The things I will start sharing with you today, are some of the things the Lord has taught me over the years about singleness as a Christian woman who wants to eventually get married. Let's just get this out of the way, first: There's nothing wrong with desiring to be married. Just don't be desperate about it. God Himself said it was "not good" for man to be alone. In fact, that's the first time we see the phrase, "not good" in the Bible after He had described every other thing as "good".
I am so excited to share this because these have been in my "belly" for so long. Think of a baby in a woman's woman, growing, forming and waiting to be delivered. That's exactly how it has been for me. So if you are a single woman, I'll like you to sit back and dive in with me because I believe the Lord wants you to read this.
The lessons we will be looking at in the Bible come from three main stories: the story of Adam and Eve, the story of Ruth and the story of Esther. If you are not single but you are reading this, I'll equally want you to stick with us because there's definitely something in here for everyone. Let's dive in, shall we?
LESSON 1: THERE IS A FORMATION PERIOD
In the Bible, we see how God prepares a woman for marriage. Right from the book of Genesis in chapter 2:
21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the Lord God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening. 22 Then the Lord God MADE a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man.
Did you notice how I emphasised the "MADE"? "Formed" and "fashioned" are other words for made. There is always a period when the Lord fashions a woman for her man. He builds you, molds you, shapes you into the right form. I call this "the formation period".
We see this again in the book of Esther:
Before a young woman's turn came to go in to King Xerxes, she had to complete twelve months of BEAUTY TREATMENTS prescribed for the women, six months with oil of myrrh and six with perfumes and cosmetics. Esther 2: 12
The "beauty treatments" literally means their bodies were beautified before they could go into the king. Even though that ancient practice had hiccups, our focus today is not on that. Our focus is on that "beautifying period" that takes place before you meet your king. For Esther, it took twelve months. For you, it may take more or less depending on your circumstances.
In both stories of Eve and Esther, the formation/beautifying process was something done to their physical bodies. But this symbolises something much more than that. It symbolises how the Lord shapes a woman's character, values and her heart before taking her to the man He has prepared for her.
If you want to get into marriage God's way, don't underestimate the formation period. It is a time to be lowly and learn. It is a time to dig deep into God's word and find yourself in it. It is a time to work on your tongue and develop strength in character. It is also a time to work on your outward appearance because "man looks at the outward appearance but God looks at the heart."
Next Tuesday, we will learn about the role of mentorship from the stories of Ruth and Esther. Be sure to check back then.