Over 8 years ago, Laura Parsons Lytle said goodbye to "dating", and started praying for her future husband instead. God had made her heart brand new, and whole. And He started to show her that it's a thing of value to share with the man that He created just for her. So instead of going on meaningless dates, and giving piece after piece of herself to guys that have no clue how to treat a daughter of the King, she wrote a lists of the Godly qualities that her husband will have. And instead of spending time with guys that she has no intention of marrying, she spends time at the feet of Jesus, praying for the man that she will eventually share her life with.. She writes him letters, prays for him, and periodically Tweets little messages to him.. And through her ministry, she educates single ladies on how God sees them.; as His beautiful, valuable daughters. And stresses the importance of allowing God to lock up their hearts, until the right man, the one who has asked God for the "Keys" to their hearts, pursues them..
Below you can read blogs Laura has written on the subject, and even letters to her Future Husband. And follow her on Twitter to read her #DearFutureHusband posts. (also seen to the left).
Keep watch for Laura's new book and accompanying devotional "True Love Prays" coming soon!!!
DANCING WITH JESUS
DANCING WITH JESUS
I've often told single girls that I counsel, just to dance with Jesus, and He will let the right man cut in. It sounds simple enough, but the truth is that most people don't really know what it means to "dance with Jesus". So much emphasis in our culture is put on "finding the perfect man" when the reality is that the only perfect Man has already found you! Time and time again, I've watch girls give their hearts to guys that had no idea what to do with them. Not all of the guys were bad, some of them even loved God, and attend and serve at church every week. But the reality is, that isn't enough.
When I say that I've been "dancing" with Jesus for nearly 6 years, it's not as metaphorical as it sounds. Take for instance the other day, when I had a lunch date with Jesus. I went to the park, sat at a table, put on some intimate worship music, and was so aware of the overwhelming presence of my Jesus, that as I gazed across the table, I could literally see His eyes gazing back at me from the other side. And at times when I'm walking down the street, I can feel His hand in mine, gently leading me along.
I’ll admit that when I decided to do this whole "dancing with Jesus and allowing Him to let the right man cut in" thing, I didn't really know what it entailed either. My husband had betrayed me, my life was far from the perfect-white picket fence-dream that I'd envisioned once as a child. I just knew that this man, this Jesus, came to me one night in the filth and shame that was my former life, and though my sins were scarlet, He made me white as snow. Though I was lost, broken, and rejected, He found me, made me whole, and called me His own. God's word said that He is my husband and He chose me. From that moment on I knew one thing for sure, that I am unconditionally loved by the Creator of all things, and if I were ever to marry another human being, God and God alone would set the standard of who that man would be.
Before Jesus, I was used to being tossed aside by everyone I ever cared about. I was used to being rejected, and abandoned. I was used to being let down. But then Jesus started to lead me in this dance, a dance where He showed me what I'm worth, and what I deserve. And I began to believe Him. And still I was constantly surrounded by Christian girls who would give their hearts away for free, and I’d still watch guys, even ones who love Jesus, go after these girls because it's "easier" than winning a heart that is actually a prize. And I was often told that my standards were too high, or that I should just give this guy or that guy a chance. But I still knew one very important thing, I knew how Jesus treated me, and if a guy wasn’t at least trying to hit that mark (I’m not naive enough to think that any human being was going to hit it every single time, no matter how great their heart may be.) then the most they will get from me is friendship. A man who truly sees your value, will pay the price to have you. Don’t be swayed by everything that you see around you, I wasn’t. The only swaying that I do nowadays is back and forth with Jesus on the dance floor.
No matter how Godly or amazing a man is, he is just that, a man. A man who is not perfect. A man who can fall just like any other man. So it ultimately isn’t about a person being "good enough". None of us are good enough, if not for Jesus. But who should I be with that will bring the most glory to God? Who should I be with that has given himself, all of himself, to Jesus, just like I have. It's about knowing my own worth, and you knowing yours. Some of the most amazing, Godly guys, still have no clue how to treat one of God's daughters. Many people look at me and think that they are for me, they ask me out, they call me, they might even know the right things to say. But most of them wouldn't know what to do with me if they had me. It takes a strong man to lead a strong woman. A man who isn’t willing to compromise. A man who is willing to take up his own cross every single day, no matter what it costs him. A man whose heart is truly after Jesus.
When you think of the man who you want to be with, do you ask yourself these questions; Will he treat me as I deserve to be treated? Will he respect me and protect my heart and my purity? Will he take the time to make me feel special and appreciated? Will he go to my Father and ask for the keys to my heart? Will he love me the way that Christ loves the church? You deserve for a man to treat you like the queen that you are, bring you flowers, open doors for you, treat you with respect, and so do I. But as important as all of the things I just mentioned are, I want to be clear about something...the emphasis is not on the man that I'm waiting for, it rests solely on the One with whom I'm already dancing. As a good friend of mine once wrote:
"I am not looking for the love of my life, He already found me. I am waiting for the one that I will serve the Love of My Life beside."
