Before I married my husband Lovingson, I endured a series of dysfunctional, toxic, and ungodly relationships. I wanted a Christ-centered marriage. I dreamed of something better, but life had taught me to take what you can get and make the most of it.
The problem was, I had no idea I could ask for more.
I grew up in a broken and dysfunctional home. I married my high school sweetheart, and a few months into my marriage, I realized we had gotten married for all the wrong reasons.
For over 10 years, I looked for love in all the wrong places and did a lot of damage to myself and others in the process.
Raise your hand if you can relate!
If this sounds anything like you, I am happy to share that there is hope. I want to tell you what I've learned from honoring my God-given desire to be a wife and mother and leaving behind a life that was filled with toxic and indulgent behavior.
Want a behind-the-scenes look at some of my big blunders on the path to love?
Get ready, my friend, 'cause I'm sharing the real deal. Just wait until you hear how I got my entire suitcase full of clothes chopped up while I was on a trip to Mexico.
But the point of this full reveal today is to help you know that no matter where you've been or what has happened, you're not ruined, and God still wants the very best for you.
God does not give you blessings as a reward for good behavior.
If that were His system, I would have nothing because my behavior certainly didn't warrant any special privileges or blessings.
I didn't know what my future would look like, but I knew God wanted far more for me than I was even capable of imagining.
There was no way for me to know what my future would bring or if it would even include a romantic relationship. All I knew was that my future was going to be far more beautiful than my past.
And from that place of hope, trust, and faith, a world of opportunities opened up for me.
As I drew closer to God, I was prepared to surrender my desire for a romantic relationship fully. I didn't want anything to come between my savior and me.
But there was that little whisper in my heart and soul that kept reminding me, "you want more."
For a long time, I thought this might be the voice of Satan trying to confuse me and lead me astray.
But more than a decade later, I realize that that still small voice was God speaking His desires into my heart.
Hopefully, this message will get you excited to move forward and go after that God-given desire for a Christ-centered marriage.
Now that I've been living as a Godly wife and enjoying a thriving Christ-centered marriage for over 7 years, I know it was God who was directing my every step.
Like you, I often wondered if I was trying too hard and doing things on my own. It's tempting to believe that it will come easily and naturally if it's God's will. I've found that God wants us to be skilled and prepared for the blessings He has for us.
Developing the relationship skills to have a healthy, thriving relationship has been time-consuming and challenging, but it has paid off in the most incredible ways.
As I look back on my own journey, I definitely took some specific actions to help me make the transition out of my toxic lifestyle and ultimately into a Christ-centered, covenant marriage.
Let me share them with you now to make the shift from where you are to where you want to be as a wife and mom.
I'm also sharing HOW I made the transition and the habits that allowed me to find my own path with the Good Shepherd constantly by my side.
I want you to have a marriage you love. One where you get to say Yes! to the man you've been praying for and No to any form of settling.
So as we go through these points, I want you to make me one promise.
Promise me that as you make this transition, you'll give yourself a lot of grace and forgiveness if things don't always go the way you hoped they would.
Because they won't!
But please trust me when I tell you; God will use all your messy fails for your good and His glory.
When I first committed my life to Christ, I dream of being a wife and mom. Unfortunately, I had no idea how to make that happen.
I thought I was too broken. Too defiled.
I had the vision and no idea how to get there.
Who would love me if they knew my true past?
What kind of Godly man would want to take on that kind of baggage?
You should know that I got into my first serious relationship when I was 13. My mom had just gotten divorced, and we had moved across the country from Ontario, Canada, to Nova Scotia to get a fresh start.
I wasn't really allowed to date, but that didn't stop me. I was a rebellious child who wouldn't take no for an answer. Plus, I was aching for attention in so many ways that I couldn't resist the comfort that came from having a friend who made me feel like the world disappeared when we were together.
Of course, we couldn't keep our hands off of each other, but, being a smarter than average rebel, I decided I was going to go on birth control.
I remember a conversation with my high school guidance counselor in which I told her I might be dumb, but I'm not that dumb.
Looking back, I cringe and weep for the little girl who thought that this was as good as it gets.
