Thursday, July 17, 2014

Not Dating, Just Waiting...with Patience

By Katie Marie Evensen
When you look around our society, love is only a four-letter word that can be temporary, come-and-go as we please, casual and easy.  

This is not to say all relationships are like this, but from my own experience a lot of television shows or series include forcing this “dating lifestyle” on teens and young adults.  I’m 20 years old, a Senior in College, and I have yet to find this “love of my life” - but I’m completely content with that.  I struggle with patience, though, and this is something I pray about all the time.

I’ve been transparent to my best girl-friends lately, letting them know about my insecurities with patience and God’s timing for my “love life.”  Sad, isn’t it? That I am sometimes impatient with God about waiting for the right, loving man He will bless me with one day?  

Recently, my sister Kristen got married to her soul mate, Brad, and I was so honored to be the maid-of-honor on this special day.  I could not have been more overjoyed on May 31st of 2014 to see my older sister and my role-model walk down the aisle to the love of her life.  Witnessing this special day as her sister made me really reflect on what marriage is, the reason behind marriage, and how one reaches that point of becoming married.

May seem simple to you, but when you really stop and reflect on the commitment of marriage, it’s a lot more detailed than you may think. Mark 10: 6-9 reads: 

But at the beginning of creation God 'made them male and female.'  'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.' So they are no longer two, but one.  Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”  

The beautiful, yet complex result of marriage isn’t just to gain the man’s last name, to please one another sexually, or to have a companion to talk to when you’re bored.  The goal of marriage and God’s ultimate plan as spoken in Mark is to come together as one union in Him, glorifying His name as a married couple in all that you do together.  

Pastor Tom Olson, who married my sister and Brad, explained one of the most beautiful passages during his message in the wedding.  He said to Kristen and Brad, “Be quick to forgive one another, but also be quick to ask for forgiveness.”  This is something that society (and I) struggle with as well in relationships.  Human nature’s first response is to complain, gossip and talk dirt about the person who hurt us, right?

Ephesians 4:31-32 reads, Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”  

This is a command from our Lord Jesus Christ, not a strong suggestion.  Seeing Christ-centered relationships in my family and friends' lives, and now my sister’s, is truly an inspiration for me to gain more patience and wait for the man that the Lord has set out for me.  

What is patience?  Patience is waiting, even when it is hardest.  For me, this is waiting for my first date, my first boyfriend, and eventual husband for a lifetime.  Paul states, “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer” (Romans 12:12).  

Having patience for anything can be difficult because you don’t know the end result.  But that’s the joy of knowing Christ Jesus: knowing that He has all control over every situation and already has it all planned out.  

That is patience...trusting in God’s ultimate plan for your life, praying constantly that you are given the gift of patience and trust, and then praising Him in the sunshine and in the storm even when it is hardest to do so.

I am hopeful that God has someone special out there for me, but waiting for that person can be hard at times.  When you are in your 20’s and on a college campus, it is constantly shoved in your face that if you don’t have a boyfriend or you aren’t flirting with someone, then something has got to be wrong with you.  

My thoughts are these: I’m waiting for the man who God has already set out to be my husband.  And it isn’t easy, but I trust Him completely.  I cannot wait for the day when I meet the love of my life, and we can go through trials together, pray together, laugh together, cry together and grow spiritually together.  

Until then, I will have patience.

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