Proverbs 22

lion

Proverbs 22:13 “The lazy person claims, ‘There’s a lion out there!  If I go outside, I might be killed!’”

Ok.  So I know that I’m supposed to be talking to all the single ladies.  All the Ruth’s out there waiting on their Boaz.  But for some reason I feel led to address the men first.  The guys.  The brothers.

Because if you were to Google the term “Christian dating,” “being single while christian,” or just plain old “dating,” 99% of the returned results would be geared towards women.  As if we’re dating or getting married to some invisible, non-existent species.  Or worse yet, that men are in no need of dating advice.  Which would be false.

But here’s what really grinds my gears.  I know so many incredible women who are being taught and inspired to wait.  To wait on God.  To wait on men to pursue.  But for some odd reason men are not being taught to actually do the pursuing.  Or even just the approaching of humans of the opposite sex.

Many times when you go to singles events at church, it looks more like a desert safari than a room full of grown people itching for a date.  Men on one side staying as far away from the imaginary entrance into the lion’s den of female hunters on the other side.

And that analogy may seem a bit far fetched, but you get what I’m saying.  Many men are fearful.  They’re afraid of rejection.  Afraid they might get ‘hurt again.’  Afraid they’ll look like a fool or less of a man if they put their pride on the line to pursue a woman intentionally.

Well you know what?  You might get rejected.  You might get ‘hurt again.’  And you will have to lay your ego down in order to let God take the forefront in your relationships – over and over again.  But don’t let the laziness or fear keep you from the great things God has for you because you’re afraid.

Because in the arena of dating, when you step outside of your comfort zone and take chances to get to know women God has placed in your life, it may not exactly be a confidence builder.  She might cut you with her words.  She might shoot you down with a nasty glance and a mean side eye.  She may not answer that text in a timely fashion.  But it is still your responsibility to take the risk of being rejected, cut, shot down, and sometimes even wait on her as long as you’re walking in obedience.

Now to my ladies.  To my Ruth’s still waiting on their Boaz.  Do not take that man’s fear as your opportunity to pounce.  A man who is too afraid to ask you out or take that chance in just saying hello doesn’t need to be coaxed out of his man cave of trepidation.  That’s where the ambiguous ‘friendgirls’ and ‘textlationships’ live.  And we all know how those stories end…Or how they go on forever and ever with no end in sight.

God did not call you to become less of yourself so as not to threaten the timid.  You were called to be dangerous for the Kingdom.  And the man who is not scared to take on the challenge and privilege of loving you will be drawn to, not fearful of your purpose.

So whether you’re trusting in the wait or following God’s lead in the pursuit, you can know for certain that there is no such thing as immunity from challenges or human rejection.  Faith is the epitome of freedom but it is not safe. There are lions out there, and you will learn a few lessons in humility.  But staying in the confines of fear is not an option when you walk with an almighty God.

Join the conversation! Are you afraid to face your lions? Or what struck you from Proverbs 22?

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roz Roz

Hey there!  My name is Roz.  I’m a full time working, single, homeschooling mother to the world’s funniest 5 year old on the planet.  I’m an introvert who is obsessed with bacon.  I like to play music extremely loudly in my car and will keep singing at full voice even when you turn to stare.  I also blog occasionally over at beautyfullyflawed.com where I write words about Jesus, homeschooling, and the beauty of imperfections.  I look forward to sharing my imperfections with you, as well.

Proverbs 16

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In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.~Proverbs 16:9

My plan was to be married at 22 or 23, and to be a mother by the time I was 25. No part of that plan happened.

Nothing appeared to be happening on the marriage and motherhood horizon, so I set 28 as my goal age for marriage and my first child. 28 sounded sophisticated and mature.

Well, as we all know, our perspective shifts as we grow older. We learn that plans are often out of our control. Soon I will turn 28. I am single.

I no longer have any age that I peg as my goal age for marriage or motherhood. Now I can see clearly that it is our amazing God who has established and continues to establish my steps. The Lord had bigger plans for me than what I hoped for myself. I have been working as a social worker and able to minister to many individuals. If I was married and a parent, I would not have had the same amount of time to minister as I do as a single woman.