I dated the same boy throughout high school, even though I didn't find him particularly attractive, smart, or thoughtful. All that mattered was that he adored me.
Two months later, it's like I woke up from a dream and asked myself, "what are you doing?!? You don't love this man! You don't even like this man! GET OUT!
Impulsivity was my middle name. I ended things with him and threw myself into a new and even more destructive relationship.
This continued for a few years until I found myself on vacation in Mexico with a gay male friend who found my behavior so appealing that he decided to take a pair of scissors and chop up everything in my suitcase, clothes, credit card, everything. He even destroyed my phone.
That was a low point.
I realized my behavior was so destructive that eventually, it would lead to death. In the midst of my confusion, I whimpered a simple prayer; "Lord, I need you! Please get me out of here.
Thankfully our Lord is a Good Shepherd who rescues His lost sheep.
If you've ever been in a situation where you're looking at your life and wondering, "how on earth did I get here?" I want you to know that you're not alone, and it doesn't have to be that way.
Let go of the life you know and surrender yourself to God.
In the midst of my pain and despair, God was already laying the groundwork for a future that would be good for me and bring glory to Him.
As I sat in Mexico wondering what to do, I mustered the courage to call Lovingson. I was terribly embarrassed and feeling so much shame, but something in my heart nudged me to reach out to him and ask for help.
Lovingson saw me at my lowest point.
He helped me figure out how to get home, picked me up from the airport, and prayed for me.
It was hard being so vulnerable in front of him, but one thing I've learned is that there is great strength in allowing others to judge you.
Before I got out of the car, he gave me his Bible and told me I should talk to God.
Please understand that although I was raised Catholic, God and I hadn't been on good speaking terms since I lost my virginity back in high school. Church was a place of shame and guilt, and although I wanted a relationship with Him, I didn't want to feel bad about myself all the time, so I cut Him out of my life.
Lovingson treated me the same way Jesus treated the woman at the well. He knew my past, and he spoke to me with love and kindness.
Of course, I assumed he was like every other man I had ever known, so I armored up.
I took the Bible he gave me, tried to read Genesis, got bored, and shoved it under my pillow.
In my naivety, I assumed everything would go back to normal, but God had intervened, and there was no going back.
Life as I knew it began to crumble and fall apart.
My friends wanted nothing more to do with me; I was placed on probation at work, my dysfunctional family got even more dysfunctional and cut off all contact with me.
Did I mention that I was living in Arctic Canada in the midst of all this? Eventually, even Lovingson moved away.
Within a few short months, it was just me and Jesus.
I was alone. For the first time in my entire life, I was really alone.
My great moment of fully receiving Jesus happened at 3 am knees down on the dingy gray carpet of my bedroom floor in my little basement apartment. I was crying out to God with a broken heart. I remember lying awake all night, my pillow soaked with tears, and finally deciding to get up out of bed, get down on my knees and let God take control.
Let me be clear; I didn't know what I was doing when I started down the path towards a Christ-centered marriage.
I didn't know if I was even capable of being a good wife. Plus, I worried that a lot of my toxic behaviors and baggage would spoil everything I touched.
Sometimes those fears still creep up when I'm feeling scared and anxious.
You should also know that I wanted to be in a relationship for some pretty selfish reasons in the beginning. I wanted to feel loved and secure. The truth is, it took time for God to really establish a servant's heart within me.
For a long time, I just didn't want to be alone. I wanted to be a mom, and I wanted to wake up beside someone who would love and care for me no matter what. The last thing I wanted was to continue jumping from one relationship to another. I wanted to settle down without settling for the chaos I was accustomed to.
I want you to know that you don't have to be this perfect, selfless, submissive servant to get started on the path towards marriage.
For one thing, you'll never be perfect.
Second, selflessness and submission are often confused with people-pleasing. It takes time to figure out how to pour from a full cup rather than breaking the vessel to drain the last drop.
You do not have to have it all figured out to get started.
God will do His work in you as you move forward.
The first mistake I made on my journey was trying to become someone I wasn't.
Remember, I still in love with Lovingson when I had my salvation moment. I knew him well enough to try and become what I thought he wanted in a wife.
And guess what that did...
It made me look weird and desperate.
