Today is Father’s Day. As I browsed Facebook this morning I saw all kinds of messages like, “Happy Father’s Day to all the men handling their responsibilities!” “Shout out to the real men doing their thing as a Dad!” So okay, there is not necessarily anything wrong with these statements, but let me be real here. (In my Jonathon voice) “Can I be real, real son?” Women are upset about their baby’s daddy who doesn’t pay child support, doesn’t pick the kid(s) up when he says he will, and isn’t any kind of role model. Hmmmmn…
Alright ladies, it’s time to dive in. Grab your life jacket and your sun block. You want a man that will be a great father to your children? You want someone that will help you to raise your kids? Wait on God. Yep. Wait on God. Although it may not be fun to wait on God and do things His way. It is the best way to get what you really desire out of a relationship, what God desires for you: Love and companionship – someone to share the joys and pain of life and parenthood.
God has asked us to abstain from sex until we are married. Why would he do that? That’s no fun! The thing is, God is less concerned with our fun, and more concerned with the condition of our hearts. God does not like to see his children hurt. He does not like to seem them struggle. He has created order to help avoid heartache. Please let me insert that marriage is not heartache free. Marriage is not perfect. Marriage is however, a safe space to share, be weak, grow strong, and learn to love deeply.
For those who do not know me personally, I have been married to a wonderful man for four years. Jon and I met in May of 2009. We were married in August of 2009. Lol You read it right. We met and married inside of two months. Everyone thought we were crazy, but we didn’t, and we were certain that God didn’t either. We felt confident because we had both waited on God to bring the right person into our lives. It was a totally unexpected meeting at a graduation.
Rewind to 2007. I moved to Fayetteville, North Carolina. I knew no one in Fayetteville, but God I trusted God and he made provisions. I knew God wanted to change me, but I didn’t know how He was going to do it, or what I needed to do first. I had just gotten out of a four year relationship. I was sad and lonely, yet rejuvenated and free. In the first five months I found a church home and began going to church regularly; Sunday and Wednesday. I figured if I wanted to know God’s plan for me, I should go to His house. I felt like I was growing spiritually, but I had not given myself completely. I had not put all of my heart’s desires into God’s hands. I still thought I could do things in my power – SELF control. *chuckle* I was wrong. I got into a brief relationship that had some pieces of a Christ centered relationship; couples Bible study, prayer, no sex. The relationship was not Christ centered though, and we soon fell prey to our flesh. After this relationship ended, I stumbled back upon the book, Your Knight in Shining Armor by P.B. Wilson. The book encourages women to build a closer relationship with God by eliminating other distractions. “In order for this book to be effective, you need to take out your metal hammer, nails, and ply wood. Build a wall around your life and hang out a sign that reads, ‘Under Construction for Six Months.’ Why six months? It takes about six months to get to know someone really well. And you’ll want to spend that period of time with your True Husband: For your Maker is your Husband – the Lord Almighty is his name – the Holy one of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth (Isaiah 54:5)” (Wilson, 14). Now before you get jumpy, I must say that I tried this once when I lived in Cincinnati and failed miserably. I was’t ready. I was not in the right space. But now, I could see clearly. I could see that I needed to try this God’s way – totally. I built the fence and hung the sign. After praying, I felt it best to spend 1 full year under construction. BEST DECISION OF MY LIFE. 🙂 During this year God worked a serious change in me. I was able to be honest with myself about what I wanted from life. I was able to forgive myself. I learned to trust God’s timing. I learned patience. I discovered what true love means. God was able to show me, through his Word, how I should be treated by a man and how I should treat a man. He showed me how and why I should respect my body. Most importantly, I learned how to truly love myself.
Fast forward to 2009. After the graduation ceremony ended, everyone in our party gathered to congratulate and congregate. As we walked to the reception, Jon and I began talking. The very first thing we shared was our personal testimonies. Funny thing is, I had never felt comfortable sharing my full testimony with anyone. Throughout the reception, we spoke on and off. Later that night my friend let me know that Jon was interested in me and wanted my phone number. I thought it was very sweet and respectful that he went through someone I knew well and trusted. Over the next few weeks Jon and I talked more in depth about our walk with Christ. We fasted and prayed together. My friend Tamika had told me that I would know my husband because he would not be ashamed or afraid to pray with me on the phone after our very first conversation. I remember thinking she was crazy, but when Jonathon prayed after our first conversation I smiled. In the end, we both felt that God had brought us together. We had both been patiently waiting.
I shared this because I want you to see that I’m not suggesting something I have never tried. I’ve done this thing called life both ways – with God and without God. My life without God was filled with confusion, anxiety, and heartache. My life with Christ is filled with the assurance that all things work together for my good. It is filled with the assurance that I have a partner in Jonathon who loves me for me. he has forgiven me for my mistakes because Christ has forgiven me. I tried it and I know it works. Is my marriage perfect? No. Is my life perfect? No, but I have a husband who seeks first to please God, and in turn seeks to please me. I have a husband who is a loving and devoted father. I have a partner in parenting. So when I say, “Happy Father’s Day!”, I say it with no reservation. I say it with no side commentary. Jonathon is an amazing father. He is a fantastic role model for our son. I am so proud to be his wife.