How Good Are You?

I recently flipped through my Bible-reading/prayer journal and found some things over the years that God had spoken to me. It's neat to look back and see what God was dealing with me about at certain times in my life. Now I can read those entries and appreciate them even more because they apply just as much, if not more, now as they did then.

Here's one from February 19, 2002 (seems like forever ago!):

"I could strive to be the best, to fulfill my dreams. I could fret about not being good enough in man's eyes. But when it's all said and done, all the attention will be on God. When I stand before Him in the end, the question won't be how good I was, but how effective I was in doing His will. Man's expectations pale in comparison to His will and opinion."

It is so easy to get your focus on doing in order to please people. People - if you haven't noticed - are very fickle. Their emotions and wishes flunctuate like ocean waves. You can never 100% please them. So what's the point in trying to fulfill their wishes all the time? The result is only stress and frustration on your part. But with God, there is no frustration. Or, at least, there shouldn't be.

I say shouldn't be because sometimes we work just as hard at pleasing God as we do people. We think that we have to earn His favor and acceptance by our actions. Yeah, our actions prove our faith and love for God, but they don't earn us anything. God's Word says that "it's not by works of righteousness that we have done," but it's according to His grace that He has saved us. If we can't earn our salvation, how could we possibly earn anything else? Your heart is what He wants first. As you give it to Him, the joy of serving Him - without the striving and stress - will follow. The life of a Christian was meant to be a joy, not a drudgery! Out of your love for Him will come the fulfillment of His will for you. You'll do the things He's called you to do and minister to the people He's assigned you to. You won't miss a step when your heart is set on Him!

As for the rest of the world, remember this: When you please God, you'll please the people who's opinion really matters. After all, in the end, you won't answer to them. You'll answer to God.

Love ya!



You're Beautiful

"You're Beautiful"
Beauty's defined in so many ways,
Sparkling gems and a pretty face,
But what God loves the most is the inward charm,
Of a gentle and quiet heart,
Of a gentle and quiet heart.
Dreams do come true when held by grace,
A heart fulfilled in the secret place,
Nothing to fear when love steps in,
For His glory's deep within,
For His glory's deep within.
You're beautiful, designed by the Father for this time and place,
You're beautiful, beauty on the outside is only a trace,
Of what He sees in You.
You're beautiful.
Faithful and gentle and good, your heart He knows so well,
Loving and patient and pure, treasures no soul could sell,
Make you lovely, make you His.
(c) 2007 Words and Music by Christa A. Heider

I wrote this song for my Canadian Bible School roomie as a wedding gift in June. Though it was meant for her specifically, it's true of all God's girls. We've talked about it before - the beauty on the inside is what's most important and most valuable. In fact, it's what determines the beauty on the outside - how you live. God told me the other day: "You're not truly beautiful until you're beautiful on the inside." Everything else is just temporary and superficial. REAL, genuine beauty can only be found on the inside of a person - a heart that desires the things of God.

You're beautiful!



Gracious Me!

"A gracious woman retains honor . . ." Proverbs 11:16

Have you ever seen a celebrity or wealthy heir who spent her time in the lime-light, yet didn't seem to have the foggiest idea how to act in public? They snubbed those who didn't live as they did, carried around grudges toward those who bested them, and demanded attention until they had turned into a childish, selfish brat. Beautiful on the outside, for sure, but about as lovely as a muddied, trampled flower on the inside. What are they missing? Grace.

Webster's defines gracious as "having or showing kindness, courtesy, charm, etc; merciful, compassionate; indulgent or polite to those held to be as inferiors." Seen much of that in Hollywood lately? I sure haven't. I see quite the opposite, in fact, and all because of a lack of the fear of God, the author of grace.