Here's the thing I want you to take away from this common mistake.
Your change and growth are inevitable. Sometimes it will happen gradually in thousands of little ways, and sometimes it will come in big breakthrough moments.
And sometimes it will be messy!
I don't want you to get ahead of yourself, pretending you're something you're not.
In my case, this went from never reading my Bible to reading entire books of it in one day to have something clever to share about what I learned.
There are some things that you can do right away to start preparing for a Christ-centered marriage. After my bedroom floor experience, I went ahead and deleted all my old contacts on my phone. Including Lovingson!
I decided to let God reintroduce the right people back into my life.
That was a scary decision to make, but I wanted to see who would reach out to me if I stopped chasing them with my needy, attention-seeking behavior.
Long story short, Lovingson and I reconnected, but it took us a solid year to court and prepare for a Christ-centered marriage.
Now, I don't recommend that you cut off all contact with everyone you know because that's not necessarily what God is calling you to do. I am suggesting that you let go of the past and people who are not in alignment with where God is taking you.
If you have loving, supportive relationships around you, then lean into those. Cultivate those relationship skills with the people who God has already placed in your life.
This transition from single to married isn't a straight line. There's no cookie-cutter formula that will guarantee you a Godly marriage in 6 months or less.
You're on your own journey, and although there are some common landmarks on the roadmap, you're going to get to them in your own way in your own good time.
So here's your first big step that you can take to get started.
I call it brain dump time.
A lot of the baggage we take into our relationships is old thoughts from the past.
The first thing I recommend you do is; take all your thoughts and lay them out at the foot of the cross. The best way to do this is on paper.
Get a pen and notebook and pour out everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, you're thinking so that you and Jesus can have a good look at it.
As you do this, you will start to become aware of some of the lies you've been believing. Once you recognize them, you can leave them at the foot of the cross and begin replacing those lies with Christ-centered truths.
This is a daily practice that has transformed my life.
I do it first thing in the morning alongside my devotionals or Bible study.
By committing to this daily habit, I have been able to renew my mind and learn to differentiate between God's truth from the lies of Satan.
Schedule at least 15 minutes every morning, sit down with a pen and notebook and pour your heart out.
Write down every little thought floating around in your head: the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Then, circle one though, and ask these 3 questions.
For example: if in my writing I found something such as, "what is wrong with me, I should know better by now," here's what I would do.
I would circle that sentence and ask my 3 questions.
It quickly becomes clear that there is nothing wrong with me. I may need to change a behavior, but I am totally capable of doing that because there isn't something inherently wrong with me. I'm simply a human being, and I struggle with certain things in my life. Thankfully, God is patient and loving, and there's more than enough grace to cover even my biggest blunders.
Another thing that I struggled with was asking for what I wanted.
For a long time, I thought that wanting was wrong.
Good communication is an essential part of any healthy relationship, but we can't receive it when we are afraid to ask for what we want.
The Bible says;
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you."
- Matthew 7:7
Many of my students find this especially challenging because they're not really sure what they should be asking for.
Of course, we all start with our laundry list of qualities and characteristics we're looking for in a man. Unfortunately, those tend to be rather barebones.
Does your list look anything like this?
We come up with bare minimum requirements and then wonder if we're asking for too much.
This is the baseline for a healthy relationship. It is not too much to ask that you find your lifelong sex partner attractive. That is not vain or shallow. We were designed by God to be physically attracted to our spouse.
Now, of course, if you're expecting your husband to forever look like a young Tom Brady, you're delusional. We will spend our lives with someone who has a human body, and human bodies change over time.
I want you to have great expectations for your marriage. You should expect to be loved and cherished. There should be a physical attraction as well as emotional and spiritual maturity.
Check your standards to make sure that they are coming from a healthy, wholesome, and loving place, but don't lower them just to make it easy to get into a semi-satisfying relationship.
Take my Free Self Love relationship starter course to ensure that you are offering value and your clear on exactly what you're looking for in a relationship and why.
One of the most effective ways to get what you want is to be crystal clear about exactly what that looks like.
The reason why I'm so adamant about this is that when you can get clarity around the core values you're looking for in a man, you'll be able to identify them far more easily so that you waste less time on relationships with people who are simply incompatible.