Not only does our Father allow us a longer period of singleness for ministry, but He also gives a period of singleness as a gift to us. Singleness has given me many opportunities to travel and to learn new skills. He has drawn me deeper into my life’s specific purpose. The Lord has revealed many other plans and dreams for my life that I would have missed had I settled down early and become a mother.

What has God revealed to you in your singleness?

We can set goals for ourselves and have visions of how our lives will turn out. It is important to set goals and work toward them. A life without goals and vision is directionless. Yet, we must constantly seek to align our will with the will of God. We must surrender when our plans are different than His.

Jesus is walking with us, whether or not our plans align with His. He is using our path to serve others and to minister to them. Not only that, but He has actually blessed us with a gift in our singleness! What are we missing out on by clinging to our own plans, instead of steadily walking the path that Christ has laid out for us?

Join the conversation!  Has God changed your plans? 

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lianna-headshot Lianna

Hello! My name is Lianna. I am 27 years old and live in Cleveland, Ohio. I am a case manager for refugee mothers. My favorite things are traveling, learning other languages, singing, and journeying with others. I blog and hope to inspire others at sunflowersojourn.wordpress.com.

Proverbs 14

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Proverbs 14,30 : “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.” NIV

As I’m approaching 30 (which is really scary that in less than a year my life would have spanned three decades), I can measure my life, and my single years, in decades. I started to do some inventory of my life. This included of course one of the most frustrating part of this season – lack of a ring on my finger. I must confess, I’m pretty contrary in my approach to this fact.

First, I would really (and I mean really really) like to be married. I have a problem with the fact I’m single and never dated and I have tons of insecurities about it. First and foremost – if nobody ever was interested in me in a romantic way then there is high probability that no one ever will. And that is depressing. “Whyever would you make me this way with this desire if me being this way is against fulfilling this desire?” I asked the Lord this question many times.

On the other hand, I feel really close to the Maker and His Son. I go to them with everything and I love to lay my tears at their laps. The combination of the two mindsets makes me a little weird, doesn’t it? 🙂 The first is surely based on envy in some part – you can see how it disrupts my relationship with the Lord.

Pinballing between my grief in being single, being constantly rejected and going to God with my sorrows I understood one day, that it is true – I MAY NEVER GET MARRIED. And you know what? It influenced my life in a profound way. Maybe there was really nothing to wait for. Maybe this was it – my single life may be all there is in the future.

Then came the decision – to live life fully now, without waiting for some grand event to start living. This meant revising my dreams and starting to realize them right now.

So I started writing and some other things. The thing is – our desire for marriage makes us discontented and envious of others that had what we long for. Also hateful towards the life we life now. As soon as I started to fight with that, my life regained colors.

Life is precious at any time. We were given life to live it. Love God, love other people to give them as much God’s love as we can. And to be happy as much as we can.

Don’t let your singleness be just a time of waiting and envy, that, as the Proverbs author reminds us. Let God help you find peace in the middle of your hard single reality – HE CAN. Then hold onto this peace, which will give you a chance to live this life to the fullest.

Join the conversation!  Can you empathize with the above or what struck you from Proverbs 14?

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anna Anna

Hello everyone! I am an almost 30yo single woman living in Europe. Professionally a civil engineer, off hours I live to write and sleep 😉 . After struggling a lot with my singleness I try to live the fullest live that God gives me. Medieval reenactment is also a part of my life so I consider my life filled by the Lord to the brim.

Proverbs 13

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I love that Proverbs 13 is called “Walk With the Wise”. It’s so fitting for these little nuggets of truth and wisdom! There are so many amazing verses in chapter 13. (I mean pretty much ALL of Proverbs is amazing!) So I wanted to share just a few of my favorites.

These verses encompass wisdom that not only single women, but all women (and all Christians) should be writing on their heart. Meditate on these few verses and allow our Father to speak to you through them.

In verse 4 we learn about spiritual laziness. “The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.”

It is not enough to say you’re a Christian and go to church. But are you living everyday with the overwhelming passion to follow God’s commands? This is truly the most basic principle to living a life full of joy in the Lord! Are our souls diligent in working to become closer to Him and to look more like Him every day? Are we focused on Him and His plan, or are we praying we get what we want while at the same time feeling defeated because nothing seems to be working out? Seek Him – diligently, daily, hourly. Forever. And He will make known to you His plan and He will prepare your heart for whatever He has for you.

