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By Karen DeArmond-Gardner –
Being single in your fifties is interesting, to say the least. The rules have changed a bit since I was in high school. Now people go for “coffee” to meet a prospective date to help you decide if you even want to go on a date. It’s a great idea.
In February I wrote about my “second love”, which really, is my first love. I have never loved a man as I love Tom. A few years back, God took me through a time of preparation. This preparation had to happen before I could meet Tom.
I was single for about five years. I did not fit the profile of most singles, as I did not date. It’s not that I didn’t want to date, I just didn’t get asked. I blamed it on the fact that men seemed more interested in younger women. I know now that my age had nothing to do with it. I had put up so many walls that no man could get through. One of those walls was fear. Fear that I would choose wrong again. Could I ever trust a man enough to be vulnerable around him? This was just one obstacle. There were many more I needed to overcome. And one by one, God began to tear them down.
In May 2008, God told me He wanted to give me a husband. I was skeptical. I asked why. He said it was the one area in which I did not trust Him. He told me not to believe everything I see. This was difficult for me to accept. Every day I looked in the mirror and what did I see? I saw myself aging and unable to stop the effects of time. I asked Him why He wanted to give me a husband – the answer surprised me a bit. “I want him to be me for you.” That one brought tears to my eyes. I was in awe that the God of the universe cared about my loneliness.
Keep in mind – I was not sure I even wanted to marry again. So God began to teach me to see Him as a husband. I tried to make a list of what I wanted in a husband. Must cook, financially secure, good looking, to name a few. Then I felt God ask, “What are you doing?”
One evening I asked Him what a “man of God” looks like. As women, we are to mirror Proverbs 31. We are clear about the description. But I could not find anything beyond Ephesians 5 as to what I should look for in man. Then God took me to I Samuel 16:14 – 18. God had removed His spirit from Saul and sent a tormenting spirit – it filled Saul with fear and depression. Saul’s advisers thought it would be a good idea to find someone to play soothing music which would calm Saul. Saul agreed and his advisers said “we know a man” and they began to describe him. He plays well, he is a man of valor, a warrior, he speaks well, he’s good looking and the Lord is with him. Finally a list I could work with.
1. He plays well – yes I know it is referring music here, but who doesn’t want a man who knows how to have a good time?
2. He is a man of valor – a man of honor and integrity. Brave and courageous. Stands up for what he believes in.
3. He is a warrior – he will protect the relationship, guard the physical relationship while dating, and he will be on the front lines and climb over the walls I have built up. He would not only die for me, he will live for me – become the man God wants him to be for me.
4. He speaks well – his words would build me up not tear me down.
5. He is good looking – this is relative, he may not be drop dead gorgeous, however if he has the characteristics above then he will be attractive no matter what he looks like.
6. The Lord is with him – this is key. A man could be all these things, but if the Lord is not with him he is an imposter.
This sounds like a lot for a man to live up to, but I did not make the list. God did. This does not mean the man is “perfect”; there is no such thing. That’s good news since I am far from perfect myself. When I met my husband to be, Tom, I did not know if he was this kind of man. As we got to know each other, I began to see his character and that he possessed the traits of a Godly man. I watched as he interacted with other men and women. I saw how respected he was. This caught my attention.
If I would have stuck to the list I had made myself, I would have missed out.
I would ask you those of you that are single women, do you have a list? Throw it out. Begin with the list from 1 Samuel. If you do, everything else will fall into place. If you truly want to be married, learn what it is to be a wife. Only then will God be able to bring you to the man He has for you. If you don’t know what being a wife looks like, ask Him. He would love to show you.
Karen DeArmond Gardner: I found myself in my early 50′s shattered, divorced and without a job – moving to a new state to begin over again. There were times I thought the “start would stop me.” I had no clue what my purpose was and quite frankly thought I had messed up so bad that even God couldn’t put my life back together again. Within the last 6 years I started a new career, enjoyed being single, became a grandmother, reconnected with my family and at 57 I married the most amazing man ever. Because God never does anything small, He asks me to step out of my box and begin writing. Only God….if He did this for me, He will do it for you. Join us on the journey to discover Your Purpose Now. www.mypurposenow.org
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