Friday, 29 November 2013

The Singles' Ten Commandments...

1.      Thou shalt get a life. Don't be boring; it's not attractive. Find a hobby. Get involved in something; anything! (OK, maybe not anything, but something you enjoy that’s also legal). Not only would it make your life a bit more interesting, but it’ll give you something to do instead of sitting around moping and moaning about the fact that you’re still single.

2.      Thou shalt be patient. Patience is a virtue (I have no idea who said that, but it’s true). We don’t always get what we want, when we want, but that’s just life. So, be patient. Don’t rush into marriage, or a relationship for that matter, because you may just end up rushing out. Be patient and wait for the right person.

3.      Thou shalt make an effort. Make an effort to go out and meet people. Make an effort with your appearance. Get rid of that ‘can’t be bothered’ attitude. It won’t get you a husband (or a wife).

4.      Thou shalt not be too picky. Give people a chance. We all have our lists, but seriously, must she be a size 6? Does he REALLY have to be six feet tall? Must he be at least five years older? Does she REALLY have to know how to cook be a great cook? (*insert innocent face*) Throw that list away. OK, maybe just shorten it a bit and be realistic.

5.      Thou shalt not give in to pressure. You know, the pressure to settle down by a certain age because everyone else is settling down. Or to buy a house, or a new car. If you’re worried about your biological clock, take out the batteries. Or even better, throw it away. Refuse to care what people say or think. Just refuse.

6.      Thou shalt prepare. I once heard someone say, ‘if you fail to prepare, prepare to fail’. Or something along those lines. I think they were talking about exams, but the same can be said for marriage as well. Pray about it. Read books. Talk to married people and learn from their experiences. Yes, nothing will ever prepare you for marriage but marriage itself, but finding out what you can about a destination before you arrive there can’t do you any harm, surely.

7.      Thou shalt work on thine self. Work on the attributes you’d like to see in a potential spouse. Learn to share. Learn to listen. Let a friend win an argument for once. Work on putting other people first. Learn to forgive. Learn to forgive. Did I mention learn to forgive?

8.      Thou shalt not compare thine self to others. We’re all on individual journeys in life. God’s plan for you is different to His plan for your friend, or your sister even. Trust that when He says He won’t withhold any good thing from you, He means it. Don’t compare yourself with other people. Focus on your own life. You may want to remember this when you eventually get married too.

9.      Thou shalt not shop whilst hungry. In other words, avoid desperation. Anyone is attractive when you’re desperate. Don’t settle. Don’t compromise on your values or your standards. Know your worth. If you’re not sure, read Psalms 139 from verse 13 to 18. You’re freakin’ fearfully and wonderfully made! Avoid every appearance of desperation. Please.

10.  Thou shalt be thankful. You get to do what you want when you want, without having to consult anyone? Be thankful!

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Another lesson on waiting...

I know it’s winter. But I love ice cream, and I believe it should be had all year round. So I was determined to have some today, even though the house is freezing and I had to put on the central heating two hours before schedule. So I got some yummy ice cream out of the freezer, got my bowl and a spoon, and proceeded to stick the spoon right in. But the ice cream was rock hard. I carried on hitting the top of the ice cream with my spoon until my hands hurt but all I could get out was a tiny, lousy scoop. As I stood there with my spoon in hand and empty bowl staring up at me, a thought came to me; ‘why don’t you just wait a few minutes and it’ll be a lot easier to get the ice cream out.’ I smiled and went up to my room. I knew the ice cream would be softer in less than 10 minutes.

Right now I’m sitting here enjoying some ice cream and drinking some tea (to counteract the effect of the cold ice cream, obviously). I’m also thinking about how we always want what we want, now! We don’t like to wait. Just like I felt I couldn't wait a few minutes, and I wanted my ice cream immediately, sometimes we feel like we just can’t wait for that ‘next big thing’ in our lives. Whether it’s for a new job or house, for marriage or to have a baby, or for a promotion. 

Waiting isn’t fun. 

But when we rush things in life, we sometimes end up struggling for what could have come easily to us if we had just waited. Or we end up with just slim pickings, when God actually wants to give us a bucket-load of ice cream. Or worse still, we end up hurting ourselves and others in the process.

There’s a bit in the Bible that says that there is a time for everything, a season for every activity under the sun. It also goes on to say that God has made everything beautiful in its time. So, don’t be in a hurry. Enjoy where you’re at. Take in the view, marvel at the scenery. Soon, you’ll be onto the next phase of your life, and trust me, you don’t want to miss what’s happening right now.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Who's that girl...(behind the pretty face)?

I’m a sucker for good looks. I have to admit it; I love a good, dapper-looking man. But the other day I was reading the bit in the Bible when Samuel goes to anoint one of Jesse’s sons as the new king of Israel. The first son comes in and Samuel is like, ‘this must be the one. He’s so good-looking!’ But God says to him, ‘Nah, not him. Never mind his looks; I look at a man’s heart. What he looks like on the outside isn’t as important’ (my very own paraphrase). It got me thinking about how much emphasis we (OK, I) place on looks. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s important for people to make an effort to look good and I’m not saying beware of good-looking people. But sometimes I do think that dismissing someone because we don’t like what they look like means that we can miss out on getting to know the real person underneath. Or worse still, ignore warning signals when we meet someone that’s just drop-dead gorgeous.

As a woman, I appreciate that there is something about having pretty make-up, wearing a nice dress and having nice hair. It makes one feel a bit more confident (and trust me, you don’t want to see me first thing in the morning!) But there’s a bit in the Bible that talks about where our beauty should come from. It’s in 1 Peter chapter 3. It says, 

‘Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight…’

Your character is what should draw people to you. I’m sure some of you reading this have met people who are gorgeous on the outside but ‘nothing to write home about’ (as my mum would say) when you get to know them. Having good looks is one thing. Having good looks as well as a good heart, now that’s something!

My point is this; spend less time trying to make yourself beautiful on the outside and focus on working on the real you; the person on the inside. Be nice to people. Care about them. Like, really care. Go out of your way to help people. Be generous. I could go on and on…because at the end of the day, your looks may get you the attention of that man / woman you desire, but ultimately, your character is what will keep them.