Going Steady – Guest Post

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After Christmas, I got the sudden urge to reorganize places in my house.  This included my shelf of notebook binders, filled with sermon notes, Scripture lists, and discipleship helps.  One notebook was filled with chapels from the Christian School I attended in Canada.  One of the chapel notes was from Paula Hernando, the secretary of the school (you can read her relationship testimony in the previous post, titled “Steady as You Wait”). The following article, “Going Steady,” is Paula’s notes with my thoughts in italics.  Make the choice to go steady!

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Most of the time, we use the term “going steady” as related to dating.  But have we ever considered what it would mean if we applied it to our relationship with Jesus? 

There are several words that follow along the thought of “steady.” Let’s look at a few of them:

“Steadfast” means “stable and steady.” “Stable” means “not likely to give way; enduring; not wavering in purpose; firmly established; mentally sound; resistant to physical and chemical change.” “Steady” means “constant; free from agitation; free from variation, interruption; dependable.”

I think we would all agree that “steadfast,” or “steady,” describes the kind of relationship we would want with anyone.  We don’t appreciate relationships that are fickle, every day different than the day before. We want commitment.

“Going steady” also denotes exclusiveness: we’re committed to one person.  It’s no different with Jesus.  He especially deserves steadfastness and steadiness.  He also requires it. Our walk with Him must be exclusive.

You shall have no other gods before me. (Exodus 20:3)

But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. (James 1:6-8)

…by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. (2 Corinthians 15:2)

Three ways to maintain steadiness:

  1. Steady seeking.

“Search” in the Greek means “following in close pursuit of a desired object.” If we are in a healthy relationship with someone, we consistently seek them.  We seek to know where they are so we can be with them.  We seek their interests, likes and dislikes, so we can get to know them better.  It should be the same with our relationship with Jesus. We are to consistently seek after His person and His desires.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.  I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring back your from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive. (Jeremiah 29:11-14)

 2. Steady in knowing.

Wisdom comes from God and keeps us stable. It enables us to make right decisions, move forward confidently, and be successful in all we do.  It guides our lives to success instead of defeat.  However, if we neglect knowing His wisdom, we will flounder.  We will strive in our own understanding to do what we think is correct, but never successfully achieve God’s will for our lives.

 Wisdom and knowledge will be the stability of your times, and the strength of salvation;
The fear of the Lord is His treasure. (Isaiah 33:6)

Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits. (Daniel 11:32)

  1. Steady in decision.

Regardless of what happens, there should be a conviction that we’ll be as on fire for God as we are now.  Decisions can take us away for where we want to be if they’re made wrong. Little decisions should equal big decisions for God.

Only your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel . . . (Philippians 1:27)

You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked . . . (2 Peter 3:17)

What does “going steady” with Jesus mean to us?  What would we change if we were to treat our relationship with Him with the same intensity that we treat our boyfriend?  Would we memorize His number so we can consistently communicate?  Would we read His letters to us, memorizing every Word?  Would we be unwavering in our commitment?  I pray we all choose to “go steady,” though we may be surrounded with a world of unsteadiness.

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Paula Hernando is a fellow blogger and published author.  You can read more about her and her book at http://www.emptyhandstoopenarms.com.

 

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Steady as You Wait – Guest Post

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The following testimony is written by someone very special in my life.  Paula Hernando was the secretary of the Christian college I attended in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada in the early 2000’s.  I volunteered in her office and enjoyed chatting with her sweet personality!  She was a blessing to me as she made me feel welcome in a foreign country, a new church, and a new school.  Like many of us, she had to wait a little longer than planned for her “Mr. Wright” to appear.  But as you’ll read, it was well worth the wait!

I remember as a child picking up a special flower and pulling the petals off one by one. “He loves me, he loves me not, he loves me…” I would take the steps down an imaginary aisle holding tightly to my grandmother’s geranium as if it were a grand bouquet.   I would imagine my future husband whisking me off my feet and carrying me away.  However, when I reached my early 20’s, the desire to be married was no longer a quiet childhood game.  By that time I felt I knew everything there was to know about life and love and marriage (insert chuckle here), there was only one thing missing:  A man!

