Eric and I were recently watching “MasterChef” (a televised cooking competition series hosted by Chef Gordon Ramsay) and I heard one of the contestants talk about how amazing it was to hear Chef Ramsay say “Well done!” For a moment I thought, “Wow, to cook a dish good enough to have Chef Ramsay say “well done” would be so thrilling (he is an exacting perfectionist when it comes to food)! Immediately, I was convicted. The thought crossed my mind, “You find the prospect of receiving a ‘Well done!’ from an earthly, fallen creature as thrilling, but you read over ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant’ (Matthew 25:23) in the Bible without much consideration. How can you compare the favor of the Almighty God, creator of Heaven and Earth, to the favor of a mortal man?”
How often do we do this? We find the favor of a professor, a parent, a friend, someone famous, etc. to be worth more than the pleasure and favor of God Himself. This is almost never more true than in relationships. Many of us have dated someone that we knew deep down was not good for us. Perhaps we felt the tug of the Holy Spirit on our hearts saying, “This is not a good thing – run!”; however, we chose to ignore His voice. At that moment, we were basically saying “God, I choose the favor of this person over Yours.” That scenario is a harsh reality that faced several times – and each time I went against the leading of the Holy Spirit, I ended up heartbroken. My broken heart did not always come from the guy breaking up with me. In fact, more often than not, my broken heart came from myself having to eventually throw my hands up and say “I know! I can’t be in this relationship anymore!” After all of the fighting and struggling against the Holy Spirit’s leading, I’d end up hurting myself and the guy I was dating. Each time, I wondered why I did not just listen to His voice in the first place.
Perhaps you are in a relationship like that right now. Maybe you are crazy about this person, but you know in your heart of hearts that this person is not your life-long mate or that the Holy Spirit is leading you to end the relationship. This is one of the hardest things in the world to do, but I would venture to believe that hearing “Well done, my good and faithful servant” will make any heartache endured in this life worthwhile. Is this person someone that shares your passion for the Lord? Is this person someone who truly wants you to follow God’s will for your life, even if it means parting ways? After dancing in and out of relationship after relationship I told the Lord that I wanted a man that was so sure of his calling that he would never turn away from it, even for me. When you pray that, be prepared! Thankfully, that is just what I got. Eric knew he was called to counsel, and work with people, long before we met. If I had told him that I wanted him to give that up and do something else for me, he would have parted ways and chosen the Lord’s leading for his life over my pleas.
Ladies, since we are called to be helpmates to our husbands (Genesis 2:18), it is unbelievably important that we know the calling that is on our potential spouse’s life. If he is called to open a wilderness camp for teenagers in the mountains, but you are terrified of the woods, hate camping, and get grouchy without air conditioning, you really need to seriously consider if this is the life you want on which you are ready to embark. Once the ring is on and the vows have been made, you are officially the helpmate to this man. You can be an assisting helpmate and bless his ministry exponentially or you can be a poor helpmate and hinder his efforts – either way, you are his helpmate.
In consideration of that, not every woman is meant to help every man. Some personalities mesh better with other personalities. Also, if you don’t already know what they are, find your talents and passions. When deciding whether or not to marry someone, be honest with yourself about how your talents and passions match his needs and life direction (this means, before marriage, he should have a life plan – not that it can’t change over time, but a general plan/calling should exist). A marriage is best when both husband and wife desire to head in the same direction together in life.
Pray fervently about your decision. Serving well in marriage is of the utmost importance to God. He will lead you in your spousal decision if you are willing to listen and seek Him with your whole heart (Jeremiah 29:13). In any difficult decision, whether choosing a spouse or otherwise, keep your eye on the prize and imagine yourself entering Heaven and hearing “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” Those words will make any heartaches or prices paid of this life become completely insignificant.