Making a List: Why You Need To Know Your Standards

My mom said I should write this post to show people that it’s ok and important to have standards when it comes to dating and what type of person you want to be interested in, I’ve put it off however because it felt like a silly thing to write.

While I still feel a bit self-conscious putting this out there, I’ve thought about it and decided it was a good thing to do because people sometimes misunderstand what I mean by having standards. There are people who are going to settle for less, and making sure you choose a person who is going to help you get to heaven, and you can represent the relationship with Christ and the church with is important.

Standards are great! However, let’s be honest, it’s easy to let them slip for some people.

We can get distracted by beauty, by flowery words, or just simply by the fact that someone finally likes us back, and suddenly whether or not someone is a strong Christian or has any of the same life goals as you doesn’t seem so important anymore… but it still is.

Two years ago at camp, they had the girls and the boys write a list of things they were looking for in a future partner, this was after studying men and women of the Bible and their good and negative characteristics.

Overall, people wrote down really good things, although there was a rumor that one boy missed the point and just put “blonde” and “pretty” on his.

I still have my list, I recently updated it because I keep learning about what I don’t want in a relationship which also helps me realize what I do want in the future.

I’ve used that list since then.

One time, my siblings didn’t understand why I didn’t like a guy back, and I let them pull out my list and go through it and add a check to each of the traits he had… he scored 2 out of 13, and my siblings suddenly understood why I didn’t like him back when they saw that he wasn’t what I needed.

What do I have on my list?

-A strong Christian. My list is pretty short compared to a lot of people’s I’ve seen, but that’s because I group things under one thing, so when I say strong Christian, I’m also thinking of a lot of traits strong Christians have like: evangelistic, studies their Bible daily, prays daily if not more (hopefully more), looks for ways to serve, involved in their congregation, respectful of parents and biblical authority figures, faithful, etc. 

-A leader. I’m looking for a someone that will be a spiritual leader in our future home, that’s very important to me as someone who is working on being the type of girl that can be led and can submit in the biblical way (Ephesians 5:22) so I’m not going to put myself under the leadership of someone who I don’t think is a leader or is fit to be one.

-Honest/above reproach. 1 Timothy 3:2

-Driven/will be able to support a family. I want to have kids, to home school, and be able to provide them a good education with good opportunities so it’s important to me to find someone that is driven enough to finish school, get a good job, and to work hard with me to support and raise our kids. 

-Goal-oriented. 

-Socially adept (or at least strives to be). I am an introvert, but it’s really important to me to be a friendly one, so I always try to push myself to get out there and talk to people. The problem is when I meet other introverted guys who aren’t trying, and then I look up and they’re keeping me in a corner at events and I don’t want that. I need someone that I can get out there and work on being more social with, not someone that is going to hold me back with them. 

-Wants to homeschool. 

-Kind to everyone, especially children. 

-Will be a good father figure. 

-Dependable. 

-A protector and provider. 

-Is introspective. 

-Someone I can grow as a Christian and a person with. 

Before I go on, I’d like to take a second and address the double standard that often happens when making lists like these… don’t be a hypocrite, if you want a strong Christian, you better be a strong Christian yourself. 

Let’s say that I was super arrogant and prideful and then I started saying that I would only date guys if they had the utmost humility and the meekest demeanor, that would be a bit hypocritical, right? People would look at me and think “Wow, she needs to look in the mirror and realize the double standard she’s setting in her mind.” Because here I am expecting people to date me, when I wouldn’t even date someone like me, the same goes for personality and other characteristics.

I can’t be super prideful and then put humble on my list of “must-haves”, that’s just bad logic because then I need to look into the mirror and realize that I wouldn’t even date myself.

I think that’s an important question to ask, am I the type of person that the person I’m looking for would want to date? 

And if your answer to that is no, then you have much more important things to think about and work on than finding a significant other. 

I want to date a strong Christian, however, would a strong Christian want to date me? I can’t be worldly and expect to catch the attention of a strong Christian when in reality no strong Christians would date a worldly girl. 

Back at camp that year, a similar statement was made to us:

“If you want a Boaz, you first got to be a Ruth.”

That’s true, and vice versa.

I’d encourage you to make a list of your own!

-Read Ruth and write down all of the characteristics of both Boaz and Ruth.

-Read and Proverbs 31, 1 Timothy 2:9-15, and Ephesians 5: 22-33 to check yourself.

-Really think about what’s really important to you and what you can’t settle on.

What’s on your list?

Stop Letting Politics Pervade the Church

Hey all, how has everyone been?

Currently, I’ve been very discouraged about several things, I also have been currently wanting to go live underground until the election is over and done with.

Everything is so politically charged right now, it permeates our conversations with fear and hostility to anyone who doesn’t share your same views. While politics are important, we forget about the bigger picture when we are focused on such earthly things like what man are we going to pretend is actually in control over anything for the next four years when God has always been.

In a season where people seem to care more about if you’re liberal or conservative than whether or not you’re a strong and faithful Christian, I’d like to say these few words: It is not the most important. We are not put on this earth for politics. 

“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.”-Timothy 4:2

Preach the word, not your political options.

If we let earthly things such a politics divide and discourage us as Christians, what are we showing the world? 

We are here to fight a different battle, stop fighting soldiers that are on your side. 

“No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.”-2 Timothy 2:4

“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”-1 Thessalonians 5:11

Politics from the pulpit is not edifying, politics in the pews is not encouraging. 

