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Saturday, February 14


True Story, Testimony, and Account of lessons-learned by:  Keith Shealy
During this week, when so much attention is turned toward husbands and wives, and boyfriends and girlfriends, we would like to offer some advice to those who are currently not married and praying for their future mate.  I spent the first fifty-two years of my life by myself and I'm not going to tell you it was always easy being alone or patiently waiting.  Some weeks I prayed daily for God to reveal my mate to me, and sometimes I prayed more than once a day.  Whenever I entered a ministry service or event, I often wondered, "Is 'she' (the 'one') going to be here?"  And, I couldn't even tell you how many times I would hear well-meaning people come up to me and say things like, "Brother, God must really be preparing some amazing girl for you" or, "When you meet 'the one', you'll know it!"
Day after day, month after month, year after year, and decade after decade, though I was not really consumed with finding 'her', I couldn't seem to silence the voices in my head.  Like a pesky little brother Mom makes you take with you wherever you go, voices would sound off at every turn, questioning, "Is she here?  Is she?  Is she??"  Each time those annoying voices started up again, all I could think was, "If only I could get my hands on those little suckers... !"
There I was: a successful minister at a great church; had my dream football career; toured and recorded with my own band; and I could go on and on... the guy everyone always said seemed like the one who has it all together!  And, for years, because all of my friends were married, I ate in restaurants alone, left the church alone on Sundays, attempted to silence the deafening loneliness at home by tuning in to watch the football games, and, along the way, I all-but begged God to reveal to me just what was wrong with me so I could work on changing it.

Well, there came a day when I came up with a plan to try and out-smart the voices of loneliness and feelings of inadequacy.  I thought to myself, "I will convince myself that I was born without 'the marriage gene'!  That would surely shut those voices up!"  To my disappointment, just like every other thing I tried to do on my own, my plan didn't work.  The voices continued.

By the time I was about forty years old, I decided that, if I can't shut 'em up, I'll flood 'em out, with God's written Word!  That was the very BEST decision I have ever made in my life!!  I began seeking God and meditating on His Word, with a greater diligence than I ever had before.  It was only then that the voices went from deafening, to annoying, to tolerable-like whispers... at least for the most part.
Finally, I learned that "I" had to stop dwelling on things that were not of God, like TV shows.  Realizing just how destructive and suggestive primetime television programming was becoming, I knew I had to do something about that.  So I called the cable company, and cancelled it!
If you truly want a Godly mate, there are a few things I can share, from my own personal experience, that really helped me prepare for the day that God allowed me to meet Brenda.  I encourage you to practice what I endearingly call "The Tried-and-Proven 5-Step Prep" laid out below.  And there's no better time to start than now, this Valentine's Day week.
1)  Turn the TV off!  If you look to Hollywood to set your expectations for a mate, loneliness will remain your companion.  Recognize that unreal, or unreasonable, expectations rob us from receiving, not only our peace but, every good thing Jesus Christ wants us to have.  Having said that, I am in no way suggesting you compromise yourself by settling for someone who you know does not know and love God wholeheartedly.  After all, marriage was not man's idea, it's God's, and it will NOT function correctly with-out (on the outside of) God and His Word.  ~Never forget this:  Without GOD... it's NOT Holy Matrimony.~
2)  YOU cannot "FIX 'em"!  If you think you can change someone, you are deceived, and brace yourself for a torturous ride.  Only Christ Jesus has the power to change the human heart.  Marriage is not a 50/50 arrangement; it's a 100/100 commitment.  So, relax!  Trust God to introduce you to a "Godly possibility."  I must warn you, however.  Just because someone, in an attempt to win your heart, says they are a Christian, it doesn't mean they are!  Standing in a church building on Sunday makes someone a Christian about as much as standing in a garage makes you a car.  As a safeguard for us, Jesus says in Matthew 7:15-20, Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.  You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles?  Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.  A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.  Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.  Therefore by their fruits you will know them."
3)  Prepare for what you are praying for.  You do NOT want to meet the prepared, you being unprepared.  Diligently seek God.  Become the kind of person that you've been asking God to bring to you.  Be passionate about, and in love with, God and His Word.  And do everything as God and His Word tells you to.  Look in the mirror.  Do you dress, and carry yourself, in the same way that you have envisioned your future mate will?  If not, change it!  *You can't BE something you're NOT, but you can BECOME something you're NOT.*  I once heard it said that "'Insanity' is doing the same thing over and over each day, while expecting different results."
4)  You don't get married because you NEED to; You get married because you WANT to!  And you'll never have the "want-to" until you don't have the "need-to."
5)  Finally, a person does not achieve "singleness" simply by being "unmarried" or "alone".  Singleness is the most important part of a human's life and it must be pursued, not avoided!  In order for an individual to qualify as "single" and, in turn, ready for marriage, he or she must first develop themselves clearly as being these 3 things:

"SEPARATE":  NEEDING nobody else in order to feel complete  **GOD created you as one of a kind. You are Designer-made!**

"UNIQUE"DISTINCT from everybody else  **When you imitate someone else, the value you possess gets lost!**

"WHOLE":  BEING the somebody you are all by yourself  **What lies behind us ... and what lies ahead of us ... are tiny compared to what lies in us! **

So, before you are ready for marriage, you must first become "single."  Only when you become "single" will you be ready for marriage.  Becoming "Separate, Unique, and Whole" within yourself should be your goal; not "becoming married."
The moral of this blog message is, no matter what you've done, no matter where you've been in this life, the dreams you've carried since you were a child (to be joined in Holy Matrimony with the most loving and compatible life-long mate) can only be fulfilled by the Author and Proprietor of Marriage - God, Himself.
Thank you for downloading this blog and we pray you enjoy a wonderfully blessed and happy Valentine's Day, all year long!
IN Christ Jesus, Keith (and Brenda)
To be "alone", is not the same thing as it is to be "single".  Which is God's Plan:  "Loneliness"  or  "Singleness"?

What does God's Word say about each?

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