Monday, January 28, 2013

Oscar, Rufus, Donovan, and You

When a single girl starts talking about what they want in a man, comments like this can easily start flying faster than candy addicts to valentines day sales:

“I really want a man who always puts family first...that’s why I could never fall for Oscar, because he doesn’t care about spending time with his family--he always wants to be out with his friends.”

“I want a hardworking man--so of course that rules out Rufus, because he’s always posting statuses about how exhausting his work is. He must not really value his job or he wouldn’t complain so much.”

“Don’t you want a man who’s mature? I just can’t stand how Donovan is always making such immature jokes with his friends. I could never be ok with that.”

There is definitely very important stuff to be said for setting high standards for your men. And plenty of people are already saying it. Maybe I’ll write about that in the future, but not today.

Today I’m talking to you, girls.

God designed marriage to be between a man and a woman--two people. Ahh, “People”--the word form of a nice, tidy closet door...and the minute you open it a hodge-podge mess of life explodes onto you without so much as a second of warning.

And then, let’s take that mess to another whole level--it’s not just any people, no siree. We’re throwing a MAN and a WOMAN together. Now the mess is trying to be cleaned up by someone who speaks elvish and the other who speaks klingon. Good grief.

Comments like those above make me wonder: do they actually want to marry a human? Because it sure doesn’t sound like it.

Having a relationship is complicated. It takes wisdom, forgiveness, and a whole lot of trust (in each other but even more so in Christ!). It is a beautiful creation of God--and like all of God's creation, it grows. Marriage is about growing, changing, and becoming more Christ-like with someone who will stick with you through the whole sticky, messy process. I challenge you--have grace for the speck in your brother's eye--and when you notice one, let that be a reason for you to ask God to reveal the plank in your own eye. When you’re ready to start pursuing a relationship, don’t let fear be your guide. Don’t be so quick to rule out Oscar just because he’s young and just wants to be with his friends. Don't throw Rufus under the bus because he’s discouraged in his entry-level job. And certianly don't ditch Dono because you overheard him talking with his bros and it was so different than how you talk. Remember: for in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you (that's a direct Jesus quote, yo).

Instead, let the Holy Spirit fill you with grace, kindness, and wisdom, and do your best to see past a wayward comment into the heart of the man you’ve noticed. Focus on how you can honor and respect every man around you, because just like you hope to be unconditionally loved, so he hopes to be unconditionally respected. And hang on to your hats, because romance is a crazy adventure--just remember, as long as Jesus is your guide, you’ll be just fine in the end.

Monday, January 14, 2013

New Year

Did anyone else let out a big sigh this last weekend? I definitely did.

Last week seemed like the first week of being back to “real life” for me this year. It was the test run of a new schedule, the trying of new goals, and it was generally and jarringly jam-packed. I sighed because life is full--but life is also good.

Peter’s schedule drastically changes every school semester--by the time I feel like I’ve learned it, it’s over. That affects my ability to create and follow routines--at least that’s been my running excuse (always so quick to NOT blame myself!). This year though, I really want to do better (says everyone always). And what’s great is, looking back, I did have a very successful week.

I was able to come up with ten highlights in many areas of my life that I met this week:

  • I purchased healthy food and actually ate it.
  • I took time to go visit my great-grandma.
  • Peter and I had a lunch with two of our favorite people (we love you CB^2!).
  • I spent time with my go-to girl Linna.
  • WorshipArts started with a bang--and I get to help lead the Dance & Drama teams this season!
  • Peter and I got in our couple time--including a date to see HPA’s Jane Eyre!
  • I slowly chipped away at reading the Bible in 90 (read: 100 115 160 as close to 90 as I can...) days.
  • Church has started off the new year with so much family-love and pursuit of the things Christ has called us to!
  • Work is bursting full and I’m loving it, even when I leave the day exhausted.
  • Peter and I are back in the swing of things with pursuing our financial goals after the holidays.
  • I even got some intentional exercise in.

Half-way through January (Shut-up, it’s the 14th!?) it can sometimes be discouraging when you haven’t met some of the goals you were so gung-ho about (write more? heh heh). But what HAVE you done? Even if it wasn’t a goal you set, what have you done postively so far this year?

Perhaps you showed up to work on time more than not? Spent some solid time with family? Haven’t missed a Sunday at church yet this year?

Whatever your victory--stand on it, and let that encourage you to keep conquering.

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