I normally am not one to talk about my love life on social media. I hardly ever share the memes, the quotes, the wishes. I try not to make posts about how I feel emotionally, but for some reason I have felt led to write about something that I usually stray from. If you know me, you know that I am terminally single (insert laughter here). While that may not be true, the fact is that I have not dated in a long time. My friends make jokes about it, even my Pastor pokes fun at my singleness. I join in on the laughter, I make jokes myself, but if we're all honest, we know that when you are single you have a desire to find The One.
Now, we all know what we want The One to be: dreamy, tall, talented, funny, strong, smart, and most importantly they love the Lord. I have watched and learned that we become so obsessed with finding the idealistic The One. We watch other people and scream #relationshipgoals when we see that cute post or that perfect photo. We have to realize something important though, and that is this: When you look through a #relationshipgoals lense, you create an unrealistic expectation of what love is. Now, I'm not pretending to be the innocent party in this. Trust me, I've made my fair share of #relationshipgoals comments, but we have to start forgetting about the perfect photo and remember that hard work and effort goes into a relationship.
I mean, take Jacob for example. In Genesis 29:20 it says,
So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her.
Think about that for a second. Jacob served SEVEN YEARS. Can you imagine that? Falling in love with someone, but then being told you'll have to work for seven years before you can marry her? Some of us can't even handle waiting a week to start dating someone, give or take marry them. You have to see that Jacob saw what God intended for him, knew she was heaven sent and served those seven years because Rachel was worth it to him. We think Nicholas Sparks is romantic, but I look at this story and can almost see Jacob working all those seven years just to be with Rachel. He even said himself that those years only seemed like a few days because of how much he loved her. Finding The One takes hard work, sometimes even seven years worth, but in the end it's obvious that it was meant to be.
If you continue reading in Genesis 29, Jacob goes to retrieve Rachel. I mean, he is ready! He has worked seven years, he has spent all that time just imagining their life together, preparing himself to be her husband, and then on the night of wedding, Rachel's sister Leah is brought to him. He wakes up in the morning and realizes that he's just spent the night with a woman whom he was not promised. Can you imagine how he must've felt? He confronts Rachel's father and says, "Why did you decieve me? I worked for Rachel?"
Before we keep digging through this scripture, think about this for a second: Jacob could have woken up, seen Leah, and settled with her merely for the sake of having a wife. I cannot tell you how many times I have just settled for a guy! God has given us a picture of The One. He has placed those desires in our hearts and just like how Jacob had to work for Rachel, we have to work for The One. However sometimes, a Leah comes into the picture. Someone who isn't terrible, but also isn't what God has intended for us. And if we aren't strong enough, we will settle because someone is better than no one. I am here to tell you: that is so not true.
So continuing on in the story, Rachel's father tells Jacob that it isn't customary for the younger daughter to be married before the older, so Jacob has to finish a week of marriage with Leah, agree to work seven more years, and then he would be given Rachel as his wife. Now lets think like regular humans for a second: If I had literally just worked seven years to be with my husband, been given my husband's brother and then be told that the only way I would get the husband I wanted was to work for seven more years, I would be tempted to just say, "Forget it!" and move on. That would have been such an easy out for Jacob. But, the thing is, Jacob didn't even hesitate on his answer. Jacob immediately knew what his answer would be because he knew that God had promised him Rachel. After he agreed, he was given Rachel as his wife. Finding The One is not an easy task. Sometimes it takes years of hard work, but just like Jacob said: it will only feel like a few days because of our love for The One.
Now, you could be sitting there reading this thinking, "How can Savannah talk about marriage and relationships like this? She isn't engaged or married, so how could she really have an opinion on the matter?" While I have not been engaged or married, I have read what the bible has to say about love, marriage and how we are called to love our spouses. I have learned that the best relationship advice comes straight for the word of God. We have to stop relying on other peoples relationships to shape our own. The best way to have a successful, loving, and righteous relationship is to know what the word says about them. I have learned some pretty basic relationship guidelines that I would love to share with you.
- We have to realize that we both need and should help each other.
- "The Lord God said, "It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him." Genesis 2:18
- Sometimes alone time is okay, but never let it become permanent.
- "Do not deprive each other, except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control." 1 Corinthians 7:5
- We will have bumps in the road, but patience is our greatest strength.
- "Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love." Ephesians 4:2
Husbands, this next one is pretty self-explanatory, but, love your wife as Christ loved the church. That means, love her with a passion so true that you would lay down your life for her sake.
- "Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her." Ephesians 5:25
Wives, let your husband be the head of your household. That doesn't mean you aren't both strong individuals, but allow him to be the provider for your family, allow him to love and protect you.
- "Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives." 1 Peter 3:1-2
Above anything else, always love one another.
- "If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful.." 1 Corinthians 13:1-13
While I am a single 21 year old young woman, I can still prepare myself for The One. The word says that God will grant you the desires of your heart and I have no doubt that if your desire is to be a wife and make a family, then that will be granted to you. That doesn't mean the road will easy or short, but it does mean that it is there. Eventually down the road of our life, The One is there. I've been told my whole life from several people that, "it happens when you least expect it". If that is the case, then I need to become the woman I want The One to fall in love with and I encourage all of you, whether you're a man or a woman, to not worry about The One and who they might be, but instead focus on becoming The One for someone else. Believe it or not, you are someones The One! So when you begin to feel like Jacob, tired from working for so many years, just remember...when you do meet The One you will say to yourself, "It was worth the wait."