When I was in high school, I used to tell myself when I got to college I would meet my husband. Now that I am in college, I am not looking for a husband, perhaps because an unexpected man, entered my life my senior year in high school. Although this man has a lot of qualities I am looking for in a husband, I still do not know if the Lord's will for us to marry. I even question, at times, if the Lord wants me to marry at all. Perhaps, he wants me to be single for life. I, however, am not in a bargaining position with my Savior.
I must reflect upon the thoughts of Elisabeth Elliot. She writes in her journal the following poem quoted by George Matheson.
O love, that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in Thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
That in Thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.
One issue I deal with on a regular basis is the things I want and vs. what God wants. It is a constant battle between my desires and God's desires. I am very happy with this young man and I really would like to marry him, but I must wait on God.
In Passion and Purity, Jim Elliot once said to Elisabeth, “If I marry, I know who it'll be… But I'm not asking…I can't ask you to marry me, and I can't ask you to commit yourself to anything whatever. I can't even ask you to wait. I've given all my feelings for you to God. He'll have to work out whatever he wants.”
Elisabeth Elliot waited six years to be with the man she loved and this amazes me. Am I willing to wait as long as possible for God’s will for my life?
Abraham had tremendous faith when God told him to offer up Isaac, Abraham's most prized possession; the most important thing in his life.
And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burn offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.Genesis 22:6
And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.Genesis 22:12
Passion and Purity is a book everyone should read who desires to be obedient to Christ, even through their love life. Elisabeth Elliot brings out a lot of good points and guidelines in her story: singleness or marriage; God's desires versus our own humanly desires; and who we are trusting in. I have learned that the deepest spiritual lessons are not learned by letting us have our own way in the end, but by making us wait. Patience is the most important thing I have learned in my relationship with Christ. “When the will of God crosses the will of man, somebody has to die.”
Author’s Note: This article was written in 1996. The Lord did reveal His will to me and I, Suzanne Smith, married my high school sweetheart Dean Cefola on July 11, 1998. We have now been married for 22 years.
Book Note: While dating was a part of the beginning of Elisabeth Elliot’s personal story, we believe there is a better way to get to know a prospective lady or gentlemen. There are many helpful Biblical Principles to help you pursue this next step in your life. If you are not sure how to get there, we highly recommend the following two books written by former Pastor, now missionary, Dr. Douglas Hammett: Dating, Courtship and Betrothal: Sorting Out Marriage Matters With Bible Principles & Seven Steps to the Marriage Altar. These books can be found on Amazon.
A Love Note from God
Everyone longs to give themselves completely to someone,
To have a deep soul relationship with another,
To be loved thoroughly and exclusively,
But God, to a Christian, says,
"No, not until you are satisfied, fulfilled, and content with being loved by Me alone,
With giving yourself totally and reservedly to Me,
With having an intensely personal and unique relationship with Me alone,
Discovering that only in Me is your satisfaction to be found,
Will you be capable of the perfect human relationship that I have planned for you.
You will never be united with another until you are united with Me alone,
Exclusive of anyone or anything else,
Exclusive of any other desires or longings.
I want you to stop planning,
And allow Me to give you the most thrilling plan existing,
One that you cannot imagine.
Please allow Me to bring it to you.
You just keep watching Me, expecting the greatest things.
Keep experiencing the satisfaction that I Am.
Keep listening and learning the things I tell you.
You just wait. That's all.
Don't be anxious.
Don't look at the things you think you want,
You just keep looking off and away up to Me,
Or you'll miss what I want to show you.
And then when you are ready,
I'll surprise you with a love far more wonderful than any you could dream of.
You see, until you are ready and until the one I have for you is ready (I am working even at this moment to have you both ready at the same time),
Until you are both satisfied exclusively with Me,
And the life I prepared for you,
You won't be able to experience the love that Exemplified your relationship with Me.
And this is the perfect love.
And dear one, I want you to have this most wonderful love,
I want you to see in the flesh a picture of your relationship with Me,
And to enjoy materially and concretely,
The everlasting union of beauty, perfection and love,
That I offer you with Myself.
Know that I love utterly.
I Am God.
Believe it and be satisfied."
Suzanne has been married to Dean, her high school sweetheart, for 24 years. She is a former Elementary Teacher and homeschooling mom with two now adult children. Jeremiah is 22 and Ruth is 19. Suzanne was saved in 1998 and has been a faithful member of Lehigh Valley Baptist Church since that time. She enjoys reading, snuggling with her new puppies, encouraging others and using her “Happy Planner.” Suzanne is a first-generation Christian and knows all about the struggles of striving to be a Godly wife, mother and servant of Christ. She hopes to encourage you with the wisdom that she has learned through the years and is still learning.