The last Mother’s day Paul and I were together. We spent in Bush Gardens in Williamsburg, VA. Our family has always been Roller Coaster Junkies. We would
find the biggest and the best and ride them and sit in the front row. We love the thrill of riding them. There we many ups and downs and twists and turns. Not everything we experienced was something we expected. That was all to real to me that day as I pushed my husband up and down the hills of the park that day. He was in a wheel chair because the cancer had taken its toll on his body. He did not have the energy to walk in the park let alone ride the rides. It was a hard day yet we tried to make the best of what we had together. We created new memories together. My daughter and I rode the coaster together. We did sit in the front row and we were thrilled and surprised. This was a keen example of why it is important to take the time to build a firm foundation of a relationship. God gives us examples of both the good and the bad in the Bible. With all the unexpected twists we face, it is vital to have something to guide us.
After close to thirty years of being married and dating Paul, we followed a bit more of the first example of finding a spouse. We could have taken a bit more time to get to know each other, before we got married. It has been a bit of an adjustment to being single again. My kids will tell you my husband and I began the social networking craze. We just communicated through letters, phone calls and believe it or not cassette tapes. You learn quite a bit about a person when they talk to you for an hour describing everything they are doing. It does not mean that you learn everything. There is a great benefit to taking time to get to know the person you are in relationship with. Most importantly it is who you choose and to make a wise choice. I would not say I am an expert or I have the corner on the market. I do have a loving Savior to guide me and a few years of testimony.
I have encountered many people in either dating or courting. Some find theirs at work, at school, at church and some even venture to the online scene. I do not wish to define the right way to pursue a companion. What I wish to do is just shed some light on what the examples God has given us. The two I wish to look at are Jacob and Ruth.
One of God’s chosen people is our first example. His name was Jacob and his name means supplanter. With a name like that he was destine for greatness. I hope you are saying yeah, right, about that. His name means someone who goes against authority or illegally seizes something. This is not what I would call a model citizen. I think we can say from the start Jacob got off to a bad start. From the womb he was making his way into positions he felt were to be his. Throughout his life he would set his heart and mind to something. Then he went after what he felt was his to have. When he saw Rachel he set his heart to have her. His story is one of setting a goal and then working toward that goal until he received what he desired. When he saw Rachel for the first time he wanted to have her for his wife. He first served her. When he had finished helping her, He broke the Jewish tradition of courtship. He did not spend the time to get to know her as a friend, but choose to kiss her when he first met her. Oh Jacob had his eyes on a prize. Yet the prize he went after cost him a great price. He first waited 7 years to marry her. Then when he thought he got what he worked for. He was tricked. He had to work another seven years to get what he wanted. Yet in doing that he was not following after God by taking a second wife. So this is the first example of seeking a relationship. What Jacob ended up with was a big mess. He had two wives and a bunch of handmaids, a barren wife, feuding sons and so much more. When we seek our way in relationships we get so much more than God intends for us. So you say what is a good example of relationship?
Ruth a foreigner and a gentile, an outsider not even qualified to even worship God in most circles. She lost the husband. Then she did some crazy stuff in the eyes of those who she knew. After her husband dies, she decides to move with her mother-in-law also a widower, she chooses to follow after the God of Naomi’s people, and has no support system. Yet the Lord blesses her for the statement of faith she has. Naomi was insisting that Ruth would stay in her own country with her own people. Yet she felt different and in Ruth 1 her words re-sound her faith.
16 But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. 17 Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. Thus may the Lord do to me, and worse, if anything but death parts you and me.” 18 When she saw that she was determined to go with her, she [e]said no more to her.
You see Ruth was not concerned with finding a person to fill the hole in her heart left from the loss of her spouse. No she was seeking a relationship with a loving God who can make all things new in her heart. She allowed the Lord to become the source of her relationship and not the other person to be the fulfillment of her heart. As a result of her devotion she was rewarded by the Lord first with provision and then through wise counsel, a husband and a redeemer. She did not try and to make her way in the relationship. She sought wise counsel and walked according to God’s direction in her life. As she did God placed her in the bloodline of an eternal King “Jesus”. What greater example could be followed? She is one of a few women mentioned in the family tree of Jesus. She was a gentile. That was unheard of but God made a way for her where there seemed to be no way.
Ok so I will get off my soapbox now. You will usually find the person, when you are seeking the one who desires to have our hearts first. It is best to allow the Lord to fulfill those places. If we seek another person to fulfill what God is meant to fill, they will fall sadly short, they are not equipped to fulfill that place of our heart.
Matt 6: 33-34
33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
34 “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
37 And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’38 This is the great and [o]foremost commandment. 39 The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”
So my advice to you is seek to be like Ruth seek first God, as you do the provision comes and the rest will care for itself. We need to follow her example and love God with all we have. As we do that he helps us to love ourselves and then to share that love with others. What’s it going to hurt anyway. The best thing that could happen is you get an awesome relationship with the God of the universe. I don’t know how that rates with you. In my book it rates big!