Fellas often say to me, "So, there this girl..."
The next few moments are spent on how this beautiful, amazing young lady is the One for them. Intrigued, I listen as they share about how they met, where, when, while doing what, etc. I especially pay much attention to these things. It's always so interesting, and I often enjoy the conversation, appreciative that they'd seek my input and thoughts on the matter.
I recognize that they come to me because they've heard how I had pursued my own beautiful, amazing bride and they'd like to do likewise. God has indeed written a beautiful love story for Melody and I, and He has shown it off for the world to see. The honor is humbling and weighty. We are seen, and publicly. But, our journey started quite privately and separate from each other - when we were single.
And, I get it. I remember being young and single, looking for a beautiful, sweet 'thang to be my bride and partner in life. But, that was my problem. I was looking for her, not looking for God (Matthew 6:33). Let me explain....
I know looking for a wife seems right; I mean, it does say he who finds a wife finds a good thing and receives favor from the Lord (Proverbs 18:22), yet one could argue how a man should "find." I like to think of it as how Adam "found" Eve.
Adam wasn't necessarily looking for Eve. I mean, I'm sure he noticed that there were 2 of all the animals, that they all had mates, and I'm sure that he recognized that he didn't have such a comparable partner. In fact, no suitable partner could be "found" for him. But he wasn't looking for a wife per se in that since, but rather Adam was working, doing what God had told him to do, namely tending the garden and naming the animals.
In the midst of his work, it became apparent that Adam was single, and without a mate. God saw the lack and intervened. He put Adam to sleep and when he awoke, BAM! He found her! There she was, a perfect, beautiful, young 'thang in all of her unashamed glory! And, just for Adam.
Adam, didn't have to go out looking for his woman. God would present her to him, and Adam would in effect have "found" his bride!
Note what Adam was doing when he found his wife, he was doing what the Lord had asked of him; he was working for the Lord. Now, this is not a "go get a job" speech, but rather "are you doing what God has asked you to do?" - which may be "go get a job, son." (See I Hate My Job, but God Put Me Here.)
I met Melody on a mission trip in Uganda, Africa, doing what the Lord had asked of me to do. But, I actually avoided her for three days. You see, a couple of years earlier, after a four-day bout of prayer with the Lord, I yielded my right to marriage and decided to simply trust God for whether or not I'd ever be married.
This came about when the Lord had convicted me that I was making Him jealous with my frequent requests for wife. I had berated his throne day after day for a partner, for a companion, (and to keep it 100) for some sex again (I was a born-again virgin as they say). I was far from content with God alone. I hadn't realized that my desire for a wife, and for sex, had become idolatrous.
So, when Jesus showed me these things, I grieved that I had so grieved God, and yielded my right to marriage. And, to ensure I'd be instep with the Spirit, I vowed to pursue no one unless He presented me with my own Eve. To further ensure such a reality was of God, I asked Jesus not to be upset with me when I's resist and avoid his match for me three times. If after three times of my resistance that said woman was still being pointed out to me by the Most High, then I would then know that He had arranged for me to have found my wife.
That is exactly what happened. After three days of prayer to keep Melody out of my mind and attention, for she was hard for me to stop looking at and admiring, He finally told me that I was free to pursue her. She was His choice for me, if I in turn so chose her. (See Is There a "One," or Is It a Choice?) I said yes, and pursued. Soon, she too would say yes, and Melody and I would marry 2 1/2 years later.
Like Adam before me, I was doing what God had has asked me to do. In so doing, God presented Melody to me - I had found her.
I would then pursue her and marry her. (See How to Pursue...)
So when brothers approach me and say, "so, there's this girl I found," and they begin to share all about her and how they met, I patiently and attentively listen for how she was found - while out doing the will of the Lord, or while out on the prowl?