Put God First then Your Spouse

Wisdom Wednesdays Final Logo

* * *

“Continue loving God first and showering His love on each other.” (LF)

“Each day continue to look for the imprint of God in the lives of each other and you will always be refreshed and fall deeper in love. Seeing Jesus in your wife and seeing Jesus in your husband will always be exciting and fresh.” (PF)

“My favorite piece of advice to anyone contemplating marriage is to make sure that God is at the center of that relationship. Although marriage is a wonderful thing, it is also difficult at times so understanding that God is the first member of your relationship is a must. When hubby and I are having a disagreement, we make the choice to take our eyes off of each other and look up to God instead for guidance.” (anonymous)

* * *

Put God First

How does putting God first look to you in your marriage?

Cheryl_BG_HQ-7164

Dream with Your Spouse

Wisdom Wednesdays Final Logo

* * *

“The first year is to learn each others personalities, desires, and dreams. The second year is to love each other for who they are and to help each other fulfill those desires and dreams.” (CB)

* * *

Dream with your Spouse

Chris & I often talk about our dreams, desires, and hopes. We also often end up in long waiting seasons to see our dreams come true. This was definitely the case before we found each other (as shared in Finally the Bride). Waiting for dreams to come true has continued after marriage. Thankfully, we can “wait” with each other. But we also can help facilitate each others dreams by our support, encouragement, and making room for the other to work toward achieving that dream. Sometimes that can mean time or money invested into the dream itself.  What’s really fun is when our dreams cross each other and we can prepare together. (For example, one of our big dreams is to make a film together, so we’ve been taking a low budget, independent film making crash course together.)

P1080345

100_1358

The Unpopularity Contest

In this day and age, I know many of my beliefs are unpopular. In general, I try to stay out of controversy, especially politics, because that’s just not where my passions are. I just try to live true to what I believe. I do not expect others, who don’t believe the same as me, to behave as though they believe. I only ask for all to allow me to be myself while I let you be yourself. (The role of you and me is already taken by two separate people.) It’s not my job to change what anyone believes. I don’t stand in judgment of people and their choices; that’s not my job either. (Thank God!) I won’t tell you I think something is “right” if I don’t believe it is. But I also won’t try to change you into believing the same as me. I can only ask for the same respect in reverse. From my end, we can still be friends and disagree.

That being said, I have always passionately cared about teenagers and young adults. There is one topic that can be very unpopular in this culture that especially affects them but many older people as well, especially as people are getting married later and later.

My beliefs definitely started with my Christian faith, my desire to please God, and what He outlined in the Bible as best and His design. But my beliefs don’t come from just there. It’s not just “religious” beliefs (I’m not a fan of that word anyway). What I’ve come to believe about a hot button issue is something I believe from the bottom of my heart is truly what’s best for our emotional, physical, and spiritual health. While this issue is a story you could have gleaned about me from my book, Finally the Bride: Finding Hope While Waiting, doing an interview highlighting the topic is a first for me.

So, what is this about? The hot button issue of sex before marriage.

To follow is a link to an interview I did for an online site called “Waiting Till Marriage”. If this topic interests you or if you know someone who may need some extra support in this area, feel free to check out the interview and share it:

CLICK THE FOLLOWING LINK:

Waiting Till Marriage Interview

Interview Graphic WTM

To purchase Finally the Bride on Amazon, click the Paperback or Kindle link below:

Finally the Bride: Finding Hope While Waiting (Paperback):

*****

Finally the Bride: Finding Hope While Waiting (Kindle) :

Making Memories with Your Spouse

Wisdom Wednesdays Final Logo

* * *

“Don’t forget to celebrate each other and make
memories together. It’s easy to just live day-to-day rather than purposing to create memorable
events.”  (JG)

* * *

Making Memories

I feel like Chris & I do this every single time we take a day trip or a short weekend getaway together. Follow our travel blogs for ideas of how to build memories this way.

