As I start typing this it is already past midnight, and we are now technically into Monday, where usually I would type out these articles and post them on Sunday evening/night. However, I was really looking forward to writing today’s post, even though I was not quite sure which post I should write. My mind has been simply buzzing with ideas and hope and optimism, and I badly wanted to at least express something! However, a spontaneous opportunity came up today at church to go to my third church service of the day, which meant I got home really late, and after chatting to family for a while it is now…past midnight. But I’m going to write something anyway! I’ve also been thinking pretty much all day about what post I should write. To be honest, as I write this it is not so much about arguing a specific case. It is more about trying to put a tangible form on the emotions that are filling my mind.
As I write this I am feeling so happy! Sincerely, I don’t know why. It could be the effect of having three church services in the one day. I have previously had so many issues with various churches, and I have unashamedly moaned and complained and criticized people on my other blog. However I have now found two churches which are both fantastic – but tiny. It is still early days with both churches, and I know that no-one is perfect, and there will likely be issues and a few disappointments ahead, but my goodness, these churches are both so steeped in *true* authentic, deep Bible teaching! And prayer! Seriously, a Pastor who is filled with the Bible, and also filled with prayer! I can’t help but smile. And now there is also the possibility of connecting with a wider church body with Christians from a wide range of nationalities, which is something that excites me. The third church service was with a group of Christians from an Eastern European country, and while I could barely understand anything, (because it was naturally mostly in their language), I was so excited to think about how God has people in every part of the world.
So that has made me feel very positive and happy, and that is probably rubbing off into my post today. I’m anticipating exciting things for the future, meeting people who love God as desperately as I do, working together, worshipping together, encouraging one another in faith. This is what Church life should be about. (Yes, we will invariably disappoint one another at times, – in fact, it has already started – but we will press through.) But anyway, let’s get back to our topic!
So today, I want to share something that finally dawned on me, which made me feel not extremely bright. Here’s the thing. It is almost certain that I have realised this before. It is even extremely likely that I might have shared this thought before, right here, on this very blog. However, such is the number of thoughts and ideas that occur to me about this Huggie-Wuggie thing that I am constantly forgetting whole ideas, even ideas on which I have already written long elaborate articles. And then the idea will again strike me forcibly, and I will ask myself “Why has that idea never occurred to me before?” And then I will realise “Oh, it has – in fact, I have actually written an article about it. Oh, OK then…” In this, I can derive a certain comfort that there is extreme consistency in the thoughts that occur to me – the same ideas will strike, with the same nuances even years later. This gives me hope that these ideas are not coming solely from me, (because I am human and liable to change), but might actually also be coming from the Spirit of God who is unchanging. I am sure that many of these ideas on this blog are from God, but undoubtedly they are mixed in with lots of stuff that originates from me. However this particular idea is just sheer common sense, which is why I am asking myself: “Why have I failed to grasp this for so long?!”
So anyway, here it is. I’ve been beating myself up for so long about the fact that I apparently only seem to notice guys…who don’t share my faith.
“…But he’s not a Christian!”
This is starting to sound like a refrain in my life.
“What is wrong with me?” I will ask myself. “Why can’t I even just try to like a Christian?! Why do I insist on being drawn to these guys that I know I cannot be with?” In my naughtier moments I will even joke to myself: “I don’t do Christians!” But then it finally dawned on me: the reason why I’m always noticing guys who are not Christian, and never seem to notice guys who are Christian, is because guys who are not Christians so vastly outnumber guys who are, and there simply are not that many Christian guys to notice, especially with my fussy criteria about prayer and being biblically grounded! How simple is that?! And then of course I am so choosy about the kind of churches I will attend, which means that there is only a tiny selection of churches available, and in my two churches, even if I wanted to get to know a Christian guy, and like him, as things currently stand, let’s just put it this way – it would be very difficult. (One “secret” reason why I am greatly looking forward to this “wider church interaction”!) And sadly, no-one seems to have informed all these non-Christian guys that they are not allowed to be attractive to holy and prayerful Christian women, so they would insist on twinkling and shining right before my eyes. And smiling, of course (sigh!) – And smiling too, of course!
Maybe other people, other Christians are more sensible about this. However for me, this issue of being attracted to someone seems to be somewhat disconnected from the question of whether or not he is a Christian. It is like the famous expression about following your head, versus following your heart. Well in my head resides all the reason, all the wisdom, and with all due respect to my friends who are not Christians, I know why I absolutely need to insist on a guy who pursues Christlike character, and why any other choice is utterly self-defeating. But then there is my heart, which is a bit more happy-go-lucky, and clearly does not have huge reserves of God’s word (this is why I need to meditate more on God’s word – seriously! – getting the word of God from my head to my heart) – simply sees the smile, and so easily forgets everything else. Add to that feelings of loneliness anyway – and my head almost gets overruled.
I have to keep coming back and reminding myself “NO Tosin. NO NO NO! For my own sake I simply cannot marry someone who is not pursuing Christ, no matter how attractive he is, no matter how lovely he seems.” Reflecting on this issue as I write this, it occurs to me that this might be a constant battle. The Bible says that the heart of man (human beings, women included) is deceitful above all things Jeremiah 17v9. This includes my own heart, and it also includes the heart of all these guys, Christians as well as non-Christians. So maybe it is the case, that no matter how much I bring my heart under the control of the Word of God, it will always want to be pulling away, it will always want to do its own thing. This makes sense because it is exactly the same thing that happens in every other sphere of life – in everything our sinful nature will always keep trying to draw us away from God. Defeating our sinful nature is not a battle that we win once and for all in life, rather it is a battle that we fight and win every day. This also means that every new day presents a new opportunity to lose this battle.
Anyway, now that I have grasped this idea, (again?!) I’m wondering what the wisest way would be to use this information. To a certain extent, I am a human being, this is the way we are wired to connect, if someone is smiling at me with sincere tenderness and affection I almost cannot stop myself from smiling back. On the other hand, this is not just about me, this is about what is best for each of these guys as well. I need to go and swim in God’s word. I need to recognise that this is a daily battle, that I will never win conclusively, until this life is over – and I need to be adequately prepared.
On the other hand, if there are no actual Christian guys to speak of, but there are some otherwise perfectly attractive guys who are not Christian – or at least, are not Christian yet! – then, hmmm maybe….(while remaining desperately holy and obedient, of course, always)…maybe…I’m going to have no choice but to start praying very intensively for all the lovely guys I know who don’t currently share my faith – to be totally candid!
9 “The heart is deceitful above all things,
And desperately wicked;
Who can know it?
Photo of Cross from Pixabay