What to do With a Helpless Heart?

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Feelings: I love him! I know I do. There’s times when I look up and he’s smiling at me I feel the world move. He is sweet, and kind…

Conscience: Whoa! Okay, you need to put on the brakes. Think of your purity. Take every thought captive, remember?

Feelings: Yes! But I can’t help it! I go to bed and I lay there and he comes to mind. I pray, and he comes to mind. I wake up, and he comes to mind. I sing, talk, watch movies, work….and he comes to mind.

Conscience: Okay, take a deep breath, you can get through this. Focus on other stuff, something worth doing. Run after Jesus, and someday the right man will come knocking at your heart’s door.

Feelings: But what do I do with myself? When we’re together I want to enjoy him. I enjoy his friendship. What about the times I get butterflies?

What to do when you find yourself attracted to someone? There is a constant war between the rational conscientious side of you, and the powerful emotional side. What if that someone isn’t just a nice guy you happened to feel a twinge of attraction for. What about the godly young man you’d actually consider marrying?

I just wanted to encourage you, that you can remain pure, while still having those feelings and appreciating the godly young man. Someday God will equip this young man with a helpmeet. In His timing. And if God hasn’t opened that door for you, it means this young man doesn’t need you. Not now, not yet, and perhaps never. Be content to be this young man’s friend! That’s exactly all you should be, and all He has thus far allowed you to be. We are doing our brothers in Christ a disservice when we try to move forward in a deeper relationship. Love doesn’t vaunt herself, doesn’t seek her own.

Can we enjoy this person’s company? Certainly! It’s actually inevitable. When you are attracted to someone, everything about them is enjoyable. And it’s okay. You can enjoy them in purity. But any closeness, learning of their heart, fellowship, even friendship must be directed by Jesus. We don’t need to initiate anything. If our future includes this man, Jesus wills see to it. Love doesn’t give to get. So next time we interact, we should be alert to our motives. Do we tell them we respect them to encourage or to spark a fire? What is behind the smile we give them?

But what about those times when we innocently look up and find him smiling at us? What about those moments you feel “butterflies”? The moments when you feel you could wrap your heart up in a box and give it away…what then?

To react with guilt is only self inflicted abuse. But then to swing to the other extreme and revel in it and look for, or initiate, that experience again is taking matters into our own hands and reacting selfishly. To decide to ignore their existence or your emotion’s existence is foolish and impractical, but then to focus on that person to the point that our duties and friendships are neglected or halfheartedly invested in, is also wrong.

There is a balance! There is a way to love this person, even with all the emotions, the right way. We humbly accept the feelings and give it to Jesus, by letting Him know, and letting Him dictate. To deny ourselves the reveling in the feelings is to think highly of him, and a lesson in love. We respect him too much to give in to our emotions. Do we honestly want to gain attraction by mere flirtatious acts? Of course not! We want him to fall in love with us for who we are, not what we give.

He isn’t ours. Even if somehow Jesus promised him to us, he still isn’t ours. We know this, but what do our actions show? We might not think we are being possessive, but we should act with this young man, how we’d hope other girls would treat him. Why? He doesn’t belong to them either! If we stirred up desires in a man that were more than brotherly, we have caused him to lust! It doesn’t matter if he will someday be your man. Today isn’t someday – he isn’t yours anymore than the other girls in his life.

The emotions will be there. Don’t ignore or embrace. Acknowledge them but give them to Someone who can deal with them in righteousness. It does work. It can be done. And if that other person is also trying to treat you with all purity it becomes a mutual respect and love that goes beyond feelings and emotions.

This is something I recently felt encouraged in, and I hope I was able to convey it to you clearly so your heart might also be blessed.


Keeping our Hearts with Diligence, Part Two

This is the continuation from my previous post “Keeping our Hearts with Diligence (Part I)”.

Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”  (Proverbs 4:23)

In my previous post on keeping our hearts with diligence, I stopped with the subject of our eyes. Who we might be looking at. What we are looking for. Where we are setting our affections.

