and rest. To have meaningful relationships we need to have a method of determining who is worth letting our guard down for. For the Christian, this means setting our standards high and allowing God to take care of the rest. But how high should our bar be set? The following three points are keys to a great biblical relationship. Date a Follower Set Biblical Limitations on What You Will Do Expect Immeasurably More Dating a Follower I believe this first qualifier is extremely important. The apostle Paul makes it clear that good and bad, light and darkness, Jesus and Satan simply don’t mix. If we are in a relationship with someone who views the world through a different set of lenses we will be setting ourselves up for constant disagreement. For the Christian, this usually plays out when life is getting hard. The Christian will turn to Jesus for rest and the non-believer won’t. Usually, this means that both parties are moving in significantly different directions. We need to be unified in our thinking in an area of life such as devotion to Jesus because what we think about Jesus will determine how we live our life. The last thing that a Christian needs is to allow themselves to get close to someone who will then turn around and lead them further away from Jesus. Set Biblical Limitations While our world has taken many different stances on sexuality, the model that is presented in Scripture is that sex is reserved for marriage between one man and one woman. While some would say that Christians wait until marriage because they don’t want to enjoy life I believe that we are called to wait until marriage so that we have this intimate connection with only one person! Sex is an extremely biblical thing to do. The Bible speaks very highly of sex but only in the correct context. As a believer, we are called to meditate on…

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I Feel Like the Girl in 27 Dresses! When Will It Be My Turn?

27 dresses

By: Jordan Lee, blogger at Soul Scripts You meet HIM – you know who I’m talking about, the guy you’ve been dreaming of, the one you thought you’d never even talk to…and then… He asks you on a date. A REAL DATE! You hide the happy dance your heart is doing, fight back the squeal, and accept with pleasure. Within seconds, all your girls know and they’re offering their closets for you to peruse. You spend hours picking out the perfect outfit. He picks you up at 7:00 sharp. Not a minute early or a minute late – just like he promised. The date ends with a sweet kiss goodnight, promises to call you tomorrow, and you dance to your room with a light heart and twinkle in your eye. And then he actually calls the next day. The dates not only continue but soon he begins calling you the magic word. He begins calling you his — wait for it…girlfriend. SCORE! When you hear that word, it’s not scary or weird or uncomfortable like with the other guys. It sounds just right — fitting. Eventually, he pops the question. You call your girls and inform the world with the perfect insta and FINALLY create that Pinterest wedding board. You ever so creatively ask your girls to be your maids, which they totally insta because it’s super perfect and cute, and they help you prep every detail of the big day like you’ve done for them. Isn’t this how we want it to go? Isn’t this how we envision it as a little girl? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that this is an ideal but less than likely scenario. Maybe you haven’t met your match. Maybe you’ve never had a boyfriend that sticks around. Maybe you’re frustrated because you’ve never even been asked on a date and all your friends are getting married and having the cutest babies ever. And maybe you’re believing that your life is a bummer. Maybe you’re sick of seeing everyone else fall in love. Maybe you’re wondering what’s wrong with you and when it’ll be your turn. If that’s you, cool. I’d love to tell you that it’s going to happen for you soon. I’d love to tell you Mr. Right just got caught in traffic. I’d love to say the cliche little phrase, “to find the right person, you have to become the…

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5 Reasons So Many Relationships Fail

5 reasons so many relationships fail

By: Jerry Flowers, blogger and speaker at Redefined Tv   The beauty and difficulty of marriage is that it exposes every ounce of ugliness within you. You can have exactly who God wants you to have and that thing still will expose you. Here are a few of the reasons I think many relationships and marriages fail:   1. Marriage is a ministry and everyone is not call to it! 2. Selfish people will never be good married people. 3. They get in a God constructed institution “Marriage” yet  don’t allow God to run the institution. 4. They didn’t seek God’s endorsement before entry. 5.) They have an unwillingness to die to self. Relationships will expose the ugliness within you. Don’t run from it, defend it, or house it! Kill it or it will kill what you have. This is detrimental and not spoken of often, so please hear me when I say marriage is designed to kill the ugly in you; all selfishness, pride, sharp tongue, and anything else you may deal with. These matters are not for you and your significant other to argue and fight over, but to kill once and for all!! Divorce is imminent when one or both parties don’t die to themselves. Good marriages consists of two dead people. What I’ve learned personally is you will learn to die to self more each year. If you don’t, your marriage will die more each year! I die more at year five than I did at year 1 of our union. We didn’t have two kids in 2012 now we do, which means more dying lol Sometimes all divorce is, is a person saying “I’m not willing to die that much or surrender to Jesus like that!” If that is the case then you should have never gotten married in the first place. Overall I see the beauty in this, it’s making me experience a greater love for my wife, a greater level of patience, and Christ-likeness that I would have never achieved on my own. If you desire a good marriage, you desire much death to self. “In reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God…

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The Problem with Modern Dating

the problem with modern dating

By: Jordan Lee, blogger at Soul Scripts My friend tells me that guys seem to fall off the face of the earth after a nice date and a few texts. She can never figure out where she went wrong. Another girl I know tells me she experiences the same thing and describes it as feeling like the “Almost Girl.” Every time she meets a new guy on Tinder or reconnects with an ex, it seems to be going well but then he either swipes right on someone else, finds a cute girl in his DM’s, or gets a text from his ex and seems to vanish without warning…again. She feels like she’s almost pretty enough (until someone prettier steals his attention), almost interesting enough (until someone more interesting swoops in), or almost date-able enough (until someone more date-able pops up on his newsfeed). And just like that, she was almost enough but…not quite. And it’s not just girls feeling this way. My own brothers have shared with me similar frustrations they have with girls that they meet. There seems to be a lot of mixed signals, confusion, heartbreak, and many good things ending with ambiguity and silence instead of with closure and honesty. There’s a growing fear of commitment as millennials swipe left and right through the virtual catalog of possible mates the internet offers. And when one after another seem to crumble without warning, far too many are left asking: WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? I don’t know the specifics of your love life but I do think that the digital dating trend has become so convenient that real dating and true commitment are contaminated by it. Before you get angry and defensive, let me just clarify that I’m not saying you can’t meet someone online. Heck, my husband and I kind of met online. We had mutual friends and followed each other on Instagram (it was not nearly as popular as it is now, I didn’t even have my blog then!) before we had ever met in person. When we had to date long distance, most of our communication was on the phone and via texting. So hey, I’m not saying meeting someone online or using technology when dating long distance can’t work out. I am saying is that always having a pocketful of other potentially ‘better’ options (or so goes the lie we believe) at the touch of a button makes commitment…

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