Finally One Travel Blogs

Chris Disney Pix-4114

16 Ways to Pray for Your Future Husband

16 Ways to Pray If anyone knows what’s it’s like to wait to find love and marriage, it’s me. I waited 39 long years of life to walk down the aisle. Trusting God during the long wait was sometimes extremely difficult. Some days, all I could do was pray. I started to realize that “all I could do” was actually quite significant. I found out later how God-led my prayers actually were, once God revealed to me who I was going to marry and what he was going through in his life when I chose to pray certain things. My prayers mattered; my prayers paid off. When waiting to find a husband and get married, it can seem like you are helpless and “doing nothing.” One of the best things to do while waiting is to pray for your future husband. To follow are 16 prayer points that you can focus on during your waiting season, to pray for his preparation. You likely won’t know who that person is going to be when you are praying these prayers. But thankfully, God does.

  1. Pray for his walk with God, that he continues to grow spiritually and is prepped to be the spiritual head of a household, and that he makes God the top priority in his life.
  1. Pray for his ability to hear God’s voice, for his ear to be in tune to hear all of God’s instructions.
  1. Pray for his will to be bendable toward whatever God wants for his life.
  1. Pray for his emotional health—that any past wounds be dealt with and healed. Pray for restoration in all areas.
  1. Pray for his physical health.
  1. Pray that he break free of any unhealthy addictions, if needed.
  1. Pray for his career, his life’s work, that he be established in the field where God wants to use him and that he be wise with his resources.
  1. Pray for his ministry—that he be sensitive to God’s call on his life when it comes to ministering to and serving others. Also, pray for God to prepare both of you for the ways you will minister together.
  1. Pray for his preparation—that he yields to all that God’s potter’s hands would like to accomplish in him.
  1. Pray for God to send any trials necessary into his life that will allow the preparation process to be complete. I realize that may be a bit controversial. Knowing how much God has accomplished in my life through trials, I would expect nothing less of my husband’s journey toward me.
  1. Pray for God to prepare him to be a father, if the two of you will ultimately raise a family together.
  1. Pray for God to help him be responsible with his finances and prepare him to be a significant contributor and provider to the household.
  1. Pray for his identity as a man, his masculinity and self-esteem, that he grows into the man God wants him to be.
  1. Pray for him to not be distracted by any counterfeits—especially other women that God doesn’t intend to use for his growth.
  1. Pray for God to allow this man to see you the way God wants you to be seen, with God’s heart toward you.
  1. Pray for God to show you how to pray for your husband. Be open to whatever His Spirit may whisper to you, to cover your husband’s needs. If you feel God gives you something specific, write it down and date it. Save it for later.

I hope that praying these prayers will encourage you in your waiting, and help you feel that you are accomplishing much in the spiritual realm. I pray you will wait on God’s best. These prayer points are excerpted from Chapter 10 of my book, Finally the Bride: Finding Hope While Waiting.

***

To purchase on Amazon, click the Paperback or Kindle link below:

Finally the Bride: Finding Hope While Waiting (Paperback):

*****

Finally the Bride: Finding Hope While Waiting (Kindle): 

Introducing: Dates With God, a new series by Cheryl McKay: (www.dateswithGod.com)

25 Dates With God: Volume 1 Adventures in Faith (KINDLE)

25 Dates With God: Volume 1 Adventures in Faith (PAPERBACK)

Volume 2:

Kindle Version:

Paperback Version:

PAPERBACK:
Song of Springhill – a love story: an inspirational romance based on historical events (on Paperback)

 

* * *
Visit my other blogs written for singles, two of which I wrote while I was single and waiting:

Paging All Singles: There is Nothing Wrong with You

Father Knows Best, Right?