I just love verse 5: “The righteous hates falsehood, but the wicked brings shame and disgrace.”

The lies of the world will tell you that you need to be married to enjoy a full life. Hold on to the truth that you are complete in Him! Hold on to the truth that you are His bride no matter your marital status! When everyone else is getting married and starting a family and you feel empty and lost (I knew this feeling all too well!!) know that this is the enemy creeping in. Do not believe the lie that says you are not whole and wonderful and important in Him. There’s a song by Far Flung Tin Can called “I Am Defined” and the second verse is my favorite.  It says “I am not defined by what man sees, He sees my heart He lives in me, I was created by His hands, I was created for this romance.” You, friend, were created for HIS romance. All other love is second!

I have verse 9 written on a sticky note at work because it’s such a great reminder: “The life of the godly is full of light and joy, but the light of the wicked will be snuffed out.”

He promises you love and joy, y’all! It’s okay to want a relationship, to want to feel a connection with someone and have the desire for children.  BUT don’t allow that to rob your joy. Don’t allow that to become more important than living every day for Christ. Allow Him to fill you with His joy!!

Verses 13 & 18 & 20 are kinda “mic drop” verses if you ask me! I love the strong truth here: “Whoever despises the Word brings destruction on himself, but he who reveres the commandment will be rewarded….Poverty and disgrace come to him who ignores instruction, but whoever heeds reproof is honored….Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.”

It’s so important to be in your Word every day! To seek His scriptures for wisdom and guidance! It’s also so important to have a handful of Christ-centered friendships to encourage you and push you to Christ. In times when you may be doubting God, doubting His plan and His sovereignty, they will remind you and lift you up in prayer. If you were to look at the five people you spend most of your free time with, can you say that they are pointing you towards Christ’s truths? Be willing to be corrected and steered in the right direction with His Word and the words of Godly counsel.

I pray that you find your joy and peace in Him before seeking out any other. I pray that you allow God to prepare your heart for whatever may come: If that involves marriage, I pray that He shapes and molds you into a Godly wife. I pray He prepares your heart for the constant battle of selfishness that is so plainly seen in marriage and that He molds your mindset to become about how your marriage can be used by Him. If His plan doesn’t involve marriage for you, I pray that He will bring you comfort and peace regardless of your marital status. I pray that you follow the direction of Paul and lead a life with the sole purpose to bring glory to His name with no other distractions!

Above all else, remember that you are His treasure. You are HIS bride!

Blessings,

Keri

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Josh&Keri Keri Underwood

I’m Keri! I’m a lover of Christ and receiver of His unending grace. I love all things book related and might have an addiction to white cheddar popcorn and Dr. Pepper. I am recently married to Josh who, frankly I just don’t deserve it. Isn’t God GOOD?! Most of my life my passion has been children’s ministry but the past few years God has been shaping my heart for women’s ministry. My sister and I started Little Light on a Hill with one goal in mind: women. We want to challenge women to dig deeper into their Word and to create a community of all different types of women who can lean on each other and help each other grow. I hope you join us there!

Proverbs 12

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“Thieves are jealous of each other’s loot, but the godly are well rooted and bear their own fruit.” – Proverbs 12:12

I have a confession to make.  I am a daydreamer.  At any given point in the day, I might be walking the sandy beaches of Hawaii, eating bacon, riding a unicorn, taking a glorious nap, or even meeting my future husband – but only in my mind.  I’ve tried and tried to keep my mind from wandering, but in the days of “Adulting is Overrated,” it can be a welcome alternative.

Well, if you’re anything like me then I’m going to give the two of us a serious wake up call.  Kind of like Daydreams Gone Wrong.  Because there’s nothing wrong with dreaming.  In fact, I truly believe a God who gets excited about dreamers, and relishes the idea of giving us what we dream of.  And honestly, he’s probably disappointed in how little all of us actively dream and pursue those dreams.

But the trouble comes when our fantastic daydreams are just excuses to covet what others have.  You know those couples whose life looks absolutely perfect on Instagram.  The wife is always slaying in fresh makeup and stilettos.  The husband is always doing manly things and helping around the house (with a beard, of course).  The kids look like they’re always listening and lending helping hands to their neighbors.