Colossians 3:2-3 says- “Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” 

The problem is most of us haven’t even realized who we truly belong to. The reason our affections aren’t on things above, but are rather, on this earth, is because our lives are not hid with Christ in God. But they are supposed to be. In fact, Romans 12:1-2 tells us that this is only our “reasonable service”. Paul couldn’t even go beyond what was “reasonable”, because the Christians wouldn’t even do that. And while the desires of our hearts can be extremely hard to give up, I know, it is a crucial part of our walk with the Lord. We do not belong to ourselves. It is not our life alone, to choose what we want to do with it or who we will spend it with. We answer to the Lord.

“Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.” (v.26)

Here I would like to talk about our path. “Let our ways be established”. Where are we going? What is our goal? What are we establishing?

I heard it said recently, that “You are either devising your own way or God is ordering your steps.” When it comes to our heart’s path, there isn’t much middle ground. Either you are conniving to get what you want or you are waiting on what the Lord wants to give you. And if you would but search your heart a little while, you’d know exactly which one you were. The truth is, our actions speak louder than our words. A lot of young girls will say that they are waiting on the Lord, but their actions do not prove it to be true. They seem almost desperate to attach themselves to someone. This shouldn’t be. Why? Because our contentment is found in the Lord. He is the One satisfying our heart’s desire. He fills all our emotional needs. He is love. He is our purpose. He is our goal. Sometimes it is needful to ask ourselves a few questions.

Just to see where our hearts honestly are.

Am I content exactly where God has placed me?

Is there anything (or anyone) that seems to always come before my desire for Christ?

Am I patient and happy to wait for His perfect timing, even if it’s much longer than I would have expected?

Is there just as much peace in letting go of my desires as in seeing them fulfilled?

Proverbs 28:26 says, “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.”

“Hear thou, my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way.” (Proverbs 23:19)

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying before, “follow your heart”. What a dangerous thing to do! Seeing as our hearts are deceitfully wicked above all things. They are not supposed to be followed, or heeded in the least. No, instead, we are actually commanded to guide our hearts. So, while our hearts will often at times feel completely unruly and impossible to deal with, they aren’t. How are we to guide our hearts? By trusting them to Jesus.

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart: and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

By trusting our hearts to the Lord, we allow Him to lead them. This often requires continual surrender. But with surrender, comes a blessed peace. The Lord Jesus wants to establish our ways. He wants to lead our hearts. His paths are always the loveliest to follow. He is a good Heavenly Father. He delights to give His children good things. We can trust Him. And no path can be deemed lonely when He is the One traveling it with you.

“He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.” (Psalms 40:2)

In Isaiah 55: 8 and 9, we see where the Lord’s thoughts are not our thoughts, and His ways, not our ways. They are infinitely higher and so much wiser. Sometimes, it would seem, the Lord has to rescue me from myself. Thinking that I know what is best for me, when in reality, I don’t. Of course, we all think that if we really got what our hearts longed and wished for it would all turn out right in the end. But just as a wise mother lovingly holds back her child from danger, so Christ holds us back from what we don’t understand. We will never see as He sees. And we can never love ourselves as much as He truly loves us. There is just as much love in His “yes” as in His “no”.

I remember one time in my life, a couple of years ago, when I wondered about a certain young man in my life. I found myself attracted to him and wondered if the feeling was mutual. Considering whether he might be the Lord’s will for me or not, I prayed about it. And the Lord gave me John 21:21-22.

“Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.”

Basically, it is none of your business.  J

What is my path? To follow after Jesus. And the rest is His responsibility. It doesn’t matter who your future husband may or may not be, or where he even is, that is for the Lord to direct. We are to be waiting and keeping our hearts with all purity, with all diligence. The Lord has to be our goal. Not marriage. Not a relationship. Not anything else. Just Him.

“Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.” (v. 27)

And then, we have the command to “turn not” and to “remove thy foot from evil.” Again, it isn’t “evil” to like someone. It isn’t “evil” to want to get married. But it is evil to be thinking or dwelling on anything that doesn’t fit into the verse of Philippians 4:8.

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

In removing our foot from evil, we need to be establishing our thoughts.

“Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.” (Proverbs 16:3)

Our thoughts are very important to the Lord. It is easy to excuse them as not really being “that big of a deal”, especially since no one else can actually see them and aren’t necessarily effected by them. But this isn’t actually true. For one thing, Jesus sees all our thoughts. He is the discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12) And if for no other reason, we should care that our thoughts are pure because of Him. Proverbs 23:7 tells us “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:” What we think about, says a lot about us. Where our minds continually dwell, says a lot about where our hearts are. And while others may not see your thoughts per se, our thoughts affect our actions, which then affect those around us. It is important where our minds wonder. You are not alone in your little world of imagination. Girls tend to daydream to an unhealthy level. It almost seems to be built into our nature somehow. Like the little girl who always wants to play house. We were made to be homemakers and “nesting” comes, oh, too easily. We think about what our future might look like. Girls are also very relational. And it is not uncommon for girls to often think about their future husbands (or who that might be) and even their future children before ever entering that time of their life. And while it might not necessarily be wicked, it can be dangerous. It can be taken to an unhealthy level and reality can be lost. Our “fantasy”, or even hope of what our futures might be, can become more enjoyable to live than our actual life.

Proverbs 24:9 says, “The thought of foolishness is sin:”

This verse puts an immediate stop to all day dreaming, because that’s exactly what it is. Foolishness. According to Philippians 4:8, it isn’t whatsoever things are true. It isn’t whatsoever things are honest. It is vanity.

If you’ve ever “liked” someone in particular, you already know just how easy it is to think about that person. It doesn’t matter where you are or what you’re doing, he can be in the back of your thoughts. And while thinking about that person isn’t necessarily a sin itself, and honestly just comes naturally, what we are thinking could be. Are you already mentally planning as if you’d spend your future with him? This isn’t right. This isn’t whatsoever things are just. Are your thoughts always drifting to the romantic side of things? This isn’t whatsoever things are pure; whatsoever things are lovely; whatsoever things are of good report. There are other thoughts along this subject which are more subtle, but equally just as dangerous if not more so. These are the thoughts about this “special someone” that actually are true. Things said or events that actually happened. Such as, maybe the last time your families spent the day together or when you last saw him at church; whatever it might be. Our minds have a way of “replaying” everything. Like, how he looked at you, or even if he looked at you. What was said; how we laughed together. Maybe the things you did. All these “little things” become precious and hidden away in our hearts when we like someone. But my question is: Is it virtuous? Is it praiseworthy? Philippians 4:8 says “…if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” And it is all such thoughts that we must surrender to the Lord. They are not healthy for us to hold so close to our hearts, or to replay in our minds.

II Corinthians 10:5 says, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ:”

Our thoughts must be brought captive to the obedience of Christ. When our minds wonder foolishly or even romantically, we must stop and submit them to the Lord. It hast to be a conscious effort. It is a choice we make. “Casting down imaginations”.  We must cast them down at Jesus’ feet. And when we do, we’ll find that He is always there faithfully waiting to take our thoughts and imaginations. That He has already promised the victory. It is ours to claim at the very moment our hearts looks up towards Him. Ephesians 4:23 says, “And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;” Our minds need to be renewed. And it is by taking them to Jesus that He then forgives and cleanses and renews them again.

“And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?” (Matthew 9:4)

“The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.” (Psalms 10:4)

Sadly, what could be said of the “wicked” here, could also be said of most Christians. God is not in all his thoughts. And what a difference it would make if He was!

“Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalms 139:23-24)

In order for the Lord to even be able to help us keep our hearts with diligence, they must first be given to Him. He must have our heart. Our will must be put into neutral. Our hearts cannot be set on anything that isn’t of the Lord. Even with the things that just aren’t His timing yet. We cannot have a froward heart. To stubbornly insist on our own way is heartache.

“He that hath a froward heart findeth no good:” (Proverbs 17:20)

“They that are of a froward heart are abomination to the LORD: but such as are upright in their way are his delight.” (Proverbs 11:20)

In Luke 12, we are encouraged to “take no thought for your life”. I think this is the biggest secret to keeping our hearts with all diligence. Letting God be our everything. When we have let go of our life, our plans, our dreams, our heart’s desires, our future hopes, and our deepest longings; when instead, all else becomes as complete loss compared to Him; when He becomes that one desire of our hearts.

“I’ve been a great deal happier since I have given up thinking about what is easy and pleasant, and being discontented because I couldn’t have my own will. Our life is determined for us; and it makes the mind very free when we give up wishing, and only think of bearing what is laid upon us, and doing what is given us to do.” George Eliot

What has a Consecrated Heart to Fear?