Morning Glory: A Blog About Waiting

One Move Can Change Your Whole Life

****

See Your Spouse as a Gift

Wisdom Wednesdays Final Logo

* * *

“Take care of the gift you have been given.”  (GS)

“Marriage has been a source of many blessings in my life. It fits in beautifully with one of my favorite quotes: ‘Man will fully discover himself only by making a sincere gift of himself.’ One of my fervent prayers is that I can always be a sincere gift to my wife and children. Not that I’m fully there yet, but like all of us, I consider myself a work in progress.” (DR)

* * *

“Take care of the gift.” This was a gift I had asked for, for years, before God “finally” blessed me with a husband. He is a gift. I think sometimes, it can be easy for people to forget this was something they longed for. While we have only been married for almost 2 years, there isn’t a day that goes by I don’t thank God for Chris. He definitely is a wonderful gift. I hope I never make him feel like he isn’t or start to take him for granted. I also love the second piece of advice along the gift lines that encourages us to pray we are a gift to the other person. Chris often tells me I am a treasure, which means the world to me because of a time when I was told I was not a treasure by someone I loved. I pray Chris always sees me as a treasure and that I always give him reasons to think so.

Christmas 2012 LA-0235

P1020850

Wisdom Wednesdays Launch – Bonding with Your Spouse

Wisdom Wednesdays Final Logo

What is Wisdom Wednesdays?

At my bridal shower and our various wedding parties, men and women filled out advice cards filled with wisdom about how to have a happy and peaceful marriage. I put them all in the decorative box below, and we read them throughout our honeymoon.

CD Pix-0576

Then at our one-year anniversary mark, I took a Facebook survey, asking people to post comments with additional advice. I made Chris a special book of advice that we read during our anniversary trip where we renewed our vows (something we want to make a yearly tradition). We’ll use our blog on Wednesdays to share these nuggets of wisdom.  (We will use initials or first names only, to protect the privacy of those who filled out the cards.) We got some terrific advice that we have followed and can attest these little pieces of advice truly matter.

P1030488

We’ll kick off our Wisdom Wednesday post with a piece of advice we have followed every single night of our marriage since the beginning. Except those very few nights one of us was out of town in the past “almost” 2 years of marriage, we have never missed a single night; it’s been one of the best choices we’ve made in our marriage:

* * *

“Go to bed together each night.

It keeps us on a schedule together and those final moments before you fall asleep where you can talk and cuddle are so precious. I hear so many people that go to bed at different times and have excuses like, ‘I’m a night person, they are not,’ but they end up missing out on a precious time of day, and then both of your schedules are off.  I think if you start from day one, it becomes a routine and you end up not wanting it any other way regardless of who is a night person or not.” (GV)

* * *

The following photo is of Chris & Cheryl, renewing their vows on their one year anniversary trip in Harmony, CA.

The book with the vows also holds the marriage advice cards from our FB anniversary survey:

July 2012 Order-9995

One move can change your whole life

Have you ever done something that had a huge impact on your life? Sometimes, one move made without thinking can have disastrous consequences. Making a wrong turn. Giving into a certain weakness or addiction. Choosing not to walk through a door. Walking through the wrong door. Sometimes, I wish we had that ability from the movie, Sliding Doors, to test out how two different versions of our lives would turn out based on our actions. Naturally, life doesn’t work that way, and we have to take it as it comes. We can try to make the right decisions along the way.

The good news is, some moves we make can be good. Sometimes, what seems like a simple move can have a ripple effect upon your life that can change everything for good.

For me, one of those moves, was sending the following Facebook friend request to an “old friend”, almost three years ago now:

Final FB request pic

I can promise you: the day I sent that email, I had no idea this man would turn out to be my long-awaited husband a little over one year later. No idea what–so–ever. (And I do mean LONG awaited.)

God had a plan. I had no idea at the time my actions were God led. It took a while for me to figure that out. (Six months of stubbornness, actually, but who’s counting?) There are any number of actions I could have taken that could have stopped this blessing from coming into my life. In fact, I almost missed it completely (through such actions as rejecting what was before me, putting my original desires for a different situation above what God was offering to me.)

I’m thankful God was able to get through my stubbornness and original preferences and show me why what He was offering to me was so much better for me. Plus, God wanted a lot for me and my future. But for those things to happen, I needed to cooperate. I do not believe that God controls our actions; we are capable of making mistakes that can derail “the best” for our lives.