But outside of those snaps in time, that family isn’t perfect.  And are you willing to live your life vicariously?  Stealing moments, treasures, and people that belong to others?

In the (not so distant) past, I’ve certainly been guilty of pretending to have other people’s businesses, marriages, and basically anything I deemed successful.  However, taking those bits of joy from others creates a bitter root that can produce no good fruit.

But somehow little by little, God can make the lives of others less and less appealing.  Not in a bad way, but in a way that allows you to see that what he has for you is for you.  And it is way better than stealing the moments, treasures, and people he has for others.

So stop wasting time wishing you had what someone else has.  The grass is not always greener.  And maybe the grass is only greener because you’ve let things on your side of the fence wither and die trying to keep an eye on everyone else’s landscape.

So instead of outright or even subconscious neglect, make use of everything you find or that finds you – the pretty, the hideous, the mighty, and the seemingly dispensable.  And allow those things to take root and bear fruit.

Then don’t worry.  When the time is right, the right person will stop and take notice of every beautiful thing growing from your life, and might even be able to help you prune the not-so-beautiful without judgement.

Now, back to the bacon and unicorns in my mind 😉

Join the conversation!  Are you also a daydreamer or what struck you from Proverbs 12?

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roz Roz

Hey there!  My name is Roz.  I’m a full time working, single, homeschooling mother to the world’s funniest 5 year old on the planet.  I’m an introvert who is obsessed with bacon.  I like to play music extremely loudly in my car and will keep singing at full voice even when you turn to stare.  I also blog occasionally over at beautyfullyflawed.com where I write words about Jesus, homeschooling, and the beauty of imperfections.  I look forward to sharing my imperfections with you, as well.

Proverbs 10

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I was sitting at home, casually perusing through Facebook when I noticed a pattern on my feed.  All of my friends were posting photos of their date nights, snaps with their husbands for a night on the town, and those strange mirror selfies while getting dressed up for dinner.

My first thought was “Seriously?  Why are all of these people going out on a weeknight? Ugh!  Don’t they have to work tomorrow?  It’s after 9:00 for goodness sake!”

Me second thought after realizing it was Friday, and therefore perfectly acceptable to do such things past 9:00pm was “Wow. You’re getting old.  You should get out more.”  This thought was quickly forgotten as it was almost my bedtime.

My third thought?  Fear.  Absolute fear.  About what, you ask?  I’ll let you take a guess.  Better yet, maybe you can just answer yourself.  When it comes to your singleness, what’s the biggest fear that you have?  The biggest fear that most of us have?

That we’ll die alone, never having known the pursuit of a godly man.  Or even just a sane man with good credit, a solid career, and all of his teeth.

Either way, a lot of us walk around with holy smiles on our face.  Pretending as if we’re content in our single life, when inside we are absolutely petrified.  We quote scriptures about guarding our hearts, tell our married friends and family that we’re patiently waiting on our Boaz, while our hearts are screaming with jealousy and trepidation.

We are overcome with doubt that the desires of our hearts will never be met.  That we’ll be that old cat lady instead of the woman growing old with the man of her prayers and dreams.

And I have to admit, I sometimes get caught up in the allure of fear.  See, that’s the thing that people don’t tell you about fear.  As much as some claim that fear is some evil, dreadful place to wallow, it is so incredibly comfortable and attractive to stay there.  I mean, isn’t it much easier to live in fear and manipulate your way to ‘happiness’ than to allow God to bring his promises full circle in His time?

But when we live in fear, we know what to expect – nothing (Proverbs 10:28).  There are no promises, no increase, no surprises, no change.  We get exactly what we feared in the first place.

When we live in the hope of God’s will, however, that’s where things can get tricky.  When we stand on the promises of God, we should expect the unexpected.  In fact, we should expect that we’ll never know what to expect.  Except that He can make the impossible possible, even for old ladies like me who go to bed before 10:00pm most nights.

And choosing to believe His will more than our own is not easy or even permanent.  It is a day to day, and sometimes moment to moment decision to trust that what He has for us is infinitely better than anything we could manufacture on our own.

