Monday, January 9, 2012

An Open Letter to Married Men

Allow me to be blunt:  If you are a married man,  you should NOT be flirting with me.  Let me clarify:  If you are a married man and you put the moves on me, do you really expect me to respond positively?  My husband cheated on me, so do you honestly think that I will be impressed by a married man who flirts with other women?  Really?  Do you think I'm that stupid, that desperate? 

Let me note, this is not addressed to any one specific man, but rather to the several married men who have tried to start something with me in the past few years, to the men who thought because I wasn't wearing a wedding ring, I would be flattered by their attention.

Admittedly, when I was still reeling from the shock of finding out about my husband's affair and his leaving, I was more vulnerable.  I sucked up that attention like a kid slurping the last bit of a chocolate milkshake out of the glass.

But no more.  I am not stupid.  If you, as a married man, will behave that way with me, a woman who is not your wife,  why on earth would I want to get involved with you?  You've already clearly demonstrated your inability to be faithful.  I've already been there, done that with a cheating husband, and I am not signing up for that root canal again!

So take my advice:  stop flirting with me.  You aren't doing me a favor.  You certainly aren't doing your wife a favor.  And quite honestly, you are making yourself look like a pathetic cheating jerk, so you aren't doing yourself a favor.

That's all.  Putting my soapbox away.   

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Silence Is Golden

I've been thinking about the things people say to one another when they are trying to offer comfort or wisdom.  I'm especially thinking about those things that I have said to friends in the past, with the best of intentions, but somehow, I missed the mark totally. Sometimes, I just needed to say what I said at a different maybe years later when I actually knew what I was talking about because I had finally walked a mile in shoes that resembled theirs.  More often than not, though, I needed to just not say anything. 

One of those things that well-meaning people say (okay, okay, that I have said in the past, before I knew better) is, "You should be able to find all you need in God.  You shouldn't need another person to be happy."  That was pretty easy for me to say when I was happily married.  It's pretty easy for the famous Christian author/speaker who goes home to her supportive husband after she speaks to say.  But the truth of the matter is, it's wrong and it is not easy for unmarried people to hear.

God is not all a person needs to be happy. 

Before you drag me outside the gates and stone me for heresy, let me explain.

When God created man,  He saw all that he had made, and it was very good.  (Genesis 1:31).  But then in Genesis 2:18, things get a little more complicated.  The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.   So if God is all we need, why did God create "a helper suitable" for man?  God's design from the very beginning was that people need fellowship and intimacy with other people.  And He created not a same sex best friend for Adam, but a woman, a wife with whom he could have that intimacy. 

Apparently God did not intend for man to find all that he needed in Himself.  He intended from the start to provide for some of man's needs through the intimate relationship between one man and one woman.

Another point:  Being HAPPY is not the same as being JOYFUL.  Happiness depends on circumstances.  Joy depends on something much deeper, in my case, a relationship with God.  So although I may not be happy at times, I can still have joy.  That joy is what comes from being in right relationship with God, not happiness.  God never guarantees anyone happiness, and even when I am in close relationship with God, there will be times when I am in a slump where I am not happy.

As you may have noticed, I go through periodic slumps when I really miss being married.  And it seems that each time I go through one of my slumps, some well-meaning friend shares that bit of widsom about finding all I need to be happy in God and God alone.  While I appreciate these friends' attempts to help, sometimes I wish they just wouldn't say anything at all.  Sometimes, I don't need a gem like that. Sometimes, silence is golden and a hug conveys more than mere words can.

But as I noted at the beginning, I am prone to offering such wrong advice at times myself.  Thus, I leave you with this prayer I need to pray often:

God, please seal my lips with your holy muzzle (Psalm 39) and let me open my mouth only when I can say something that will glorify You!  Amen.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Behave, Silly Emotions!

I'm trying to figure out why my emotions won't obey my intellect. 

In my head, I know all the reasons why I don't need a husband, boyfriend, or other relationship with a man.  I understand that at this point in my life, I don't have time for a relationship.  I am committed to my children and school, and I have made a rational decision that this is not the time to throw a man into the mix. 

I've even asked God to take away any desire for a romantic relationship.

He hasn't. 

My heart refuses to get with the program.  I am lonely, and my heart wants a stable, emotionally intimate relationship with someone of the opposite sex.  I want someone to hold me at the end of a long day, to offer me a backrub when I have been sitting in front of the computer for too long, to listen to me vent when I read something I don't agree with.

And it's not just ANY man.  If it were, I know of at least one who would be a willing candidate.  I want a man with a certain set of qualities. 

Funny thing is, I suspect that even if a man who seemed perfect for me and my kids came along today, my caution would cause me to take a long time to get to know him, to find out if he really had the qualities I am looking for.  So even if Mr. Perfect showed up on my doorstep, I wouldn't have what my emotions desire for quite some time.

Silly emotions.

But still, I can't help but borrow David's lament in Psalm 13:1-2:

How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and every day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?

My heart wants to know when God will remember me, turn His face toward me, rid me of these silly emotions, give  me happiness, and allow me to triumph over loneliness once and for all.

My head knows He already has.

If only my emotions would behave!