When God gave the ten commandments to Moses, He put the most important part first.
Here are all the words God spoke. He said, “I am the Lord your God. I brought you out of Egypt. That is the land where you were slaves. “Do not put any other gods in place of me. “Do not make for yourself statues of gods that look like anything in the sky. They may not look like anything on the earth or in the waters either. Do not bow down to them or worship them. I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God.
Exodus 20:1-5 NIRV
He communicated his command pretty clearly and yet many sinful, broken people persist in forgetting or politely ignoring this basic rule. So, He reminds us again and again.
I am the Lord . There is no other Lord . I am the one and only God. You do not know anything about me. But I will make you strong.
Isaiah 45:5 NIRV
We are also given a beautiful example in the book of Daniel of the protection of God when we follow his commands. Three men stood their ground and refused to worship false gods. These men walked out of a blazing furnace that was so hot it killed the men who pushed them into it but the men who chose the real God stayed completely unharmed.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him. They said, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we don’t need to talk about this anymore. We might be thrown into the blazing furnace. But the God we serve is able to bring us out of it alive. He will save us from your power. But we want you to know this, Your Majesty. Even if we knew that our God wouldn’t save us, we still wouldn’t serve your gods. We wouldn’t worship the gold statue you set up.”
Daniel 3:16-18 NIRV
This desire to be chosen above all others and in spite of any threats of harm or the temptation to choose a different god is very familiar to the soul of women. This desire to be a man’s one and only choice was given to all women when Eve was created. Movies and music written to woo and stir the hearts of women reinforce this truth.
In today’s single scene, most people find themselves unhappy and unsatisfied. There are many reasons that can contribute to that but I won’t discuss them all here. Instead I want to stay focused on being chosen and being the chooser.
Our world has become so incredibly superficial that many people have forgotten that it’s a person’s character, their integrity, and their other personality traits that will actually make or break a relationship. Wealthy supermodels and rich, sexy Hollywood celebrities get dumped, divorced, and cheated on all the time. Money and appearance are not what guarantees a fulfilling, happy relationship.
Many of today’s singles have become so unfocused. They don’t know what characteristics they’re looking for in a partner because they haven’t stopped to figure it out. All they do know is they want someone attractive and they vow to never get hurt the way they did before. That last bit translates into emotional barriers, refusal to commit to any person who isn’t perfect, and an unwillingness to be all of the things it takes to be a good partner to someone else.
Men and women begin to turn bitter and cynical after trusting so many ex’s frail promises that he/she is the one. We get excited about being chosen. But talk of marriage before being ready to commit doesn’t protect anyone’s heart. Without a solid commitment, expecting to hookup to “make sure you are compatible” is the same as trying on a pair of shoes. When the breakup comes, you’re left feeling discarded and as disposable as those shoes.
Many people don’t seem to grasp that God never promised this life would be comfortable or easy.
I hate to break it to all of you older singles, like myself, but real, true love will always leave a scar. True love gets tossed around in the storms of life, taken for granted, betrayed, lied to, and sometimes abandoned. If this was not a true statement then God would not tell us that love is patient, kind, not self-seeking, and does not keep records of wrongs. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8) If love didn’t leave permanent marks, Jesus himself would not have nail pierced hands and feet. Your divorce does not indicate a complete lack of love. Instead it is an example of how one person (or both) choosing not to keep God first in their individual life and heart can derail true love. Love drives us into marriage and must remain the focus for commitment to not fall to sin. God is love. It’s simple when you truly look at it. But this is also why your partner’s insides (beliefs, convictions, deal breakers, and faith to God) will always be more crucial to success in life than what they look like.
We all find ourselves struggling with jealousy when you see those high school sweethearts who seem to have been on their honeymoon for the past 22 years. Women swoon when they see a man openly denouncing another woman’s flirty advances because he still chooses his wife. Men feel a deep longing when he hears a woman telling other men how great her husband is and showing her confidence in all of his abilities.
We all can have those things we long for in relationship but we must give up some ideas that intentionally keep us out of those relationships.
• Love like the one you seek will hurt from time to time but you are strong enough to endure that pain through Christ. (I’m not talking about abuse. Email me if you need clarity.)
• Look deeper than the surface and give your date time to reveal their true inner nature. It’s easy to fall for someone who puts on their best behavior but isn’t being their authentic self. Be sure you’ve seen their ugliest side before deciding this is the one you want to choose to commit to long-term.
• Casual dating is an invention of the world. If you are a believer, your dating life should look different. Instead of dating a person to get to know them, go out in groups or as strictly friends. Protect their heart as if it’s your own.
• Once you’ve prayed and believe you’ve gotten godly confirmation about someone, don’t be so quick to bail on the relationship when troubles come. They WILL come and you both will be required to do your part to get through it. The enemy does not want strong, Christian relationships to form… much less to thrive. That means finding a person that will be part of a powerful, God-centered marriage makes you and them a target for spiritual attack. Even these difficulties can help you see the difference between character flaws or a person’s moment of weakness when they need you to remind them to turn to God.
One final note about choosing and being chosen, sometimes we fixate in a person and they do not reciprocate our feelings. In a few instances God may instruct you to patiently wait and be faithful to that other person. However, most of the time it is a clear sign that this is not the relationship for you. If you find yourself unable to let that person go from your heart, you’ll need to give it to God and dig deep to examine what wounds in your soul cause you to seek unavailable people. Sometimes it is a subconscious way of meeting the desire to feel the rush of a “new interest” while guaranteeing that we won’t have to face our own brokenness (i.e. fear of commitment or the fear of being emotionally vulnerable to another person).