So the next time you’re scrolling through Facebook on a Friday night, or resorting once again to a solitary night of Netflix ’n’ Chill, just remember to keep smiling and practice being content when fear threatens to darken your joy.  Guard your hearts and keep speaking the promises of His word over your life.  And keep telling your family and friends that, yes, you’re still patiently waiting because our God is always faithful.

After all, you are what you fear.  So will you fear Him or the monotonous makings of your own imagination?

Join the conversation!  What is your response or what else struck you from Proverbs 10?

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roz Roz

Hey there!  My name is Roz.  I’m a full time working, single, homeschooling mother to the world’s funniest 5 year old on the planet.  I’m an introvert who is obsessed with bacon.  I like to play music extremely loudly in my car and will keep singing at full voice even when you turn to stare.  I also blog occasionally over at beautyfullyflawed.com where I write words about Jesus, homeschooling, and the beauty of imperfections.  I look forward to sharing my imperfections with you, as well.

Proverbs 1

Hi MRP friends!  MRP is back and we are kicking off our “post every day” October challenge Proverbs study!!!  I want to encourage you to follow along with us in our study and to grow in wisdom together!  We will be posting on each day’s corresponding numbered chapter.  Please join with us in posting responses (plus it’s good accountability!).  You can also volunteer to participate in writing posts by emailing modernruthproject@gmail.com!  I pray that God speaks to each one of us during this month!

coffee

Proverbs 1:23-Come and listen to my counsel. I’ll share my heart with you and make you wise.

I was 22 when I met Deb. A newly minted college graduate, I had landed my first full-time position and Deb was a popular supervisor in my department. During my first month on the job, I quickly saw why she was so liked.  She was warm and friendly. Whenever she’d make a comment or remark at our weekly staff meetings, the room would ripple with laughing agreement. She was friendly and cheerful. Her voice reminded me of bells, tingling with joy.

Her warm confidence was enviable to me since I felt grossly deficient in both categories. The dating drought I prayed for an end to while in college looked as if it would extend indefinitely.  At the time, I was preparing to serve as a bridesmaid in what would be the first of four bridal party stints.  My gaggle of friends were all happily taken, instant messaging me with random giddy thoughts about their beaus.  And here I was, entering the unfamiliar realm of single Christian women.  I didn’t know what to make of it or how to make it. All I knew was it felt bleak.

That is, until one morning.

I had arrived at work early, hoping to warm up for the work day with my favorite fuel: coffee. On my way to the communal kitchen to pour a cup, I passed what I thought would be an empty office…until I heard the click of a lamp.

“Well, good morning!” I could see Deb smile from her office, cocking her head to see me through her open doorway.  I smiled and returned her greeting while still moving toward the kitchen. There was coffee to be had.

But after retrieving my steaming cup, somehow I found myself sitting in Deb’s office for an hour, talking about our shared faith in Christ and our shared hope for marriage and love.  That single conversation led to me wandering into her office most mornings for a chat or more appropriately, a knowledge gleaning session. Deb was in her 40s, and also single. And while she had never been married, she had had relationships, an experience in which I was very naïve. She’d honestly and eagerly recount her heartthrobs, her heartbreaks, and her heart lessons, always urging me to learn from her mistakes so I wouldn’t have to make any of my own. She’d pray for my faith in the Lord to flourish and for my prayer for marriage to be answered. And she’d encourage me not to underestimate the value I had been given from God.

Looking back, there is no question that the Lord intersected Deb’s life with mine. At that crucial point in time, she shared her heart with me and made me strong, ready, and wise.

Traversing life as an older Christian single woman can make you feel weary, tiresome, and invisible. But there are younger women who are watching and see you as an encouragement.  Your role as she who is enduring, she who is walking by faith, and she who prays and doesn’t compromise is inspiring and can nourish the next generation.

Who can you share your journey of singleness with?  Join the conversation by posting a response below or share how else Proverbs 1 impacted you!

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Jennifer Jennifer Richardson

Hi, there! My name is Jennifer. I’m 31 and live in the D.C. area. I love Jesus, R & B music, and sugar in all its forms:-)In June 2016, I married my amazing husband, Calvin. I was completely single and waiting throughout my entire twenties. So I know the prayers, fears, and tears that come with prolonged singleness very well. I am excited to share my story and encourage single women who are waiting for God’s best!