As women, society (specially chick flicks!) teaches us to be on the constant “look out” for love. Throughout my teen years, it seemed natural to me to think of the guys I knew (or didn’t) and evaluate whether they were “potential” boyfriends.
You know, that they met the requirements of some silly mental list of qualities and characteristics.
Christian? sort…..of…….! Somewhat…getting there!?
Can hold a conversation? Check.
etc. etc. etc.
As I identified my potential “loves”, I started to do everything possible to draw them near. Conversations here and there, finding out what they liked, and simply being in their way. And hey! Sometimes it worked.
Nevertheless, I found the process to be exhausting. As I went in and out of relationships, I left feeling more dissatisfied and lonely than I was before. God was never part of my “selection” process. To top it off, as I have the gift of mercy, I “attracted” – and felt drawn to – broken people. This meant that I was always the spiritual leader in relationships – thing that left me completely tired and distraught. It was a lot of work.
After a really bad break up that left me broken and led me directly to Jesus’ feet, I learned that our love story – if we aim for it to be purposeful, “meant to be” and (let’s get cheesy) forever – should never start with ourselves, or even with “boy meets girl”.
Our love story starts with the Lord Himself.
And – come to think of it – doesn’t it make sense to leave our Father the job of selecting our future spouse? The One that knows you completely? The One who sees the heart, and wants to bless you with a man who will be specifically made for you?
Isn’t He wiser, bigger and greater than us?
Yet, we take control. Waiting gets lonely after a while, so we settle and accept men into our life without waiting for God’s confirmation and direction.
We do it without understanding the sanctity of marriage, and without seeing that – in every relationship – we leave a part of ourselves with that person. We so quickly give away our hearts!
Proverbs 4:23 warns us: “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
In the Bible, we can see what happens when we decide to choose our own “King”.
They said to him, “…now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have.” 1 Samuel 8:5
The Israelites wanted a king. Badly. They looked at all the other nations who had mighty kings and they got desperate.
The Lord told Samuel to warn the Israelites of what would happen if they themselves chose a king instead of allowing God to do it on His timing.
What did the Israelites respond to this warning?
But the people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want a king over us. Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.” 1 Samuel 8:19-20
One thing you can be sure of about God is that He will never force His will on you. As the Israelites rejected His direction and guidance, the Lord let them do so. The Israelites chose a man named Saul as their king.
Now, you might think that Saul was a bad guy. He wasn’t! In 1 Samuel 9 we can see that God even gave Saul victory over many nations.
He was handsome, tall…
“Kish had a son named Saul, as handsome a young man as could be found anywhere in Israel, and he was a head taller than anyone else”. 1 Samuel 9:2
Had a good reputation
“There is no one like him among all the people.” 1 Samuel 10:24
Everybody loved him…
Then the people shouted, “Long live the king!” 1 Samuel 10:24
…he even prophesied!
When all those who had formerly known him saw him prophesying with the prophets, they asked each other, “What is this that has happened to the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?” 1 Samuel 10:11
See? Saul wasn’t so bad after all. We often remember Saul as the nasty king who was jealous and wanted to kill David various times. Yet, we see that – before drawing away from the Lord – Saul was actually an ok guy.
Nevertheless, Saul was not the king that God wanted for the Israelites at the moment. Plain and simple. When we decide to go by our own ways and don’t seek God’s will, we will enter into a life of striving. By doing so we are rejecting the blessings God intended for us in the first place – including our possible “mate”.
Later on in the story, we see how Saul started failing and trusting in his own strength instead of God’s. The result of Saul’s disobedience led him deeper and deeper into sin – to a point where he even went to a fortune teller – woman who practiced witchcraft – to get guidance. Saul had a pretty sad ending: he committed suicide.
God’s ways are always higher than our ways and they serve a purpose. He sees things that we can’t at the moment. That is precisely why we can trust Him and His timing – specially when concerning such an important decision like who you give your heart to.
…and then David came along
Of course, God had a better plan for the people of Israel. Even when Saul’s reign led to failure, God had already chosen a rightful king for them.
God told the prophet Samuel to visit a man named Jesse and his sons. Among them would be the chosen king of Israel.
Let’s read about it in 1 Samuel 16:6-12:
When they arrived, Samuel took one look at Eliab and thought, “Surely this is the Lord’s anointed!”
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
Then Jesse told his son Abinadab to step forward and walk in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, “This is not the one the Lord has chosen.” Next Jesse summoned Shimea, but Samuel said, “Neither is this the one the Lord has chosen.” In the same way all seven of Jesse’s sons were presented to Samuel. But Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen any of these.” Then Samuel asked, “Are these all the sons you have?”
“There is still the youngest,” Jesse replied. “But he’s out in the fields watching the sheep and goats.”
“Send for him at once,” Samuel said. “We will not sit down to eat until he arrives.”
So Jesse sent for him. He was dark and handsome, with beautiful eyes.
And the Lord said, “This is the one; anoint him.”
David was his name. In chapter 17, verse 18, David is described as a “talented harp player… Not only that—he is a brave man and a warrior; and has good judgment! He is also a fine-looking young man, and the Lord is with him.”
David was talented, brave, wise, good looking…but most importantly, he is referred to as a “man after God’s own heart”. No other man in the Bible is described like this. Talk about major upgrade! You see what happens when we let God choose instead of ourselves?
Now, even though David was chosen by God to be the king of Israel, this did not happen for years. David went through many hardships and persecution before he was finally established as the king. Nevertheless, when the time was right, he had a kingdom like no other.
Are you willing to wait, not only on His direction and His guidance as to who your man is, but also on His perfect timing?
Make God the basis of your relationships. Let Him guide you and instruct You. Rely on Him to choose, direct and define. Obey even when it is not easy. He will help you through it. Learning to trust God is one of the most beautiful and important lessons you can ever attain.
Surrendering your love life to the Lord is more than worth it. He will not choose the better man for you – he will choose the best.