Today I am overjoyed to introduce you to the very first guest-blogger of the Unveiled Project: Katie. She is fantastic! She exemplifies 1 Peter 3:4 well and has so much wisdom from the Lord to offer. I personally have been so encouraged by her answers to these questions. Katie is a blogger at Princess and the Pete, so you should say hello over at her space!
How have you found satisfaction in the Lord through singleness?
"Our hearts are restless until they rest in you." –St. Augustine of Hippo, Confessions
"There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every person, and it can never be filled by any created thing. It can only be filled by God, made known through Jesus Christ." –Blaise Pascal, Pensees
"God has set eternity (when we'll be with God) in the human heart." –Ecclesiastes 3:11 (partial)
"Katie, what do you want to be for Halloween?" my mom would ask.
"A princess," I would reply. It was the same conversation every year.
If one of my college friends were to ask now, "Hey Katie, if you could be absolutely anything, what would you be?"
"A princess," I would still reply.
I have always longed to be a princess. The principle reason as to why is that I have always desired to be loved by a prince.
Then came my junior year of high school; he was my first and only boyfriend, and my first "love." (At the time I did not understand what love was. I thought it was the warm feelings that I felt when I was around him, and the way that he made me feel good about myself. I didn't understand that love is commitment and self-sacrifice to the point of laying down your life for another (John 15:13). Since he was my first "love," I expected him to fulfill the longings in my heart for love, and no matter what he didn't. He just couldn't, for no man or woman can!
Early in college, God began to reveal to me how only he can fulfill the desire in my heart for love, and he has. To the extent that if I now had to choose between following God or having a husband and children, no question, God is the answer! He is so much better!
Whatever your desires, lay them at God's feet! Don't hold onto your idols! God promises that whatever we give to him shall not return to us void, but that he will give back to us a hundred times as much in this life or the next (Mark 10:29-30).
I have seen this at work in my life. When I was finally able to answer the question, "would you give up what you want most to follow me?" with a yes, I expected my desire for a husband and children to cease or at least diminish. Boy, was I wrong! My desire has increased exponentially, for I now know that marriage and children is a desire that God has given me to serve him with. And my desire for a husband and children stems out of my love for God, whereas before, my desire for a husband and children was seeking to take the place of my longing for God. And nothing, NOTHING can ever fill the place of our longing for God, except God!
How can a young woman in today's society live in purity?
"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws." –Ezekiel 36:26-27
For anyone who seeks to live in purity, the first and most vital thing is faith in Jesus Christ. Paul tells us in Romans 14:23 that "everything that does not come from faith is sin." So for a nonbeliever, that means that everything they do is sin, for nothing that they do comes from faith in God. The implication of that passage for a believer is that anything could be sinful if it is not out of faith in Christ Jesus. Without faith, everything we do, think, or say is against God.
When you trust in Jesus as your Savior and Lord, God begins to give you a new heart with new desires, as is illustrated in the passage from Ezekiel above. But our sinful nature (flesh) is still a part of us, so Paul urges us to "walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want." (Galatians 5:16-17)
We are told by King Solomon, the wisest person in history, in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 that, "Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor; if either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken."
God has blessed me with some amazing people to live in community with. They have loved me enough to call me out when I was reveling in sin, and on other occasions have flat out told me that "you're not even thinking straight."
We are told in 1 Peter 5:8 to "Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil crawls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." The devil wants us to be reveling in sin, and he twists our thoughts. For he is cunning indeed. He knows how the human heart works and he knows how to twist our righteous desires into something sinful. So we need community to help us see his web of lies so that we will not become ensnared in them, and to help us get out of the web when we are caught in it.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received about dating/marriage?
My parents just celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. Whoop! When I asked my mom, "Why has your marriage lasted for so many years when I've seen so many of my friends' parents divorce?" she told me, "Above all, we are friends first. We laugh together and don't take each other too seriously. We make sure to spend time together, just us, so we go on dates and trips together."
With this in mind, the two biggest things that I am looking for in a man is that he truly and completely loves the Lord, and that he'll be my best friend. In dating, I'm looking to pursue a deeper friendship with a man, but in a way that the end goal is marriage.
What advice or encouragement would you give to girls who are pursuing holiness in singleness and relationships?
Be confident in who you are. The God who made everything made you for a special purpose, and he loves you. Just go read Psalm 139! He made you and every part of you that you think is a weakness or flaw (Exodus 4:11).
Wait for the right guy. Wait for the man who loves God more than his own life, who will treat you like the beautiful daughter of the King that you are. Wait for the one who is kind and gentlemanly to all people, not just those who can be of benefit to himself. Wait for the man of whom the community of believers that you are a part of will approve of.
The Song of Solomon tells the beautiful story of Solomon and his wife's relationship. Several times she urges the Daughters of Jerusalem who are young single women, "Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires." She is telling them to wait. Real covenantal relationship under God is so delightful that it is worth the wait!
If you are a believer, your purpose is to glorify God. God can be glorified in singleness, as well as relationships. Whatever state you are in, be content in the fact that it is to best glorify God and for your ultimate good. We live for his glory and he works all things for our ultimate good (Romans 8:28).
One year ago: Faithful
Two years ago: I remember.
Three years ago: Patty Cake