"There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection]."---I John 4:18(AMPC)
I've been meaning to sit down and pen this for a while. The title has been sitting in the drafts section of this blog for a hot minute. But as I continue to get so many emails from the "Will God Flat-out Tell You Who Your Husband Is?", I honestly wanted to make sure that it was the right time. I wanted to see how many women were simply looking for insights on their journey vs. the ones who were flat-out anxious...maybe even desperate. The anxiety wins out. By a long shot.
It really is a trip that I am 43, never-been-married and at least 30-40 percent of how my time is spent is dealing with people who A) want to get married; B) are married or C) reconciling folks who are on the verge of divorce or are in a broken covenant (which is really all divorce is; not "single again"...in a broken covenant).
What some of you may not know is that I also pay out of pocket to send married couples to hotel rooms and bed and breakfasts in order to reignite the passion in their relationship. I do it because just as much as sex IS NOT for us singles, it is TOTALLY FOR married folks (I Corinthians 7:1-5)! I'm all about supporting them in "gettin' theirs" in any way that I can (LOL)!
And yet, it's something. The more that I serve married people, the more that I seek (Matthew 7:7-8) and study (2 Timothy 2:15--AMPC) about marital covenant and what YHVH, the God of Covenant, requires in order for a marriage to work and last, the *less anxious* I am about getting married.
Partly due to this:
"He who has knowledge spares his words, and a man of understanding has a cool spirit."---Proverbs 17:27(AMPC)
The more I come to understand about the point, purpose and responsibility that comes with marriage, the calmer/cooler I am concerning it.
Partly due to this:
"Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."---Philippians 4:6-7(AMPC)
This Scripture is not a mere request. What I have learned in my own faith walk (2 Corinthians 5:7, Hebrews 11, Mark 11:22) is that it's a command; that we are being *disobedient* when we're anxious about ANYTHING---including the desire to be married or...even have it confirmed who our "the one" even is.
For one thing---and I know this is hard for a lot of people to hear---God does not *owe* us a husband. In fact, I venture to say half of the anxiety a lot of women feel could be settled, just with this revelation alone! Marriage, like anything else from the Lord, is a gift for the sake of his purposes most of all. In other words, marriage is FAR MORE about him and his plan than our personal wants and agendas. Once you accept this reality (Ecclesiastes 7:18--Message), there's calm.
Also, what I have learned is that in the moments when I am anxious, I need to double-check my prayer life. Titus 1:2 tells us that God cannot lie and Philippians 4 tells us that prayer results in peace---of, as the Classic Amplified Version puts it "of being content" (Hebrews 13:5--AMPC). If you're not feeling anywhere close to this...it's time to focus more on praying than worrying (another thing we're not supposed to do--Matthew 6:25-34) about when you're gonna get married.
There's more though...
Since I am a marriage life coach, I deal with all sorts of issues that married couples have. And let me tell you, Proverbs 21:9(AMPC) is alive and not-so-well in *many* homes: "It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop [on the flat oriental roof, exposed to all kinds of weather] than in a house shared with a nagging, quarrelsome, and faultfinding woman."
What kind of woman tends to be like this? Frankly, one with a Jezebel spirit is what first comes to mind. The second is a woman with all sorts of anxiety---a woman who expects her *husband* to do more for her than *God* should (which is a slick form of idolatry---Exodus 20:3) OR a woman who is more caught up in *her* timing than the Father's (Acts 1:7--Message, Ecclesiastes 3:11).
And so, if you're not someone who hasn't gotten a hold of how to handle anxiety while you're single, I don't know how in the world you're going to be able to pull off dealing with the ups and downs (and there are PLENTY of 'em!) of marriage after saying "I do".
Psalm 7:9 tells us that God tests our hearts.
Could the season you're in right now be a test?
Are you passing?
And then, there's fear...
Fear: a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid; concern or anxiety; solicitude
That word in the picture quote?
It speaks of people who have a phobia about remaining single
Phobia: a persistent, irrational fear of a specific object, activity, or situation that leads to a compelling desire to avoid it
While I don't suffer from anuptaphobia, I do struggle with acrophobia---the fear of heights (I even joined the "acros" team in high school so that I could work on overcoming it!). And did you peep how a phobia is defined? It's a persistent fear; not only that, it's an IRRATIONAL FEAR.
And here's the thing about fear...
2 Timothy 1:7(AMPC) tells us "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control." Since God didn't give fear to us, that basically leaves us with one other source: SATAN. Why do you want to hold on to ANYTHING that comes from *that* dude?! And here's the thing. He's usually only planting a *seed* of fear; one that we can refuse if we only choose to (I Corinthians 10:13). We're the ones who feed into fear by obsessing over *irrational thoughts*.
Because unless God said, flat-out, that you're *not* getting married, why trip?
And if that *is* what he said, trust that he has a better plan.
(Ephesians 3:20-21, I Corinthians 2:9-10)
Either way, you're gonna be fine...
No fear need---if you REALLY trust the Maker of you *and* of marriage.
And still there's more...
The lead Scripture for this tells us that THERE IS NO FEAR IN LOVE. So, if you have a fear of being single, there is some love lacking somewhere. Love for God, love for self or love for trusting that God's will is best (which is basically a "hybrid" of the other two). Besides, if fear is what motivates you now, you'll be unable to get to the point and place of *spiritually maturing* (Hebrews 5:12-14) to where you can love someone else.
Real talk? That might be why a lot of single women are not married (yet). If they can't get a handle on how to be perfected in self-love and loving God with their all (reverse the order, actually---Mark 12:30-31), how can they *possibly* handle the kind of love and responsibility that marital covenant requires?! Because a fearful woman? She's not the kind of lady who fits this bill:
"A capable, intelligent, and virtuous woman—who is he who can find her? She is far more precious than jewels and her value is far above rubies or pearls. The heart of her husband trusts in her confidently and relies on and believes in her securely, so that he has no lack of [honest] gain or need of [dishonest] spoil. She comforts, encourages, and does him only good as long as there is life within her."---Proverbs 31:10-12(AMPC)
Do YOU trust anxious and fear-filled folks?
I know I don't.
So, why should we expect GOD to give a man a woman who lives that way?
It might be a hard thing to hear yet the truth sets us free (John 8:31-32) and the free-setting truth is that if you're afraid of being single, thank the Lord for his wisdom of knowing that you're not yet ready for marriage. Wives are to be helpers (Genesis 2:18) to their husbands. If single women can't settle into trusting the Perfect One (Deuteronomy 32:4) while in their single state, there is no way they can be trusted to be of *good help* to their man---a flawed being.
James 5:16 instructs us to "confess and be healed"...
If you know you have a bout of anuptaphobia, the remedy isn't marriage...
The cure is going to the Father about howto get that phobia handled.
If a husband is what God indeed has for you...
You need to learn how to become FEARLESS *before* he arrives.
No time like the present...right?
Selah. And amen.
His Purpose, His Presence, His Peace...