You know, I hate hinting. So there is this guy, and I genuinely do not know whether he is currently reading this blog, although I do know that he has read at least a few posts in the past. And recently some rather interesting thoughts have been occurring to me, and I am hoping that I will gain at least a warm friendship from this but I don’t know whether I should say something, or how to say it. Actually I’ve already said quite a lot, to be fair! You know I really don’t want to lose this friendship. You know my life would be so much easier if I could just come out and say what I need to say. (And I imagine that he would expect this from me too!) But society dictates blah blah blah that girls should sit and wait blah blah blah. Not mind you, that that has ever stopped me before! 🤣🤣🤣 Anyway, for once in my life I am going to sit and wait and follow convention. Not least because I expect that he would want to be “the man”. I am going to pray, and ask God for guidance and direction…and I am probably going to sit here and continue hinting like mad on my blog, wondering whether he is reading this… To be clear, contrary to how this might sound, this is not a bald invitation to a relationship, by the way. Rather it is about needing to communicate something…
If you are reading this, please post something on Facebook.
You know, I have been recently remembering another situation where I hated hinting, and that was with Mr Not the Will of God. And you know what, just thinking about it is giving me some pause for thought, as in that case being direct truly paid off. Honestly, it paid off so well that based on that alone I am tempted to tell women that they should simply ignore societal dictates, and just go ahead and say what they need to say. However, I believe that I was genuinely led by God and other people may find that they do not receive the same neat results if they are not led by God as I was.
When I say that I was led by God, that does not mean that that situation, or any other, resulted in a relationship as I would have expected.
I was recently wondering whether people might have read that story, and thought that something did not add up. Why would I have told someone that I believed that it was the will of God for us to get married, and then come to my blog years later and said that that was the first time in my life I decided that I would rather be single? Well what I am going to write now might not answer that question altogether, but it will hopefully bring more understanding to the whole thing.
In short, to put it simply, what I initially thought about him ended up being very different to what I eventually thought about him.
I initially thought he was lovely, so when the thought of anything marital happening between us first occurred to me, I was enthusiastic and welcoming of the idea.
And then he displayed some other behaviour which I was so surprised and confused by. Honestly, it has vexed my brain for so many years to try to understand him, or who he “truly was”.
I also need to make it clear that absolutely nothing romantic and/or sexual happened between us. Literally everything was conducted over email back in the days even before social media, except for a single meeting at a major London train station. Looking back, as I write these words, I am struck by a pang that things could have turned out so differently, considering how much effort I invested into it. However, the confusion between what I initially thought of him versus what he eventually revealed of himself was so…confusing. When he said that it was “not the will of God” for him and me to be married, I walked away, and I emphatically refused to interact with him whatsoever beyond that (the walking away). Thankfully, I now understand just how much this intuitive response, which over the years I often feared was unforgiving, was actually one hundred per cent the correct thing to do.
What I now understand is that he was not a bad person. And yet, at the time, I was already a Biblist, and he clearly was not, even though he was a sincere Christian. When I call myself a Biblist, I mean simply that I demonstrate a time commitment to my faith that approximates to that of New Testament Christians, I consider my faith to be my vocation as they apparently did. So I basically mean “New Testament Christianity”. And yet I have had to invent a new term for it because most people who believe in Jesus in our times definitely do not demonstrate a time commitment that resembles that of the New Testament Christians, and these modern low-commitment believers have confidently commandeered the term “Christian”, so I have had to invent a new word to describe original, authentic, Biblical faith. Because time matters, and I have found there to be a distinct difference between people who are high commitment, like me, and everyone else. Crucially, the difference that I notice most (and care most about!) is between people who spend a lot of time working on their character, and all other people, including other Christians, and this even also includes me, in those periods of my faith when I don’t spend a lot of time working on my own character either!
And at the time of this Will of God incident I did not have the vocab to describe my own commitment, versus other people’s. As obvious as it is now, it took me many years to realise that the difference between me, and most other Christians such as him, was a matter of commitment, in that I sincerely treat my faith as if it is in itself my vocation, and I invest time into my faith and my relationship with God that is commensurate with this thinking. The entire interaction with him had been an expression of obedience on my part, and telling him that it was the will of God was also an expression of obedience. However, even at that point, even right as I was typing out the “will of God” email, what I had seen of him was already enough for me to walk away. (Yep, that also happened over email!) True funny story: I am now a web designer and quite fluent with web technologies. However, back then, all those years ago, I was more of a technophobe. I genuinely did not know how an attachment worked. And I wrote these stupendously long emails to him. And this was also back in the days of dial-up internet, when the phone line and your internet connection shared the same line, so an incoming phone call would automatically break the internet connection. So instead of typing out those extremely long essays at my leisure in documents, and then just attaching them to an email in a matter of seconds and or minutes, I actually sat there typing out those 10+ page essays (really!) right into the body of the email, and praying desperately that no call would come through until I had finished! And at least once a call did actually come through while I was in the middle of typing out an email, and I had to start the whole thing all over again. Apparently, saving email drafts did not exist in those days either! With all that said we did not have Microsoft Word on our home computer back then, just “LotusNotes”, so perhaps typing it straight into the body of the email was realistically the only reliable way to do it after all.
