One of my best friends from high school stopped by last night, and in the midst of our catching up she gave me a book "Young and in Love" by Ted Cunningham. I could see it on her face that the Lord told her to give it to me, but honestly, I was a little skeptical because Chris and I are going through a ton right now trying to figure out this dating thing. She explained the book to me a little and I felt like it would be dangerous to read since it encouraged young marriage. I've only read through a little bit, but it actually seems like an accurate biblical-based book. These are some of the things that really spoke out to me:
Young people have fallen for the lie. Delay marriage, be independent, finish college, build your career, save up your money, and have sex outside of marriage. You've been told to wait until you have it all figured out and have found someone who has done the same. That's why you keep hearing the words, "You're too young." I believe that young age is an unnecessary delay of marriage. While I am an advocate for marrying young, I'm an even bigger advocate for helping you grow up. Take responsibility for your life! Entering adulthood doesn't require that you wait until you're twenty-five years old, the age some researchers now believe is the milestone for adulthood. I don't want that for you because frankly it's unnecessary. Satan wants you to stay a little boy or girl because it leads you to focus on yourself and results in prolonged adolescence. But God wants you to press on to maturity. Cunningham talks about his meeting and marrying his wife - Never once did we think we were too young. Unprepared? Yes. Too young? No. Our parents blessed it. So did both of our churches. The idea that we needed to wait another five or even seven years, get good jobs, learn to be independent, and then settle down never once crossed our minds. For us, marriage was a milestone at the front end of adulthood, not the back end, and we genuinely looked forward to marriage and figuring out our lives together.
It's really hard to date - bottom line. I want so bad to say yes, that Cunningham's words are exactly right and I'm going to follow them. For some reason, it's not that easy. I'm ready to marry Chris; I want to be with him everyday for the rest of my life. I'm in love with him. But it's not up to me. Men work differently than women. Most women just know when they are in love and it is right; but men have something in them that makes them have to figure it all out so they can provide and be who women need them to be. Chris doesn't work by emotion - in actuality, he has no idea how to handle them. My love is not based wholly on emotion - the Lord has much say in the actions I take and the things I feel; I have a sensitive spirit. Always have. Chris's spirit is very much the same way in it's sensitivity; but when his emotions start coming, it's a red flag in his spirit because he does not work well with emotions. It's easy for us to get caught up in being in love and just having fun and living life, and although that is a wonderful and beautiful thing, the Lord is in control. It is very important for us to be in tune with the Spirit so we can follow the Father in His will and not base any decisions off emotions. Really, we just need prayer. For the Lord to do a mighty work that we may know His desires.