By Myla Rayford
We all long to be loved! Is it really worth giving up things that are non-negotiable? Have we really lost all of our self-respect, dignity, and self-worth just to have a man? Hey, I’ve been there, giving a random guy your attention just because you don’t want to be lonely. Loving a man too much who really doesn’t care about anything, other than getting in your pants. I know that all too well. No matter how smart, beautiful, and reserved you are some men just want to get in your pants. What about the man that you know has to be cheating or has another girl on the side, yet he keeps telling you, “everything is in your head; we will be together”.
I have learned the hard way most of the time. Giving chances to guys who I know in my mind really don’t deserve one, but I don’t want to seem mean; I mean, a book is not always what it seems right? Ha! Go with your first instinct! That is always God speaking to you.
I took the time to really see what some men were thinking when it came to relationships and marriage. I interviewed random people and observed people in their natural elements talking with friends about what they wanted or didn’t want in a mate.
Over the years, my views have changed regarding relationships and marriage. I am much wiser; I do not look for what looks and feels good. I want more; my mate has to be a man after God’s own HEART. I will no longer compromise with this issue. I want us to be blessed in the eyes of the Lord. I found out a long time ago that I couldn’t be with a non-believer. It will never work; there will always be a part of the relationship that is strained. (A non-believer is someone who may know God, but they do not actively pursue Him, or someone who does not believe in God at all.)
I observed a group of young men at a restaurant sitting around talking. The things they were saying [honestly] were absolutely appalling. The conversation was about getting grills (gold teeth) and how they want a woman who is a freak in the bed; if she is not putting up or bringing dough (money), then she needs to step. My blood was boiling as I heard this, but I kept listening as I was eating. LOL. The rest of the conversation was about how a young lady needs to have a banging body and have the best skills in the bed. The way they were degrading women was so unbelievable; you really had to be there.
Later, I went around to different malls and took various train rides in my city. While in passing, I was curious to really know if all men think about women that way. Most wanted a woman that they could see “eye to eye” with. They wanted someone who had smarts; something beyond what is going on in the celebrity world. These gentlemen I surveyed also wanted a freak in the bed and felt if he had to wait for the goods, there was no point.
Some men did express their interests in finding a woman after God’s heart. They know and love the Lord and are willing to grow together and build a loving relationship through Christ. It is nice to hear there are men who truly value God’s grace and not what they see Lil’ Wayne doing.
This was very interesting. It pains me that so many young ladies are getting the short end of the stick when it comes to dating and prospects for marriage. We really need more men to step up and teach our young men how to love.
Ladies, do you really want a man who thinks your greatest asset is your body? No. Why subject yourself to what a random [man] has to offer? Chase God, not a man. You want a man that will treat you like the queen you are. Not, someone who treats you as less than an equal, or keep you around for a good time. You’ve tried new things to make it work, but it never does because you’re supposed to wait for whom God has for you! Hey, you caught me; I’m guilty of this as well.
Ephesians 5:25 ESV
“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and he gave himself up for her.”
I want man who is going to love me like he loves Christ. This is the kind of love you should be longing for. I challenge you to make a list of everything you want in a man and pray over it.
Will you let go and let God take over from here?
By Carla Cannon
I can recall times as a single woman I would always get so depressed during holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Lord knows especially Valentine’s Day! But it wasn’t until I really began to seek the Lord about my true condition because I knew this was no natural battle I was fighting but clearly this was spiritual warfare. It was almost as if my moods would change in an instance.
I can remember laying in bed crying all day or either trying to sleep all day and the minute the next morning (after the holiday) arrived I was suddenly all well and the depression and attacks would fade away.
Image via: We Heart It
"I wrestled often in my mind if a man would ever want to marry me because I had been with women and I didn’t have a “popular” testimony."