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Just recently my brothers and my two dearest friends went on a two week car trip.  During some of the long hours of driving we had some great discussions.  One of them was on our insecurities.  It revealed to me how everyone has secret fears…even the most seemingly confident people.  The introverts, extroverts, women, men… we all have them.  

The past year I have been forced to face many fears.  Some of them I’ve had since I can remember.  Others are only recently recognized.   

Sometimes my health dictate my emotions.  And even when I know it is…I can’t seem to fight it.    This past year I’ve struggled with depression.  Just as hard as the lows, are the “highs”.  I have had evenings that feel like an epic ending…the future is just around the corner.  I’m in “happily ever after” and all my dreams must be coming.  They will happen.  And the next morning I wake up unsure if God really finds me a good daughter.  Nothing is guaranteed; why was I so sure before?  I feel dirty and sinful, all past godliness is behind me and I am digressing.  I’m condemned.  I’m a complainer.  I’m a disappointment to those I love.  I’m convinced I’m ugly.  My body physically struggles…I am sick, I put on weight, even though I’m allowed little food.  I feel unlovely, and therefore unlovable.  My will to live ebb and flows.  Which makes me feel guilty.  I am extreme.  I either endlessly self examine, or throw caution to the wind.  

Some of my fears are related to relationships. Sometimes I don’t want to get too close to people because I have this unreasonable fear that as soon as my heart attaches, Jesus will require of me to cut them away.  It has happened before.  For some relationships it would be easier to “detach” than to vigorously work and maintain.  I find autonomy refreshing and easier, and escape tempting.  Other relationships require a great amount of courage to face.  I fear them; but God has specifically put them in my life.  

These are my most recent fears.  And I only share them because I desire to share with you what Jesus has been showing me.

“What has a consecrated life to do with being afraid?”  Francis Havergal 

I stared at that question a long time.  I realized all my journal entries lately have been filled with fears.  Untitled, but definitely fears.  

Am I consecrated?  Who consecrates me?  What does consecrate mean?  Consecrate means to be made and declared holy and separate.  God consecrated me when I became His child.  I am consecrated.  If I am His, and I am willingly His vessel, then why am I afraid?  My peace and security and standing does not depend on the fervor of my devotion.  It has nothing to do with how healthy I am or what I look like.  It is not based on my crosses, my crucified life, or my state of relationships.  It has nothing to do with how I feel.  

What if He asked of me to continue on “broken” and sick?  Then I can be assured that it is His good pleasure, that it is for my benefit, that He is being a good Father, and will provide the strength.  Why?  If I am consecrated to Him, than I am His responsibility.  And He is either a good, all knowing God who loves me and has separated me to this “cross” for a purpose; Or, He is a merciless tyrant who decides random cruelty on His consecrated children.  

The same love that grants my desires, denies the ones that He knows will hurt or hinder me.  He understands every peculiar and unreasonable fear, my hopes and dreams, my strength and weaknesses.  I cannot cringe from pain more than He loathes to see me hurt.  But He has allowed it, for a greater good.  Why?  Because He is either a good Father, who knows what He is doing and proves His love by not sparing me beneficiary pain.  He trusts me with a weighty cross.  Or, He has consecrated me to an unprofitable and lonely path and enjoys allowing pain without reason.  

Health is a privilege.  Not a guaranteed necessity.  If I am His, and He is my infallible master, it is not my responsibility to worry about why I am sick, or if I will ever heal, or if it’s an accidental evil.  I am His charge and He is responsible for my welfare.  My job is to be scrupulously obedient and give Him glory in my bonds.  Fearing them will bring Him very little glory.  What has a consecrated heart to fear?  

Why would He allow my heart to attach only to rip it apart later?  Why does He allow heartstrings and then tell me “no”?  Am I at fault?  Can a heart be helped when it comes to dreams and hopes?  A hope seems to be an involuntary act, not a premeditated one.  And yet He would only deny that which would be evil.  I fear pain. But, when I think of the cost of consecration I have to smile.  Would it be hard to let go?  Yes.  Would it hurt?  Yes.  Would I have His strength to obey?  Yes.  Would I heal?  Yes.  Would I ever regret obeying.  Never.  The unconsecrated hearts have no similar hope.  They are made to let go.  They hurt.  Their dreams are dashed.  But they rely on their strength.  They often do not heal.  

