Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Family Forte: The Strength of Waiting

by: Topher Wiles

In September 1992, Alabama expressed well the sad sentiment of our culture when they sang the song, "I'm in a Hurry (and I Don't Know Why)".  It seems like much of the world is enslaved to the impatient mantra of our times. On top of our work calendars, sports schedules, and community services, we are so busy in life that it puts us into an “I can’t wait” type of mindset that affects our families in deep ways.   

The impatience has grown during the Covid-19 pandemic that even Jimmy Fallon has created a hashtag of things people can’t wait to do when lockdowns are over: #FirstThingImGoingToDoWhenThisIsOver.  Here are a few reponses of things people can’t wait to do as listed on Chron.com "I can’t wait to change out of my pajamas." "Teepee my own house just because I have an unnecessary abundance of toilet paper." "I'm going to give a bear hug to all of my close friends!” I don’t know about TPing my own house, but that bear hug sounds fun.  Radio Station 106.5 of Buffalo, NY shares more realist things people can’t wait to do as: travel, see live music, hug, eat at a restaurant, go to a bar, get a haircut, go camping, play sports with people, go to the gym, and get married.  https://wyrk.com/11-things-we-cant-wait-to-do-once-the-quarantine-is-over/

That last one really got my attention as I consider things that our culture is in a hurry for and things worth waiting for.  Marriage.  I did a little research into how the pandemic has affected marriage and I saw that nearly every major news outlet predicts a baby boom in the coming year as happens after every major catastrophe. Additionally, I learned there are many, especially women, who feel pressured during the pandemic into sex before marriage as attested to by Jessica Zucker, a Los Angeles psychologist specializing in women’s reproductive health.  She encourages ladies especially in this time, don’t let yourself be pressured into what you’re not ready for.  The marriage blog for Focus on the Family agrees with waiting as it says, “In addition to the risk of contracting STDs and AIDS or getting pregnant, premarital sex leads to emotional distress, distrust, regret and emptiness.  In his podcasts about Financial Peace, Dave Ramsey frequently mentions the benefits of waiting till marriage for sex, having kids, and house buying for couples stating that waiting for marriage brings about much more financial freedom. 

While our world may say the words “I can’t wait,” especially during the pandemic, we simply want to say, “Yes you can wait, and marriage is certainly worth waiting for. 

Ashley and I have been taught a few things about waiting from those who are wiser than us. We even took the challenge and agreed to NOT kiss on the lips till the day we said, "I do."  I can attest, that was an amazing and memorable first kiss!  We believe there are blessings that come from waiting; not knowing everything immediately, not having sex before marriage, not peeking at Christmas presents, not purchasing a car until you can pay for it in cash, not knowing if your baby is a boy or a girl, not indulging in many other instant gratifications.  From my perspective, things are more enjoyable when you let the anticipation build for that big surprise, waiting till you can buy the car outright and have no loan, and when you wait to start a family until you are married.  You may call us old fashioned,  and maybe we are out of touch with the times about car loans and kisses, but at least on some family topics we aren’t alone as we affirm that with many things in life, it is better to wait.

Patience is such an integral part of the Christian life.  Maybe God purposefully chose to make us wait for Heaven and has only given us a limited description so that the surprise isn’t ruined.  Yeah, people will play with our impatience and write many fake stories about heaven like Alex Malarkey's book, "The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven." (He admitted years later it was all a farce.)  Yet David says that waiting is a must to enjoy that blessed land of the living.

"I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!" - Psalm 27:13-14

So we urge you, if you really want to wait, you can!  Don't rush into everything.  Don't be anxious to know everything.  Don't believe you have to peek.  You have a choice.  Good things really do come to those who wait, especially when waiting on the Lord!

"But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint." - Isaiah 40:31

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