Why We’re Not Married

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“When are y’all gonna get married?”

That’s obviously the most frequently asked question to me and my boyfriend of 8 1/2 years. I can understand why though. In today’s day and age, it’s not typical to have a non-marital relationship that lasts longer than the average marriage in the United States (which is 7.5-8 years). However, those that are in the same boat usually are because they feel their dynamic is better that way.

That’s not the case for us.

We definitely want to get married, no offense to them. Marriage is just very important to Ryan and I. We believe in the whole “first comes love, then comes marriage, then….”, well ya know the rest. Call us old fashioned, or pin it on “religion”, but you’ll understand our perspective by the end of this post.

I won’t lie and say I’ve never had a moment where I thought… It’s never going to happen for us or what’s wrong with me? 8 and a half years can make a girl question herself. And I’ve definitely been impatient sometimes. There’s been moments were I thought I should just give up on my dreams, or quit living for the future. But time and time again, God has revealed His plan for us and confirmed that our future is beautiful.

Society puts so much pressure on marrying quickly. And while some short-term dating marriages can last forever, that doesn’t mean it will for everyone. As the popular statement goes, “How you gonna tell me what’s best for me?”.

But, just to clarify, we’re not withholding marriage to prove a point. Honestly, we just don’t have a timeline planned out for when we will take that next step. Yes, I WANT to be married. So does Ryan. But our relationship doesn’t hang in the balance of WHEN.

 

NO THERE’S NOT A “RING ON IT”


But I respect him as if there were. It’s almost as if we have a hybrid dating/courtship relationship. Most dating couples are together for companionship, but aren’t prepared to marry eachother until they are engaged. Ryan and I have a totally different dynamic… In fact, I think the only thing a ring will do is give me a “wedding planning” card. We believe in marriage as God united two people together, but we don’t wait for God to be a part of our relationship until then. We date each other in preparation FOR marriage. We consult with eachother, make decisions together, serve God together, and so much more. No we didn’t save our first kiss for marriage, but we do refrain from you-know-what (Yes, I’m a dork and can’t say it.. hee hee).

I truly believe that Ryan and I met when we did for a reason. It was not God’s intention for us to marry right away, after all, we were YOUNG and had a LOT to learn before jumping into something blindly. But, the small window of opportunity when we met could have passed so quickly, and I can’t think of any other way we would have been brought together years later. I honestly think we may have went two totally directions in life, had we not crossed paths at that time. But God’s plan was for us to grow together physically, mentally, and spiritually.

DATING TO ME


My outlook on a lot of things has changed tremendously in my 20’s, but my vision of marriage has been the most drastic. Five years ago, I could not have understood nor appreciated what promising myself to a husband through God meant. And while, I’m the LAST person on earth capable of giving marriage advice (being so ill experienced and all), I may be an expert at dating- for girls at least! Heck, maybe God is leading me to mentor women in dating relationships.

Anyway, here are a few truths I have found about dating a man spiritually. I believe these are things I had to learn before I could commit my life to Ryan. A lot of them are painful realizations, but they’ve given me a better vision of a Godly marriage (what we’re working towards, NOT just a wedding) and for that, I am grateful.

  1. Un-equally yoked mates will never work out. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. I DON’T CARE HOW CUTE HE IS! Yes, he can “become” saved, and you might even win him to Christ. But how can you follow him if he is following you?
  2. Pray daily for and about them. It’s not a bad idea to do that BEFORE you are in a relationship. Anytime you think of something you hope for in your future spouse, pray about it. “God, help him be more patient”, “Help him to humble himself”. Here’s a tip: Sometimes prayer works better than nagging. 😉
  3. I believe in only dating someone with the intention of marriage. Period. No reason to divulge further.
  4. I am a believer in the husband being the spiritual leader. I think part of why women are advocating independance and equal rights is because there are not enough strong spiritual men in the world. I don’t have ONE fear of getting behind a man who is led by God. Not one. You’re probably wondering why this last one is about a husband instead of boyfriend. Well, in my opinion, which is just that-MY opinion, I feel that you have to have some idea of HOW he is going to lead your relationship and family. I would have a hard time marrying someone without first discovering his approach through “pre-requisite” marrital leadership. However, I will add that this suggestion should be taken with caution and should be discussed openly with eachother. You should both agree on responsibilities and delegations before marrying one another. hat do you expect from him? What does he expect from you?

Ok, I’m going to wrap it up before I step on any more toes. I hope this post enlightened you to our unique situation. And for goodness sake, stop asking when we’re getting married! 😛

j/k it’s more awkward for you than us anyway! Haha!

God Bless,

Kaila

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What is Love?

My viewpoint on love has changed many times as I’ve gotten older. It’s comfort, it’s that warm fuzzy feeling you get when you’re with your significant other, it’s a verb or action, or better yet, it’s a reaction. There’s several Bible verses that talk about love, the most commonly used one is probably 1 Corinthians 13:4-7:

Love is patient, love is kind.
Love does not envy,
is not boastful, is not conceited,
does not act improperly,
is not selfish, is not provoked,
and does not keep a record of wrongs.
Love finds no joy in unrighteousness
but rejoices in the truth.
It bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things.

        Obviously, according to 1 Corinthians, loving someone requires some sort of action. It’s more than just saying, it’s doing. But still, we can FEEL love, so it can’t be 100% action, can it?

Let me begin by saying something that most have you have heard often (whether you’ve grown up in church, or you go twice a year)- God sent his only son to earth to die for our sins so that we do not have to be separated from Him. I want to take a moment to dissect that statement- because if you have not seen the love of God, the previous statement means NOTHING to you. Romans 6:23 says that the wages of sin is death. When Adam and Eve chose to disobey God in the garden of Eden, they chose the death penalty. They separated themselves from God, and because we are descendants of them, we are cursed in the same way. But God chose to send His son to take the penalty- death, so that we can spend eternity with Him. This act was the ultimate display of love. Thus, love comes from God (1 John 4:7 Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God).

        Ok, so how do we love? To me, the Biblical description of love is putting someone else’s needs before your own. The common denominator in 1 Corinthians is selflessness. Christ dying on the cross was putting our needs before His own. There’s no way around it, to love, you are going to have to sacrifice.

It’s easier (never a piece of cake!) to sacrifice for someone you care about. But, the Bible commands us to love everyone, even those who aren’t so easy to love. When Jesus was asked by a lawyer how he could inherit eternal life, He asked him what was written in the law. The lawyer replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself”. The lawyer asked who his neighbor was, and Jesus responded with the parable of the good Samaritan. At the end of the story, Jesus pointed out that instead of worrying WHO we love, we should be concerned with HOW we love:

36 “Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” 37 “The one who showed mercy to him,” he said. Then Jesus told him, “Go and do the same.”

When we accept Christ’s unconditional love, we can better love others. In fact, we can’t truly love someone until then: 1 John 4:8,  The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

So love is: An action that occurs after a reaction of the feeling we have after God‘s love is revealed to us.