Ladies, Jesus DIED for you. He was beaten, and bruised, and rejected, and made fun of, and He took all of it because He loves you so much. He ransomed you, He rose again so that you could be loved, so you could be free. He paid far too great of a price for you to let a man devalue you! The least that a man should do is respect you, value you, appreciate you, and love you. But he can’t complete you. A man will never be able to complete me, and I don't need him too. Jesus already did that. If you haven’t allowed Him to complete you, then you’re not even ready to be with a man. Your hope shouldn’t be in a man, it has to be in Jesus. Because the truth is, I write letters to my future husband but he could ultimately use his free will to choose someone besides me. And I pray for a heart that is beautiful, but still human and able to be tempted by the things of this world, just as easily as I could. Never put your hope in something that can be taken away. But trust God, that He has the very best future in store for you, and that He will only give the keys to your heart to the man who asks for them. If a man can't do that, then he doesn't even deserve you, no matter who he is. You are a thing of immeasurable value, and you deserve to be treated as such.
Knowing all of that, you might wonder why I even bother waiting. And the reasons that I choose to wait, may not be what you think. I choose to wait, because I believe what my Father told me, and I trust that if I ask Him for bread, He will not give me a stone. If one man doesn't choose to step up, then He will bring someone better. I choose to wait, because not only am I worth it, but so is my future husband. I choose to wait, because just as with Shadrach Meshach and Abednego and the fiery furnace, I believe that my God will come through, but EVEN IF the right man NEVER cuts in, I will still never settle for less than God's best for me. I will still never settle for less than the man I can be with, who will bring the most glory to God. Why would I settle, when I'm already dancing with the ONLY perfect Man?
An ongoing series of informational entries
An ongoing series of informational entries
DEAR FUTURE HUSBAND,
DEAR FUTURE HUSBAND,
Got this in prayer today.
How can this be real? Too good to be true! There has got to be a catch! Sound familiar? So you're wondering what the "catch" is, right?
Here ya go:
I'm not perfect. That's it. If you're looking for perfect, then you'll never find it in me. Not that anyone else has it either, except for Jesus. But I can promise you that I don't. I have a lot of scars. I have flaws. I don't have a perfect body. Sometimes I think way too deeply for my own good. I make some crazy weird selfie faces...even when I'm not taking selfies. I will ask you to take a million usies with me. I'm like a hibernating bear if you wake me up from a nap. You will have to look into my eyes at least once a day, with the sole purpose of determining which eyelash is stabbing me in the eyeball. Never fails. I hate running. I really like tattoos and Converse. I'm confident that Jesus still loves me despite the sentence before this. I won't pretend to like the same things you do. I like what I like, and I have no problem telling you if I don't like something. We may like some of the same things, which is great...but I'm ok with us having differences. I'm horrible at making fried chicken, and I won't make you liver and onions even if it's your favorite thing ever, because the smell makes me gag. I get grouchy when I need to eat. I am kind of OCD about dishes sometimes. (Not about you doing them. I just might wash your plate like the second you take your last bite. ;) And I will probably write you way more love notes than there are trees in the forest, and lots of other things. That about covers it, though I'm sure you can find a couple other things that get on your nerves if you try. But if you were thinking there is some other catch...like that this is all a show, or that I'm going to change my mind, or walk away, or give up, or that I didn't really mean the things that I said, then you're wrong...that kind of catch doesn't exist. I'm playing for keeps. Forever keeps. And other guys might read this, and think that it's to them, because they can "tolerate" all of those things. But I don't want to be tolerated, I want to be loved. And they might think that they "know me" because they just read all of that, but the truth is, no matter what I type on here, there's only One who truly knows my heart, and the only way you'll be able to truly see it like He does, is to spend time with me, and pray for me the way that I pray for you...every day. They can try, but they'll never be able to get me. God only made one of you, babe, and you're the only one that I want. And maybe you're still scared, because you still can't believe that I won't reject you. Because someone else did. But I seriously wouldn't reject you; if you fell on your face, with snot hanging out of your nose, smelling like a sewer while asking me out. (Though it would be nice if you didn't smell like a sewer when we actually go on a date. :) I wouldn't reject you if you gained weight, or lost weight or ate your weight in nachos and ice cream when you have a bad day. (So long as you understand that I'll go with you, but I can't eat them unless you want to see me swell up like a Macy's Day Parade float, and break out in hives...because I'm allergic to corn and dairy.) I wouldn't reject you if you showed up at my door during a girl's night makeover party and I had to answer the door with a green mud mask on my face. ( If you could stand the sight of that, then I'm pretty sure we're good anyway, but you might have to excuse me while I wash it off, because who wants to kiss a mud face, right.) I wouldn't reject you if you showed up at my door, whenever. (For all you creepers...that only applies to my future husband. He and Jesus are the ONLY ones in the world that have "stalking" privileges. Being stalked by someone who you aren't in love with is just creepy. ) You can't lose me by saying something stupid, or not wearing the right outfit, or doing something stupid or...not