With the cooler weather comes the infamous cuffing season. We like to joke about it but there really is something about this time of year that makes the desire to be in a relationship increasingly stronger for both men and women. Overlapping with cuffing season is engagement season which begins around Thanksgiving, peaks around Christmas and New Year’s, and ends right after Valentine’s Day. It is the time of year where you are bound to see a minimum of two engagements per week on your social media feeds with that number drastically increasing during the weeks of the aforementioned holidays. When you are up against these 2 giants it is easy to fall into a classic case of settling. Now, all of a sudden, your ex seems like a viable option. Or maybe the person who has been trying to talk to you forever but did not really meet up to your standards is seeming more and more tempting. Let’s be honest, chances are if that person was not the One in July, they are still not the one in December.
If you have been single for any amount of time then you know that whenever the holidays come around and you do not have a boo chances are you will get badgered by everyone from your mother to your Aunt Mary as to why you’re still single. Instead of being discouraged and giving into the distraction first off consider the messenger. Do they share the same values as you? Are they in a THRIVING relationship themselves? Most of the time the same person giving you the jacked up advice and badgering you about your singleness are either in a jacked up relationship, jaded from past experiences or single themselves. Even if this is not the case, you must be strong in your decision to wait patiently for the person who God has for you. The truth is that anyone can get a ring or a man but trust me you want thee ring, you want thee man. Now, after being married for over a year, I truly understand the importance of the person you marry. You literally have to do life with another person and we all know that life has its ups and downs, its twists and curves, its mountain tops and its valley seasons. There will be some very real situations that you will have to walk through but it will no longer be just you. Instead, you will be a unit, but you want to make sure that the unit is a strong one built on the solid foundation of Christ. Marriage is not a game and it is way bigger than you wanting someone to come home to at night or show off to your family or check off of your before 30 or 40 list. It is a covenant, and it serves a higher purpose. Even in the one year that my husband and I have been married I have found myself silently thanking God that I waited for him. I don’t have to beg him to pray or wonder if he is reading his Bible staying strong in the Word. I don’t have to get an attitude every Sunday morning because he doesn’t want to go to church. These are things that are important to ME and these are things that really matter when it is all said and done. After the honeymoon phase wears off and you’re both going through life you want to make sure that you are with a person who you actually like, not someone you can tolerate. You have to figure out what you need out of a future mate and what you like and decide that you will not waiver from it. I don’t mean make a list of every single detail and profile your perfect mate, but you should definitely have some non negotiables. Let’s break down that word negotiate shall we? It means to try to reach an agreement or to COMPROMISE. Therefore, if you decide that you are going to have a list of non negotiables then you are making a decision not to compromise on those particular things. Even if the person has every other single thing that you are looking for, if there is a non negotiable missing, that person is NOT the one. Why? Because you know what you can and cannot live with in a person. When you are in the goo goo gaga phase your judgement is clouded by all the butterflies and rosy feelings but trust me, when the dust settles, that one thing that you compromised on will become most evident and begin to cause issues in the relationship leaving you frustrated. DO NOT MARRY POTENTIAL. Yes, people do grow and praise God for that but you have to ask yourself if this person never changes (because there is a chance they won’t) am I still willing to be with him for the rest of my life? This requires you making an honest, mature, adult decision after doing a thorough analysis of your life and what you really want out of it.
So by now you’re probably rolling your eyes and telling yourself that all of this is easy for me to say because I have a husband. Well, I may be married now but just 3 cuffing seasons ago I found myself in the middle of what could have been the most challenging one of my single life when I went back to my hometown in Florida to spend Thanksgiving with family. I was having a perfectly good visit until at some point during dinner, the conversation suddenly took a turn for the worst and someone brought up my long time ex boyfriend. They began to tell me that I may as well get back with him and then proceeded to mock me for actually having standards and believing that I could find a man of God who would actually live up to them. Finally they tried to discourage me by telling me horrific stories about so called men of God and men in ministry who were supposedly worse than typical men in the streets. As they continued to speak, I tried to talk over them and explain why I have no intentions of taking their horrible advice but eventually I decided there was no use trying to convince them. Instead, I just let them finish and when it was time for me to go back to my room for the evening I had a long talk with God and journaled. The truth is I was completely drained from that conversation and a part of me was a little discouraged BUT an even bigger part of me was hopeful and encouraged. Instead of rehearsing their words over and over in my head like I would typically do, I began to thank God for everything good that was going on in my life at the time. An overwhelming feeling of gratitude washed over me and in that moment it did not matter if my husband presented himself the next day or years from then because I was just truly content that I had God. I honestly felt like I had finally passed that test. The best part is that I did not have to wait years for my husband to find me. In fact, just months later he presented himself.
YOU DO NOT WANT TO SETTLE. YOU DO NOT WANT TO SETTLE. YOU DO NOT WANT TO SETTLE. I cannot say or emphasize this enough. The world will make you feel as if there are no more good men left but the truth is you don’t need a lot of men, you just need one, and THEE one is so much more than even what you think you desire. God hears every prayer, He has seen every tear, He knows every heartbreak, He knows what you like and do not like, but the most important thing is that He knows what you NEED. A good Father knows His daughter and only wants what’s best for her. I have been brought to tears by the little surprises I am still discovering in my husband that I never even articulated but God knew I would appreciate.
I know that the wait gets tough, trust me I do. I am not too far removed from the process only being married a little over a year. I still remember clearly how it felt when it seemed everyone around me was getting engaged or married or launching off into their purpose or having babies. What I did though was hide this scripture in my heart and meditated on it everyday: “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in DUE SEASON we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Everyone has a due season, including you. You just want to make sure that you are CONTINUALLY sowing good things so that your harvest will be good. When you turn down a free meal from that guy who you know you have no intentions of marrying, you are sowing good seeds. When you rejoice with your brothers and sisters in Christ when good things happen to them, you are sowing good seeds. When you serve at your church as unto the Lord, you are sowing good seeds. When you submit to authority and the leadership of others who are over you, even when you do not necessarily agree, you are sowing good seeds (and getting good practice for marriage lol). Live this season of your life to the fullest. There are things God is trying to teach you that will no doubt prepare you for the seasons ahead.
Still Hidden in Him,