Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Gift, part 5

Daughter (start at the beginning) quickly turned her attention from the sorrow of lost fellowship with long time friends to serving in the way she believed God wanted young ladies to do. She spent alot of her time with her mother learning to run a household, helping with her younger siblings and building her own small business as a caterer. Her father was a great help in giving her direction and encouragement in prioritizing her time from day to day (Prov. 16:3).

As she focused on her personal life, she never forgot to put her time into serving in God's house, as well. She helped with the younger children at church and led bible studies for younger girls. Daughter became known among the young mothers as someone they could count on for help when they needed it (Matthew 12:33). The manner that she had as a mother's helper provided Daughter with many blessings in return - rarely did a week go by that didn't have some special gift given to her made by little hands.

There were still friendships that came and went from Daughter's life, but she had learned to stand on her own - to be content with her relationship with Christ first, and all other relationships fell into place. She could see the friendships of both other young women and young men as blessings, but had no need to carry on any relationship that threatened to compromise her convictions.

There were certainly occasions when young men expressed their interest in spending more time with her. Each time Daughter stated her belief in God's plan for marriage clearly; explaining that she enjoyed their company as friends, but could not offer them more than that (Romans 13:13&14). Eventually, it was known among the church that Daughter was different. Some called her foolish, some called her old-fashioned, some called her just plain strange, and even others called her brainwashed. Daughter just smiled politely and was content to witness in this area of her life by continuing to live differently (1 Peter 2:9).

Daughter did not live without temptation. There were a few times she watched young men who were attractive to her. These times drove her to scriptures and to prayer seeking the Lord's wisdom and protection for her heart. But as the years passed by, none of these young men met the standards she believed a man should have to be considered as a potential husband. A man who served the Lord first in his life; a man who had taken consideration of his future career; a man who understood the importance of being financially wise; and a man who had already shown a true trust in the Lord's soveriegnty in his life (Matthew 6:33).

Because Daughter was focusing on serving the Lord, it wasn't surprising that she was unaware when young men did approach her father wanting to know more about a relationship with her. Her father took the time to explain that spending time with Daughter was not going be about entertainment. He took his responsibility to protect Daughter very seriously and always offered to study the Bible with these young men and discuss the convictions that he knew his daughter held close to her heart. By doing these studies, her father quickly discovered which of these young men was serious about a desire to follow the Lord, as well as which of them was actually seeking a wife not a girlfriend.

Only one young man had continued meeting with her father regularly. His name was Authentic, and he and his family had been attending church with Daughter's family for over a year. Authentic had approached her father after several months of knowing Daughter through church events. He had watched her serve in and out of the church and had been intrigued by her virtuousness. Authentic and her father became regular companions and even friends with their own like-minded convictions. Their bible studies led into other types of fellowship, including hunting and fishing.

Daughter was never surprised to see Authentic arrive at the house. She appreciated that her dad put time into discipling younger men from church, but didn't put much more thought into the visits than that. Authentic was an attractive man, but he had never shown any great amount of attention to her. She knew he ran his own business and had a serious interest in his relationship with Christ and she had notice the way he served in his family, as well. She came to know him through his visits with her father, as well as both their families spending time together in fellowship.

In fact, Authentic did express his interest in spending time with Daughter - to her father, but he never wanted to be a temptation to her heart. He recognized the value of a young woman maintaining her purity and refused to interfere with her conviction. It was after six months of studying with Daughter's father and much prayer (Matthew 26:41) that Authentic approached her father and asked to pursue the plan of marriage with her. Her father agreed to speak with Daughter.


Jacqueline said...

Wow! This is the first time I've actually taken the time to read this series. It's wonderful! said...

How exciting! I can't wait to read what happens next!