This weekend I had the privilege of standing at the altar alongside one of my best friends and the man that God has brought into her life. The wedding itself was quite typical: flowers, stringed instruments, and smiling faces. There was something different though. Something that was inescapable.
The difference was that this union was pure. It was right…it was set apart.
I know this because I know the bride. As a trusted friend, I learned the “ins” and “outs” of their friendship, turned relationship, turned engagement. I know that they spent a lot of time talking and learning about each other, not just doing “stuff” to fill their time and have someone to do it with, but really absorbing each other’s lives and prayerfully considering what the Lord might have for them. I know that as they challenged each other to know the Lord better, the Lord drew them closer to each other and assured them that he had brought them together. I know that they protected their physical relationship fervently. They respected each other so much that they took things slow and at the altar shared one of the few kisses they had ever had.
Friends, I share this with you because the whole time I was watching their union all I could think was “YES! This is what the Lord has intended for us all!” Yet, so few attain what God has planned. Why? Because we don’t trust that God will bring us that person whom he has chosen to be our partner in life with. Why? Because we are impatient and we take matters into our own hands and we decide that this person that we’re dating is good enough and that way we can guarantee that we will not be alone! We rush into relationships without even befriending the person and taking the time to just get to know each other unromantically. Once in a relationship, we rush to be physical because the temptation is so great and we have NO IDEA of what God is protecting us from when he says, “No, just wait…” We rush into marriage because our hormones are screaming and we don’t even WANT to protect our purity, we just want to do what the TV, movies, and world tells us is “normal” and “ok” and “not a big deal”.
I tell you what, it is the biggest deal you’ll ever know if you hold yourself pure and let God be the Lord of your relationship. I looked at my dear friends make a covenant before God in purity, and I was shamed for what my husband and I had not protected before we got married. I was saddened that it is so hard to find other couples who will take the time these two had taken to be sure that it was God’s will. I was moved with joy imagining them experiencing everything God has carved out for marriage in the actual context of marriage!! Imagine that! No regrets….no scars….nothing but rightness before a holy God who gives us such an incredible gift when he gives us a spouse.
Please, I BEG YOU to trust in God and let him be God in every area of your life, but especially in who you are considering for a romantic relationship. Take your time and know that the best way to know someone is to see them at their worst, and that you will only really know each other if you give yourselves the time that it takes to stop putting your best foot forward and just be yourself. Take the time you need to be the real you, imperfections and all. Realize that we all have insecurities and weaknesses, and that if this is a union that the Lord wants, he will give you the love and patience for each other to encourage in the hard times, accept in the difficult times, and enjoy companionship in the peaceful times. Pray hard and without ceasing, constantly giving the Lord his rightful place in your relationships: the center.
I wish for all of my brothers and sisters in Christ to experience the pure union that I witnessed only a few days ago. I know that God wants it even more than I do because he loves his children so much and he knows all that we can have in marriage if we would just trust him and take the time.