-by getting in his bed, by rushing to get wed, or by coexisting ’til you’re dead-
Why do we settle? Sometimes the restaurant we wanted to eat at is just too far away, so we settle for second-best. Sometimes, we didn’t lose enough weight to fit that new dress, so we settle on whatever fits at the moment. Settling sometimes has to be a part of life, but oh how I hate settling. My husband keeps trying to convince me to drink diet Dr. Pepper and just can’t understand that I’d rather not have Dr. Pepper at all than to settle for that stuff. And though settling may be okay and be a part of the day-to-day trivial things in life, there are some things that are just too important to be “settle” things. Yet, younger and older women all around the world are missing the best and just shrugging their shoulders and saying “Okay. Guess this is it.”
Well, I’m here to tell you that in that special relationship with a man, it is not only “okay” not to settle, but really not settling is the only way to go. Here it is, ladies, the secret to a happy life: Stop Settling!
Here I would love to diverge into the most beautiful lesson on broken cisterns as found in the book of Jeremiah. But lest this blog becomes all too lengthy, I will simply sum it up to say, that when we try to fill up our lives with anything that is not that Living Spring that is God Himself, we will discover that all the time we have invested into digging out those spaces was wasted, because they don’t do what we intended- they just won’t hold water. Dry and parched and in need, we end up at empty cisterns that should be full. You’ll find it’s true in any area of life. But today, let’s focus on one area: that relationship with another human, a man, one to spend our days with and share our hopes and dreams with. Not a bad thing to desire, but ultimately one that since the curse has been in place has been plaguing our sex.
Remember that little phrase “her desire shall be unto him?” Well, that desire is a battle that almost every female faces at some point within her flesh. It is an overwhelming desire for a man. It’s that false belief that that relationship is what will complete us. Tom Cruise may have delivered that line, but it is found in the heart of nearly every woman. I know that men desire us, too, but it just doesn’t generally equal the depths of our desire. Men become intrigued with so many other things power, fame, success, and more. And some of us, share those desires as well, but as a whole our gentler sex from the time we are around 3 or 4 years old start batting our eyes and offering a handful of soggy goldfish to the boy sitting beside us in Sunday school. The next day we are telling our mommas about our wedding plans. There are pictures and stories galore that can prove my point. Let’s just say that I had to make a rule in our house when one of our children was in Kindergarten that they are not allowed to fight on the playground with members of the opposite sex by yelling over and over again “You’re in love with me!” to them. And can you guess if it was a boy or girl who prompted the creation of this rule? Yup. Girl all the way.
Meanwhile most guys live in complete oblivion to our feminine existence for almost a decade longer than we do to theirs. When they do awaken to us, it’s like an exciting hurricane of emotions and over-analizations hit us and hit us hard. And while this can be such an exciting time, if we aren’t prepared with the Truth, we can end up in a broken, aftermath of devastation. Here’s how to batten down the hatches of your hearts, ladies.
1. Don’t settle by getting in his bed.
It’s a truth; I don’t care how many people disagree. I didn’t make the rules, but I do know how the game is played. Girl, you are a divinely dreamed up, perfectly designed, unique creation. God loved you enough to create you with all of the things that make you you! He chose your eyes, your height, your ethinicity, and all the intricacies of your personality, some of which you probably haven’t even discovered yet. I know you are not perfect. I know that you’ve got flaws- welcome to humanity. We all do. We are all a broken creation. Sin left its mark on this world and upon us when we entered it. But the fall of man was no surprise to an omniscient God. He knew what you would face and where you would struggle, and He still loved you. He loved you so desperately, so unselfishly that He gave His very self for you. That is real love.
“Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” I John 4:10
He made you with a plan in mind for just for you.
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Jeremiah 29:11
He has watched your every move, known your every thought, and cherished you for every moment. You didn’t earn His love, you didn’t have to. He adores you because that is who He is. You are valuable not because of what you bring and what you do, but because God -the Master of all things, the One who created all things and by which all things exist and for whose glory they stand, grow, chirp, orbit, and inspire for- that same God chose you. That makes you count. Check out the closest art museum, and you’ll discover that the value in the paintings comes from the Master who dreamed them up putting his brush to the pallet, and not necessarily for the scene that is presented on the canvas.
