Over ten years ago I was inspired to write this short story, “Virtue’s Promise.” At the time I was single and had never dated. My favorite verse in the Bible was Proverbs 31:30: “Favor is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she will be praised.” I knew that if I followed God’s plan for my life as a Godly woman, His best would come to me. I applied that promise to my desire for a husband, and out of that faith I penned this tale. I know you will be blessed as you read this sweet love story, located in Renaissance France.
Athalie LeBlanc yearns for a godly husband, but the choices in her tiny French mountain village seem to deny her of the dream’s reality. Just as frustrated with the selection of young women around him, the prince of France struggles with his desire for a woman of virtue. Will the two find the peace they desire, and the fulfillment of God’s promise? This short story, based on Proverbs 31, is a love story declaring the faithfulness of God’s promise to those who follow the principles of virtue.
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As a little girl, I could never quite make up my mind what I wanted to be when I grew up. I had a spiral-bound booklet that left places for grades made in school, awards received, and a note on my career aspirations. (Of course, there were also those embarrassing pictures that I could hide forever and never miss!) Every year my mom or I would write in the profession of my dreams, and every year my goal for my future career changed. First I wanted to be an artist. The next year I wanted to be a mother and the next a school teacher. All are great professions, but in third grade, the urgency to fully know my adult career was small.
As I grew up, my dreams for my future became a little more concrete. My list of goals and dreams had steadily grown longer but didn’t change with every new school year. One of those unchanging desires was to be married. In the quiet of my imagination, I would picture how it might happen. First, I’d meet Mr. Right. Then we’d get to know each other through dates and long talks. Then my heart will be so swept away by this man that the moment he proposed, I would have no trouble saying “yes”! These events were so engrained in my mind that I couldn’t imagine going through life without them happening. I wanted those dreams to go from my imagination into reality.
When God created us, He placed inside the ability to be creative dreamers. He delights in seeing us take our gifts and talents and use them constructively. He never intended for us to spend our lives sitting around waiting for the best in life to come drop in our laps. There are ideas and dreams that God wants us to breathe into life. Nonetheless, as with everything in our lives, those dreams and creations should glorify Him. Our dreams should never take priority over His dreams – including the desire to be married.
One day, while thinking through my “list of dreams,” I began to feel overwhelmed. How in the world were these desires—which I believed were from God—going to happen? Too many of them seemed far too big for me to accomplish. Marriage was no exception. Finding the perfect guy for me seemed so out of reach. That’s when God told me if I would let His dream come true through me, then He would make my dream come true.
When God created marriage, it was for a purpose. God took care of Adam’s need for a friend and helper by creating a beautiful creature called woman. (Knowing they were God’s solution to man’s first problem should make any girl feel special!) The purpose of marriage didn’t end there. Adam may have needed a helper, but God needed a helper even more.
“No way,” you might be thinking. “God has everything!” God does own everything, but He was lacking one thing—friendship. He had all of heaven worshiping Him because that’s what they were created to do. Yet how unfulfilling would it be to sit down and chat with an angel that had to talk to you? God wanted a family of people who chose to love Him. That’s true friendship.
In order to have that “family,” God created a way to duplicate more than one person. Because He wasn’t satisfied with just one friend, He gave Adam instructions to be “fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:22). The more the merrier!
A new problem started when Adam and Eve sinned, a problem immediately separating them from God. The blissful friendship God so yearned for suddenly came to an end because they chose someone else. He didn’t panic, though. In went another fix that continued to fulfill His dream, a dream that could only be fulfilled through the gift of His Son Jesus. Though Jesus did the biggest work, the dream isn’t complete until everyone has heard the Gospel. For the world to hear the Gospel, people like you and me (married or unmarried) have to be willing not only to share the Good News but also to live it. That is God’s dream.
And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.
He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.
And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will
speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will
by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover”
Like Esther, you were called into the kingdom “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14). It wasn’t an accident that you arrived on this planet on a certain day of a certain year. God has a plan and an assignment that only you can complete. The Great Commission has been assigned to every believer—boy and girl, young and old. If God’s greatest desire is to see His kingdom come and His will be done on the earth, then that should be your greatest desire as well. As wonderful as are all His blessings, including marriage, nothing is more important than seeing God’s dream fulfilled.