You know what, even writing about this, all these years later, hurts my head. Trying to mentally process the confusion that he caused me causes me physical pain. [Edit: on reflection, I have decided/realised/remembered that if someone is not a Biblist then I do not need to waste any mental effort trying to understand them. Everything is answered by the fact that they are not a Biblist. All I can do is to be gracious and kind within appropriate boundaries while maintaining a safe distance for my own protection.]
I don’t think I have ever met anyone else who I turned out to be so wrong about. This whole situation was what communicated to me how wrong I can be about people, especially men who claim to be Christians. And it is this that has eventually led me to a point of carefully evaluating men, or “two-yearing them” before I let myself go near them romantically. Once again, I need to carefully emphasise that this man was not bad, at all. Ultimately though, he was just not sufficiently like me, and the way he treated me was too different from what I had initially thought of him. If the whole “will of God” thing had not happened, he was probably the kind of person whom I could have been friends with on Facebook, where I might have liked his posts, and congratulated him on his birthday, but without seeking any kind of reciprocal friendship. Now though, for the sake of my future husband, and to cut out any risk of future confusion, it is just most prudent to stay away from him altogether.
You know, for a long time I suspected that he read this blog. For all I know he might still be reading it. And if so, then this post might be somewhat hurtful to him. But you know what? This is the simple truth. With all the best will in the world, not everyone will be an appropriate spouse for you. And if your commitment to faith is anything comparable to mine, it is truer to say that almost no-one will be an appropriate spouse for you, even when we are talking about Christians who are supposedly extremely serious about their faith. And this was the first man out of so many who communicated that fact to me.
To write further – why I (still) believe that it was the will of God, even considering everything that happened between us – long story short, if that had not happened, it would never have occurred to me to evaluate men before marriage. Even if someone else had suggested it, I would probably have had so much faith in my ability to judge character that I would have dismissed it. This is why it was important that I was the one who was driving the action. Because he apparently despised that, and it gave him a chance for him to express his disdain, and it gave me a chance to see what was in his heart. So if someone just like him with all his confusing inconsistencies, had expressed interest in me, but unlike him managed to remain convincing until marriage, or more skillfully hide his disdain, then I would likely have eagerly thrown myself into marriage. And it would invariably have been hellish. And this is overwhelmingly true of most Christian men. So that one incident prevented me from getting married to possibly 90%+ of the Christian men I could possibly have met. Which, believe me, is an amazing thing! Because most Christians, male or female are overwhelmingly not Biblists, and consequently, do not invest great effort into developing Christlike character, and I speak from long and embittered experience that trying to cultivate any kind of close interaction with these people, like marriage would represent, is literally, no exaggeration, like throwing myself into the bitterest fires of hell. The pettiness, the insincerity, sometimes outright lies, unsubtly hoping to see you fail, and all from supposed Christians. And you think that I would knowingly put myself into this for a lifetime?! So as I say, the incident was completely from God to prevent a lifetime of marital pain! To be clear, it is not even as if these Christians always have bad intentions. Many of them are deeply sincere about loving God. Which might sound like a contradiction – but they simply do not have the time, despite their general sincerity, to pray for hours as I do, or as I aspire to do. Which then leads to insincerity and general poor character in daily interaction with them.
The huge advantage that I have got over practically everyone else is that I literally built my life around this and I deliberately avoided taking on responsibilities, even jobs, that would stop me from having time to pray as necessary. That has been an extremely hard puzzle to work out, and in truth I still have not worked it out. Which is why I also vacillate between periods of deep prayer and periods of not reading my Bible. Before yesterday, I don’t want to admit the last time that I read my Bible. If I’m honest, I sincerely don’t remember how long ago it was – a month, maybe? I’d like to think that it was not up to that long, but it probably was. And if not this particular instance, I definitely have gone whole months without reading my Bible AT ALL countless times in the last few years. And remember that I am someone who has actually built my life around this. So for people who have not… To be fair to myself, there have been lots of issues going on in the world so I have been prioritising intercessory prayer. So I have not been utterly prayerless, not by a long shot. However, as any serious Christian knows, spending time to pray for global issues is not the same as spending time in God’s presence pouring out your heart to God, listening to Him, bringing your heart, and specifically your character before Him.
Furthermore, merely remembering the “Will of God” incident makes me shudder, and this communicates to me that I simply cannot afford to take any risks in marriage, lest I find myself in any other similarly shudder-inducing relationship. This has made me so careful over the years. So many things I have achieved have been made possible by being able to make my own decisions, rather than being dragged down by the wrong man, or hindered by his limiting beliefs about me as a woman, and a woman of my ethnicity at that. The overwhelming majority of Christian men, being prayerless as they are, would have been wrong for me, due to their prejudices, assumptions, insecurities, and ambitionlessness (?!🤣🤣🤣) along with a straight 100% of non-Christian men. And yet they would still each have expected me to submit to him, and each would have assumed that his spiritual understanding was inherently superior to my own. I know this because this is what people consistently assume. So for the sake of being the person I want to be, and achieving the things I aspire after in life, I had to go through that “Will of God” incident so that I would come to understand that most Christian guys are simply not appropriate for me, and I could hold out for the ultra-elusive man who would truly, truly match my life and who I feel created to be, and also offer me genuine, supportive, loving leadership in our marriage, even as I seek to reciprocate towards him with my own love support, and yes, obedience. This is a word that needs to be wrested from my lips, which further demonstrates why I have to be so careful. Because believe me, I cannot give my obedience to just anyone!