A few days ago Mike and I were out and a woman asked me while working on some paperwork for us, "So you've been with your husband for 3 years, tell me how do you keep him?"
I was hesitant to share with her because honestly I was unsure of how my response would come across and felt she was really only trying to make small talk as she worked. But instead of being quiet, I breathed and then replied, "I can't keep him. There's nothing I can or could've done to make him stay." I told her many people wouldn't agree with how I did things and would say my methods were extreme or unorthodox. I shared that after getting tired of having my heart broken and giving myself only to be left alone. I got tired, stopped dating, took a vow of celibacy, and pursued a real relationship with Christ. She got quiet. I could tell she wasn't feeling my answer but that was my truth. I, like many women, had really wasted a lot of time reading books on how to find man, understand men, date them, and keep them. I watched movies with friend girls and talked over countless glasses of wine about the shortage of good men, knowing my worth, and waiting my turn. I studied how to wait patiently and how to be pursued, but for me it was all a pile of bologna.
The truth is there are no tricks. It's not a hunt. And there isn't a shortage. No amount of cooking lessons, weight loss or even money management classes will lure a man into your life. If man is for you he will stay, if he's not he will leave. We as women get this confused when we began to give husband priveledges to boyfriends and as a result this same boyrfriend who has no intentions of staying stays long enough to get you to think otherwise. The problem also comes when we get desperate and give each "nice guy" we are introduced to a chance and get discouraged only to cry out where are all the good men!" and "I'm a good woman what is wrong with me?"
Of course you are a good woman there is no denying that. You work hard, give back to the community, are responsible, a go getter, and often hear you are going to make a great at wife... one day. (Which is where the air usually speedily left my balloon. I was so tired of hearing that... sooo tired.)
Over time, what I learned was that God's timing is perfect and at that time it wasn't my time. I didn't want to hear it and I didn't want to face it but it then was my truth. The reason it wasn't my time was because I wanted a man more than I wanted God. I denied it but evidence was there. For one, I was clinging to half of someone (half because I was settling for a piece of them) who deep down I knew wasn't for me. And two, most of my prayers and downtime consisted of the topic of husband. Until I heard, "If you never get married am I not good enough?"
Talk about a blow to the chest. I immediately began to cry because I knew for me the answer should be yes but it wasn't. I wasn't in love with God, I wasn't fully submitted, I was just doing what I thought a Christian girl was supposed to do in order to be blessed. Not realizing I had failed to give God my heart. God told me to date Him, trust Him, and be loved on by Him. Let go of the pressure to be validated in a relationship and be justified in Him. I went through a grueling rebuilding and purification process and through it all learned what love was and (found out what I had been accepting) it wasn't. From God, I learned a man cannot be kept by me only Him. He told me that He would order my future husband's steps and mine to cross paths as I walked deeper with Him.
Once Christ became enough, and I became new in Him, and fell in love with HIm, I bumped into my now husband who just so happened to have been around the whole time. I just needed new eyes. When Christ became my satisfaction and not a means to my man, I got precisely that...