A gracious woman will stand out in the crowd. Perhaps they won't draw as much of attention with their boisterous antics at first, but in the end, the camera will move in their direction. Why? Because God promises to reward the outward beauty of grace that comes from a pure heart. Proverbs 11:16 says that a "gracious woman retains honor." If you're a gracious young woman, you'll hold in your constant possession honor from God and honor from others. Slander will be far less likely to find it's way into your home. You'll stand before great men and women who're looking for the principles you live by. Success will find you because you've put God first in your life. You may even attract people from the world because you're so fascinating in your opposite and constant gracious behavior. "Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she will be praised." (Proverbs 31:30)

Lately I have seen some very ungracious behavior from young women who are so famous that they could have amazing influence on those around them - for good. Instead, they flaunt their outward beauty, wealth, and allure to set a bad example. Purity in speech and actions is lost. I see they're lives fall apart as their marriages end, their money is wasted, and their names are stamped with "foolish." Their is nothing beautiful about it, no matter how much attention they receive.

There's just something so lovely about taking a gift to an elderly lady down the street. Or holding your peace when someone reviles you unjustly. Or spending your time in the heat of summer doing church work - even when the newspaper reporter is nowhere to be seen. I don't know about you, but I want these gracious characteristics to describe me. It's a process of letting grace beautify our lives and the lives of those around us. Let "gracious me!" be more than an exclamation of surprise; let it be your goal as a daughter of the God of Grace!




When Passion Meets Purity #2

When we think of purity, we automatically think of actions and lifestyles. But according to God, it's so much more than just acting right - it's believing and thinking right. Everything we do comes from what's on the inside of us. Your desire to act on something is birthed somewhere, and that somewhere it your heart! That's why Jesus says in Matthew 12:35, "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil things." The way you think will always determine how you act, make decisions, and live. Without question, the saying "garbage in, garbage out" is so true!

If we're going to live pure, we must first start by cleaning up the way we think. Proverbs 4:23 gives sound instruction to any Christian: "Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it flows the issues of life . . . " Your first step is to see the necessity of walking in purity - in every area of life. Look at it through God's eyes. You're a born again Christian with the nature of God on the inside of you, so living pure is a by-product of who you are. God sees you as a Pure Princess! Anything less is going against God's standards (that's called sin). So once you've committed to following Jesus, purity is not an option. From there you have the responsibility to "keep your heart." "Keep" means to protect, guard, and maintain. It's a constant, day-by-day thing. When I think of something being guarded, I picture a great city with high walls and armed soldiers standing above, keeping watch for potential invaders. Your heart is like that: a great city filled with treasure that requires the watch of God's Word and His Spirit to keep out anything that might harm it. Your duty is to keep God's Word and the Holy Spirit employed at your walls at all times. Washing your mind with God's Word, staying filled with the Holy Spirit, and being very picky about what comes through your eyes and ears is what's going to keep that wall strong. If your heart is protected from outside invasion so no foreign thoughts and desires are allowed in, it's easy to keep your fleshly passions under control. If there's no exposure to sin, and no tempting pictures to feed on, there's no room for ungodly passion to grow!

Here's your challenge, Princess. Look at your heart as something precious - something given to you by God with His purity inside. Feed it with things from Him, not things from this world. When a wrong thought comes, cast it down. Don't allow it to mature inside until it turns into action. Stay away from situations that would tempt you to stray. This is your position of offense against the enemy who would try to steal your innocence.

Purity is becoming a lost art. But you aren't of this world; you're a child of the most high God! Pressures may be hard, but you've got all the power you need to be different from those around you. The rewards of waiting in purity are great - far more beautiful than the temporary pleasure satisfying your desire now. Keep your mind and body beautiful - because beautiful is what you are.

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." Matthew 5:8



When Passion Meets Purity #1

Have you ever noticed how a person changes when they get passionate about something? Suddenly, the object of their affection is all they talk about. The once dull look in their eye turns to a gleam; the boring personality turns into animation. What you thought was going to be an easy-going conversation has turned into a one-sided commentary on their new-found love. Yeah, that would be passion.

Passion doesn't happen overnight, though. It's not something that you suddenly wake up with. It's something that grows - slow or fast - over time. It's a result of focus on something or someone. A cool saying is, "Desire follows your pursuit." The more you focus on something, the more you desire it. It's a snow-ball affect. Everytime you give attention to that someone or something, the desire for it grows until it's full-grown passion. It now consumes every part of you.

