Is the LORD among us, or not? Believing God for the impossible

One of the things that I’ve been doing lately was reading the many articles and blog posts about the state of marriages and relationships today.  While Christian singles have been all but abandoned by the churches, we also face a deteriorating culture that has ingrained poisonous ideas about masculinity and femininity into us, causing men to behave more like women, and women to behave more like men.

The net result is that our western world has become a veritable wasteland for any well meaning Christian who is seeking to marry a decent spouse equally devout in the faith.  To personally address this, I’ve read and received much advice about what I could do to make myself more attractive to women: how to talk, how to behave, how to dress, how to be more like a man, along with advice on where to look:  dating sites, singles groups, volunteering, going abroad and meeting foreign women, who to date, who not to date, what age range is acceptable, what age range is not acceptable, and on and on.

Most of it constructive, much of it sensible, but in all of that I kept wondering:  Where is God in all of this?  Is there an unspoken assertion out there that the LORD is sitting idly by while we continue to grope in the dark looking for that elusive pearl of great price?  Is He not a God of love and mercy?  Is it not in His power to make that search easier, especially as we draw nearer and nearer to the end times?

In my mind, I knew the truth of seeking God first before I could seek “her,”  but it’s one thing to know something intuitively, it’s quite another to actually LIVE it.

And while I was given a word and a vision, certainly enough to believe that there is indeed someone out there who would be my wife, the truth was, I didn’t really believe it.

I may have wanted to, but nothing I did afterward reflected this.  I simply did not live my life under the expectation that I would be meeting her soon.  Instead,  I wallowed in unbelief.

Many sins God will forgive, but unbelief is the sin that ultimately keeps us out of the Promised Land.  (Hebrews 3:12-18)  If He made a personal promise to me, then how can He reward me if I don’t believe it?

I was putting the cart before the horse.  I wanted to see something first, then I would start believing.  I needed some morsel of evidence to indicate that all was not lost, that despite the harrowing prospects of a single man my age, I could still end up happily married.  Just give me something, LORD, a little something to convince me she was real.

But the thing was, He did give me something:  His word.  That should have been enough.

And that’s when I finally understood: there’s a greater issue here than merely trying to find a wife in today’s climate, and learning to be more masculine.  I needed to believe God for the IMPOSSIBLE, and I’m sure you’d be hard convinced to find a more impossible scenario than the prospects of finding a godly mate in today’s world.  And yet this wasn’t about the impossibility of finding a mate and achieving a happy marriage anymore:  this was about my faith.

And our God, even our God is able to perform the impossible.  Even if I didn’t FEEL like it was going to happen, I still needed to ACT in faith that it would.  After all, faith isn’t about what you feel:  it’s about what you DO.

And while I feel my heart agonizingly ripping in half and sinking into the depths of despair, I have decided that I am not going to let my emotions dictate my actions.  Instead, I’m going to walk in faith, and trust God to do the impossible.   I will live my life as if she were just around the corner, so that when she finally does come, I’ll be ready to receive her.

Walk by faith, not by sight.

,

23 Responses to Is the LORD among us, or not? Believing God for the impossible

  1. Laceagate May 17, 2013 at 7:33 PM #

    Walking by faith will allow the right woman to spot you.

    • Frank Swift May 17, 2013 at 7:41 PM #

      The funny thing is that virtue alone can and does make a man more masculine (the right way.)

    • Laceagate May 17, 2013 at 8:16 PM #

      Men tend to have more gravitas than women, and women note those things. Even more so when you walk the talk. I understand how difficult it gets. I used to hear horror stories all the time.

  2. Laceagate May 17, 2013 at 9:04 PM #

    Though…a lot of men DO give themselves freely and without the expectation of anything in return, so I guess both are true. LOL

    • Frank Swift May 17, 2013 at 10:11 PM #

      Fixed the spelling for you, LOL

  3. Lisa in Vermont May 17, 2013 at 10:56 PM #

    I started praying for a husband when I was saved at age 16. I wanted to be a young bride, but I didn’t start dating my husband until I was 26 and we married when I was 27. I rarely was asked out in the interim despite being quite attractive. I think God was protecting me from putting myself in situations that could have led to sexual sin, given that I was insecure and probably would have caved in if pressured.

    God used my single years to heal me of certain emotional baggage that would have negatively affected my marriage. He also gave me the opportunity to devote myself fully to serving Him.

    I helped to start a large children’s ministries program at my church, which I later directed, requiring 5 to 10 hours a week of service. I also attended weekly prayer services, Bible studies, and of course, church services. I could have never done all of this once I was married. At that time, I scaled down my ministries work and I scaled it down even more once we had our first child.

    Perhaps you can find a way to live your life as a single man more purposefully as you wait upon the Lord to bring you your wife. At the very least, it would be a distraction. I’m sure there are a lot of ministries opportunities on LI. My little sister lives there and whenever I visit I notice that a lot of unhappy people seem to live there.

    • Frank Swift May 18, 2013 at 12:03 AM #

      Great story, and you still beat me by ten years. :)

      LI is a veritable wasteland unfortunately. I was just doing a cursory look at churches and singles group and… I can’t believe what I see. I think the important thing right now is to take this summer to improve my health, muscles (and clothes, tee hee) and through it all just walk by faith and go from there.

