Saturday, December 19, 2015

"Seeking First God's Kingdom" ~ Mandy's Testimony

 “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” ~Matthew 6:33

When my husband and I got married in July 2014, Matthew 6:33 was our wedding verse. How perfectly this verse describes the attitude of one who fears God, no matter what stage of life she is in!

Whether a young woman is single, in a courtship, engaged, or married, her primary goal should be to honor the Lord.

First, it is important for a young lady to prioritize her relationship with God in her single years. When I was growing up, many girls my age spent their teenage years chasing the things of the world, including boys, social status, and other selfish pursuits. All too often, the results were damaged emotions and wasted time.

In contrast, it is a rare and beautiful thing for a girl to seek God first in her life. James 4:8 says, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” As you seek Jesus, you will find fulfillment and peace that is greater than the world can ever offer. I would encourage single young ladies to devote themselves to a serious study of God’s Word and to prayer. Also, use this period of time to serve God and others. You will never regret using your single years for the Lord!
Also, it is important to use your single years to develop a deep satisfaction in Christ. Young ladies often buy into the lie that a relationship is the solution to feeling happy and complete. The truth is that if your satisfaction is not found in Christ alone, you can feel miserable at any stage of life – whether single or married.

While I was a teenager, the Lord worked in my heart to teach me that only He could complete me. I am truly grateful for this sweet lesson. Since Christ had fulfilled my heart, by the time I met my husband I wasn’t looking for someone to fix my insecurities. Yes, it’s true that I am happier as a married woman than at any other time in my life. Indeed, my husband and I have a deep, close, and meaningful relationship. However, this delight is only possible because each of us is individually  completed in Christ. Therefore, the great joy that my husband brings is an added blessing, rather than the antidote to my insecurities. 

Proverbs 4:23 says, “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” Unfortunately, many girls use their single years as an excuse to throw their hearts around, and to flirt with boys. However, godly men are very rarely attracted to flirtatious girls. In fact, my husband says that when we first met, the absence of flirtation  in our conversation made a deep impression upon him. If a young lady desires to find a godly husband, she ought to work towards character worthy of such a man.  

Indeed, Christian girls should find joy and beauty in saving their hearts for their future husbands. This means avoiding the pitfall of forming premature crushes and attachments to boys. As a now-married woman, I can testify that saving my heart for my husband was one of the best decisions I ever made! It’s a beautiful thing to open up your heart for the first time to the one that God intended for you all along.

For those who have had past struggles, and may not have the "perfect track record," it's important to remember that all of these principles can still be applied starting today. Know that God graciously forgives anyone who seeks Him (1 John 1:9). Through Christ's blood, no sin is held against a child of God. Each day is a new day with new chances to bring glory to Him.

It is also important for a young lady to honor God in the process of considering marriage. Psalms 46:10 says, “Cease striving and know that I am God.” It’s easy for young ladies to be constantly searching  for “the one.” Instead, it is when we surrender our hearts to God that we find peace. Indeed, a young woman should be completely content for God’s will and timing in her life – even if it means lifelong singleness!

I remember a time in my life when I was struggling with discontentment in singleness. Thankfully, the Lord grabbed a hold of my heart and brought me to the point of surrendering my desire for a relationship to His will. I became completely content with His will for my future. Amazingly, the Lord brought my husband into my life just weeks later! In this case, the Lord was willing to grant me the desires of my heart, but He wanted full control of my heart first.

When considering a young man, don’t settle for someone who is merely good-looking and nice. Instead, search for a man whose life reflects the light of God. He should have a heart which consistently seeks after the Lord. While perfection is not the goal, you should still seek a man with truly excellent character. From personal experience, I can say that the blessings of being led by a godly husband are many!

Even while in a courtship or marriage, a woman shouldn’t lose sight of the importance of prioritizing her relationship with God. A woman who seeks God with all of her heart will continue to find satisfaction in Him. Such a woman will also be a great blessing to those around her – including her husband (Proverbs 31). When both the husband and the wife are honoring God, it is a beautiful example of Christ and his church (Ephesians 5).

In conclusion, pursuing Christ above all else is vital in any stage of a woman's life. Whether single or married, a woman can find freedom and contentment as she pursues her relationship with Christ above all others. Seeking first God’s kingdom truly brings many blessings.