But although I seemed to be fine due to my many smiles and so forth through prayer I identified that I as a woman, a mom who was in search of her purpose was still broken in many areas of my life. I was filled with bitterness, hurt, pain and shame from my past. I wrestled often in my mind if a man would ever want to marry me because I had been with women and I didn’t have a “popular” testimony. But my testimony was that I used to be a promiscuous woman who later turned into a lesbian. Not to mention the fact that my father was in and out of my life and every man I had ever been with (except my daughter’s father but that relationship wasn’t the best either) had cheated on me.
What was wrong with me? Was I not pretty enough? Did I not make anyone happy? The answers to all of these questions that often ran consistently through my mind were totally irrelevant because the last thing Carla needed was any ordinary man but Carla needed Jesus. During prayer I remember hearing the Lord tell me He loved me. It was as if my heart literally felt the hand of Jesus telling me He was going to heal me. I was wrapped up in some much bondage and pain from being told I would never amount to anything by some family members and teachers. To growing up being labeled as ADHD and being put on Ritalin (supposedly a medication used to treat it) which only made me act as a zombie and made me itch and paranoid. All of these things in my past, I remembered.
But one day, the Lord rebuked the enemy long enough and God literally gave me a hunger and thirst for His word and for more of Him. John 1:1 reminds us that in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. Therefore what I had to learn to do was get into God’s word and find healing, to gain an understanding of who God really was because truly you can’t tap into who you really are until you learn who God is in your life who actually lives through you!
"God has a great plan for your life and He wants you to spend time with Him, and love on Him, and allow Him to be your all in all. "
My sisters, I said all of that to say, 2013 is the year to declare NO MORE HOLIDAY BLUES! God has a great plan for your life and He wants you to spend time with Him, and love on Him, and allow Him to be your all in all. Every desire you have if it is according to God’s will, in His timing it will come to past but we must learn the art of patience. My new book: The Power in Waiting teaches women (and men) how to embrace their process and understand how to not grow weary in well doing during the period of prophesy to experiencing manifestation.
So declare today that you will not cry again over what you don’t have, but you will focus on what you do have! Amazingly today, the Lord has placed some awesome women of God in my life that honestly I have to fight to get alone time because we all enjoy one another so much! My friend, God will do the exact same thing for you if you will let Him! Know who you are, whose you are and never settle for anything less than God’s best!
Guest post by Coleen York
"I began to realize my “need” for a relationship had a lot to do with how I viewed singleness in general. "
For more years than I care to admit, I jumped from one relationship to the (often unstable) next relationship. Don’t get me wrong, I had morals and standards, but I just really didn’t like being by myself. It was boredom…or so I told myself. Although in the moment I tried not to analyze what was driving this need within me.
In hindsight I realize it was a whole lot more than boredom that motivated my serial dating years.
It had a lot to do with my need for outside affection and affirmation. Peel back even more layers, and I began to realize my “need” for a relationship had a lot to do with how I viewed singleness in general.
Image via: A Well Traveled Woman
"Singleness is not a condition. It isn’t a disease. It is not an ailment that requires an immediate remedy or fix (or fix-up in this case)."
In times of singleness I would look at my dating friends with envy. I wanted a relationship that worked. I wanted the cute guy to look at ME that way. I wanted to be pursued. I wanted my friends to stop trying to fix me up with their leftover friends. I didn’t understand why it just wasn’t happening for me.
I’m guessing that I’m not the only one who has ever felt this way. Before we even realize what we are doing, we begin to inwardly examine every detail about ourselves in order to determine the cause of our singleness.
"I wanted a relationship that worked. I wanted the cute guy to look at ME that way. I wanted to be pursued. "
What is wrong with me? Is it my hair? Am I too loud? Too smart? Is my body not the right shape? Do I smell? Am I too funny? Not funny enough? Not spiritual enough? Why am I so blooming awkward?!
We begin to view singleness as some kind of disorder that we need to cure.
But here’s the thing we often forget… Singleness is not a condition. It isn’t a disease. It is not an ailment that requires an immediate remedy or fix (or fix-up in this case). Being single is NOT a problem. Nor does being single mean that there is a problem with YOU.