I knew instinctively that peacefulness was so important while waiting for my future husband to arrive.  I did the best with what I had and tried to pretty myself with make-up and hair styles that were flattering. Everyone around me told me to wait for God to bring just the right person in my life.  I’d like to say that I was the picture of perfect patience, but I had difficulty with the idea of delay.  I questioned God about it continually.  I couldn’t understand why desire didn’t equal readiness. It became increasingly stressful for me as I aged. Through this process, God made me ready to handle a serious adult relationship.  It was a readiness that I couldn’t produce in myself.  Only God knew when that moment would arrive.  In a practical sense, I had to come to the place of hopeful peace in the midst of an intense desire to be married.

“This could be the year that you meet your man, because if we wait for you, we’ll wait forever.” This was an encouraging prophecy that came to me a few years before I met my husband to be.  While I waited, I kept the following scripture in my back pocket:  “… blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord” (Luke 1:45). I held to these promises that brought me a hope that God would one day answer my prayer.

Then one day in 1998, I had the responsibility of arranging billets for students at my new job as secretary for a Christian college.  My new assignment had to be housed within an afternoon. I was to meet him later that day to discuss the arrangement and give him a map to his new home.  When Dario arrived, my heart did a little flutter and I’m sure I blushed.  Thus began a friendship where we seemed to be drawn to one another.

By the end of 2002 I knew I wanted this friendship to blossom into more.  I loved his walk with the Lord, his warmth, his ability to keep me fascinated in conversation, and his funny way.   Through the assistance of mutual friends, Dario asked me to dinner. This began a 5-month courtship as our love and anticipation grew.  We were going steady!

I remember the Lord giving me a directive one night as the scripture leapt off the page of my Bible: “Be still, my daughter, until thou know how the matter will fall; for the man will not rest until he has completed the matter this day” (Ruth 3: 18). Little did I know that during this time Dario had for two weeks held a boxed engagement ring in his pocket, looking for an appropriate time.

During one of our planned picnic dates, we visited a beautifully restored nursery, complete with dazzling colors in lilies, peonies, and other tiny flowers and plants.  Dario asked me to marry him in this beautiful backdrop of God’s creation.  I said, “Yes”!  I was 39 years old.  We were married October 10th, 2003.

We had the blessing and support of our leaders, our friends, and a faithful God.  Our courtship was blessed with a prophetic word with personalized details along with a personalized scripture: “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:   If either of them falls down, one can help the other up” (Ecclesiastes 4: 9-10).  We knew God was blessing our union!

To the single regardless of age:  God knows your heart’s desire just to be loved.  Remember He has loved you first and wants that heart’s ache to be fulfilled just as much as you do.  You have His attention.  God is preparing you both.  Remember He already knows who that man is!

Paula’s Advice:

Be the best you, you can be!

  1.  Prepare yourself spiritually to crawl in close to Father God. He will fill your heart with warmth and love.  For a man who is seeking, your love relationship with the Lord is really hard to resist.  Seek to be inclusive with Jesus.  Go steady with Him.  Pray for your future husband all the blessings you can think of to ensure God’s blessing is on him and you will meet just at the right time.
  2.  Prepare your mind and emotions to handle the challenges of relationships. Find the books that will help you do that.   Marriage can be a challenge.  Give yourself some tools in understanding human dynamics.
  3.  Is there anything you can do to prepare yourself physically? Don’t fall for the lie that a pretty face and trim body is the only way to attract that man.  Or a handsome physique and bulging muscular body is the only way to attract a lady.  However, strong healthy bodies are important for handling stress and giving your future spouse the best you that you can be.

All this…while you wait.

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Paula Hernando is a fellow blogger and published author.  You can read more about her and her book at http://www.emptyhandstoopenarms.com.