Probably the most familiar example of passion is the affection between a guy and a girl. You know, you meet someone and you think he's cute. You communicate a little bit more over the next few days, and you begin to like him. Then he does something really sweet - and whoa! - you've got a crush! The next stage is total mental obsession. He's all you think about and you can hardly wait to be with him. As the relationship grows closer, your desire for that person increases. Where it goes from there is a matter of integrity. Will it blossom into love that carefully guards purity? Or will it dive full-speed ahead into uncontrolled passion that's moving toward compromise?

Staying pure mentally and physically is a challenge in our culture. But it's not impossible. The key is getting so passionate about God that all other passions yield to His purity. There's a purity about God-passion that burns like a fire on the inside, beautifying and refining your desires from the inside out. For any developing Princess, it's a must.

We'll chat more on this later!



Mamma's Day

I'm not a mom (do children's church kids count?), but I do plan on being one eventually. Thinking about it, though, can be a little intimidating. Suddenly you're given the responsibility of a new life - one whose future greatly depends on how well you care and train them. Will they reach their full potential in life? Will they come to know Jesus at an early age, and choose to live for Him always? Will they develop a correct, God-inspired image of themselves? Makes you thankful for the effort your parents put into training you!

Proverbs 31:28, 29 says of the virtuous wife and mother: "Her children rise up and call her blessed ; her husband also, he praises her, 'Many daughters have done well, but you excel them all.'"

I don't know about you, but I want so badly to hear those words one day! And the best way to ensure that we do is to honor the mother that God has given us. What goes around comes around. So on this Mother's Day, do your best to love and respect your mother. Rise up and call her blessed. If you don't have a mother around to enjoy, show appreciation to another woman in your life who has helped guide you and set an example for you. Really, the best way you can do that isn't by ONLY your words and gifts. It's by following their example, and living out the wisdom they've invested into you.

So, hey, moms, have a blessed Mother's Day! And for all you "mother-wanna-bes," don't take your future lightly! There's some kiddos whose lives you're going to touch in an awesome way one day - and a husband whose going to think you're the greatest!

Bye for now!


Bold Strides

"Let us therefore come boldly before the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:16

She tip-toed up to the ornate doorway and peered ever-so-carefully around the corner. He was there, sitting regally upon his throne, sorting through legal documents. An aid stood at his side, willing to do whatever was asked of him. The King looked busy for sure. But would he welcome her? She slipped away from the door and tried to gather the courage to actually walk in. Maybe if she smiled really big. Or maybe bowed low as she entered. Maybe she should have brought a gift. Two steps forward and . . . no, she just couldn't do it. What if he was angry at her? What if he scolded her in front of his aid? Lips quivering, she slipped away from the door once more.

Ever thought your dad was in a bad mood and you were afraid to walk into his room to ask for something? Intimidated would describe it well. Or scared. But how may decent fathers would actually like the idea that they intimidated you? My dad wouldn't. In fact, he'd be pretty sad if he thought I didn't want to be around him because I didn't have confidence in his love for me. The Bible says God is no different. There have been some wonderful fathers that have lived, but God far surpasses even those examples. Unlike humans, He's perfect and consistent in His temperament and decision making.

So let's say you disobeyed your dad's instructions and went out with friends Friday night anyway. But as you drove home, your conscience kicked in. You felt horrible! You wanted to make it right. As you walked through the front door, you mom met you with "that look." "Your dad's waiting for you in the study," she said. Yes, you wanted to apologize, make amends. But you also feared his reaction. To go into the study might result in something very unpleasant.

There's always discipline for wrong-doing. But there's also forgiveness. A loving father would correct, but yet welcome the chance to fellowship with his daughter again. God is just the same. If it's unnatural to be intimidated by your earthly Father, why should we feel nervous around our heavenly Father, who is perfect and loving in every way? "Come boldly!" He says. "Let me help you with your need." God's mercy and forgiveness is constantly available to us. All we have to do is have the confidence to ask for it. Stride in as if you belonged in His presence (which you do!), and let Him give you "mercy and grace to help." It's either that or stay cowering in your room, miserably aching for what is just a conversation away. You've been made "perfectly acceptable" in God's Kingdom! Bad behavior or not, the King is waiting for you to come in!

Taking a deep breath, she forced her feet forward. Then, lifting her head, she stepped through the door and strode across the marble floor. "Dad, I have something to tell you." The King's head lifted from his work. At the sight of her, he dropped his papers as a smile transformed his once pensive face. "Daughter, come in!"

