We must learn to discern the quiet voice. We should not be casting our precious pearls into the pig pen to be trampled by someone who does not appreciate the value of us.
Of course we want to love and be loved, but do not be so quick to believe your eyes and your ears when that someone comes waltzing in and saying things you want to hear. You can not go from hello to I do in your mind within moments. Even if the man quotes scripture like an eloquent orator. Even if he seems to be saying and doing all the right things.
I am not implying we should be untrusting and skeptical, I am just saying be careful.
Take some time and get to know them before committing. Do your homework. Look for the fruits.
Anyone can be Mr. or Miss Wonderful when things are going good. But what about when life happens? Are the good fruits still evident when his/her back is against the wall?
Galatians 5 describes the fruit like this: the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
My Mr. Wonderful had the right words, he knew scripture, but on closer look, when his back was against the wall, his real character showed up and it was not like Christ. He had lack. His fruit was bad. The lesson I learned is this:
- listen to what he is really saying, ask questions, if he doesn’t like to answer your questions, or he answers with another question, or he acts offended if you question him…. he might not be the person you wish he would be. He is not for you.
- if he blames past failed relationships on the other person and he accepts no responsibility, then this a person who is not humble or honest and chances are it will be you he will be blaming when your relationship fails.
- does he continually talk about his ex? No matter if it is in the positive or negative. If so…. he is not ready for you. He will make you pay for her mistakes or offenses. Whatever destroyed his relationship with her, he will carry into his relationship with you.
- is he consistently inconsistent? Does he say one thing and do another? Remember… God is not the author of confusion, He brings peace. If you are walking in a cloud of confusion, something seems off but ya just can’t put your finger on it, then do not enter that relationship. There is no need to reason it, unless you are the one with serious trust issues, trust your gut.
- is he a good builder of walls? Is his definition of setting boundaries the ones he sets with you by stonewalling when he is “offended”? Can he handle conflict? Is he able to reason? Or does he disappear for days? Of course, there may be time you both need to take a breather, a walk, pray and think, but the word clearly states to not let the sun go down on your wrath. Do not hold grudges. Mature people come together again and talk it through, to move forward or to end it, but they do not stonewall each other.
- does he have friends of the same sex he regularly fellowships with? Or are the majority of his “closest” friends other women? There is nothing wrong having friends of opposite sex, but there is a problem if he confides in his female friends things about you, your relationship, or he seeks council from them. For example, my Mr. Wonderful maintained “friendships” with women he met online, confusing them for real friends and allowed them to cross the lines of boundaries. Your relationship is between you, him, and God. Not you, him, and her, and her, and her… There is wisdom in multitudes of council, but who he seeks to receive council from is a clear indicator of his integrity within your relationship.
- did you meet him on-line? How long has he been on the site? How many women did he leave the site for, only to return again because it “didn’t work out.” trust me when I say, if he has a record on the site, (BTW you can do some research and see if there is a pattern) he will always be looking for greener grass. He is not husband material. He wants his ego stroked and he will seek affirmation from women who do not “know” him. Because he can not handle true intimacy. He has a fear of exposure.
- does he recognize authority? Can he submit to authority? For example, is he in regular Christian fellowship, or is he easily offended by the pastor? Does he find fault in everything and everyone who holds a leadership position?
- does he give back handed compliments? My Mr. Wonderful would say, “You are beautiful.” and five minutes later ask, “Are you gaining weight?”
- Most important, are you growing with him? Does he celebrate your gifts and encourage you to walk in them? Does he recognize Christ in you? When me and Mr. Wonderful met, it was exciting, we would talk about the things of God and I would walk away from the conversation feeling strengthened and encouraged and wanting to get the Bible out and read about what we just talked about. But that changed overnight. I could no longer minister to him, or speak about what God has been speaking to me, he would ridicule me, tell me he knows more than me, tell me to not speak to him unless I heard God say to. He mocked my ministry, told me I was not making a difference and how he led so many more to Christ than me. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? But this is what he did. It began to shut me down and caused me to doubt myself.
- How does he treat others? Is he patient and kind? Or is he quick to argue with them? Is he more concerned about being right than other peoples feelings? Or does he feel it is his duty to set everyone straight?
I still believe there are men out there who are truly chasing after Gods heart. I know a few of them. I am speaking from my experience, sharing what I learned.
Keep your eyes and your ears open. Listen to the still small voice and trust your gut. Stay close to God and you will save yourself a lot of heartache and grief.
This is the biggest lesson I learned… be obedient. Don’t argue with God, if He says no, then it is a no for a reason.