This is the second part to this post.
The first part is available here.
Also, in our particular church, there are no real forums for discussion for these things to be discussed (until of course today, when it came out of the blue). For instance, there are no real opportunities to hang out with other people, to chat generally about issues. If there were, maybe things like these laws would somehow seep out. Furthermore, there have not really been any indepth teachings about relationships.
Now, our church somehow has attracted many Masters students from the Edinburgh Universities. Many of these students are already married, or are engaged already from back home. The others, however, are not (unsurprisingly!) And as the Masters students complete their courses, many of them will be in the stages of life when they are looking to find a good job….and settle down. As the church becomes more and more filled with guys and girls, I think it is so important to discuss these issues so people know how to negotiate the different dynamics, and everyone is speaking the same language, as it were. So you see, I’m not only discussing these issues from my own interests, but I’m also generously thinking about everyone else (!)
So, in interacting with any one individual, considering that this person might be from a different church background, I honestly do not know whether he will know about this law or not. If we both knew what to expect from each other and what is expected of us – this is how it is supposed to be – then that would be fine, because I would just wait and that would be fine. As it is, however, I don’t know how much allowance to make/give for the fact that he might not know or be very conversant with this law – or he might not expect me to know!
I’ll give you one real life example to illustrate….
As it happens, there is a guy (are you surprised?!) who has been merrily creating a nice frustrating situation for me. I seriously doubt he’ll be reading this (she says hopefully) but if you are, then please prepare to be embarrassed young man, as I am about to reveal all your naughty behaviour – oh yes I am!
To cut a long story very short (don’t worry, I also plan to give you the long story later on) – this guy was dropping the broadest and most blatant hints imaginable without actually starting a “Dear Sister Tosin” conversation, ( letter, email etc etc. ) If you think I am being blatant here, then please understand that I am not being more blatant than he was. Someone wrote in a comment to last week’s note that I should not have to be dropping big hints. Please understand that he, he, he was the one dropping the hints over and over and over – not me, emphatically not me – until it just suddenly stopped (I really feel I need to explain the full story otherwise you might not get just how humorous this situation is!) Now, here is my dilemma as someone trying to be good, and holy, and determined not to be the one chasing the guy… With other guys, I might get the feeling “no”, and the subject would be closed, and that would be that. With this guy, I was not getting that no feeling, but I was feeling quite positive, and open to the idea and trying to be patient, waiting for the words to come from him. (I’m not saying it was definitely the will of God – but with other guys it has been so clear that it has definitely not been my own will, that I never even bothered to submit it to God to get His opinion). Now this is the thing. When his hints suddenly stopped, I was not sure whether he had been working with this knowledge of this Redeemed law or not. If so, he may have known the law all along, and may have decided to stop it because he realised that I would not, after all be the right person for him. If however, he was not aware of this law, or he did not realise I was aware, he may have stopped it because he may not have felt that I was reciprocating his interest. (Reciprocating interest would be irrelevant under the terms of the R. law – I guess? – or am I being stoo-pid?!) Without his broaching the topic, I simply do not know. So this has resulted in the situation where I have tried my hardest to show that actually, it’s not that I’m not interested….almost to the v embarrassing point where I feel I am almost the one doing the chasing! This is bad.
What is more, to make things worse, where previously he seemed to be working from the utmost integrity, now it feels as if he is definitely playing with me. Just as I could not fail to be aware of his hints, so in the same way I’m sure he also could not fail to be aware of my efforts to “indicate”, like the time when I… ( actually, both this utmost integrity and this naughty teasing are very essential characteristics for my husband – but that is a different story for a different day).
I’m also worried that he might think that this he has got me where he wants me, and that the way to sustain this is to keep up his teasing. This annoys me. I am almost tempted to overcompensate, to completely blank someone in church, just to communicate that I do not like this, I do not appreciate this….
This is why I was so grateful for the teaching last week, and want to shout it out v loudly – please do not expect me to respond to a question you have not asked – if you feel this is right, then please speak, my friend! Actually, I wish this particular guy would address this issue anyway, even to communicate that “no, actually…” and to acknowledge that yes, he was indeed dropping fat hints designed to make me start hoping big hopes. Frankly Mr, I think you owe it to me, knowing the confusion you’ve caused! (Although I can barely imagine how awkward that conversation would be… – knowing myself I would probably run away!) OK, and could this be an expression of attraction versus God’s will – although surely, attraction has to be a component of God’s will? Oh dear, such a long story, but please believe me, this is the highly, highly abbreviated version! 😉
OK, maybe I should leave some thoughts for next week, but I also thought I need to raise the question of how exactly we know God’s will – different people hear in different ways, and to different degrees of certainty – apparently we shall find out next week – I shall be listening with bated breath! Also, another very, very big question – is there only one person that could be God’s will for you at any time? Long ago, I decided that I would not buy this theory, concerning marriage or concerning any other aspect of life – that there is one specific decision that is “right”, and every other one is “wrong”. This seems like a way to beat yourself up spectacularly over every possible decision you could make in life. Even if it is right, then I decided that the surest way of getting it right is to follow the rules and principles that God has explicitly revealed in the Bible, while continuing to pray, ask God etc, and specifically ask Him for His will. This to me seems safer than relying only on what you might be hearing, or what other people might confirm, or otherwise, which surely, will be coloured by your emotions etc. I prefer to think that a decision should be made by asking God for His will, then working within the guidelines He has set for us in the Bible to choose a husband, career etc that is a sensible choice and moreover one that I like. If God drops a name very clearly, or otherwise makes things very very clear, and you know that this is definitely God, then so be it – obviously go along with that. God and I already have an understanding that I have to seriously fancy my husband, and be totally crazy about him. So if along comes a guy where this is not the case, or where it does not look like it could be the case, I am not even going to bother to pray. So there! Period.
However, I bet my Pastor will disagree with me – something to cover next week.
As it happens, I had the chance over the week to be observing the strong, long dependable and holy hands of someone altogether different, and today, would you believe it, I found myself at an excellent vantage point for viewing that same pair of hands! Different possibilities were occurring to me, which highlight the question of whether “God’s will” is absolutely, necessarily one specific person, or could be any one of a number of people….
Houses and riches are an inheritance from fathers,
But a prudent wife is from the LORD.
There are many plans in a man’s heart,
Nevertheless the LORD’s counsel – that will stand
Image of Male hands by Belleza on Pixabay