"You just need to trust that God’s perspective is so much larger than what you can see from your own little window."
If you are single you do not need fixed or cured. You do not need any of your well-meaning friends to set you up with their third cousin’s friend that goes to med-school (not that there’s anything wrong with that, but the point is you don’t NEED it).
The fact is, being single is not an epidemic or a plague. It does not mean that there is something heinously wrong with you. God allows periods of singleness in our lives for many reasons. In fact, in the Bible Paul even refers to singleness as a gift (1 Cor 7:7).
Maybe God wants to protect your heart from the wrong guy who would break it. Perhaps God wants you to spend time SOLELY seeking Him and what he has for you without any distractions. Maybe your man of God that will one day sweep you off your feet is doing missions work in Africa, or maybe God is not yet done preparing and shaping his heart to be ready for YOU. It could be that if you met your “someone” right now that you both would not be in a place where the relationship would work. There are thousands of potential reasons you could be single and none of them are because you have a bad haircut or didn’t wear your retainer after you got your braces off. You don’t need to analyze it. You just need to trust that God’s perspective is so much larger than what you can see from your own little window.
The last thing that God wants is for you to look at singleness as a curse or an excuse to feel bad about yourself. We all have bad days and yeah, every now and again throw yourself a pity party if you need. But do not take this time for granted. God has a very specific purpose with specific tasks for you during this season of your life and you’ll miss it if you’re constantly trying to fast-forward. Whether single, married, dating, divorced, wherever you find yourself, God’s plans are infinitely bigger and grander than you could have ever possibly dreamed for yourself. And you don’t need a relationship for those plans to unfold or take place.
In every season ask the Creator of your heart what He is trying to teach you during this time. Embrace the place and the pace God has given you. There’s no specific formula and God is so creative that He isn’t going to write you the same exact story as someone else. So, dear one, try not to compare your era of singleness to another’s time of relationship.
God loves you. The individual you are. Not the couple you might be part of one day. He loves YOU, in this moment and forever after.
|| |Coleen York is an ardent Jesus follower and writer (and she sometimes fancies herself a part-time comedienne). She is passionate about ministering to the hearts of women by showing them their true worth and identity in Christ alone. This passion led her to found She Has Worth, a website designed to reinforce the worth and beauty God has given each and every woman, regardless of her past or relationship status.
By Julie Caulder
February is slated as a "month of love," It's a month where couples express their love towards each other while us singles wonder, "Where is our one?" I'm in the middle of navigating through singleness and trying solely to focus on God and lean on Him when I'm lonely. Sometimes it's easy, most of the time it's not. When you've gone through more rejection in your life than you can bear to count and we've uttered "I love you" than you care to remember, singleness is hard. We all want to be loved, treasured, and valued. When someone comes into our life and says those words, a part of us wants to believe it. Until this person is no longer in our life and we wonder if we'll ever experience it again.
Rejection is painful. Unrequited love is devastating.
Many of us walk around in life feeling unloved. We don't hear it enough or experience it enough. And some of us believe the lie we aren't worthy of being loved again after the love we extended wasn't returned. In my own life, I have believed this lie. I believed it to the point where I was willing to do anything to earn someone else's love. I fought and tried effortlessly to keep others in my life who weren't mine to be kept. In the end, I was abandoned and I wanted to give up on love. It were in these moments when God gently nudged my heart and drew me back to Him.
"God will use our rejection to restore our relationship with Him."
Looking back, I see why things happened in my life the way they did. God wanted my attention and He was going to remove everything in my life to gain it back. He wanted me to put Him first. In retrospect, I had abandoned my first love. We all fall into this trap. As women we like attention and the feeling of being needed and wanted by a man, but these men aren't Jesus.
We are flawed and broken. Two halves can't make a whole. We can only be made whole in Christ.
