By Cally Logan, Crosswalk.com
We live in a world where we are often pressured or obligated to compromise or settle upon getting something lesser. Consider the last time you went to the grocery store and purchased the off-brand version of an item because it was cheaper. Yet, there are certain decisions in life where settling or making a compromise should not be a place in which we are willing to go. Most predominately, this is true of not settling for marriage.
Regret is nearly an inevitable part of life, for we are a fallen human race and fall short of perfection. Although, more often than not, we can realize that even the places where we failed, made the wrong choice, or fell short can find redemption and purpose through Christ, marriage is a place where it is better not to have to endure the rocky road of regret. Even the best of marriages will endure struggles and trying times. There is something different about experiencing those trials when you know you held out for God’s best and something that makes the urge to fight for that marriage even stronger. This is where it is so imperative to invite God into our decisions. Not just with careers or places to live, but in our relationships as well. For God understands us in a way that we are only coming into realizing, and He knows what is ahead. God’s best never holds the fine print of attached regret.
What Is God’s Best?
In order to know what God’s best is, we must come forward to Him first and foremost. God can speak to us in many ways and always in a way in which our hearts understand the deeper meaning. Romans 8:26 shares how the Holy Spirit can translate even our sobs into prayers, and in the same way, God can speak to us in our own unique and specific languages so that we properly understand what He is seeking to tell us. His voice will always align with Scripture, and it is through Scripture that we can come to see what God defines as His best. The characteristics of a noble spouse and follower of Christ are evident through Scripture, as are times in which God gave a direct answer to one of His children seeking wisdom. In my own life, I recall a time in which I was interested in a man who seemed to check every box. He was a Christian, kind, and handsome, but I wanted to ensure he was God’s will before I proceeded. After several months of prayer, God woke me up one morning with the gentle whisper very clearly stating, “he is not My best for you.” It was such a kind phrasing, for it did not lessen or put him down, but it was clear that he was not the best God had for me. In time through friendship, it became clearer that indeed he was not who God had intended for me, but I am thankful that I listened to God instead of going forward based upon what I wanted at the moment. God’s best often requires patience, but it is always worth it in the end.
Patience is indeed a virtue, but it is one of the more challenging virtues to pursue. We live in a culture where instant gratification is prized, and that desire will find itself creeping into our expectations for a spouse as well. We desire the microwave speed of things, but often we find that God’s best is at crockpot speed. This is not in punishment or cruelness; instead, God is more concerned about growing our hearts in preparation for what we are praying for rather than offering it at record speed. Consider in that metaphor how, if given the option, we would rather have the golden pot roast dinner that was artfully prepared all day over the two-minute flash-frozen meal any day. Patience is more about trust than it is timing. It is believing in faith that God has a purpose, time, and intent for specific events and people to come into our lives and that He is faithful to hold such things. When we let Him drive, we can know we are reaching our destination precisely when we ought to.
Don’t Mistake Easy for Best
Although opportunities will arise that seem easily attainable, it does not mean that they are what is best. Consider Boaz’s reaction to Ruth in the Bible when she comes before him with her intent. Ruth 3:10 (NLT) shares, “‘The Lord bless you, my daughter!’ Boaz exclaimed. ‘You are showing even more family loyalty now than you did before, for you have not gone after a younger man, whether rich or poor.’” Boaz was astonished that Ruth did not go after the potential opportunities that were available to her of marrying a younger man or even someone wealthier. Instead, she was patient and obedient, and in the end, she received God’s best. Ruth was full of noble character in her walk, and it is clear she did not choose the easy way out. Because of her loyalty to what God had established in His Word to be correct and not to what was easily attained, she not only was married to a man she truly loved, but her choice impacted history. She was the mother of Obed, father of Jesse, who was the father of King David in the line of Christ. The choices we make in obedience, trust, and trusting in God’s plan not only affect us but affect the legacy of generations to come after us as well.
The importance of not settling is clear, and that clarity is that, at times, holding out for God’s best requires sacrifice. The sacrifice of our time in waiting preparation, the sacrifice of being one of the first at the alter with the big wedding, and the sacrifice of directing our own lives but instead allowing God to direct. He may bring His best early in life through a childhood friendship blooming into marriage, or He may bless a broken and long road of waiting. Whatever the road you are traveling on with Him, allow Him to direct, drive, and determine what He deems best for you. You will never regret allowing Him to choose what is best in your life. Take the risk of trusting Him with your story’s happily ever after.
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Cally Logan is an author and US History teacher from Richmond, Virginia. In her free time, she enjoys leading a high school girls’ small group, cooking, and spending time in tree houses. Her latest books, Dear Young Sparrow and Unveiled are available on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble. Check her out on Instagram and Twitter, @CallyLogan.