(In conjunction with, “Learning To Love God’s Way”)
Becoming a woman of excellence and value begins with making decisions that “build” your life, rather than tearing it down. We often find ourselves in relationships that are destructive and wonder how we keep ending up there. Somehow, once we have been in the relationship for a while, we can easily see very clearly what the “other” person is doing wrong but it is often difficult to see our “own” dysfunction which led to yet “another” hurtful and disappointing relationship. In this article, I will speak to “single” ladies specifically who are hoping to be married one day and who desire Godly relationships.
FOUNDATIONS: Foundations are always primary when it comes to any issue. Where we are working "from" is going to determine what we have to offer and how we offer it. Our "history" will always either teach us the greatest lessons or stunt us in the most debilitating ways. In everything we must first look at "God" as our primary example, "ourselves" as the only person we have the ability to change, and allow the "right" voices into our lives to help us develop into the healthiest person possible.
RESPECT- WE CAN’T GIVE OR RECEIVE WHAT WE DO NOT UNDERSTAND: First, we can never pretend that treating others badly or trying to manipulate them is acceptable; NO MATTER WHAT someone else did to you, because God is our example and we are not judge. We should treat ALL people with respect, including ourselves, even when they disrespect us.
There is a difference between disrespect and drawing a boundary. We can say, "No that is not okay with me" without insulting or creating drama, while still maintaining self-respect in the way we communicate. We should never lower our own selves to disrespect another just because we feel disrespected by them. That is "reactive" emotion and it only makes you become like the person who upset you.
Maintain your "own" standard of how you treat others, regardless of how they treat you and don't keep them close if they do not know how to treat you with the courtesy and respect you deserve as well. (I'm not saying pamper you, which is an entirely different desire.) Give respect and expect respect. It is a two way street, but first we must learn how to respect ourselves. We can never give or require what we do not yet understand.
GETTING MARRIED IS NOT HARD AT ALL, BUT STAYING MARRIED…: Ladies, we need to learn how God views us and align our own thoughts of ourselves to "His". In this, we also become women after His own heart; who live and act in a way that will attract the right kind of men and give us a clear sense of which ones are not right for our future.
I have always believed that “getting married” is not hard at all, getting married to a man I will always be "growing" with is not as easy. And staying married seems near impossible these days, but it is not. Being single and a little lonely or desirous is far better than being married to the wrong man, bound by covenant, and miserable, but either way, misery is often within, not without so if you are not happy single, you will likely not be happy married. Work on “yourself”.
ADDRESS YOUR PAIN: If we want something of value in our lives, we need to become something of value. In this particular case, I am defining value to mean emotionally and spiritually mature. Someone who holds themself to a standard that makes them a “good” potential mate. We need to be real with ourselves and face those deep places where we store our pain. We need to be willing to "go there" and address our anger, bitterness, resentment and wounds as it relates to God, men and our understanding of love and relationships.
We can have a relationship instantly but that only leads to continual heartache. It is better to take our time preparing ourselves for the relationship we "desire" and no, this does not come as easily because many hold pain and heartache that block that man from coming. Fear of intimacy keeps us hooking up with men who simply aren’t long term material for us. If the right man came, we would likely drive him off anyway.
Emotional health goes a long way in knowing who is going to be good and right for your life. If you have a lot of pain related to relationships, you likely need a season of rest from them to heal and get your head and heart straight. Jumping from one to the other will only keep you from seeing the real issues but ultimately, it keeps YOU unhappy and unfulfilled.
THE DECISION IS YOURS ALONE: Sweet sisters, that short term "fix" you get from being held by a man and caressed; that short lived bliss is perpetuating your pain. It is keeping you lonely even when you are with someone and it is keeping you broken when you desire wholeness and true love.
Evaluate your relationships, your choices and your life and ask yourself if the decisions you are making are helping you long term? Are they getting you where you truly desire to go? Do you even believe there is something better? Ask God to help you believe in "His" promise for a future filled with “hope”. And, are the choices you are making leaving you feeling empty or fulfilled? Eliminate the ones that are harmful to you. Only you can make those decisions. Spend some time with yourself and become the most complete person you can.
MAKE DECISIONS THAT BUILD YOUR LIFE: Emotionally "whole" people attract, recognize and desire emotionally "whole" people. It may take longer to get there but if we look ahead, we will see that we can work a little longer and harder for a future of hope or we can keep doing what we are doing and establish that we are willing to live in this same pain forever. It isn't easy, it isn't simple and it isn't an overnight process but it is absolutely "yours" to decide.
Ladies, value yourselves enough to become respectable women in your own eyes. Too many of us disrespect ourselves and then wonder why men do the same. We teach others how to treat us by how we treat ourselves. We are responsible and held accountable for all our own decisions. Leave those men to God; they are not yours to measure.
This is God's heart and desire for you, that you would look forward to your future, that you would believe Him that there are good things ahead for you and that you would live your life as the very best person that you are capable of being.
Becoming a woman of excellence and value begins with making decisions that “build” your life, rather than tearing it down.