A small guide to answering the question of how to survive the waiting period.
Waiting to find your spouse and finally enter marriage can be one of the most painful and irritating passages of life. Don't I know it! Well let's discover more about the possible reasons behind it, and more importantly, read on to find out ways in which you can not only survive this season but thrive in it!
So what exactly is the waiting period?
Every one of us goes through experiences, decisions, relationships: all forms of things that eventually dent us, form and shape us to some extent. Let's say we had an abusive father, we can find ourselves resenting all men. Perhaps we experienced a bad breakup therefore we fear commitment altogether, or experienced shaming as a child therefore live in insecurity. And so on and so on. Every experience in life produces some sort of result. The so-called waiting period is the Lord possibly trying to address issues, insecurities, character flaws and habits while you're still alone: for once a spouse and a family comes into the picture, it won't be so much about you anymore.
The waiting period is actually a very important step in finding your husband. Whilst it's true there are many who find each other without any waiting at all, the waiting is always going to lead to a healthy dynamic much earlier on in the marriage. So never underestimate its power or purpose. For one day, you will be grateful for it. Remember, just like anything valuable, marriage is something one needs to prepare for and certainly not take lightly or rush into.
Perhaps you've been waiting for years or maybe you've only just started desiring a partner: I feel for you. Whilst every situation is unique and every circumstance differs, I pray the following points help encourage you to keep believing, push your faith to grow while you wait, and open your eyes to new revelations from the Lord:
1. Build good habits
"You shall call your walls Salvation, and your gates Praise."
The first way to make the waiting period less stressful and depressing, is to hold yourself in constant salvation and praise. What does that mean? Firstly, remember that you are a saved child of God: that means you have faith in His promises to come to pass, you are beloved by a Father that only has the best for you, you trust in His timing because you know that He knows far better than you do.
As you act and live in the truth of being saved, also ensure your mouth and heart is constantly rooted in praise. Give the Lord the glory He deserves every day, even if you can't see that promise manifesting. This will prove that much more the faith you have, and that it is not God's promises that make Him great: it is simply who He is. And let's be honest, He is always worthy to be praised.
2. Be consistent in all things
"You must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of"
2 Timothy 3:14
Remaining in your faith consistently is important in this stage because it is training you in order that in marriage, nothing changes. Being consistent in all things is important to the Lord. He does not want us to be faithful in this season and reckless in another, or have love for certain people but despise others.
He wants us to show true consistency in all things. And let's be honest, we need that in something as major and life-altering as marriage. We need consistency in loving the same person our whole life, remaining faithful to them, serving them, raising our children, teaching them the Word of God, and so on. This is what makes us a stable, reliable and trustworthy person. Therefore it is a big part of holy sanctification in becoming more Christ-like.
3. Do not take things into your own hands
"But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."
This famous verse teaches us that the Lord holds mighty, supernatural things in store for those who wait on Him. Don't try and rush His plans or take over with your own efforts, trust in the Lord, wait for Him and His perfect timing. You know it'll be worth it in the end. And remember, lack of patience means foolishness.
Faith is nothing without patience. They go hand in hand. Therefore as you believe that the Lord has prepared someone for you, then hold onto that and practice the holy patience of the Lord in order that only His perfect plan will manifest. A lot of times the waiting season can simply be God trying to raise your level of faith and patience because that'll determine the success in your marriage and future family.
4. Remember you are not owed anything
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast."
Remember that the Lord blesses out of the goodness of His heart. Whilst it is important that we work to please Him because we want to keep ourselves pure and sanctified and away from sin, remember that nothing earns God's love. Despite who you are, what you've done or how much you've sacrificed, remember Jesus died for you before all of that. It wasn't your actions that earned your salvation. It is merely by grace and mercy that we've been saved.
The same counts for the blessing of finding a spouse. God will bless you with that relationship because He loves you and wants to see it perfecting you both. He wants to use it for His glory and wants it to serve a purpose in your life. He gives it all out of His endless love for you. So never for a moment think God owes you anything, for that would be only pride and arrogance.
I didn't want to say what every one else is probably saying to you right now, 'keep believing, it'll happen, the day will come' etc. As true as that may be, I wanted to talk more about understanding the mentality we need to have whilst in the waiting period. Keep yourself healthy and strong by filtering your thoughts and knowing what to listen to and what not to.
We all have that day, however, where we crash--maybe are a little hormonal--and are completely tired of the same old thing. I'm here to tell you you're not alone in feeling that way. And let's be honest, humanly speaking, in some way, your feelings are valid. However, we do not live by feelings: we live by the truth and mercy of the Lord. Receive from Jesus the comfort you're waiting a husband to give you. Experience Him as your first love first and then when your husband does come along (which he will!), your heart will already be full, the spouse will merely be the abundance of God's kindness over your life. Don't expect a man to fill your heart with life, for that is not the reason of marriage: as Gary Thomas puts it, the purpose of marriage is to sanctify you further in the Lord.
Blessings to you, sisters. You're in my prayers--we're in this together!
Declaration: You should also know the statement of 'the one' is only used here as way to imply the significance of a person in one's life. The idea of God having only one person for you is a debatable topic, but like this post if you'd like to see a separate post on that!