It’s Okay To Have Standards & Be Hopeful

It is never wrong to have standards. It’s your compass, like a guide to know what works and what doesn’t, placing you towards the right direction. So don’t settle for the class A replica, wait up for the real thing. Remember that the waiting season is never a wasted season. Be hopeful, remain hopeful.

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I was hopeful.

Believe it or not, when I decided to be single for a long time (for the first time in years!), it was a challenge. All my teenage life up until I was in 3rd year college, my security and identity have always belonged to men. Yes, I was independent in my own definition of the word, but I will always rely for validation from the relationships I was in at the moment. However, all my relationships then, no matter how invested I was, always just ends up failing.

Insanity is doing the same things over and over again and expecting the same result.

One (lonely) night, I’ve read that from somewhere and it hit me. I need to do something different. If I want something beyond the ordinary, I need to change my perception towards relationships. There were a lot of times that I feel like the waiting season is just a wasting season. Sure there were potentials, but I was not into it a hundred percent because I know in my heart they weren’t who I am actually looking for. Don’t get me wrong, these were great, nice guys but as a Christian woman, I have learned to set my own standards for the guy I want to marry and be the father of my kids someday. Call me idealistic or traditional but I need him to be not just a Christian but a God-fearing and Word-obeying kind of a man. No, I do not need him to be perfect and I do not need him to always say bible verses to me in the morning, I just need him to be a disciple of Jesus. And that level of need is what kept me hoping, it kept me waiting.

I want a married life with someone I can share my faith with. Someone who will uphold my moral values and respect my beliefs in keeping a relationship. Someone who understands that I go to church every Saturday to serve in the youth ministry and go to church again the next day for the Sunday service to worship and hear about His Word. Someone who values family because I value family. Someone who loves the Lord more than he loves me. I’ve set my own standards and prayed for it every day because I was hopeful that even in this day and age, where there is less regard for courtship anymore, I will meet someone like that. And it was not easy. There were nights that I feel like I’m crazy for believing such. That I need to compromise even just for a bit. Okay na kahit naniniwala nalang sa Diyos, kahit yun nalang. Maybe I can sacrifice my time for my ministry when he comes, after all, mas importante naman na may mapapangasawa ako. Okay lang kahit di siya nagsisimba with me or he has a different belief system, i-eexplain ko nalang yung preaching sakanya every week. Okay lang, basta mabait. Okay na yun kahit di kami pareho ng moral values. Okay lang. 

But nah, deep down in my heart, I don’t want to settle. I want a married life with someone I can share my faith with. If I cannot have that kind of married life then it’s okay to not marry at all rather than spending all my life struggling to explain to my partner why Jesus matters to me so much.

But then, how will I know if a guy meets my standards? Let me set this as a foundation: It is never wrong to have standards. It’s your compass, like a guide to know what works and what doesn’t, placing you towards the right direction. No, I don’t believe that if you like a guy, you have to say yes and enter into a relationship to “fully” get to know him. It doesn’t work that way. You can meet a guy and get to know him as you become friends. You can observe how he texts/chats you (if it’s just all texts/chats and no personal communication then there’s something wrong), how he opens the door for you, how he treats his family, how he is with his friends, how he values time for you, how he values time for other things, how he values your time for other things, how he spends his weekends, how you discuss certain issues  — all that you will know when you spend time together during courtship even if he’s wired up to have “the best foot forward” because at some point, he will trip and you will see his natural self somewhere along the way — before saying yes and actually committing to him. And yes, I am pertaining to that twisted Mr. Speaks video.

And so I was hopeful. Because again, I want a married life with someone I can share my faith with. And that matters to me more than just having someone to be with for the long haul. I want to wake up every day with peace in my heart that no matter how hard and tough life can be, I can always kneel down before the Lord and I’ll see him praying with me.

More than 3 years after my last relationship, that person came. He was not perfect but he was a work in progress. He sure loves the Lord more than me — more than anything else, actually. He values family so much I could see how respectful he is with his parents. Through him, I learn every day how honoring your parents in Exodus 20:12 ought to be done. He goes to church on Sundays even if he was all sleepy and tired the day before because of his Saturday ministry. And most of all, we share the same moral values and beliefs in keeping a relationship.

Thank God I remained hopeful. Thank God I struggled to be hopeful. Thank God I’ve kept my standards, because in 6 months, I’ll have a married life with someone I share my faith with. 

My standards might be different from yours, but all the same, it’s still important. Your story might be all too different as well, might take longer (or shorter) than mine, but still be hopeful. Don’t settle for the class A replica, wait up for the real thing. Because I tell you, it’s worth it. All the tears and even the fears and doubts that kept you awake all night are all worth it. You might not totally agree with me on every word I typed up here, but I believe (I’ve read this somewhere, I forgot where) that the waiting season is never a wasted season. Be hopeful, remain hopeful, because the Lord is not only the author and perfecter of our faith, He is also the author and perfecter of our love story. 

 And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. — Philippians 1:6 NLT

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