It is interesting how we use different words and phrases to describe the different parts of our conscientiousness. We refer to our hearts when it is a matter of emotions and our heads when it is about knowledge. Mind, spirit, soul – it is a challenge for us to convey the complicated inner-workings of the brain that God designed. There are parts of my brain that I think I would do better without.
I have worked to collect knowledge and truth from Scripture about how I should live my life as a single woman. It is my passion to counter the misconceptions and misdirection of the church as it relates to the single Christian population. My mantras have become, “Do not seek,” and “Do not settle.” Some people think that I am too closed off because I refuse to give unbelieving men a chance. Moreover, I trust my instincts about whether a person is truly a follower of Christ. To me, my instincts about people cannot be separated from the leading of the Holy Spirit, who is at work within me (adding another level of complication to what occurs in my brain). Not settling requires not allowing myself to become romantically entangled with a man who does not put God first in his life.
Jesus answered, “The most important [commandment] is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’”
But underneath all of my rational thought-processes, there is a part of my brain that I don’t even like to acknowledge exists. I can only describe it as having a teenage girl inside my head. The truth has to battle her at every turn because she and her desires never seem to go away. She has me checking the ring fingers of any man I meet for the first time. Ninety-nine percent of the time, it ends there and I can going back to living like a levelheaded adult. But there is that one percent that gets her hoping. She desperately wants to get the attention of that one percent. My good sense has to lecture her with the truth and try to quell the impulses to alter my behavior. An empty ring finger shouldn’t affect me; I do not want to be that kind of woman.
I have prayed many times that God would remove from me the longing to have a man in my life. But I am afraid that when I pray for this, I don’t really mean it. I don’t actually want the desire to go away, I want it to be filled. I wonder if this double-mindedness is why God has left me wrestling with myself over this issue. I try to be honest in my prayers; after all, God knows what I really think and feel. But it is difficult when my desires are in conflict. I want to be a woman of faith, but I also want to be a wife. Why does it seem that, for me, those two things are mutually exclusive?
I believe that only God can sort out the complicated mess that is my brain. I wish He would do surgery on me to remove the teenager inside that wants to chase after every apparently unattached Christian man that she meets. It is as though the lessons I have learned over the course of thirty years have not penetrated that part of my brain. I am forty-two, and I am still trying to figure out how to control the compulsions of the seventeen-year-old me! I know the path that I would go down if I let myself forget the lessons I’ve learned. It is a destructive path, and it does not honor God. “Do not seek” means that I should let God worry about the what-ifs, while I focus on living a life that is fully devoted to Him. I seek obedience, self-control, patience, and steadfastness.
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
I know that I will never be the poster child for Biblical womanhood. I lack a ‘gentle and quiet spirit.’ (1 Peter 3:4) Instead, I am loud, opinionated, and judgmental. It is overwhelming to me how far off the goal I am! There are so many things to work on so that I can become the kind of woman who honors God with her life. While I struggle outwardly to control my tongue and to show love others, on the inside I am also fighting this immature teenager. She is always with me, searching for a Mr. Darcy who might love me, outspoken opinions and all.
I have to continually remind myself that I am chosen and loved. I am sought after, not by a Prince Charming, but by the King of Kings. If God has a Mr. Darcy out there for me, I need to leave it up to Him to work out the logistics. Doing my own search only leads to second-guessing and stupid choices. I have tried that method, and it didn’t go well. So I will keep battling to subdue the teenager within. For those who think that my principles about men are too strict, you need to understand that I have a war to wage against my own foolish inclinations. Meanwhile, if God has someone out there for me, I am sure that I cannot foil His plans.