It doesn't matter if you have great chemistry of a long history together; if you're not equally-yoked, that relationship will slowly damage both of you.
You've got to know what you're looking for if you're going to have any hope of finding it.
Next, be consistent.
It's okay to take a break from dating, especially if you see some negative patterns emerging. The problem I see is that many women go back and forth on whether they want to get married.
One day they're obsessed with the idea and ready to do anything to make it happen, and the next, they're acting like they could care less and are totally happy to adopt a few cats and call it a day.
Pursuing a Christ-centered marriage doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing ordeal.
This mindset around marriage tends to lead to frantic rushing towards the finish line followed by quitting in total frustration and exhaustion.
It's okay to say, "I'm going to get married, and it will happen when it happens, AND here are the clear action steps I'm taking to prepare for that day."
If "waiting on the Lord" leads you to feel overwhelming bitterness, jealousy, rage, and impatience, you're doing it wrong.
Waiting on the Lord doesn't necessarily feel awesome. There are, of course, some big challenges that need to be addressed in that season of your life. Overcoming challenges is hard. But, there should be space to embrace the experience rather than merely enduring it.
I'm a believer in learning from mentors who have gone before you and succeeded in the area that you're envisioning for yourself.
When I look back at some of the mentors I've had, they are a select few. I don't want too many people filling my brain with all these different strategies, opinions, and philosophies.
I prefer to stay loyal to a few mentors who share my Christ-centered values.
Here's how I choose my mentors.
First, do they have a marriage that I want to aspire to?
No marriage is perfect, but how they describe marriage and their spouse should be healthy, wholesome, and life-giving.
If the answer is no, then I'm not going to invest my time and money learning from someone who hasn't actually achieved the goal they're teaching on.
But if the answer is yes, then I invest my time, and effort, and money in learning from them, whether that means listening to their podcast, reading their blog, buying their course, or purchasing their program.
I like to choose wisely and then go all in.
Throughout the Bible, we see examples of women and men who invest in mentorship to prepare for the road ahead. Naomi and Ruth, Esther, Elijah and Elisha, Moses and Joshua.
The most important quality to look for in a mentor is that they honor your relationship with Christ. They must know how to help you prioritize that relationship while helping you achieve your secondary God-given desires.
That's what I commit to always providing for my students, and I believe that it should be the cornerstone of any faith-based support.
Wow, that was a lot of information, but I know how challenging it is to leave the past behind and start diligently pursuing your God-given desire for a Christ-centered marriage.
I know that you've got a lot happening in your head and heart, whether you're single as a pringle, currently in a relationship, or trying to heal from a broken heart.
No matter where you're at on this journey, I know that you want to do it right and please God.
The way you move into that is you start changing the way you show up.
You begin taking full responsibility for your thoughts, feelings, and actions and practicing healthy habits that align you with your God-given desire for a Christ-centered marriage.
You can be a Godly wife and enjoy a Christ-centered marriage, and I hope that you're feeling refreshed and encouraged. This is a beautiful transition that you can make in your life.
If you asked me, "what's the best decision you ever made?"
I'd tell you that beyond giving my life to Christ, the best decision I ever made was to take getting married seriously and preparing my heart and mind to be a wife.
Being married to Lovingson and having the skills that allow our marriage to thrive is the greatest blessing I've ever experienced.
It takes time, and it's uncomfortable, especially when things don't go the way you imagined they would, but if you take fruit-fueled action and you stay committed to achieving your God-given desire for marriage, you will get there. You will get to the place where you're in a secure and loving relationship that brings glory and honor to God and a whole lotta joy to your heart as well.
You'll find tons of free information throughout this website to help Christian women like you.
My goal is to apply ancient Biblical principles and Christ-centered truths to the modern dating world. I hope to empower single Christian women to date deliberately, court with confidence and pursue their God-given desire for a Christ-centered marriage wholeheartedly.
If you would like some help getting started, check out my free relationship starter course.
Begin by knowing your true worth in Christ and loving yourself so that you can attract and love the right man.
When you put in the work, that day could be much sooner than you think.
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