      Who knows, instead of being someone in church she could wind up being the fashion consultant who helps me pick out good clothes to wear at the mall. :)

  4. alcestiseshtemoa May 18, 2013 at 7:28 AM #

    Good post. Wish the best.

  5. alcestiseshtemoa May 18, 2013 at 7:40 AM #

    *A couple of tips if the foreign thing is in the cards*

    If you ever decide to go foreign: think seriously about expatriation (it’s little use to bring a woman back and she becomes corrupted by the culture around her) and don’t go on dating websites (go there in the flesh, travel there).

    There’s some scamming out there, and some dating websites may be more susceptible to this factor.

    If you want to learn another person’s language, try the software series “Transparent Language”. Here’s the link —> http://www.transparent.com/

    Or better yet, get a Nook language app at Barnes & Nobles (if you have a Nook).

    Just some tips I have. Hope it isn’t bad.

    • Frank Swift May 18, 2013 at 11:01 AM #

      Thanks for the tips! I think one of the reasons I hesitate in going abroad is because of my hearing problem, which makes learning new languages especially difficult (except for sign language of course.) Then there’s the matter of ensuring the technology wherever I moved is up to date along with the medical services I need, etc, etc. Ironically enough these things would be easier if I met someone already to help me assimilate into new surroundings. If this is the direction God wants me to go in though, I’m sure He’ll open the doors.

    • alcestiseshtemoa May 18, 2013 at 11:59 AM #

      Since you have hearing problems, visual stuff is better. Do you have any close friends you can travel with? It’s more secure (more security). Or you do prefer travelling alone?

      If this is the direction God wants me to go in though, I’m sure He’ll open the doors.

      God be with you.

    • Frank Swift May 18, 2013 at 12:26 PM #

      I have one best friend, but he hasn’t had occasion to travel outside the country yet. It would be ideal to roll with an experienced world traveler just to get my feet wet until I’m comfortable traveling on my own. I’d probably start with an English speaking country first (like the UK, or Australia). I’ve always wanted to visit the castles in Scotland too.

    • Frank Swift May 18, 2013 at 12:26 PM #

      God be with you.

      To you as well!

  6. Lunch May 19, 2013 at 3:13 PM #

    Thank you for writing this Frank. I think we are of similar age and this was just what I needed to read this morning. Finding a single christian woman does seem like the impossible these days.

    • Frank Swift May 19, 2013 at 3:36 PM #

      You’re welcome Lunch, I’m glad it encouraged you as well. :)

  7. chokingonredpillspills May 19, 2013 at 11:33 PM #

    I was told a long time ago that we’d know if we have the gift of celibacy. It wasn”t explained explicitly, but I figured it has something to do with a person’s sexual nature. I know I don”t have it. I’ve been longing for a spouse for a while. I find it extremely ludicous to be praying for one. Maybe I lack faith but I couldn’t get past the first few prayers before I throw in the towel.

    Living my life as if she’s just around the corner just doesn’t feel right with me. And after reading how much a relationship that is not working can be such a downer, I don’t really know if being in one is worth the few moments of bliss that love can bring.

    • Frank Swift May 20, 2013 at 1:19 PM #

      Choking:

      Paul was really specific, more specific than I had remember, stating that if one does not need to marry out of necessity, but has power over one’s will, he does well to be single.

      Now who among us that remain single can honestly say that? The drive is so strong that I suspect for many of us, it’s all we ever think about. The primary benefit Paul touts for remaining single is the lack of distraction, but if we’re preoccupied with the distraction of NEEDING to marry and have a spouse in our lives, then it defeats the entire purpose of remaining single.

      Living my life as if she’s just around the corner just doesn’t feel right with me.

      In my case I’ve been given a word to stand on, so I’m walking accordingly. What’s interesting is that unbelief is a self fulfilling prophecy of sorts. Because I didn’t believe, I stopped taking care of myself, stopped caring about how I looked in public, stopped caring about going out because, why bother, I’m not going to meet anyone. It colored everything I did. Now I’m trying to walk in faith, taking better care of myself, going out and learning to talk to people, trusting God to direct all my steps. It’s a process. Every step you take should be prayerfully taken.

      Good relationships and marriages are worth it. We’re not meant to be alone, but in that same vein, the things worth having in this world do not come easy. You have to fight for it.

  8. Hannah May 29, 2013 at 9:34 AM #

    Just one skim of your blog explains why you’re single. Maybe quit writing and you’ll find a woman. Good luck to you.

    • Frank Swift May 29, 2013 at 12:40 PM #

      Hannah, yep, you’ve got me all figured out, right?

  9. LongsPeakRunner July 11, 2015 at 11:35 PM #

    Your blog is awesome. The background images are great. I miss CO badly. Earlier, I believe I had blogged with you on the topic of dating single moms. You had posted a link on why you would not do it, and a lot of people responded (some positively, some negatively). I had posted that at the time I was “casually” dating a single mom knowing that the risks were high. I was taking a “wait-and-see” approach. Your response was to “tread lightly.”