Are you facing a decision today that could affect your life, for good or bad? Have you prayed about it to see if God will give you a sense or a leading one way or the other? I believe God still speaks and is willing to guide us today when we ask. Are you ready to ask, and then obey what He asks of you?

***

If you’re interested in our full story, check out my book Finally the Bride: Finding Hope While Waiting, a book I wrote mostly  while I was still single and waiting (waiting, too long, in my opinion.) It’s a story of God’s faithfulness in the midst of mistakes, delays, choices, frustrations, anger, and ultimately true friendship with Him.

Finally the Bride: Finding Hope While Waiting (Paperback):

*****

Finally the Bride: Finding Hope While Waiting (Kindle) :

Now available as a two book set:

Finally the Bride & Finally Fearless (Two Book Set): Overcoming Obstacles to Finding True Love (Kindle)

FTB FF Cover FINAL

_DSC8553

From our “engagement photo shoot” by the ultra-talented, Lisa Crates, photographer (lisacrates.us).

This was taken about one hour before the actual proposal.

Finally One

We’re excited to launch our new website, Finally One. It’s been on our hearts for a while to have a ministry to help other people, whether single or married. We both had a very long journey to find love and marriage. You can read a bit more about our story in the tab called “Our Finally: A God-Written Love Story”.

We’re not so removed from singlehood to forget how challenging it can be to wait to find love. This site is being set up so we can keep people up to date about our books, speaking opportunities, and blog about everything from love, singlehood, marriage, and travel. Yes, travel. Under the “Finally Fun” tab we talk about our plans to share fun day trip ideas, itineraries, and other bond-building activities the build healthy and strong relationships.

This site, hopefully, will grow as we have time to write new content. We’re excited about our non-fiction book ministry, as well, that allows us to reach many people we don’t know. Currently, we have books out that deal with singleness (Finally the Bride) and panic, anxiety, and fear (Finally Fearless & the accompanying Workbook). We are also going to be penning a marriage book, Finally One. (Are you sensing a theme?)

Thanks for visiting our blog,

H59_6242

Father Knows Best, Right?

(This article originally written by Cheryl McKay in Sept 2009, revised June 2010, before her “wait to find true love” had come to an end. It was written after the release of the novel version of Never the Bride and some parts are excerpted from her book, Finally the Bride: Finding Hope While Waiting. It was originally published by In Touch Magazine, Feb. 2011.)

Learning to Let God Write Your Love Life Story

By Cheryl McKay

Lord, there must be a reason that You want me alone. You must be shaping me for something. I’ll be honest; I’m sick of it. But as I always say, You know best. I know it will be special when You finally bless me with marriage and a family. My future is in Your hands. I don’t know where it’s headed, but I’d like for You to use me for Your sake and glory.
Cheryl’s journal (June 1994)

When I wrote that journal entry, I had no idea that over 15 years later I’d still be waiting. I had no clue I’d still be taking up the challenge to say, “Lord, You know best.”

Now, if I had been the one writing my “love story,” I would have been married in my early 20s and had at least two children by now. But obviously, that wasn’t God’s plan for my life this far.

For those of you who, like me, still aren’t married but want to be one day, consider asking yourself a few questions. What would you do if God showed up in person and asked to take control of your “love story”? What if He asked you to surrender your pen to Him? You know the pen (mine is purple!)—the one you use to write your version of how you think your story should unfold. Would you need to know exactly what He had in mind before you handed it over to Him?

And if so, what would you do if His answer was “no,” “not now,” or “you’ve got 15-plus more years to wait, kiddo”? Would you still believe that He knows what’s best for your life?

The real question is, Can He be trusted with this part of your life?

Dear God, Please bless what I want—right now.

While I don’t know if every individual out there who desires to be married eventually will be, all of us can take encouragement from this: At the end of the day, God is worthy of our trust. I know now that I’d rather be single than in the wrong relationship because I simply got too tired of waiting on the Lord. Often, when we decide we’re sick of waiting for Him to show us what He wants, we jump into the best-looking (and often completely wrong) situation in front of us—and then ask Him to bless it.

