It's Valentine's weekend
It's Valentine's weekend ...and that's enough to make some people already stop reading this. Don't worry - this isn't some mushy blog post about how much I love my husband - even though I totally do! #swoonswoon! Rather than another love story, I wanted to write a note to the lonely, the heartbroken, and those who wish you even had someone to break your heart.
If you're a single chick, you'll probably do one (or more) of these three things:
- Sit at home eating fudge brownie ice cream while watching The Notebook.
- Call all your girlfriends, go to the nail salon, and go out for a "I don't need no man" fancy dinner in your hottest dress and tallest heels.
- Go on a date with some bro you aren't even planning on having a future with...but at least you'll look the Valentine's part.
What I don't want you doing is...
BUT WAIT! Luckily, you're reading this blog, and you're going to take my advice and do something REALLY GOOD for yourself.
First off, let me just say that I don't judge you for doing anything on that previous list. I bet when you read that list, you thought "Is that PriskaTabitha psychic?" The answer is no...maybe?...no. The reason that list is so remarkably familiar is because I once did all 3 of those things...in the same Valentine's weekend. (Again... #teamnoshame). I'm just like you. I've had Heartache AND Heartbreak...but now I have Happily Ever After. And I'd love to share the secret to how I got to where I am today.
There's a question that has inspired me to reach many different goals that I'd like to share with you:
Ask yourself if what you are doing today is getting you closer to where you want to be tomorrow? -Anonymous
But first, what is your goal? Is it to finally have a gf/bf? Are you just trying to not feel lonely anymore? Or is your goal to be a good wife to a good husband and to honor God throughout your lifetime marriage? That’s a lofty goal, but it’s the best goal to seek.
Secondly, are you currently doing what it takes to reach your goal? If not, sketch a plan to get there, and work the plan.
If you’ve read my story in past blog posts, you know I was a serial dater. I dated just to date. And my dating standards were...well...low. That’s blunt, but true. I had a revelation one day that my serial dating was teaching me to be good at breaking up whenever times got hard. I also realized that the guys I was dating were not compatible with me…AT ALL! Time for a change. I had a literal come to Jesus moment, repented, and started working a new plan.
Here was my plan:
- Quit dating losers. In fact, stop dating altogether. (This one was tough for me.)
- Invest my time and energy into becoming the woman God wants me to be. That meant lots of time spent alone, but with God. Lots of prayers, lots of reading, lots of journaling. Lots of weekends at home. Lots of phonecalls repairing family relationships I was previously neglecting.
- When I *finally* meet the man that God wants me to date, don’t break up when I get bored or annoyed, or when life just feels normal again. Plant roots in this relationship and grow together, despite circumstances.
My advice to you is to use this special February opportunity to build a plan to become the person God wants you to be. If you want to marry some day, then pray to become a husband/wife who can sustain a good, godly relationship with your future spouse. Pray to be changed.
You know, I don't give my husband enough credit for being astute, but he is. Here's something he said that is just too fitting:
You attract people who are like you. If you're a mess, you're going to attract people who are messes. If you're a trainwreck, a nice clean-cut guy who loves Jesus isn't going to be attracted to you. -Russell Jordan*
*Trademark quote...usage royalties may be sent to my bank account ;)
All joking aside, we've all learned too much from popular culture (sorry, but the Bachelor is ruining your romance life), our friends, and maybe even our parents of how to be bad at relationships. Most of us (talking to millennials) have watched our parents' terrible marriages end in terrible divorces. And even if you hate what that did to your family, you still likely picked up some bad relationship habits. So we have to UNLEARN those default relationship habits.
For example, how do you react when someone you love isn't doing what you want him to do? Borrowing from my own experience: If I ask my hunkalicious husband to take out the trash, he will do it...several hours later. And the reason is because my husband takes time to think about tasks. My reaction can be mature: trusting he will do what he said he would do, I can be free to go do something else and not worry about the trash being taken out. Or my reaction can be immature: "I asked you to take out the trash! I'm trying to clean the house, and you’re just couch sitting. Why won't you just do it already?!" Thankfully, I mostly do the former. The time and energy I invested in becoming a good friend back while I was single is directly shown in how I relate to my husband these days.
One very practical way you can grow yourself into a great husband/wife is by practicing great love in the relationships you currently have. Think about how you treat your mom, dad, brothers and sisters, neighbors, friends, and colleagues. Do you forgive easily? Do you manipulate them into doing what you want? Do you go out of your way to encourage them? Do you hold unrealistic standards? Do you communicate your feelings well? If not, can you really expect your future marital relationship to be different? If you answered yes (even a small yes) to any of these questions, THIS is where you need to start getting to work. Not after you've met "the one", and not after you're married. Make a plan. Do it now.
And for a last bit of inspiration, think about this. God created everything in the universe and even time itself. Since He could have created your world such that you never had to wait on anything, then you're left with the conclusion that He's either a lousy god or He had a good reason to include seasons of waiting. Could it be that God uses these seasons to develop good qualities in you such as patience, kindness, compassion, and joy (despite troubles)? These virtues only come about in the waiting, but they’re sweet aroma are a fragrance for every day of your life. Refer to Galatians 5: the fruit of the Spirit of God, and think about how fruit grows over time, against all odds...it grows.
What a sweet fragrance of virtue it will be when you meet that person of your dreams! I pray you’ll take this terribly romantic weekend and use it to become the person God designed you to be. A person who can sustain a good, godly relationship. A person who changes direction when the previous path was not a good one. A person who grows patience in the waiting.
With love, PriskaTabitha