    Since that time we broke up. I did turn to religion to deal with that while we were still together. As a Catholic, I like to use Lent as a focus of prayer and soul-searching. The “official” Lent comes in the spring. But I also like to go through my own version of “unofficial Lent” at other times of the year where I participate in it as if it were a real Lent but for my own praying purposes. I did that when dating the single mom.

    So we broke up. The single parenthood really was just too overwhelming, and she clearly did not have the energy and time to take our relationship to the next level. I am currently in FL. Needless to say, it opens up a new dilemma related to what you described. As a devout Catholic in his 40s, I would think it is my “Christian” responsibility to marry a single Catholic closer to my age (perhaps early 30s and up). But in North FL Catholics are generally rare and those who are single and closer to my age are divorced with children.

    The only women who are generally available around here without the complications of single motherhood are in their very early 20s and mainly Protestant. Most women of that age group prefer men their own age by far. But the population is large enough and the gender imbalance of more females than males here makes it easy to meet very young women.

    So that’s the dilemma. Is it ethical for a forty-something Catholic to date and marry a very young Protestant in her early 20s given the regional demographic constraints? I’ve turned to prayer for that. My gut tells me they are too young and should experience life first – perhaps get a masters degree and a few years work experience.

    So i went from one relationship with obstacles to a new situation – the age gap for a devout Christian. I am just not making this up. Some of those young women really are willing to go out despite my advanced age. It’s bizarre. As a Colorado mountain runner I still train that way, so I get to deal with the flirting at the local campus gym by those very young women. But as that what God really wants? I don’t know.

    • Frank Swift July 12, 2015 at 2:09 PM #

      Where is this local campus gym you speak of so I can make a mental note to go check it out myself while wearing speedos?

      Since I’m not Catholic I won’t pretend to be enthused about you trying to pick up some Protestant babe and turning her back to the mother church. But in terms of age differences, I have to say it really depends on the individuals. I have seen people marry with as much as 20 year age differences and apparently it seems to work for them, but it’s generally a bad idea. I once drew the interest of a 23 year old girl, and while we had a lot in common, you could tell there was too much of a generational gap to overcome, and she was much too immature, self-absorbed and naive about life for it to really work. I was the same way at that age, you just haven’t really lived long enough to have a clue about the real world, because high school and college are your only real life experiences then. I have co-workers now who are in their early twenties and so beautiful it makes my heart ache, but I can see our life experiences are just too far apart and vastly different for us to be able to relate to each other on any meaningful level. Not to say it couldn’t happen, but it’d have to be a really special kind of girl. The only reason I’d consider younger is because they are likely to have been never married with no kids, and on that level I have more in common with them than the thirtysomething women who are already on their second divorces with a long turbulent history of relationships. It is what it is.

      Ideally I’d love to meet a thirtysomething beautiful women who for whatever reason is also starting out late in life, having never married or had kids, and we could start our new life together on an equal footing. But we don’t live in an ideal world, so I don’t really expect that to ever happen.

      If the demographics are a problem, my first suggestion would be to invest your time and energy into relocating and a change of scenery, or, travel abroad and meet plenty of older women hailing from orthodox or Catholic backgrounds that will prove 100 times better company than your typical “me first” American woman.

      Good luck.

    • LongsPeakRunner July 12, 2015 at 10:16 PM #

      I can’t help but miss the Longs Peak Trail from the Ranger Station. In my prime I could run up partway to the keyhole route and hike quickly up the “ledges” with a heavy back pack in less than 3 hours. The scramble at the top was awesome. I could do the round trip in about 5 hours.

      I still workout year-round in FL as if I were training for the 14teeners. So I spend a lot of time in the gym doing cardio with cross-training: bike, treadmill, elliptical. I still play basketball. So I’m generally still in good shape.

      Needless to say, the workouts bring proximity to many college girls like here at FSU. Gold’s Gym is another one. Southern girls seem more approachable compared to out west for some strange reason (relative to the 90s). Although that may have changed. The FSU campus gym is one of the workout places.
      http://cmsimg.tallahassee.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=CD&Date=20100524&Category=FSVIEW05&ArtNo=100519028&Ref=V1&MaxW=300&Border=0&Being-Leach-

      But I know you are right. Some of the young women are very beautiful but could be narcissistic or plain mean like “Regina George” in “Mean Girls.” I am well aware of that. On the other hand, some are genuinely nice and easy to talk to – not mean at all. But their life experience is very limited which renders them unprepared for a serious relationship.

      I think I’ll just move back to AZ next summer unless God feels it is ok to get serious with one of them here – the young coeds. But I doubt that. Thanks for responding.

      I miss the Garden of the Gods 10 mi run and the Pikes Peak Ascent. I love the view above the A Frame. I showed my digital images of the panorama to Floridians many times.

  10. Frank Swift July 13, 2015 at 4:27 PM #

    Wow, and here i am thinking a 1 mile walk on flat terrain was an accomplishment. Guess I need to up my game.

    I definitely need to get out there and meet more people now that I’m in a new state. I’m hoping once and if I get a dog that will help too.

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes

Clicky