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Are You my Valentine?


Since getting married I have heard a handful of young men ask my husband, “how do you know when you’ve met a godly woman who is worth pursuing?” His response is often to ask if it’s okay if I answer their question.

My answer is always to look for the fruit. Look to get real glimpses of their character. How submitted someone is to the Lord, and then applies his teaching, reflects and trickles down to everything we think, say and do. Especially when no one is watching. If the overflow of someone’s heart is Jesus, you’ll not just hear about it, it will influence and guide their decision making. Here is what I mean!

 

The Fruit of Someone’s Life vs. The Fruit of a Season

My husband is THE biggest blessing in my life! He is wise, he is kind, he is thoughtful, he is FUN, and he is quick to humble himself. He is intentional with his actions and his words. He is self-controlled. He prioritizes his time with the Lord. He is quick to close any gap that may feel like it is forming between us. He prays over me constantly. He is gracious and generous. He is steadfast in his pursuit of me, and after a long day, my love is quick to run home to me.

A spouse such as this is a treasure! No one can be these things perfectly, but these are true characteristics I see in my husband in our day to day. I am proud to be his wife! No one develops these characteristic magically overnight. Someone is wise because they seek wisdom and humble themselves to counsel from the Lord. Someone is steadfast in their self-control because they fought to walk that self-control out time after time. Characteristics like these are a product of years of persevering and devotion to the Lord.

If you are looking to date and one day marry, don’t just look at the fruit of a person’s current season, look at the fruit of someone’s life to see what kind of person they truly are. Here are some examples of questions to ask:

Who do they submit to and who are they accountable to?
How do they guard their heart?
What kind of boundaries do they set? 
Do they have a true community of friends? 
How do they treat the people closest to them?
How do they seek to honor their brothers and sisters?
How long do they have a track record of these things? 

A Track Record Should Matter

Psalm 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart for everything you do flows from it.

How you devotedly walk with the Lord and guard your heart should matter. Here is why:

Firstly, it matters because it’s about you and the Lord.

- We are called to be devoted to God and to be His temple. Everything we do is for His glory!

Secondly, it matters because it’s about the person you’re becoming and the opportunity we all have to honor our future family.

- When my husband was 14, his father took him on a Manabout and invited him into what it meant to be a man. This involved a lot of manly adventures mixed with teachings! His father helped him identify what life had taught him about safety and security, power and control, love and value, and then how to replace misconceptions with truth in order to empower him to better deal with life. He also learned that a man who is devoted to his family is devoted to God. A gift he could give his future wife is his sexual purity. Taking up this mantle will be a powerful encouragement and a gift for his children.

It is the same for women. A woman devoted to her family is devoted to God and a gift she can give her husband is her sexual purity. In the same way, this will be a powerful encouragement and a gift for her children.

Which means devotion to your family can start long before you ever meet your spouse. 

Thirdly, it matters because the kind of person you will want to marry will deeply value your story, just as theirs will matter to you.

For example, when my husband and I were engaged, he told me he had never looked at porn. I was blessed beyond measure by this! Before we were married, my husband was able to observe that I honored him in the way that I maintained healthy boundaries with the opposite sex. This included, the ways I was and was not willing to interact, speak, and dress. Even though we didn’t know each other, we both had the same intrinsic values.

It All Lays a Foundation 

You will spend years working, growing, and developing the character traits you value. Do this as one person strengthened in the Lord and you will learn to persevere. Now imagine two as one strengthened in the Lord. Marriage is a true gift! Everything you did leading up to marriage becomes a stronger foundation. Your marriage has become a cord of three strands.

 

To the Person Growing, Who Knows They Are Not Ready to Date

A person who would rather be single than compromise their relationship with Jesus because they know they are still learning to persevere and strengthen themselves in the Lord. When I think of this person, I think of these two verses.

Romans 5:3-4 “… we glory in our tribulations, because we know that tribulation produces perseverance; perseverance character; and character, hope.” That word tribulation literally translates to pressing, pressing together, or pressure.

Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”

Keep keeping on (and well done!) in seeing it is wisdom to learn to mature, persevere, and strengthen yourself in the Lord. It’s not an easy choice to set aside our core desire to be loved and needed. But as you find the Lord is more than enough and he becomes your greatest love, you might find him encouraging you to step into relationship with someone he himself would entrust you to one day. You are worth the wait.