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You know that thing that happens when you see the boy you like and fireworks explode in your heart? Yeah, you’re not alone. Most happily married women can still tell you the moment it happened for them. In honor of Independence Day, I thought today’s post about the fireworks of true love would be perfect.
Meet my friend Jennifer Armstrong. She’s a blogger from Texas who keeps me laughing. She’s got a great sense of what’s meaningful and worthy, and I invited her to share some insight on dating and falling in love. What follows is wisdom gained from a strong marriage to her first, true love . . .
So, here’s Jennifer—
I remember that wonderful feeling of dating my husband in college. The smell of his cologne would drive me crazy. He was so much taller than me, and I often hovered below his shadow at Texas A&M football games, feeling protected and enjoying the relief from a scorching sun.
His character spoke volumes to me. He was a kind and respectful man, opening doors for me and always letting
me pick the movies. Between the physical attraction and his spiritual character, I was hooked. After dating for four years, we tied the knot.
Years later, as a young wife and mother, I would frequently find myself hands deep in a dirty diaper change, with frumpy hair tied back in a clip, wearing mismatched clothing that suited me for nothing, and sporting three hours of sleep from the night before.
If my husband called from work, I’d cry hysterically about the difficulties. Then, he would say the most beautiful thing to me—“Don’t worry about the house, play with the baby and when I get home you can take a nap. I’ll cook dinner too.”
I’m telling you, girls, those are words that can make a wife’s heart melt.
When we started our relationship, all I wanted to do was hold his hand and be in his presence. God knew the hardships we would endure, and I feel so blessed that he matched me with a mate who is strong and capable.
I thought I’d share a few stories from other Christian girls who feel quite blessed to have been divinely matched.
Heather kept a journal about her future love—
“I purchased a book before I met my husband,” Heather Murphy explains. “It was called Wait for Me Journal: Thoughts for my Future Husband by Rebecca St. James.”
“I wrote a prayer list in my journal. I had a list of ‘must haves,’” Heather said. “It included things like my future husband being a Christian, affectionate, compassionate, and strong, having a good sense of humor, positive attitude and someone who would love me as much as I loved him.
“I gave the book to my husband on our wedding day as my gift to him, and it wasn’t until I found it later and read my prayer list again that I realized it was him 110%!
“Patrick has always been my rock, he calms me when I’m worried or upset, and I know I can rely on him to help me see things from a calmer perspective. We both know that God is in control, so it makes it easier to work through any struggles.”
Lori found a boyfriend who shared her desire for purity in their relationship—
Lori Cook says that God was instrumental in bringing her into a marriage.
“I always imagined I would be married by the time I was twenty,” she said. “Ironically, once I turned twenty, God gave me a peace about being single. He reawakened the desire to get married around the time that he was doing the same thing in my husband. The best part of our dating relationship was that my husband was very committed to purity. He was very respectful of me and had great self-control. We decided that we wanted to make it to the marriage altar with no regrets.”
Sarah’s husband leads by example through difficult times—
“I met my husband when I was just a child,” she said. “We literally played hide and seek together at a mutual friend’s house. I didn’t even know his name until we met again in high school. I would say that God brought us together because I was certainly too young and spiritually immature to have picked out such a wonderful man for myself.”
As Sarah and her husband grew spiritually, God’s guidance prepared them for a few hardships and major testing points of their faith.
“When our first children were born (twins), it was a very difficult time,” Sarah explained. “Our son was immediately taken to the PICU, and we were not sure he would even leave the hospital. We were very scared, and were not close to the Lord during that time of our lives. My husband went home that first night and read the Psalms while seeking encouragement. This experience drew our family closer to God and required us to rely on His sovereignty in our lives.”
My thoughts on love, dating and marriage—
There are a few things that I wish I had known when I was dating. I thought I’d share a few tips.
1. Waiting for God is a great key in your own spiritual development.
Don’t disregard how precious the time of being single can be in your life and service to God. Paul encourages, in Corinthians, that single people consider giving themselves to God with “undivided devotion to the Lord.”
An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. – 1 Corinthians 7:34-35
2. Let God’s Word lead the way.
Take the scriptures with you into all relationships. Read what God says about boys, dating and his expectations. If you need help finding scripture, don’t hesitate to ask an adult for resources. This is a great topic to bring up at Sunday school or a youth meeting!
3. Make sure your Prince Charming has a common desire to pursue God.
I am extremely thankful that God paired me with a fellow Christ seeker. Our greatest journey as a couple is getting to know God together.
Jennifer Armstrong is a wife and mother of two children. She is a freelance writer and blogger who is passionate about encouraging women in their walk with God. Connect with future postings on her blog.
Thanks, Jennifer! Sweet advice!
Happy, happy Independence Day!