I capped off the night with a toast. It was my brother’s wedding, and it had been a great day. Family that I only see on special occasions such as this arrived from all over. Friends were present, and my date (my wife) looked beautiful as always (chalk me up some brownie points). Except for the pastor saying the wrong name in the vows, a bridesmaid nearly falling down the stairs as she exited the stage and me forgetting to go back and get my mother to lead her out of the church, the ceremony went without a hitch, except for my brother and his new wife.
It was a night to celebrate. I decided that my toast to my big brother had to be somewhat embarrassing; it would be an injustice not to do so. I talked of the many girlfriends that he had brought home to meet the family and how I disliked almost all of them. I retold of the many times that I had told him, almost always resulting in a fight, to get rid of his girlfriends, to dump them because of how they treated him or their reputation. I admitted to giving him much grief over the years, but at the same time, I could not be happier for him and his new wife. She was perfect for him and he for her. As I toasted my brother, I dubbed myself “protector” of the new unity, and said that if it wasn’t for me and my “convincing,” he would be stuck with some scandalous woman somewhere in Ecuador. Maybe I was just trying to justify how much of a jerk I had been to him.
I think I like “protector” better.
In all honesty, my brother had been through some pretty rough relationships. He was a big-hearted guy who always had a desire to be married. My family jokes that his first words out of the womb were, “Are you my wife?” (To the cute, female nurse, of course.)
While having a big heart and a desire to get married are not wrong by any means, I saw it sometimes lead to a compromising or an overlooking of harmful flaws in his relational choices. He was sometimes blinded to what others could see so well.
I learned a lesson from my brother, not from his choices in women, but from a shift that took place later in his life. I don’t know if he read these verses, but after a series of disappointing relationships, I saw him take some Biblical wisdom to heart:
“Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or dink; or about your body, what you will wear …” (Matthew 6:25,TNIV).
… Or who you will marry …
God tells us that we do not need to be concerned with the things of this world, including relationships. God has a plan, a good plan for you and me. When we decide to take things into our own hands—to compromise who we are supposed to be—we run a high risk of really messing things up for ourselves. When we try to be God, try to control life, our limited viewpoint can lead us to make wrong decisions for our lives. This does not just apply to relationships, but all areas in which we have difficulty letting go.
You might now find yourself saying, “Ok, so I let go. Then what? Do I just sit around knitting a sweater, waiting for someone to prance into my life or for something to happen?”
Well, yes and no.
Yes, we do wait; we are patient. But this is not a boring type of wait; this is waiting with a purpose. Here is a suggestion on what to do with your free time:
“Take delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4, TNIV).
Wow, did you catch that? God promises that if we seek Him, if we chase after Him, if we saturate ourselves in Him, He will give us what we need. That is a promise; a pretty sweet deal. Of course, God does not say that we will get all that we want or all that we think we need. He promises the desires of our heart. Humbly, I have come to realize that I often do not fully understand what I truly need or what will completely fill my heart. Only an all-knowing God would know my heart’s true desires. This is something that I could go on writing about, but I won’t. You understand the point. If marriage or whatever is part of the desire of your heart, and you delight yourself in God, it will happen.
It is a promise.
Back to my brother: I saw him take these teachings and apply them in his life. I was told by somebody once that you need to become the type of person who you want to marry. If you want to find a Godly partner, become Godly. And my brother did just this. He became patient, delighted in God first and let God do the rest.
I am not saying that if one follows these steps that you can expect to be married within the next year, or ever for that matter. It was just in God’s plan for my brother’s life. However, I do know that if we are patient, if we delight in our Creator, He will give us the desires of our heart, whatever they may be.
So here’s a toast to my brother and all of those who decide to let God take the reigns on life and see what incredible adventure He has in store for us.