Saturday, June 17, 2017

197: 57 year old virgin--what if?

I was listening to the audiobook version of Kingdom Woman (by Tony Evans and Chrystal Evans Hurst). I'm only in the introduction so far, but it was talking about how we assume a kingdom woman is someone over there who has it altogether. Someone who has been married for 57 years, or someone who is 57 years old and "has walked in remarkable purity."

I know the author wasn't talking about marriage or singleness or even what our ideal should be. But it got me thinking.

Would God be glorified if I got to be 57 years old and was still a virgin?

See, I look at our divorce culture and God's design of marriage and I think, "If I could be married and do marriage well, I could be a light to show that what God designed is good!" With all the conflict inherent in our relationships, a marriage that stands the test of time seems to me to be a testimony to the goodness of God's design! Amen?

What I haven't considered recently til I heard the line from the book is that, just as I look at a long lasting happy marriage as glorifying God, maybe, too, a long lasting purity glorifies Him equally.

Not only do we live in a divorce culture where you go to a wedding and wonder if it will last in the face of 50/50 statistics, we also live during a time when fornication is culturally accepted. As a 31 year old wanting to be married, I know the likelihood of finding a guy who has not slept with a girl at some point in his life is ridiculously slim. And I'm not downplaying God's redemptive power. The Lord is glorified when we cast our trust for redemption from our sinful selves on Him. He is glorified  when He gives new life. Purity cannot be worn as a badge of boasting, just like a happy marriage cannot be taken for granted.

But. For those who are progressing through the decades in singleness, in virginity, as living within a culture of immorality and yet not part of it, don'tcha know that God's righteousness is lifted up through your life? You may not be a testimony of God's design of marriage, but you are a testimony of God's character, to His own purity.

There is purpose. How I live out my relationship status can glorify God. And that encourages me.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Book Review: Wings of the Wind by Connilyn Cossette

Isn't the cover breathtaking?
My mom read the first Out From Egypt book by Connilyn Cossette awhile ago. She loved it! When I got the list of possible books to review from Bethany House Publishers, there were a couple authors I've enjoyed before--which to choose?? Well, Wings of the Wind (the third book in the Out From Egypt series) was not only by an author my mom had enjoyed (I made sure to request a hard copy so she could read it after me), but it also had an arranged marriage of course I chose it. :-P

Wings of the Wind takes place during the end of Moses' leadership and the very beginning of Joshua's. It is a romance, but more than a romance. It is about a Canaanite woman and a Hebrew man who marry solely for the sake of her own safety. The plot, especially for the first couple dozen chapters before the plot twist, are about their budding relationship. But that's not what I take away from this book. What I loved about Wings of the Wind was how the author contrasts Canaanite culture and Yahweh's way. I think often we read the first five books of the Bible and scratch our heads and go okaaaay.... That's a weird law. That law doesn't seem severe enough. We read God's laws from a 21st century, Judeo-Christian/post-Christian perspective and, to be honest, they don't seem to fit into our thinking. Connilyn Cossette plants those laws back into 1400 B.C. culture where Biblical morality wasn't the norm and, granted it's a novel, suddenly His laws appear how they are--wonderful and beautiful and designed to create a holy people. She also describes (not in excessive detail, but in detail) the cruelty and immorality of the Canaanites, and you understand why God told His people to destroy that culture of evil (and the cultural anthropologists gasp). The author also puts her own spin on what the pillar of cloud looked like and makes a beautiful contrast between the living Yahweh and the "having ears, they do not hear" baalim.

I left this novel--and yes, it's a historical fiction romance--worshipping God more.

5 out of 5 stars!