Ciao . . . until next time!


Crazy 'Bout You

I had a birthday recently, and got this card from my grandparents that I really liked. Read on . . .

"God is crazy about you!
He doesn't just love you a little,
He doesn't just think you're sort of special --
the God of the universe is head-over-heels,
deeply, truly, forever-and-ever in love with you.
You're special, you're loved, you are YOU --
and the world is blessed to have you in it!"

The cool thing is, God doesn't just think you're special on your birthday; He knows you're incedibly special every day. His love isn't dependant on His mood (praise God!), and He loves you with everything He has. Think about it! How big is God? He loves you with all of that! (Don't know about you, but that's hard for my mind to fathom!) And if your parents give up on you, your best friend treats you like dirt, and your boyfriend dumps you for another girl, God's love is still constant.

Romans 8:35-39 is one of my favorite passages that talks the greatness of God's love. The bottom line is: there is NOTHING that can separate us from God's love. Even the worst of your problems can't put a distance between you and your Heavenly Father's love. No sickness, persecution, or attacks from the devil could put a dent in God's supply of love toward you. Girl, what more could you need? His love alone is enough for you . . . and His love alone is what's going to get you through whatever problem or insecurity you may have. On top of that, God's love makes you a blessing to everyone around you! Whether they recongize it or not, it's true. Believe it!



What Are You Thinkin'?

We live in a world that loves to play with your imagination. Billboards, magazines, malls, movies . . . all scream for your attention in bright colors, wild graphics, and catchy titles. Images galore crowd your brain and make you crave more until -- whoa! -- sensory overload! God gave us our senses so we can enjoy being alive (could you imagine going through life without tasting incredible food dishes or seeing things in color?). Unfortunately, though, a lot of what we see anymore feeds our flesh and doesn't draw us closer to God. That's when we have the challenge of "girding up the loins of our mind."

Okay, so that's not a phrase you hear everyday. Let's look at I Peter 1:13: "Therefore, gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ." The "loins of your mind" is your imagination - where ideas and pictures are birthed. We're being instructed here to "gird" them up, to get a grip on what we're allowing to be created and birthed in our minds. In verse 15, God instructs us to be holy as He is holy. In a nutshell, whatever our imagination and thoughts come up with should be pleasing to God.

If you're at all like me, this is a day to day challenge. One little picture I see could send my creative mind on a bunny trail from God's truth to a fleshy little mental rampage. Or some frustrating incident or word spoken from someone else gets my mind thinking negative thoughts. Ugh! What do you do when those temptations come? Cast them down! 2 Corinthians 10:5: ". . . casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ . . ." In other words, tell the thoughts to get lost before it gets a grip on your mind and sticks there permanently!

I have a list of verses that I speak over myself every day. One of those is Philippians 4:8: "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there be any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy, meditate [think] on these things." Wow, that just narrowed down your thought life options! Think you can't think anymore? Maybe it's time for a brain bath!

Test yourself. Are you thinking on . . .
Whatever is true: Is the based on something that is real and honest, filled with truth?
Whatever is noble: Is it fitting for a daughter of the King of Kings?
Whatever is just: Is it imagining what is right and good toward someone who may or may not deserve it?
Whatever is lovely: Is it pleasant for you and others to think about?
Whatever is of good report: Is it something you would feel comfortable sharing with everyone you come in contact with?
Whatever is virtuous: Is it filled with God's character?
Whatever is praiseworthy: Is it worth God, you , and anyone else making a big deal about?

Thought-provoking, huh? One of the best things you can do is guard what comes in first through television, movies, and other media. Your "filter" ought to be in tip top shape from the get-go! After that, nip any ungodly thought in the bud by refusing to let it grow and give birth to actions and beliefs that are contrary to God's Word. Suddenly you'll find your life cleaner and far less confusing than the person whose mind is filled with the ugliness of this world!

Think beautiful, Princess!