This was challenging for me as I've transitioned through seasons of singleness. Learning to put Him first and pursue and seek Him in everything, is where God has me now. He wants me to pursue Him passionately in everything. The more I seek Him, He reminds me I am not defined by any man or anything from my past. He calls me by name everyday and reminds me He loves me. While this truth hasn't always sustained me through depression and loneliness, it has been a beautiful reminder in my brokenness. Regardless of what others have done to me, He still loves and cares for me.
"God loves us as we are, His love is requited for eternity."
In Him, we are accepted, needed, and wanted. Open your heart and experience the fullness of Christ's love.
Scripture for reflection:
I’ve never really wanted a big wedding.
I mean yes, what girl doesn’t dream about dresses, color schemes, flowers, cake and first dances? If you go on my Pinterest account I have a board marked “Future” that has some marriage and wedding stuff but I doubt I’ll put any of it to use. I’ve always wanted a wedding and always wanted to be married, but never really got caught up in all the fluff.
I’ve never really thought about my “dream proposal” either.
Sure, I’ve gone on YouTube and watched countless videos of AMAZING proposals; crowds of family and friends lip-syncing the couple’s favorite song as the man escorts his soon-to-be fiancé through a candlelit garden at sunset. I’ve been pretty fortunate to witness some great proposals as well, but I’ve never really given much thought to what my own might look like.
I haven’t the slightest idea what kind of ring I’d want.
Of course, I’ve admired engagement rings on other women and who doesn’t skim through the Jared or Kay’s Jewelers catalogues come Christmas time? Don’t get me wrong, I love some quality bling as much as the next gal but I don’t have the cut, color and clarity picked out awaiting my future husband’s checkbook.
"I believe that like most women I have the God-given desire to be married. The desire for marriage has always been strong but seems to intensify with age."
Perhaps it the fact that others my age are tying the knot or maybe because marriage, child birth and death are the only major milestones I have yet to cross off my list. But the more I prayed about it and asked God why this desire was so strong, the answer hit me like a ton of bricks.
It wasn’t the ring, the dress, the tearful vows or the romantic proposal. It was the symbolism of it all.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve noticed a woman’s wedding ring and thought to myself, “Wow, lucky her.” Not lucky because of the size of her ring but lucky for the simple fact that she has one. Lucky because that ring symbolizes that she is different. Set apart. Chosen.
Being around women with wedding rings makes me hold my head higher, walk straighter and speak clearer. I want to hang around them. I want to listen to how they talk, what they say, how they think. I mean, why not? Obviously they’ve done something right. These women are so special that a man is so in love with her he can’t picture his life without her.
"Proposals, rings, vows, ceremonies…they symbolize so much! For me, more than wanting any of that, I just wanted that prestige.
. I wanted to feel set apart. I wanted to feel special, chosen, and unique. I wanted other people to be able to look at me and say, “Wow, lucky her.” Not lucky because of the size of my ring, but lucky simply because I have one.
I wanted that feeling so bad that I engaged in meaningless relationships and would change everything about myself on the hopes that whoever I was in that relationship would be deemed special enough.
Special enough to be called ‘lucky.’
Special enough to be chosen.
Then I met this man. A man who loves me for exactly who I am. Yes, I had to change some things for Him but these were changes for my good. Rather than getting down on one knee and asking for my hand, this man got on a cross and asked for my sins. This man chose me, set me apart, and even took the time to write my ending before my beginning. He knows my thoughts before I think them and spending time with Him is pure heaven.
Now when I walk straighter and with my head held high…now when I speak clearer, it has nothing to do with who is around me. But it has everything to do with who lives in me.
With who loves me.
With who choose me.
With who proposed to me, on a cross, long before I was even a twinkle in my father’s eye.
I dare you to find a better love story than that.
So yes, I still have the desire to get married and I know that in due time; in His time, I will. But until then I will rest content in knowing that I am one of the luckiest girls in the world.Photo Credit: A Well Traveled Woman