Gently Led Sisters
A Good Life is A Result of Good Choices
So many times, I get emails from women who are in impossible situations. Sometimes when I get them, I have to sit and ponder how I am going to respond. Most women want a nice, easy answer that will solve all of their problems, and so many times, I just don't know what to say. Sometimes for impossible situations, there is no good advice to give, or any good choices available to choose from. Sometimes, every choice is a bad choice.
Before I go any further, I want to add a disclaimer. Even when life looks bleak and there is no good choice available, with GOD, all things are possible. He can take a wrecked life and turn it around. Only he can repair battered marriages, and only he can make all things new. However, just as David had to live with the consequences of his murder and adultery, sometimes we are left to live with the consequences of sin in our lives. This blog post is not about gaining victory over wrecked lives and sins, this post is about making good choices before you get to that point in your life.
I have often been told that I have "had it easy" in my life. I am a "silver-spooner", and I have had "everything handed to me". I don't like being told that. For one, it's not true, and two, everyone has had heartache and pain in their lives. We live in a sin filled world, and no one has it easy. Everyone has a story, and I am no exception. I do acknowledge that I had a relatively good childhood, and by the grace of God, I heard the gospel at a young age and accepted it. This provided a good foundation for my life to be built upon, but it was up to me to build the structure of my life. I grew up with many friends my age who also accepted the Lord at an early age, but by the time they hit 30, their lives were a wreck. We were provided the same opportunity, yet we had completely different outcomes. Why was this?
Because of one word- choices.
Choices that begin when you are very, very young.
You can't decide one day to have a good life and then magically have it. You have to do some things to make sure that happens. I am going to talk to the younger generation right now. Those of you who are freshly graduated from high school, or in your 20s. You want a good life, but you don't know the steps to get to that point. Let me give you some pointers.
1. Trust older, godly role models. Whether this is your parents, your pastor, or someone older in your church, chances are, they have more life experience than you, and they love you and want you to succeed. So many young people are puffed up, thinking they know everything about life, and the exact opposite is true. I often roll my eyes at my 20 yr old self. I had a good heart, as I am sure you do, but I needed counsel badly.
2. Get plugged into a good church. A good church will keep you accountable, and it will help you feel like you aren't all alone in this battle of life. It will encourage and edify you, not to mention, you will be gleaning wisdom from the pastor, if he is preaching out of the Bible, each week.
3. Keep yourself pure. You will not regret it. Your honeymoon will be amazing. Trust me on this.
4. Don't do anything in the heat of the moment that will have permanent consequences.
Don't be alone with a guy, if you want to remain pure. Things could start to happen, you could get caught up in the heat of the moment, and then you are no longer pure. It's a one time thing. Once your purity is gone, it is forever gone.
Don't get a tattoo. They last forever.
Don't ever take a drink of alcohol. One will turn into two, and then you are drunk driving, and killing an innocent person, becoming a murderer, and in prison for a long, long time. You will never recover from that. (ok, so I am being dramatic, but it could happen. If you don't want to be an alcoholic, just don't ever take one drink. Simple.)
Don't ever try recreational drugs, or smoke a cigarette. Once you start, you might not be able to stop.
Don't go on a spending spree and get yourself into debt because you are having a bad day. You could spend years digging yourself out of that mess.
5. Don't follow after the world's wisdom. The world says to have your fun, take your fill, and enjoy your life! They tell you to fornicate, party, and be merry. Yet all this will do is lead to a lonely, empty life, where you are a broken shell of the pure young lady that once was. You will be 40, with no husband, an aging body, a mind altered from drugs and alcohol, no children, no money, and a bleak future of loneliness ahead of you.
6. Pattern your life after Biblical principles. The Bible tell us to flee youthful lusts.
II Timothy 2:22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
What are some youthful lusts? The opposite of the words listed above, and also fornication, etc.
1 Corinthians 6:18
18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
Biblical principles call for a life of control and purpose, not a life dedicated to giving your flesh everything that it desires.
You can't be a serial adulterer and then expect a good marriage. You can't stab other people in the back repeatedly and then expect to have long lasting friendships. You can't be a liar, a deceiver, and a fraud, and then expect to have an untarnished reputation, just because you apologized. You can't be a vindictive mother who is abusive to her kids and then expect them to want a relationship with you when they grow up.
7. Good marriages take time. They take years of trust and communication, and choices along the way. You have to choose to forgive. You have to choose to be faithful during the hard times. You have to choose that come what may, hell or high water, you won't ever leave. Years and years down the road, it will be worth it, but if you want the good marriage 20 years from now, you have to choose NOW to make that happen. One of the first choices to making that happen is the most important choice of all- who will you marry? Can I give some advice regarding this, too?
1. Only marry a Christian. Black and white. No grey.
2. If you are a virgin, marry a virgin. That was one of my main requirements. I was saving myself, and I wanted someone who was saving himself.
3. If you marry someone with baggage, it will work, but it will be harder. Don't go into it with stars in your eyes and unrealistic expectations. (I only know this because of things I have observed from close friends marrying people with baggage in their lives.)
4. A good, godly man is so much better than looks or money. Looks and money will fade and be spent, a godly man is a rare find.
Now, just a note to those of you are throwing your hands up in the air and saying, "That's it! I am doomed! I have already done all the things she said not to do! It's not even worth trying!" Hold on just a minute! God is a God of second chances. He gave Paul, David, and Peter second chances. It didn't spare them from the consequences of their sin, but they went on to live good, productive lives. If you have baggage, acknowledge your sin, deal with the consequences, and strive to do better. If you start making good choices from this day forward, you will have a great life years from now. However, if you continue making bad choices from this day forward, don't expect a great life ten years from now. Our choices shape our future. Start making good choices now, and see what God can do with your life!
I could go on and on about different choices that you can make now, to ensure that you have a happy life 20 years from now, but I want you to get the main point that I am trying to make.
To achieve a life of happiness and peace, you must make hard choices now, so that you will have a good life in the future.
It's hard to say no to a life of sin and "pleasure". It's hard to remain pure in a culture where fornication and lust is encouraged. It's hard to break off toxic relationships that are pulling you towards sin. It's hard to feel all alone as you wait for that right Christian guy to come along.
It's hard, but good choices result in a good life. The blessings you receive in the future will more than make up for the tough times when you are younger. Believe me. I have lived it, and now, after almost 20 years of making one choice after another, a lot good, and some bad, I am finally beginning to reap the fruit from those choices. I look back, and it wasn't so hard after all.