It can become so easy to convince ourselves that God orchestrated a certain relationship for us when it couldn’t be further from what He really has in mind. It may feel great for a while. But eventually, we can pay serious, lifelong consequences. (I have more than one friend who married an unbeliever and now knows by experience why Scripture urges us not to do this.) Have you tried to “help God along” to speed up the process? He needs our help about as much as He needed Abraham and Sarah to hurry the whole “promised heir” story along. (We all know how well that worked out!) Though I have to say, I do understand why Sarah laughed after the Lord told them she was finally going to get pregnant and have a son within a year. Oh, sure, God. Now that I’m 90, You’re going to bless me with the thing I’ve wanted forever?

One thing we can glean from this story is that God really did deliver. They might have waited many years to see the fulfillment, but He gave them their promised son, Isaac. I don’t want to believe the lie that God can’t be trusted simply because, thus far, marriage hasn’t been part of my life.

Dear God, What are You trying to give me— right now?

So what’s our role in this story? And how can we discern what actions the Lord is directing us to take? If we believe that He’s active and involved in our lives and loves to communicate with us, we can’t not ask Him for direction about His will in this area. When we put our whole heart into building a close, honest, and communicative relationship with Him, we’ll see how He’s teaching us right now the way we’re to love—and recognize the love He’s offering us on a constant basis so that we can receive it. Right now we also have the opportunity to learn that God is enough for whatever voids exist with or without a spouse—no matter how big or small. When it comes to meeting all our needs, He surpasses anyone we could find, and that wouldn’t change even if we were married.

But for those practical, tangible things we need human hands and feet to help with, He can provide the right community to fill in those gaps, if we’re willing to be a part of one. Recently, I had to have foot surgery, which I knew would make me dependent on others—try not being able to drive for two months when you live alone! I was fearful about going through it as a single person; my family lives 3,000 miles away, and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to get enough help. I even said to a friend, “Remind me next time I have surgery to be married.” My mindset was that having someone obligated (by vow, at least) to take care of me would make the process less difficult than having to go through it “alone.” But a very different reality unfolded during my recovery.

The first week or so, I couldn’t cook for myself, get drinks or ice packs, do laundry, wash my hair—pretty much anything. I needed rides to the hospital, people to grocery shop for me. Plus, I really did need company and prayer. But I have to admit that God came through, providing through friends (married and single alike) in wonderful ways. It didn’t matter that I had no husband to support me through that time. When I was honest about my needs, I saw an outpouring of love from so many people who really did want to help.

There was one afternoon that the friend who’d planned to help me had to cancel. I couldn’t figure out how I was going to feed myself. Feeling helpless, I used crutches to hobble to the fridge to see if there was anything I could reach without falling over—but couldn’t stay up. Frustrated, I prayed, “Lord, help me!” Right at that moment, someone knocked at the door. It was a neighbor I’d told about my situation, and she was holding a warm, home-cooked meal—enough for lunch and dinner.

I realized that even in those situations that seem to particularly underscore our singleness, the Lord is there, offering us all the grace we need—if we’ll simply receive it. (My recuperation also reminded me to keep my eyes open to the needs of other single people in need of extra help. Remember: just saying you’ll pray for someone going through a trial isn’t enough!)

It’s true that waiting is never easy, especially since God’s ultimate plans are unknown and can never be second-guessed. And surrendering control is a daily choice, not a one-time thing. But waiting with Him is so, so much better than being outside of His will. It may not feel that way when the temptation to write our own story is so alluring. But I’ve learned that merely seeking His quick stamp of approval on what we want, when we want it, never pays off—even if it temporarily satisfies. But no matter what God chooses to do with my life in any area I yield to Him, I’ve come to experience this: regardless of how it initially feels, my perfect Father really does know best.

***
Finally the Bride is available on Amazon.com. Never the Bride is available at most book retailers.

Now available as a two book set:

Finally the Bride & Finally Fearless (Two Book Set): Overcoming Obstacles to Finding True Love (Kindle)

FTB FF Cover FINAL