There is no fear in real love.  I am a consecrated heart.  I am separated to a jealous, strict, loving, all- knowing God who loves me more than I can comprehend.  I can relish the fact that I am His.  How freeing!  I will end with this short snippet from my diary:

“Take over this consecrated heart Father.  Man this little vessel.  It’s sea tossed and uncertain of it’s destination.  Rule my heart with ferocious tyranny.  Here I am — laid bare.  What has a consecrated heart to fear?”      

Purity of Heart

Please be advised, some of the information shared in this post may not be appropriate for all ages. 

Over the past months, I had the opportunity of attending two  weddings. Both were beautiful in their own way. Both of which were ‘Christians’. Both of these brides wore beautiful white dresses. And neither of these couples had compromised their purity in a physical act of sexuality. But, one of these couples stood out far above the other in radiant purity. And I’d like to tell you why. I’d like to hopefully explain in words- what I was able to see.
Purity is more than the physical act of sexual contact. It is more than giving away your first kiss. It is even more than holding a guys hand or staring into his eyes. Purity begins in our hearts. It sounds so simple, but it really is true. Purity is a heart issue, not necessarily just a physical issue. In one of the training classes I’ve been taking recently for a Crisis Pregnancy Center, which includes Christian counseling, I had to take a class on “healthy sexuality”. And without going into much of the details, I was amazed and shocked by one of things I read.
“The brain has been called the largest sex organ in the body because sexual excitement is centered in the brain and begins in the brain even before the body is physically aroused.”
I honestly did not know that the brain was quite so involved. This should tell us something about the importance of our thought life. Of how incredibly important it is where we keep our minds and our thoughts, and our imaginations. Of where we allow them to go and what we choose to dwell on. Just as right thoughts can be nourished in our minds towards holiness and purity and godliness, so can wrong thoughts be nourished to our own destruction, and impurity, and disobedience.
Our thoughts are incredibly important and it certainly matters where our minds wander. The Lord cares about our thoughts. Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:” Where we allow our thoughts to dwell, says something about us. I am not talking, however, about the thoughts that suddenly come into our minds that were completely out of our control. The enemy will often attack us in our minds. But it is the thoughts that we nourish and keep and do not give over to Christ, that we are responsible for.
The battle for purity begins in our minds long before the actual physical temptation arrives. If you’ll freely give away your purity by feeding evil thoughts and imaginations, you will just as easily give that same purity away by your physical actions. Don’t fool yourself by saying that a habit of giving into wicked imaginations will not effect your ability to shut the door when physical temptation actually comes knocking. The thoughts we nurture, are the same thoughts we will eventually act on.
II Corinthians 10:5 says, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”
“That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22-24)
We are told to “Cast down imaginations”, and to be “renewed in the spirit of your mind”. Sometimes this means, choosing not to think on something that seems enjoyable, or even, innocent. To cast down. To push away. To give up. To turn our imaginations over to Christ. To allow the thoughts in our minds to be so, that we are comfortable with Him joining us. And Christ gives us His standard.
” Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)
So…back to those two weddings. One was the wedding of a dear friend of mine. She, the bride, looked beautiful in her modest white dress and her long hair pinned back so eloquently. Her smile was pretty much contagious and I’ve never seen someone “glow” quite like she did. But it was even more than that. She was a pure bride, in the very meaning of the word. Christ shined through her and He was evident, not only in her life, but even in her eyes. This coupled courted. They kept close accountability. And they waited until their wedding day to share their first kiss. It was precious and very sweet. And I respect them both for it.
The other wedding, honestly, kind of made me sad. Christ was not so evidently seen. This couple did not have accountability in the same way. They also did not save their first kiss. And while they were still pure in an actual physical sense, it was obvious that they were quite familiar and comfortable with kissing and touching and caressing each other already. There just wasn’t the same level of purity. And it felt like a cheap substitute for what a Christian wedding is supposed to be, what it is supposed to portray, which is Christ.
So… purity. It begins in our hearts. It is cultivated and protected through our minds. It is revealed by our desires. Are our desires pure?
Proverbs 11:23 says, “The desire of the righteous is only good:”
And Proverbs 18:1 says, “Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom.”
“Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.” (Psalms 73:25-26)
Purity is Christ in us. Purity is allowing the desire of Christ’s righteousness and holiness to penetrate every area of our lives and every area of our emotional, mental, and physical person. And purity is possible, in the highest, most God honoring, and beautiful meaning of the word.

