Wednesday, February 5, 2014

This Season: A Different kind of singles ad

Did I get your attention? Singles ads are weird. I've never read one.  And I know without a shadow of a doubt that I'll never flip open the paper to find my spouse.  But I wrote about a different kind of experience in finding a mate.  Sit back.. grab a Coke .. and stay a while.

Today's post comes from thoughts on Genesis 24.  I wasn't even going to write a post today.  You know, wait a day.  Give some distance, but not like a 3 day-after-the-first-date-kind-of-distance. I'm too impatient for that. But anyhow, I started back up in my reading of Genesis, and this is what I came up with. Read the passage first. The rest will then make a ton of sense! 

I'd like to think that my must-haves (otherwise known as requirements, if we are at all honest with ourselves) for a potential mate have matured over the years.  If you would have asked me in high school what those dealmakers were, I would have probably said something along the lines of "HOTT and a Christian."  Yes, 2 t's because that's how we did.  In college, I would have said something like, "involved in BCM (meaning a Christian), cute, six pack abs and can get tan." I'd like to think that I have matured.  Certainly.

Genesis 24 is one of those stories that we can typically breeze through and get the general picture.  That picture being Isaac got a wife.  Wedding bells and bird seed.  The end.  But that's not the end.  There's more to the entirety of this story and that is reflected in the selection process of Isaac's mate, Rebekah.  Now the times of the day then were a little different.  This was more like an arranged marriage, so work with me here.  In Genesis 24, we gain a clear picture of what it looks like to seek a future spouse.  Seek- being within great reason. As the girl, don't just go out and snatch one by the collar.  Not. Our. Role.

Because I haven't done a list for the series yet, I think a list is appropriate for this:
  • Prayer - I feel like this one goes without speaking.  We know what it means to pray and present our requests before God.  But the servant approaches the village area and calls out to God for His assistance in showing him the one girl he should take back for his master's son, Isaac. The servant wanted God's guidance and wanted God to reveal to him the chosen  one.  How does this translate?  I think it translates in the fact that we (girls/guys) don't just go after every little single thing out there.  And by single, I mean a single relationship status.  Elisabeth Elliot said it best in Passion and Purity - we are to ask God first if we should even marry; then ask Him to reveal that person to us; and, then ask Him to show us when.  In an impatient world, that is hard!  I receive the blue ribbon in impatience.  But praying to God and seeking His favor on a decision that SO impacts our entire life - well that's what we are supposed to do!
  • Being a servant - I'm not talking about Abraham's servant here! If you look back at the servant's prayer, he prayed that God would not only show him the one Isaac would marry BUT also that she would be kind enough to draw him some water and give water to his camels.  I imagine this girl has had somewhat of a walk to get to this well in the first place.  I'm sure she's tired, and her shoulders hurt.  She's got to go back with a full jar of water.  The LAST thing she probably wanted to do was take time to get water for a stranger.  But she did.  She shows her compassion and hospitality in such a mighty way.  She even goes beyond what is required and invites this man to rest at her family's home.  How does this translate?  BE A SERVANT.  These single years are the years where we have the most amount of free time ever! We can serve our family, serve our friends, serve our church and serve our community.  We need to be using our time wisely to advance the name of Christ in whatever way possible.  For me this translate on a greater scale.  As I pray for the Lord to be my matchmaker, I am praying that He will show me someone who is serving well.  This is someone who loves Him so much that His love for the Lord is displayed in his compassion and giving spirit towards friends, as well as his willingness to serve his little heart out at church - dirty diapers and all.  To bring it back in, we have to be the person we are praying for.  How can we pray for a servant, if we aren't being a servant ourselves.
  • Confidence in the Lord's guidance - Abraham was confident that an angel would go before his servant and select a wife for Isaac.  In verse 40, the servant recollects how Abraham said the Lord would send his angel and prosper his way.  Gosh! What confidence! I get so down and out sometimes, but this is real.  We have to trust and know that God is going before us.. He's already there.  We can't just sit and wait.  We have to keep going and know that God's plans are already established in great love and for our best - single or married.  Though nothing makes sense because the situation is pretty bleak (and by bleak I mean - no options ha), we still have to praise Him!  Habakkuk 3:17-19

Yes, I'd like to think my tastes/requirements/dealmakers have grown over the past years.  They are ever changing, believe me.  But I like to think the list is getting smaller- with one very important #1 - Loves the Lord with all of his heart.

Just wanted to give a quick thank you to all who are reading.  God is challenging my thinking and love towards Him just by writing this series.  I hope you are being challenged and changed by His love.  And Yes, because there was some quoting Elisabeth Elliot, more of her will be making an appearance.  It wouldn't be a series of this kind without her!

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