No Greater Love

"Greater love has no man than this . . . "

Port Royal, Jamaica, 1682

Chilling gusts of wind sent ocean sprays across the harbor, sprinkling the city's auction square as if to forewarn of a coming storm. The sky was overcast with gray, the sea dark and agitated. Not a speck of sunlight hinted at scattering the gloom that hovered over the city. A tall man strode from a nearby warehouse and across the square. He stepped onto the auction platform and slowly rotated to pierce the crowd with his gaze. If his countenance were not so dark and foreboding, he would have been considered handsome. But his features were too contorted with greed and cruelty to be worthy of such a compliment.

Not waiting for an introduction, he spun suddenly and clapped his hands toward the warehouse. "Bring her!"

Collectively the waiting crowd took a step backward as a girl was shoved across the threshold of the warehouse building. The girl staggered up the steps to the platform, and was jerked upright by the firm grip of her master. She was dressed in a ridiculously frilly gown meant to distract from her mass of tangled hair, bare feet, and thin figure. Here face was as pale as the whitecaps along the coastline, and her hands trembled with fever.

"Ladies and gentlemen," the slave owner bellowed, "I have here a young lass quite accustomed to hard labor. Now, who will give me fifty - and no less!"

The bid began to rise little by little until it reached one hundred and twenty-five. "You won't stop there, will you, folks?" he hollered again. "What's a mere one-fifty for the work you'll get in return, hey?"

One timid hand raised from the center of the crowd. But when the auctioneer tried to push it to one hundred and seventy-five, he was met with blank stares. Trying to keep his irritation from showing, he pushed the girl forward, nearly sending her toppling from the platform. He opened his mouth to shout, "Sold!" but the words didn't have time to escape his mouth.

"I will give you two-fifty, Hulin," came a voice near him.

There was such authority in his voice that even the slave girl was prompted to lift her aching head to peer at him from beneath her ratty crown of hair. Several feet from her master stood two well-dressed men, looking quite like father and son.

Hulin began to shake with rage as he faced him. This man of integrity had never ceased to be thorn in his side. "Who will oppose this man's bid and give me two-seventy-five?"

But no one made a move to raise the bid. The price was far too unreasonable.
Hulin, his face now purple with frustration and anger, leaned forward and shouted at his opponent, "I will not give her to you, you dirty--"

"I will give you four hundred," the man said calmly, yet with the same intensity.
Hulin spat on the ground. "Never, you conniving fool!"




"I will never--"


"Enough!" Hulin grabbed the girl and tossed her like a rag doll toward several more downcast slaves. "Take her away!"

Suddenly the second man, almost forgotten, stepped forward to talk quietly in his father's ear. The older gentleman's face turned pale. "Are you certain, Joshua?"

"I'm certain, Father."

The father's jaw worked with the struggle that lay before him. "I will come for you," he promised. "He will not have you forever."

"You will care for her?" his son pressed.

"Just as I'd care for you."

The two exchanged a long, binding look. Then Joshua ran forward and cried, "Stop!" He snatched the girl up and swiftly carried her to his father. He faced Hulin with his chin high and his eyes darkened with the mission that beckoned him. "I will take her place."

Hulin's unyielding demeanor relaxed as his mouth dropped in astonishment. Finally he recollected himself and smiled maliciously at the thought of separating his rival from his very flesh and bone. "Well, my boy, I think we have a deal. Take him away!"

Before Hulin's man could reach him, Joshua stooped down where the girl had fallen in a heap. Gently he lifted her and placed her in his father's arms. Again the two shared a look of which they alone knew the meaning. The next moment he was dragged away to a fate the crowd could only imagine.

". . . than a man lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13

He did it for you!


(Excerpt taken from a short story, "Bound by Love." Copyright 2001 by Christa Heider.)


The Ultimate Date

People think it strange that I've never been on a date with a guy (I'm waiting to share that event with that "special one"). But when I think about it, I've been on thousands of dates . . . with the #1 love of my life, Father God.

If you've ever been on a date, or ever intend to, the logical assumption is that you'll be giving that person your 100% attention. Just you and him with (preferably) no interruptions. It's a time of getting to know each other, and sharing what's most important to you. That's what we want, right? But what if this happened: You planned the date and for a week you looked forward to it. You couldn't stop talking about it with your friends. Your heart started beating faster any time that special someone was mentioned. Then, excitement rising, the night arrives. You get dressed up and meet him at your decided date location. But to your confusion and chagrin, you find him distracted and disinterested. He won't respond much to your attempted conversation topics. His eyes stray from yours and off in the corner somewhere. He doesn't seem to be focused on the date at all - like he wishes he could be somewhere else. You ask him what is wrong, but he simply shrugs it off with, "Oh, nothing, nothing."