being perfect. The only way you could lose me, is by never telling me how you feel. You could only lose me if you chose to. But I believe in you. I believe that what God showed me is real. And I believe you'll believe it too. But first, forget the past...all of it, because it's been forgiven. Love does not keep a record of wrongs. I'm sorry if someone else didn't understand that. And forget the fear, because His perfect love casts it completely out. I'm sorry if someone didn't really know what love was when they told you that they loved you. I know how bad that hurts. I'm sorry that anyone ever hurt you, period. That breaks my heart, I hate that. And I know it's hard to open up to someone else after that. But that somebody wasn't me. I didn't do that to you. And I'm not here to do any of those things. I'm here to love you...and I do know what love is. I know exactly what I'm saying, when I say that I love you. With every single prayer I've ever said for that heart of yours, I've understood it more. Not frilly, warm and fuzzy, only on good days, "love"; but true LOVE. The unconditional kind. The in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, for better or worse, till death do us part, kind. I'm just an imperfect woman, who loves an imperfect man. There's no other catch. No deep dark secrets, or life altering surprises. Once I'm yours, I'm yours. We'll be one. Where you go I'll go. Wherever God calls us. It's really that simple. I'm not your enemy. We're on the same team. I'm praying for you, not against you. God is for us, not against us. God is stronger than your fear. Jesus makes you brave. Don't let the devil tell you otherwise. Don't fight a battle that has already been won. Just be you. You're the one that I'm waiting for.
DEAR FUTURE HUSBAND,
DEAR FUTURE HUSBAND,
Normally my posts are short, one lined, heart felt messages to you. I'm sure you know that, because I'm fully confident that you've read one or two of them by now. This one is going to be a bit longer, though, and probably slightly different. I write you letters like this often. I've been doing so for years, long before I had any inkling as to who you were.
It makes sense now...a proverb that someone told me once. "An inheritance obtained to early is not a blessing in the end." It's kinda like if you fix up an old classic car for your kid; you may show it to them when they're 5 years old, but you can't just hand them the keys and let them take it for a spin. It's there's, it's got their name on it; but they can't have those keys until the right time, when they're old enough, and ready. Let's just say that God did show you to me "when I was 5" but as it goes, I wasn't ready for you yet. And you weren't ready for me either. I didn't believe that I was good enough for you back then. I needed more time with Jesus, more time for Him to show me my worth, and time alone with Him to ensure that He would always come first. In that time, He's shown me so many of the amazing plans He has for me, and for us.
I pray for you every single morning, and every single night, and often times in between too. It isn't that I've just been praying for God to send you. I always knew that He would, and I trust His timing. What I mean is that I actually pray FOR you, have this whole time; for your heart, for your dreams, for your safety, and so much more. For years I've prayed for you like you were already mine, not even knowing who I was praying for, because to my heart, you were already mine.
I made a list once, and though I was given many opportunities to, I never compromised it. I knew that you were out there, everything that I had asked Him for. And I knew you were praying for me too, though you may not know who you were praying for either.
I'm not writing this as some kind of declaration of my love for you. The waiting, that's the real declaration. Because it isn't just that I'm waiting, it's that I know why I'm waiting. I'm worth it, and so are you. I hope you know that, I mean really really know it. That when I say that you're everything I've prayed for, and that you are all I ever want, I know exactly what I'm saying. I know that my Father never fails.
If you ever have any doubt that all of those posts are for you, the fact that you're reading this and thinking it could be about you, should clear that up pretty well. Everyone else just skims through the posts, because they know it isn't for them. You're not crazy for understanding them, nobody else had the keys.
There are a few other things that I need to say though. Things you may have wondered from time to time. Like why won't I just tell you when I know who you are? Well that's simple...I'm not supposed to. All I got the ok for was this, this letter that I'm writing you right now.
I don't miss anything. I've just learned to be careful about what I speak on. And I respect you, and I know that when you are ready to come after me, you will. Maybe you'll be ready tomorrow, or next week, or next month, or next year. But please understand that when I say that it isn't some kind of hint, or desperate plea for you to be ready before you're actually ready. I left desperation at the foot of the cross a long time ago. When I say "when you're ready" I mean exactly that, when you're ready. Whenever that is, no rushing required, no hidden agendas, secret motives, or absurd demands. I'm sorry if anyone else said that they loved you, and then made you feel that way...rushed, or pressured, or unprepared. That's not my thing.
When I say that I love you, I know what it means. Love is patient and it's kind. Its not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged, even when it is wronged. And it never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. If you ever feel like something is coming at you other than those things, then it isn't love, which means it isn't from me, and it isn't for you. How do I know that? Because I love you. I know the heart that I pray for, so I have no need for questioning it.. And I trust the One who is showing it to me, because He holds the entire universe in His hands. You'll see it someday. Till then, I'll be seeing you. <3 L #WorthTheWait #Love