In the end, this world is not our home. No, there is nothing wrong with being patriotic, but don’t forget where your real citizenship lies.

For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,”-Philippians 3:20

Let’s stop losing sight of the bigger picture, we don’t belong in this world, we are not of this world. Let’s stop acting like we are.

These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.

And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.

But now they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.”-Hebrews 11:13-16

A friend told me that my blog posts were so short that they were pretty much Facebook posts, and I guess that since today I mentioned politics it fits in even more into Facebook, except I didn’t tell you that you were a stupid, immoral person if you didn’t vote for the person I’m voting for and there were no immature memes.

I’m sorry that my posts are so short and not in-depth, but if I pretended that I knew everything and rambled on like I had more to say, I would just be wasting both of our time, so Facebook post or not, this is all I’ve got.

Don’t Look Back

“When the morning dawned, the angels urged Lot to hurry, saying, “Arise, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be consumed in the punishment of the city.”

And while he lingered, the men took hold of his hand, his wife’s hand, and the hands of his two daughters, the Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city.

So it came to pass when they had brought them outside, that he said, “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be destroyed.”-Genesis 19:15-17

…And the Lord said unto him… (8)

When I was younger, I used to wonder what Lot’s wife’s last thought was before she turned to a pillar of salt. 

All she wanted was one look, whether it was curiosity or grief over the life she was leaving behind, she glanced over her shoulder and was immediately punished for her choice to disobey and look back.

Before she looked back, did she feel the heat on her back from the fire?

Did she hear screams? The sound of a city being rained on with fire and brimstone cannot be pleasant.

All it took was one look back for her to never come back. 

In Exodus 14, we see the Israelites finally leaving Egypt led by Moses, they’re finally free from the suffering they endured at the hands of the Egyptians. 

Then, comes the dust rising in the distance.

What’s that sound? The sound of six hundred chariots racing towards them, hooves pounding the ground.

The sound of Pharaoh’s heart hardening, as he sends an army to recapture the Israelites.

Much like Lot’s wife, the people forgot to not look back.

“And when Pharaoh drew near, the children of Israel lifted their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians marched after them. So they were very afraid, and the children of Israel cried out to the Lord. 

Then they said to Moses, “Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you so dealt with us, to bring us up out of Egypt? Is this not the word that we told you in Egypt, saying, ‘Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness.””-Exodus 14:10-12

Moses reassures the people that God is with them and He will fight for them, and they kept going forward. 

Fast-forward a few chapters, things got harder for them, they were tired and hungry, how could they not look back?

“And the children of Israel said to them, “Oh, that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat and when we ate bread to the full! For you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.””-Exodus 16:3

They lost their perspective on how far they had gotten.

Sometimes things get worse before they get better.

I felt like I lost so much when I became a Christian, so many old friends stopped talking to me or the friendships just weren’t the same because I had changed so much. I gave up my pride and admitted that I was wrong about pretty much everything. It was a hard transition. 

There’s a saying I heard once, and I remember liking it a lot when I was younger, and I used to say it to myself whenever I missed the congregation I had spent the majority of my childhood in, and it went something like this:

“The good ole days… but when you really look back, you realize they weren’t so good.” 

You know when things are just so bad that you have to make the mediocre good in your mind in order to cope?

Then, you get out of those bad situations, and the change and uncertainty of it all rattles you, and you look back and you remember the mediocre that you changed to gold in your mind, and you start to romanticize the past.

Maybe what I left wasn’t that bad, you start to think.

I could have fixed it.

I should have just lowered my standards and accepted it. 

It wasn’t that bad.

And with those doubts, you look back. 

With bittersweet things like walking away from things no longer meant for you, too often we forget that there’s a sweet that comes after the bitter.

I don’t know about you, but in so many areas I am bad at glancing back over my shoulder.

They weren’t real friends, but at least I used to have a group I felt like I truly belonged in as long as I just ignored everything else. 

He wasn’t the one, but he liked me, what if no one ever likes me again?  

I know that wasn’t the truth, but it’s so hard, I wish I could just go back and stop feeling so isolated. 

In so many things and ways, I often feel lost, and I fight the urge to look back, ran back to the familiar, but I’m not lost, I just simply haven’t reached my destination yet, and that’s ok.

I think about the words Moses said to the people of Israel as the chariots approached and fear seized their hearts as the past seemed so much stronger than the future:

““Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.””-Exodus 14:13-14

Do not be afraid.

Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.

The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.

What beautiful words.

Don’t be afraid. Stand still. See. 

See that God’s plan for you is greater than anything you could possibly come up with yourself.

Are you obeying Him and His word?
Are you where you should be?
Or are you looking back, holding onto a past that you have been called out of, or one that was simply never for you.

Another account in the Bible of someone, who, like Lot’s wife and like the Isrealites, looked back. And like Lot’s wife, he stayed back, and how heartbreaking it is to read about someone who just couldn’t let go.

“And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.

And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.

And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.

Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.

And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.

And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”-Luke 9:57-62

Just like other situations, when you become a Christian, you are called to be transformed (Romans 12), you are called into newness of life (Romans 6:4),  the old life is behind you.

So, if you’re reading this and feeling discouraged and tired after pressing onward in order to obey God and His word in whatever aspect of your life, I have three words for you: 

Don’t look back. 

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”-2 Corinthians 5:17