marți, august 12, 2008

The Godly Woman

Becoming Esther
by Charo & Paul Washer

"Before a girl's turn came to go in to King Xerxes, she
had to complete twelve months of beauty treatments
prescribed for the women, six months in oil of myrrh and
six with perfumes and cosmetics. And this is how she
would go to the king..." Esther 2:12-13

I have always been amazed at the kind of preparation
that the future queen Esther had to go through before
she was able to come before King Xerxes. Would
any of us want to go through twelve months of beauty
treatments before meeting the man of our dreams? Probably
not, but then again, imagine the possibilities. One year set
aside for one sole purpose - becoming all you can be for the
one you love the most. Precious time to cultivate beauty, to
make an investment in education and etiquette, to strengthen
virtue, and build character.

The preparation of Esther reminds me of that
precious time between the awakening of desire in a young
woman.s heart to share her life with a mate and the
moment she walks down the aisle. For many, this time of
preparation is seen as nothing more than a time of waiting.
Single women often see themselves as sitting on the shelf
while life passes them by, or as sitting on the bench while
others play the game. They do not realize that they are
wasting the most important time of their lives, they are
robbing themselves of great joy and reward, they are
robbing their future husbands of a more virtuous woman,
and they are robbing God of a servant through whom He
desires to do great things.

As Esther had to be prepared before she could be queen
of an entire realm, so the woman must be prepared before
she can embark on one of the most important and difficult
callings in life - marriage and motherhood. Esther had to
learn the ways of the kingdom to which she belonged, she had
to learn the manners of court life, the intellectual, emotional
and spiritual challenges of high position. To put it simply,
Esther had to be transformed from a young lady into a queen
before she could wear the title and fulfill the role. In the same
way, the single Christian woman must learn the ways of the
Kingdom of Heaven before she ever unites with the one that
God is preparing for her.

She must be prepared intellectually,
emotionally and spiritually, not by court attendants in
some pagan temple, but by God Himself, His Word, and by
other godly women who have been prepared before her.
Singleness is not a waste of time or a sitting on the sidelines,
but a time that God has set aside especially for the
woman, to make her into what He wants her to be, and to use
her in ways that just might be impossible after marriage. Singleness
is a time in which a woman is to cultivate the virtues that
pertain to being a woman of God, so that she can offer to her
future husband and the world something more than just a
pretty face.

Remember in your singleness that you are not the only
one single, but your future husband is passing through the
same stage as you. Would it not be a terrible thing to finally
meet the man who is to become your husband only to find
out that he has used his singleness to serve God and to prepare
himself to be a better husband for you. And yet you did
not use the freedom of your singleness to serve the Lord, nor
did you take advantage of the training that God offered you?
Would it not also be a terrible thing to realize that your
husband spent his days as a single man praying daily for your
needs and the work of God in your life, while you neither
prayed for him, nor responded to the grace of God that was
given you as a result of his prayers.

It is a wonderful thing when God blesses a woman with a
husband. That special someone who is .just perfect. for her
in that he has been carefully and thoughtfully designed by
God to be united as one with her. It is such a joy for the
woman to look back and remember how God enabled her to
wait on Him and that He was faithful to bless. It is still an even
greater joy for her to know that her time as a single woman
was also a time of seeking God and being faithful to Him and
His purpose. That she did not for one moment wish to flee
that state, but desired only to trust in God and wait upon His
gracious sovereignty.

By no means is it a tragedy to be a single Christian woman,
but the way of the world has once again infiltrated Christianity
with the false idea that it is. One of the greatest lies is that
if you do not .have someone. or are not .actively looking.,
there is something wrong with you. Another lie is that the
single woman should be dating around as though looking for
a husband were the same as shopping in a mall. Still another
even stronger lie is that the single woman should be giving her
affections away indiscriminately so that she may be more .experienced
. and know what to do when she finally finds the
man of her choice.

My dear Christian, it is a lie and an
affront to God to say that experience is the best teacher, when
in fact it is God who is the best teacher, and though the
world.s motto is .live and learn,. the Bible.s advice is .learn
and live.. You do not need to be experienced, you only need
to be knowledgeable of what God has said and obedient to it.
You should not be looking for the man of your choice, but
should be waiting on the man of God.s choice. And when he
comes, it will not be past experiences that will make your
marriage work, but past chastity, purity, and godliness. We
should hide our faces from the ways and experiences of this
wicked world and look upon only those things that God has
placed in the path He has prepared for us.

God knows exactly what you need and He even knows
the desires of your heart better than you do. God loves
surprises. He does not want you to be looking for your
husband, He wants to bring him to you, and probably at a
time you least expect it. If you disobey this advice, as so
many other women before you, and take it upon yourself
to look for a mate, you may find someone, but chances are
that someone you find will not be the right one.

As women, our nature desires the company and companionship
of a man. This is from God and therefore good.
But at the same time, we are wrong to think that death will be
the result if this need is not fulfilled. Needing another as a
companion is not like needing to take your next breath of air.
That is, you can survive without companionship, at least until
God has done His perfect work in you. Remember the Scripture,
.God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond
what you can bear.. (I Corinthians 10:13)

I have found that there are two primary reasons why
someone .desperately. needs someone else. First of all, it is
because they do not know God as they should. Is God not
the God of all comfort? Is not Christ the exalted Lord who
fills all things everywhere? Then why do we complain about
how empty and alone we feel? Could it be that God extends
our time of singleness so that we might find our life in Him
and learn to be complete in Him? If we seek to be married
because we feel that a husband will fill our lives or will in some
way make us complete, we will be sorely disappointed in our

No man, no matter how Christ-like could ever take
the place of God in our lives, to think such a thing is pure
idolatry. If we are not filled by God now and complete in
Christ in the present, then not even a marriage made in heaven
will be able to change our emptiness.

The second reason for desperately needing someone in
our lives is plain selfishness. When we need someone in order
to feel loved, or when we need someone so that our feelings of
loneliness might dissipate, then we are wanting marriage for
all the wrong reasons. Marriage should not be looked upon
as an opportunity to have our needs met, but as an opportunity
to meet the needs of another. If we have not learned to
take our own needs to God, then we will probably overwhelm
our husbands with our own needs and be unaware of his.

I have known Christian women who spent their days consumed
with their own needs and constantly lamenting about why
God had not brought someone into their life. But why should
God entrust a godly man to a woman that is absorbed in
herself and her own needs, and does not use the freedom of
her singleness to serve God and prepare herself for His purposes?
Such a woman would have little to offer a godly husband!
My dear friend, being single, like being married should be
considered a very special and enjoyable time in the providence
of God.

It should not be considered a mere circumstance or
a curse from which one should try desperately to flee. Being
single is a time to learn of God and of ourselves, a time to
discover who we are in Christ, and to grow in Christlikeness.
It is a time to be zealous for good works and involved in
ministry to others. Being single has a magic of its own that
should be enjoyed in its time because once passed it may not
return. There is nothing quite so sad as a woman now married
who regrets what she could have been and done with her
life while single. All was lost for the sake of hurrying to be
married without consideration for the plan or work of God.

Every season in life has a beauty and wonder of its
own. My prayer for all single Christian women is that they
might enjoy their time in spite of the lies of the world. That
they might be demanding and not settle for anything less
than the perfect will of God. That they might wait patiently
on God who is the giver of every good and perfect gift.
That they might be like Esther, using whatever time God
deems necessary to make them beautiful on the inside and

( An article first published in
HeartCry magazine Volume 3, January 1998)