“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7)

The Heart of the Matter Part Two

Please note, this is the continuation of my previous post, The Heart of the Matter Part One. (Please consider reading part one before reading on further.) Here, I would like to continue to address the struggle most Christian girls experience with their desire for marriage and the discontentment that can arise, when that desire is not met.

Thirdly, our desires and our affections should be set on Christ, not marriage.
Here is a quote by Hannah Whitall Smith that I would like to share with you. It is a little bit lengthy, but it was a help to me and I hope an  encouragement to you too.

“But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” (Galatians 6:14) “By being ‘crucified to the world’ Paul meant that he was dead to it. …To be dead to a thing must mean that that thing has no power to attract. And this is what is meant in the Bible by ‘taking up the cross’. It is to become so dead to the world (that is, the lower plane of living) that its power to tempt is gone. It is to have our affections so set on things above, that merely earthly things have lost their charm.

“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:1-3)

To have our ‘affections set’ on anything must mean that we love that thing; and if our affections are set on the will of God, we must love His will. It is impossible that God’s will should seem hard to a man whose affections are set on it. It may be accompanied with hard things, but in itself it must be a delight. Our Lord could say, ‘I delight to do thy will. O my God!’ because He was dead to everything that was contrary to His Father’s will. His affections were set on the will of God; and until our affections are similarly so set on the will of God as to delight in it, we have not ‘taken up the cross’ in the Scripture sense at all.”

(Hannah W. Smith, The Commonsense Teaching of the Bible p.115)

Our affections, our heart desires, our love, should be set on Christ. Does this mean that you never have any other desires? No. Does this mean it is somehow wicked to want to be married? Certainly not. But what we thought was so dear and precious and even important to us before, in the sight of Him, fades completely. He is more precious than that desire ever could be. And He is more lovely than its fulfillment in our lives.
I think many young girls can be in danger of believing that marriage will somehow make them happy and content, when otherwise, they weren’t. But this idea is false, not to mention rather covetousness.
What is covetousness? “To desire ardently (especially, something that another person has); crave; long for.”

I know many young girls who reek of covetousness, when it comes to this subject of marriage. Girls who literally hate weddings, because they themselves haven’t had their own. They are envious of what God has chosen to given someone else, and even bitter. Just because you don’t have a statue of Buddha sitting on your desk, doesn’t mean you aren’t guilty of idolatry. Not according to the Bible. Many girls’ innocent desire for marriage has become an idol in their heart. And although they might not even verbally say it, feel like God isn’t good unless He gives them their desire for marriage. This is scary.
Are you covetous? Longing for something that isn’t in your possession? Is your heart coveting something that isn’t yours? Or maybe even something that the Lord hasn’t seen fit to give you yet? (Like marriage.) Are you maybe even coveting someone that doesn’t belong to you? (Like a specific person you might admire or maybe just the desire for a husband in general.)
What do you usually talk about? 

Where does your mind oftentimes wonder? 

What seems to make you more excited than anything else? 

What (or who) are you always excited to talk or think about?
If we answer these questions honestly, I know it would reveal where our hearts truly are.
Hebrews 13:5 says, “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” 

Why are we able to be content with “such things as ye have“? (Such as singleness) Because we have Him. He has promised never to leave us, never to forsake us. He is that life-long companion most young women have both dreamed about and yearned for. He is that friend. He is the one who can hold your hand through the hardships of life. To comfort your pain. Who accepts and loves you just as you are. The one who adores you and seeks to capture your heart. The one who will be faithful to the end. The one who you can trust no matter what. “We can face anything, if we face it together.” This is Christ.
Fourthly, our heart motivation for wanting to get married shouldn’t be derived from selfishness, but actually from love.
And here is what I mean by that. A lot of girls have silly infatuations towards someone they admire and label it as “love”. Just because you “like someone” doesn’t mean you are “in love” with him. Love is so much deeper than this.
And in the same sort of way, some girls hold an infatuated idea of what marriage is. And their dreams and hopes and imaginations for what marriage will be for them, are usually, at the core, selfish.

Feelings like-

 Marriage will make me happier. 

Marriage is my romantic dream come true.

Marriage will make me feel loved, cherished, and accepted.

