Friday, September 28, 2012

Its Costly Not Sweating The Small Stuff

As the saying goes, don't sweat the small stuff. It sounds good in theory; yet, the Word tells us that its the little foxes that spoil the vine. That is the real truth.

We don't think about it much - truth be told, we disregard the small things altogether, especially when we have our own plans to do this or that. In the arena of Christian dating, our focus is for the purposes of marriage. So when there are itty-bitty things like ...oh, I don't know...uh, ...say like, not knowing what utensil to use at a 4 star restaurant or blowing your nose in a cloth napkin at the dinner table or talking to your date while the movie is going on or texting in the middle of conversation or discussing business instead of being interested in the date or trying to get the cheapest parking spot no matter how far away from the venue or taking out a bunch of coupons to pay for dinner or planning for a date with no car or scratching yourself (jock itch) when meeting the parents or asking inappropriate things like if you have ever smelled your toe jam, telling childish jokes ....and the list can continue. Why? Because these are the little things that most of us, interested in getting married, tend to look over (Luke 16:10 KJV). Why would a person doing these little things stop? We justify these things thinking that everyone has a way in dealing with nerves or the person wasn't thinking and if you bring it up he/she will be embarrassed because everyone knows not to show major surgery scars while at the dinner table (or whatever little thing that happened to you).

I have mentioned those little quirky habits that was thought of as cute when first meeting each other in a number of posts before. I have also mentioned that those habits turn irritating really quick once vows have been spoken and other matters previously discussed are not adhered to. Everything becomes colossal when finding out promises spoken when dating are completely disregarded (1 John 4:1 AMP). But those little habits that were seen when dating were disregarded as well. What if those habits noticed and ignored were your warning signs (Proverbs 14:14 AMP)? What if that was God speaking to you about this person and you weren't listening. What if those habits were always big and because of your focus not being on Him, you just couldn't see what seemed obvious to everyone else (John 14:12-13 AMP)?

I was tallying up the common thread in the men I went out on dates with in the past. I did so in trying to consider my ways knowing that God would not lead me to anyone or have anyone come to me that we weren't equally yoked with. What I found was that every single date I have ever been out on talked so much about so many things. I didn't understand that. I didn't use to talk much. I was considered shy - this was back in the day. These guys talked all of the time - though they didn't talk much when pursuing me for my phone number or when making plans to date for the first time; it was after getting more comfortable did they start letting their guard down (I suppose) and it seemed everything that they never got to say with anyone else - the flood gates opened wide. It was such a turn-off! They didn't notice my eyes glazing over or me not answering their questions or looking at other people or at my watch. Was it rude? Yes, without a doubt and so was talking so much without allowing the other person a chance to speak. It was as if these men said to themselves, "Yes, a quiet girl. Finally, someone to listen to me just for me!" What character trait is that? Now the better question, why was I equal to that?

There are also little things we disregard as being all in our minds. They are the things that women call intuition and men call a gut feeling when it is the Holy Spirit giving you a nudge (John 16:13 KJV). I recall back in my late teens or early 20's I was dating a man that was so good looking; he had beautiful skin, strong looking arms, silky hair, gorgeous teeth, nice strong hands, and clean fingernails. He spoke softly with a little rasp to his voice. The type of guy where you keep pinching yourself thinking, really? 
Really God...no playing around (as if)? Seriously? Thank You...Thank You!!! Ha-Haaa!

Then something weird happens. Something that you have no control over but you don't wish to believe that it  is really there not when something so gorgeously proportioned is interested in you. No...no...not this time. Please no, don't do it! You know what it is, its that nudge. The Holy Spirit is telling you, not this one. You have to wait a little longer. Now, the test has begun. What to do? What to do?

You and I both know what I should have done. But my flesh decided to speak the longer I prolonged in letting this man go.
He looks good, doesn't he? When will there ever be a time where you will ever go out with a man that looks that good? Do you know what your children will look like? You aren't getting any younger, you know. It won't be long before the biological clock starts ticking.... and besides, weren't you the one asking to have a boyfriend in the first place? This might be your last chance. Alright, let your blessing go....see how long it will be before you get another.

I was going to let him down gently and go out on one more date, but then that weird thing happened. Its nothing like disregarding those quirky little habits you saw while getting to know the person. Its nothing like getting the eebie-geebies after seeing him pick the lint from his navel because he got bored with the game he brought you to see. Its nothing like waiting the whole day for the planned date only to find that the plan was going to the park at night and fighting off the attempts to make out. Guys, its nothing like seeing her use her long pinky nail to pick the leftovers of the dinner out of her teeth or reaching over to help you finish yours...dinner that is. Its nothing like seeing him/her in the same sweats you saw him/her in last week or the hair that's growing down the back of his neck and he doesn't think its time to get a hair cut yet. Its nothing like the hawk spitting he/she does when he/she has a slight cold and still wished to go out with you and give you a kiss afterwards...after the hawk spitting that is (oh eww!). Its nothing like any of those things. When I started dating this guy early on there was a smell that churned my stomach. I don't mean a lack of hygiene odor, I mean an aroma that can't be helped by the individual. Its the smell of incompatibility that I didn't know about but God did. If I disregarded my insides churning then I truly have no one to blame but myself. How much more does He have to do for me (or any of us) to let me know to let him go?

I try to magnify the Lord in all that I do. As much as I enjoyed the attention I got from this man, I saw the little irritating habits and liked the attention more. I didn't go out with him but a few times and each time the churn from that slight smell got stronger and stronger. I couldn't do it any longer.

Oddly, years later I saw him in the grocery store. It was well after having children and the marriage was over. There he was. His hair was as full and curly as ever and that smile, dear Lord. I immediately looked away and walked down another aisle. I finished my shopping and was gathering what I needed in order to complete the transaction at the check out counter. As I was doing so (truly not planned) I went to the check out counter with the least amount of people in line. It wasn't until I was the next person did I notice this guy was right in front of me. He looked at me and smiled again. He recognized me. I forced myself to look away again. He moved on. I took a deep breath to finish. Having my things bagged and in the cart, I started to go out the door to the parking lot but couldn't because there he was waiting. He only bought a gallon of milk. "Go...leave...I don't wish to talk to you....I don't have time for you...go away...go...Lord, tell him to go," I was saying to myself on the other side of the door. Finally, without looking behind him he started to walk towards the parking lot and I could stop lurking around the corner like some school girl.

The years that passed caused me to mature. I would never let go of the love of the Lord I have learned. No man is worth loosing that. Even when he turned to look at me again in the parking lot, I knew I didn't wish to have a conversation with him to stir anything up. I recalled that little smell which outweighed the attraction. I was not the same little girl in the Spirit as I once was thinking that I had to have a man more then the one that created all men.

Most single women after reaching a certain age would like to marry or re-marry. There is a certain feeling of security knowing that there is someone in the house that cares for you and will protect you. Even if he doesn't, the neighbors don't know that. It can be a false sense of security and many times women will accept that than not have anything at all. The all knowing nudge for me to wait meant more then anything else. I don't know what is in a man's heart (1 Samuel 16:7 KJV). All he could convey to me is what he is feeling for the moment. God sees farther then that. When He tells me to wait, then wait I will do.

The difference with those women and true believers is knowing who your real protection is. He has said He will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5 AMP). He is our fortress and shield (Psalm 18:2 AMP). He is our strong tower, our protection, friend and provider. He is the healer and the way maker. Unless men believe this as well, he will always be little without the Greater One living on the inside of him.