If you ask me, that's not a date! More like a waste of time. But you know what? We often do the same thing to God in our prayer times with Him (assuming you have one on a daily basis!). I don't know how many times I've set aside time in the morning to spend time with Him, only to find my mind wandering off in a million directions. The result? A very unfocused conversation. (Aren't you glad God doesn't do that to you?)

Our times in the Secret Place with our Abba Father should be no different than a date we have arranged with our boyfriend. If we are to expect our guy to pay attention to us, how much more should God expect us to pay attention to Him? Our relationship with Him is infinitely more important. Psalm 27:8 says, "When You said, 'Seek My face,' my heart said to You, 'Your face, Lord, I will seek.'" When you seek someone, you focus on them. You look them in the eye and study them. You want to know and understand what they're saying. Absorb everything you can. Wow! If we gave God that kind of attention, could you imagine what kind of things He could communicate to us? It would be life-changing!

I look forward to my first date with my potential husband to be. But until then, I'm going to keep seeking God's face. I'm going to strive to give Him the focus He deserves. I want to know everything about Him as He knows everything about me. And one day, my guy is going to appreciate my honed listening skills!



Cuddle Me

I'm not an extremely emotional person, but when I get really tired, I get cranky and/or far more emotional than I normally am (hey, don't tell me you've never been there!). Then there are times when things seem to be more than I want to handle, and I want to give up. Those are times when I wish I could be a kid again and have someone sit down and cuddle me. Twenty-five or not, a little comfort just seems to be in order! Friends and family aren't an "ever present help in time of trouble," however. But God is.

I've had conversations with God that go something like this:

"God, I just don't want to do this anymore!" (in utter exasperation)

"I know." (tenderly)

"It's too hard!" (with a heavy sigh)

"I know you feel that way." (with strength and confidence)

"What am I going to do?" (a whine turned to tears)

Then it's like God tips my chin, looks me squarely in the eye, and says, "Christa, I love you. I'll always be here for you - in every situation. And because of this, you can do it. I've given you everything you need. You've got everything it takes. Now be strong in Me."

There's a whole lot of love, and a whole lot of correction in that cuddle! In essence He's saying, "Nothing can separate you from My love!" And then He gives me the strength I need by means of a little reminder to trust Him completely.

Now don't get the idea that God is unsympathetic with with our needs. On the contrary, the Bible says that He cares about the birds' next meal, so how much more will He take care of us? But a cuddle that simply makes us feel good doesn't necessarily fix the problem - any more than a mother's kiss will get rid of a cut's sting. That's what's so awesome about God! He can wrap us up in the most pure, gentle love in one moment, and be firm in His answer to our problem in the next. He does it in such a way that you always sense His constant, tender mercies. Yet there is strength in His confidence that you can depend on. What better cuddle could you ask for?

". . . He will quiet you with His love . . ." Zephaniah 3:17



I'll Find Him With You IIII: The Guy

I know it's tempting to think, "With these kind of standards, I'll never get married! I don't know any guys who live like this!" Guess what? There are guys out there who are worth the wait. In our culture, they seem to be getting a little harder to come by, but they do exist. I've met some of them. In fact, one of those guys is my brother. Both of us were working on similar songs at the same time, but we didn't have a clue what each other's lyrics were. We finished our songs and compared notes . . . and found they held the same priority and values. We had never discussed this topic before! "Yeah," you might say, "but you grew up together!" Very true. But the fact still remains - there ARE guys out there who's hearts are set on God's best.