Marriage will make me feel secure. 

Or marriage will change my current unhappy circumstances.

Marriage will ____(this), or marriage will ____(that) for me.

Is marriage all about you? Are you hoping to get a husband, just for the happiness and fulfillment he may give you? This isn’t real love.
I would like to share another quote with you from Hannah Whitall Smith. This quote is on love. Real love.
We must remember, however, that a great deal of what is called love ought really to be spelled s-e-l-f-i-s-h-n-e-s-s. [selfishness] People love their own enjoyment of their friends more than they love the friends themselves, and consider their own welfare in their intercourse with those they profess to love, far more than the welfare of the so-called loved ones. It has been said that we never really love anyone until we can do without them for their good; and, measured by this test, how few there are who really love.


The law of love can never be a cherishing of self at the expense of the loved one, but must always be the cherishing of the loved one at the expense of self.” (The Commonsense Teaching of the Bible p.141)

True love, is Christ’s love. A love that doesn’t think about self at all. A love that is never motivated by selfish wants or needs. Marriage isn’t something to enter into selfishly for your own pleasure, although I think the majority of people do. The first motive for marriage, should be a love for Christ. A love that desires His will over our own. (Whether that will is marriage or not marriage.) Marriage is a picture of Christ and His bride. And when a marriage is derived from knowing His will and in His timing, it can be such a pure and beautiful testimony. The second motive for marriage, should be out of real love for that other person. Not a selfish desire to please your flesh, but from a desire to please that man and fulfill his needs. To be his helpmeet. To love him, to honour him, and to accept him as a gift from the Lord, and also as your “new ministry”.
“Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.”

(Romans 13:8-10)

Girls can also be in danger of thinking that marriage will somehow magically change them for the better. But this simply isn’t true. Walking down the wedding aisle doesn’t suddenly warp you into Cinderella. Sorry girls! Haha J Marriage changes your circumstances and your position maybe, but it doesn’t necessarily change you. If you are discontent before you are married, you will be discontent after you are married. If you are selfish before you get married, you will still be selfish after you get married. Marriage is joining yourself to another fleshly human being. And through Christ, it can be wonderful. But, everyday life goes on after the honeymoon. And you are still you. The girls I have known that were discontent and unhappy in Christ while they were single have still been just as discontent and unhappy married. It is sad. Marriage doesn’t change the state of your heart. And instead, now I see a marriage that is struggling, and a husband that feels frustrated, because she is trying to take something from him, that he simply cannot give.

 Only Christ meets the deepest needs of our hearts. That is a place reserved only for Him. Girls have a strong need for love. This is how God made us. We naturally need and yearn for affection. But human love can only take you so far. And while human love is imperfect and selfish at best, Christ’s love is perfect and unselfish. He satisfies like no other, every time. He desires us. He draws us to Himself. He seeks our hearts. He is a friend that is closer than no other. And His love is forever.
“My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.” (Psalms 62:5)

And fifthly, the Lord knows what is best for each of us individually, what brings Him the most glory, and is the greatest furtherance to the gospel.  

“I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.” (Psalms 40:8)

If we can honestly say that our whole desire is Christ and that His will is our delight, as David did, then surely we would be accepting of that will, whatever it might be. Even when that will crosses ours. What if marriage wasn’t His perfect will for you? What if He needed you single? Not many are even willing to consider that an option. I don’t think anyone believes I Corinthians 7, where Paul says it is better to be unmarried, in serving the Lord, than married.

“But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife. There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.” (I Corinthians 7:32-34)

This isn’t to say that marriage isn’t a godly calling, or that you cannot serve the Lord married, but we should be willing, if He asked.

Letting Jesus direct our lives, from the biggest decisions to the smallest details, is peace. It is sweet to trust Jesus, because He is trustworthy and because His love is towards us. His plans are good, not evil. If He chooses to withhold a desire from your heart, it is withheld in love. 

Psalms 84:11 says-“For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.

Are we able to say, as Paul did, “But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.” (Acts 20: 24)

Shouldn’t this be, without question, the purpose and heart cry of every Christian? There shouldn’t even be anything to weigh that desire with. He is both worthy of our best and worth seeking after with all our hearts. He should be our goal. Our whole desire. To the point that we count nothing dear unto ourselves, but that we may win Him.