By Sheri Rose Shepherd
Bestselling Author and Bible Life Coach
I have been married twenty-five years, and my husband and I joke that it has been seven of the best years of our lives. Why is it that we spend so much time searching for someone to share life with, and so many times the dream of wanting and wondering becomes better than the reality of the man or the marriage?
I believe when a man walks down the aisle and says “I do,” his every hope and intention is that his marriage will be for life. He sincerely desires to understand and take care of the beloved bride he has chosen. He romanced her and worked hard to express his love so she would want to spend the rest of her life with him. He was determined to be her hero and lovingly lead her safely through life. The challenge for a man begins after he makes his wedding vows because, generally, no one has taught him how to accomplish his God-appointed position in a woman’s life.
Eventually, a man’s attempts at love, leadership, and even heroism may miss their mark, and his beloved bride gradually withdraws emotionally from the very one she hoped would give her happily ever after. Sadly, she often closes up her spirit in order to protect her heart from any more hurt.
The man she longs for ends up feeling frustrated and angry, and he may give up trying. Their love story, which once fostered hopes of intimacy, happiness, and growing old together, withers into isolation, pain, and despair or divorce. I don’t believe our desire to find a good man is wrong, and we do have every reason to be cautious. Even in the church it seems that just about every day we hear about another man of faith who has fallen away from his wife, his family, and his moral convictions. Single women tell me about the heartache they experience after years of dating men who seem unwilling to commit.
If you are single, I would love to share with you a “love checklist” to help you avoid pouring your heart into the wrong relationship. I have discovered it is better to be single and satisfied than heartbroken in the wrong relationship. If you are willing to open your heart to some motherly wisdom, please read on . . .
The Love List . . .
- Look at the way a man loves his mother because it is the way he will eventually love his wife.
- Pay attention to the way he reacts when there is stress or conflict.
- Meet his friends and keep in mind that the people he hangs with are a reflection of his heart.
- Pay attention to what your good friends see in him, because often those who love you can see better than you can see when you’re falling in love.
- Look at what he reads and what he watches on television, because they will be a reflection of his moral fiber.
- Do your best not to be too physical, because it will cloud your vision and confuse your heart.
- It is imperative that a man respect your boundaries without challenging them.
- Ask him to pray for you often, because you will need a man who knows how to cover you in prayer.
- Ask yourself whether you feel at home when you’re with him or whether you act like someone you’re not to get him to like you.
- Before you say “I do,” go through premarital counseling with a pastor.
Let’s pray for your future husband. . . .
I pray for my future husband, wherever he is in the world right now. Prepare me to become the kind of bride he will need when we come together. Until You make me ready for him, let the only intimate relationship I seek be with You. Blind my eyes from wanting any other man than the one You have for me. Remove all men in my life who may keep me from recognizing him. Give me wisdom to seek what is pure and right in Your sight while I wait for him. Put such a deep passion in my heart for my purpose that I won’t be distracted or discouraged from pursuing all that You have for me. Deliver me from the traps of the enemy, and train me now to resist temptation. Keep me from falling into a counterfeit relationship, and give me the strength not to settle for second best. Give me the stamina to run this “singles” race until I cross the finish line and receive his heart—and Your blessing—as the prize. Amen.
For more teaching from the Your Heart’s Desire book and Bible study, visit www.biblelifecoaching.com.
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