Hide and Seek
I could search forever for the perfect girl,
But the one reserved for me, yeah, she the best in the world,
So I'll close my eyes and count to three,
And wonder who's awaiting me,
I know that I will find the one someday.
You hide, and I'll seek His face,
'Cause I know good things come to those who wait.
You hide; I'll seek, and I know someday I'll find you.
Grace is one in a million, and virtue's hard to find,
But when I know Who's leading me, I leave my fears behind,
So I'll close my eyes and count to three,
And wonder what's in store for me,
Enjoy the ride, 'cause He is in control.
I'll close my eyes and count to three,
And wonder what's awaiting me,
Until true love is meant to be,
I'll trust the Lord in ev'rything,
I'll close my eyes and seek His face,
And watch the pieces fall in place,
And by His grace I know I'll find the one.
(c) 2007 Words and Music by Tim Heider/SoundMind Music

Cool, huh? If you'll notice in my first posting on this topic (I'll Find Him With You: The Song), the common denominator between our songs is seeking God. See, God's not limited in anything. He knows this world and who's in it upside down and sideways. If He could create the world and orchestrate everyone's lives in it, how could He go wrong bringing you and your future mate together? What He's looking for is two people who's lives are sincerely focused on Him. Two lives who are willing to believe that trust is the constant and time is the variable. If you're willing to follow God's perfect plan for your life in every detail, you will find yourself at the right place at the right time. And suddenly Mr. Right will be knocking at your door!

As the last article on "I'll Find Him With You," I want encourage you -- trust God to be your matchmaker. He knows you and your future mate better than anyone else. And He loves you, His daughter and Princess, far more than any man ever could!



I'll Find Him With You III: The Standard

"Girls are like apples on trees. The best ones are at the top of the tree. The boys don't want to reach for the good ones because they're afraid of falling and getting hurt. Instead they get the rotten apples from the ground that aren't as good, but easy. So the apples up top think that something's wrong with them when in reality they're amazing. They just have to wait for the right boy to come along - the one who's brave enough to climb all the way to the top of the tree."

Okay, so now you feel a little more confident about being single. You're willing to wait for God's best, and enjoy the season you're in right now. But guess what - the challenge isn't over! YOU might be content, but there are guys out there that aren't. If you've been around a few years, you've probably discovered that you "attract" guys that aren't quite your type. Or maybe you just REALLY like a guy, but you're not sure if he's the right one. How do you know if you should even allow yourself to like him? That's when standards are a must! Standards are guidelines that you set for yourself (based on God's Word), and are totally unwilling to compromise. They keep you from making decisions that are going to hurt you. Let's look at couple that definitely can't be compromised if you want to follow God's plan toward God's best.

Standard #1: He's got to be a Christian!
This may seem like a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised how many girls are willing to ignore this one. "I'm in love!" they say, and then go ahead with their plans. And they suffer for it. Why? Because you're trying to mix God with the world, and the two DON'T mix. I Corinthians 6:14 says, "Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?" Not only will you be disobeying God, but you're opening yourself to misery. He'll either influence you to lose your faith, or you'll spend years regretting that you never fulfilled God's plan for your life. Yikes! Don't go there!

Standard #2: He's got to be the Leader!
I don't know about you, but a weak guy really gets to me. One that won't take responsibility for his own life definitely couldn't take responsibility for mine. Check out Ephesians 5:22, "Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord." Submitting doesn't mean that you have to crawl at his feet like a lowly servant. It simply means that you recognize his leadership role, and are willing to defer to his decision-making. But if a guy doesn't have the character, willingness, or the strength to lead your home in every area, you're going to have a hard time submitting. Your role as a wife is very important! But a role as wife AND husband just doesn't work!

Standard #3: He's got to have the same Standards!
Personality and taste differences between you is a given. Though you'll have your similarities in interests and gifts, God often puts opposites together to balance each other out. But "opposite" does not mean different standards. For instance, both of you may be saved, but one of you may condone a little drinking, and the other have a strong conviction against it. Or maybe the type of movies you watch could vary. Just make sure that you're going in the same direction with your life. The call of God on your lives and the convictions you hold should flow together, not against each other. And remember, a person's personal life - what they do for entertainment, who they hang out with, etc. - say a lot about the person.

I've had guys like me, and have had to make decisions outside of my emotions. It's hard sometimes, huh? Especially when you like them a lot. But in the long run, it's worth it. It saves you from heartache and giving up something that's precious to both you and your Heavenly Father. And I promise, your future mate is going to be SO pleased that you kept your standards - for him and him alone!

You can do it, Princess!