“Be patient and wait for your happily ever after.”
Ever heard that one before? Well, I have…and quite honestly I am sick of hearing that! I am sure that people who says that mean well, but I do not think they should be saying that anymore. And here’s why:
Do you realize how many implications that one, simple statement can have?
YES, I am probably over-thinking this a little (I tend to do that…don’t you?) But bare with me here…
That statement can imply that you are simply here to wait for a husband and that you cannot move on with your life until that one special guy (um…Prince Charming!) sweeps you off your feet! Maybe that will happen to you one day…and maybe it won’t. Oh, before you get too depressed, let me tell you that my guess is that that special, amazing guy that God has for you will find you one day! But today is not that day! But if we are constantly told to “just keep waiting…for one day, he will show up!”, we will become dissatisfied with the life that God has given us to live right now!
I think the people who say that have good intentions. What they probably mean is to not date the first guy you see just to have a boyfriend. Wait for sex until marriage. Yeah, we get that…if you have a similar background as I do, you understand…we’ve heard this since we were little! But I think it’s high time that we told young girls who are growing up (probably much faster than you realize!) a different message.
What if they grew up learning what it means to be completely satisfied in God. They know how to lean into God’s embrace and take a break from life to feel His peace wash over them. What if we told them that they are beautiful-so many times that they actually start to believe it (and believe me, that is NO easy task…as I struggle with that literally daily). What if we told them that they are worth it. They are worth so much more than what they settle with.
Note: Growing up in and around church for my whole life is obviously a very good thing. I feel like I have a very good Biblical background and that is, of course, a good thing! But at the same time…I think it has also led me to start thinking of others instead of myself in a BAD way. I’ve tried to be more of a servant and think about others instead of myself and that is a good thing…I have heard that for my whole life-that it is a good thing to think of others and serve them (that’s kind of a lot of what Jesus did!). And I wholeheartedly agree. But I think that also led me to de-value myself quite a lot. When a guy came along, I was convinced that he was a great guy and I kept asking this question to myself:
“He is such a great guy! Why would He stay with me?! I am definitely not that great of a person!”
And that led to me allowing him to do some things that just were not fair to me. My brother saw that. I think my best friends saw that too. But I blew it off and went along with his excuse that he was busy. Now I see that all of that is not okay and that I was de-valuing myself, which kind of led to me becoming cheap. I was on HIS time. If he had time, maybe he would show up…I usually had time, so I was constantly waiting around for him to decide that he was ready to hang out. I can see now that none of that was okay [lesson learned!], so young girls need to know just how valuable and priceless and WORTH IT they are so that they will not become cheap!
Now back to what I was saying before: what if we discovered what their passions are. What makes their eyes light up when they talk about it? They start to talk a little faster, smile a little brighter, gesture a little bigger, perhaps…and what if we helped them to excel in those things and what if we plugged them into something that is related to that? Mentor them. Guide them. Help them to discover their God-given gifts and talents and show them how to use them to the best of their ability (at the given time) and to the glory of God and for a positive reason! What if we stopped telling them to wait!
Tell them it’s okay NOT to wait!
Don’t wait to do something that you’re passionate about until the time is perfect, because that time might not ever come! Don’t wait to start to develop the character that you will need for the rest of your life. Start now, Dear Girl! And, perhaps most importantly (because I think most women do this…I know I do, and I’m trying to get out of this habit), DON’T wait for your prince to come to sweep you off your feet and carry you off to his castle [chances are that won’t happen anyway, right? Unless my future husband gets a super good paying job, I’ve basically excepted that I am going to be dirt poor based on the field that I have choosing…and I’m okay with that! As long as I love what I do and make enough to live, that’s enough for me!].
Fairytales are great. But just be careful to not carry too much of that wishful thinking into real life. Honey, it just doesn’t work like that…as much as we want it too, it won’t. And guess what? If God wants someone to come into your life, literally nothing will stop Him from doing just that! You could be on a missions trip somewhere on the other side of the world and, if the time was right, you would meet him! I don’t know if that encourages you, but it encourages me!
I am not saying that everyone is doing a horrible job in this area (telling the young girls all of these things). I know that it is not easy, and I don’t have any perfect answers. I hope that I will be a Mom someday and I know that I will not do perfectly with this either…but I do think that God has showed me these things over the past year and a half so that I can share these things with others to help them grow as well.
Okay, one more quick rant about this (can’t pass this one up!) Sometimes the church annoys me with this…I guess we should be used to ‘the world’ forcing upon us the idea that we’re not worth as much if we’re single. But why do Christian schools and churches have to follow suit? Okay, so I’m not bashing Cedarville, but that is what I know, so that’s the example that I will use! In the Cedarville bubble, there is so much pressure, whether spoken or implied, to be in a relationship. It seems like everywhere you go there are couples.
Another awkward couple, really?! Haha.
Ring by spring! I mean, you have to get married right after graduating from college because what else would you do? Isn’t that why you go to Cedarville in the first place? To find your spouse?! I mean, hello!
Lol…okay, so that was a little sarcastic…but, in my experience, also very true [correct me if I’m wrong haha].
My encouragement and plea to you, Ladies, is to have enough confidence to say “My name is ___________ [fill in the blank with your name], and I am not waiting! I don’t care what anyone else says, I have something to offer others without having met my other half. Obviously God thinks I’m doing just fine without him, so who am I to think differently? I am beautiful just the way I am and I don’t need a guy to tell me that to believe it! [Say this following one slowly, to let it completely sink in…] I. Am. Valuable. I do not need to take crap from a guy because I don’t think that I can do any better. [You can! Believe me…if a guy is treating you like crap, you don’t have to stand it! Even if it means that you will have to stay in a season of singleness for a while, if it’s God’s plan for you, God will bring a man into your life who is SO much better than that jerk and he will treat you so much better!].” I think it’s a good idea to say that, or something similar to it everyday…because you do not start to believe something if you only read it or say it to yourself once.
At any rate, I wish you all the best in this journey of finding who you are and teaching the younger girls in this issue as well…as we all struggle along this path together!