In your search for His love and acceptance, you may have lost your way. And that is where we get back to that whole “desire toward him” thing from way back in the garden. Because that is where our desire will lead us to do things that only hurt us. It is typically us girls, not the guys, who will bend our wills, make exceptions, and sleep with that person in the hopes that he will feel the same way about us that we do about him. A girl may be giving some guy her everything while being belittled, abused, and living in a world of never really knowing where they stand as a couple.
In her book, Girl, Wash your Face, Rachel Hollis shares very vulnerably what happened in her first relationship.
“On the one hand, in a lot of ways, he was right. I had always been incredibly professional at work and mature when we hung out, but in this instance I didn’t know the rules. I didn’t understand that you couldn’t just call a guy your boyfriend without discussion. I naively believed that if someone had seen your boobs and you regularly went to dinner together, it meant you were a couple. Just to put a little more truth on this, I had zero guilt about the whole here are my boobs thing because I believed we were getting married. I justified my choices because I thought they were part of the bigger story of us. Meanwhile, this man didn’t believe we were dating.
Thirty-four-year-old Rachel can see all of this so clearly in hindsight. Nineteen-year-old me was in love and insecure, so I justified everything he said or did that was hurtful….But here’s the ugly truth: I was a booty call.
The preacher’s daughter, the one who hadn’t ever been on a date, the conservative good girl…I drove to this man’s house every single night he asked me to and pretended that it didn’t gut me when he wouldn’t acknowledge me during the day.
When we were together, he was so sweet and so loving that it held me over during the times when he wouldn’t call. On the rare occasions when I’d meet up with him at a bar and his friends would ignore me— or worse—refer to me only as the ‘nineteen year old’ and he wouldn’t say anything to stop them, I made excuses.”1
Ugh. Does that hit you right in the gut just as it did me? The good news is that Rachel stepped up and made the right decision. She quit settling for sex with no commitment. God has since honored her decision in a terrific way, but if you want to know the ending, you’re gonna’ have to check out her book! I love this woman for laying it out there to help others. I love her for realizing that it wasn’t right- that she mattered- and for putting an end to that façade of a relationship.
Rachel is not the only one who has been so willing to do whatever and accept whatever in the hopes that it will lead somewhere. My husband has sat across from guys who are in multiple relationships at the same time. The crazy thing is that at least one of the girls knew he was playing them both and was willing to continue being with him in the hopes that he would keep her. Another guy who was sleeping with a girl was asked by my husband about marriage, and he jumped back shocked and said that “no way, would he marry this girl!” When the girl found this out….she stayed. And keep in mind, it wasn’t that he didn’t want to get married- it was the idea that something better was going to come along that kept him far from that proposal!
As women, we think we can change them. If we do enough, be enough, or even get pregnant (yeah, I’ve seen that one, too) then he will love us.
Girl, you are precious. I know you may not feel it, but our feelings are not always truthful. Maybe you’ve heard the lies about your worth for so long from others and even yourself that they’ve drowned out the truth. But you are worth waiting for. You are worth dating. You are worth a commitment. I know that there are a million “reasons” why you should sleep with him, move in with him and not get married. Financial, job-related, physical, but ultimately all of the excuses- even when they are coming from you not him- are rooted in the lie that you are not worth overcoming obstacles for; that you are not worth fighting for.
There’s a country song out now called “Queens Don’t.” It gives the perspective of a strong girl who is trying to live with some confidence/dignity. While it is a secular song, one lyric keeps ringing in my head. The chorus ends with the phrase “some girls might, but Queens don’t.” You are the beloved of the King of Kings, His very precious daughter. Can I just tell you, some girls may do many things to try to get some jerk to notice them or to convince some dude who can’t see her value to stay another day, but “daughters of the King don’t.”
So stop today, and don’t go there tomorrow. Get yourself around women who know this God who loves you and who will speak the truth to you when it’s hard for you to live it. Open His Word and get to know His thoughts toward you. And when a guy comes along who is willing to honor your Father by treating you with the words, actions, and respect that show you are priceless, then get to know him. Take it slow. Enjoy the process; because it is a wonderful thing to be truly loved, and you are worth waiting for.
Music: “Daughter of the King” and “White Boots” by Jamie Grace and Morgan Harper Nichols
Books: “Stay in the Castle” Booklet by Jerry Ross
“Sassy, Single, and Satisfied: Secrets to Loving the Life You’re Living.” by Michelle
“Singled out by God for Good.” Paige Benton Brown
1 Hollis, Rachel. “Girl, Wash Your Face.” Nelson Books. Nashville, TN; 2018. Pg. 47-48.