Saturday, May 30, 2009

Lady of Conviction

A conviction is a set of standards that serve as a springboard for your choices. Being a lady of conviction and having standards, as it relates to the book’s topics, means “avoiding Bozos.”

“Do you think your ideals and standards are too high? Do you feel the pressure to compromise and settle for the generic version of life? Ruth lived in an era that was exactly like modern America. Judges 21:25 describes the era in which she lived: “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” We too live in a culture where it seems that no one fears God and people just “do their own thing.”

Living by your steady convictions can seem…tiresome and pointless, trust me I know! Today, yours and my standards are tested daily and we are pressured to compromise and drop some of standards we set so that we can find Mr. Right Now instead of Mr. Right. I’m going to go off on a tangent right now but in psychological studies and research when people are offered 10,000 dollars but they have to wait 15 years to get it OR get 5,000 dollars and get it right now people choose the 5,000 because it’s immediate gratification. We as a people want it right now! We would rather have the short term benefits than waiting for something better. The same concept applies for Mr. Right. Many women today are willing to settle for a guy who may not care for them or who they don’t truly care for, only because he is there and we have a fear we won’t be able to find anyone else and no one wants to end up alone. Does that seem right to you? What benefits and drawbacks will you have to endure to get Mr. Right (10,000 dollars) instead of Mr. Right now (5,000 dollars)?

In recent events I’ve been asked this question a lot lately: “So what are you looking for in a guy, Laura?”

I’ve answered in two different ways:

1.I’m looking for a guy who is a spiritual leader and has God as #1 in their life.
a.Explanation: A guy who is involved in the church, outreach, striving to be the best they can be; for himself and for the benefit of others.
b.I have felt in past relationships I have been the “spiritual leader”- encouraging the other person to become closer to God to do the right thing etc. This isn’t a bad thing but I want a guy who already has this drive to become closer to God etc. BUT who also can encourage me, learn together, and grow closer to God together-because we both want to; not because they’re being strained to.

2.I’m looking for a good guy. (This one has a bit of explanation)
a.When I meet a guy I hear the same response come out of their mouth many times: “I’m a good guy.” As soon as I hear that, my red flag goes up. If they are truly a good guy, why do they have to tell me? Shouldn’t I be able to see that through their actions and the way they live their life? Yes! Now if others are saying this about him, that’s great because they can see it in their lives, actions, and words. (I’m going to rant here for a second. I’ve been told WAY too many times “I’m a good guy” and I’ve taken that for truth, why not, they haven’t done anything thus far for me not to believe them? Naive. They also hadn’t done anything for me to believe that except for just saying the words. It has ALWAYS turned out that this “good guy” has been an act, in most cases just to get the girl.) I am being bitter or realistic? I’m not sure.
b.Well I want a guy who I can see is a good guy, who is a growing Christian man, and not only I know it but everyone around him knows it, not because he said it but because it’s visible.

I’m going to list, explain, and back up with scripture qualities of a real “good guy.” These are discussed in the book Lady in Waiting and compliment and go into greater detail as to what I described I was looking for in a guy. These are my convictions in what the right guy possesses:

Puts the needs of others ahead of his own. This man accepts people just the way they are, loving others even when his love is not returned. He will continue to love someone because of his commitment to that person, not because of how he feels.

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interest of others (Philippians 2:3-4)

Rejoices in his relationship with Christ. You don’t have to ask this man if he is a Christian. His joy in the Lord is evident in his life.

These things I have spoken to you, so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full (John 15:11)

Maintains proper relationships. This man seeks a good relationship with everyone—from his friends to his parents. He listens to differing perspectives without feeling threatened. He has the strength to back off from a fight. He works to forgive wrongs done to him and seeks to make his own offenses right. He will not hold a grudge.

Pursue peace with all men…(Hebrews 12:14)

Refuses to jump ahead of God’s timing. He is not so eager to be something, do something, or have something that he cannot wait on God’s timing. He chooses against impulsiveness so he may be in the exact center of God’s will.

Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him…(Psalm 37:7)

Seeks to meet the practical needs of others. He is not so self-absorbed that he cannot make time for the needy. He is interested in the welfare of others and is willing to give his time, money, and energy for their benefit.

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted…(Ephesians 4:32)

Stands for what is right. He hates anything contrary to God’s holy character. He is known as a man of integrity by those with whom he works.

There will be …glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good…(Romans 2:9-10)

Follows through on his God-given responsibilities. He uses the talents God has given him and realizes that “he + Jesus= adequacy for any God given job.” He is neither overconfident nor absorbed with feelings of inferiority. He is not a dreamer, wishing for more ability, but a diligent steward o the talents he has been given. The man is dependable and stays with even a difficult task until it’s completed.

Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful (1 Corinthians 4:2 NIV).

Understands the importance of feelings and emotions. Some women may find themselves attracted to a demanding man, assuming that is dominance will be their security. Other women may marry a doormat they can dominate, but inevitably end up despising the man’s weakness. A gentle man is the best of both; he takes the initiative to lead but tempers it with gentle response toward the other’s feelings.

So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience (Colossians 3:12).

Flees temptations to compromise. This man refuses to be in situations that are sensual, immoral, or impure. He does not entertain friendships that lead to drunkenness or carousing. He avoids talk that could cause strife or jealousy. This man does not allow a temper to control him or anger to destroy him.

Like a city that is broken into and without walls is a man who has no control over his spirit (Proverbs 25:28).

I feel this list can be classified under the umbrella of the qualities I’ve listed above for what I’m looking for in a guy; they are said better in more detail. It seems like a lot of qualities and pretty picky! But these qualities are not unrealistic ideals. When a man follows Jesus, the Holy Spirit works these into his life. You want to marry someone for the qualities he possesses now, not for the qualities you hope he will develop. The most common mistake made by marriage partners is marrying someone they intend to change. I think this is so true, a woman finds a guy who she really likes, perhaps because of looks, money, or whatever reason; and they think: When he is with me he will see this better life and what is really worth living for, settle down, and will become this and that kind of guy…yadda yadda yadda. I’m SOOO guilty of that but it doesn’t work, at all. Don’t look for a guy who has potential in possessing the qualities you are looking for, there is one out there that already does or will in the future-with God’s help. That is less work for you and me when you’re trying to evoke these qualities out of a guy, you might as well just wait for them and him in Gods time, he is the only one who can do it! Who knows, it could be that guy with potential you end up with but wait and let him figure out what it means to be a “good guy” and focus on your walk with God, as opposed to your walk with Mr. Right now.

Do you know what your convictions are in life? Not just in finding a guy but perhaps convictions of what you stand for? Whatever they are; stick to them, compromising nothing.

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