There was a glimmer of hope when I understood that the Author of romance actually wanted to write my love story. And yet the hope was instantly clouded by doubt and fear. Could God really do this without my brilliant input? Even though I had messed up my love life so far, I was pretty sure I still had way more insight into the finer things in life - like love, sex, dating, and marriage - than someone as old (and seemingly outdated) as God. What if He butchered the whole thing...Could I actually trust Him? Would He really take an active role in my love life? Would He lead and guide? And of even more concern to me was the question, would He lead me where I did not want to go? ~Leslie Ludy
Looking back, I laugh at such a thought. That was before I learned what a true romantic God is. If I had only known what He had planned for me...I never would have doubted for a minute! ~Leslie LudyOh, I can relate. I remember as an adolescent observing a very nice guy whom I had absolutely no romantic interest in and fearing, what if that was the guy that I would end up marrying one day. No offense to him, but it horrified me. As I began to date, an underlying message within determined that I knew what I was looking for and I would settle for no less. I was calling the shots. Sounded pretty good. The problem was that I didn't really know what I was looking for. I became discouraged, lowering my standards with each heartbreak and failed relationship. As the story goes, God knew. And in my full surrender to Him, He gave me the very thing that my heart skips a beat over as I retell it.
When we understand, even remotely, the love of God and His desires for each of our lives, we are changed. No longer will we ask for the rules so we can attain the bare minimum but, will go to great lengths to bring joy to the heart of God.
If we are asked to wait for something our heart desires, there is a reason.
If you desire a beautiful God-written love story, your time will be far better spent cultivating your relationship with Christ than searching the Internet or the local coffee shops for good-looking potentials. If you really learn to trust Him, understand His heart, and recognize His voice, then you will be able to recognize His fingerprints when He begins to write your love story.~Leslie Ludy
When God brought my husband into my life, it wasn't so much the fact that it was only a month after I fully surrendered my love life to God, as it was the fact that He had been preparing me for something that He could only offer me once I fully surrendered that part of my life to Him.
The message my story brings and this book affirms is that it's really all about God preparing us for that ultimate romance that we discover first with Him.
But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. James 1:4
Whether it be an adolescent, who has many years of preparation ahead - one who may have made mistakes already, or an adult who has been down the same road one too many times, God must become our first love in order for it all to fall into place.
First I learned to lean on my relationship with Christ for my hope, joy, and security, rather than trying to find those things in a romantic relationship. Eric is an incredible husband, but he is also human. If I had gone into my relationship with him looking for all my emotional needs to be met, I would have been disappointed.~ Leslie LudyWe live in a world that will tell us we know what is best for ourselves and that if two people love each other, that is enough for a couple to express it intimately. It's a lie. Sadly, we even believe that as parents for our own children. Why? Maybe it is because we don't believe the alternative exists. We see our own imperfect stories, and although we may hope for a more pure and ideal love story for our own children's relationships, do we really believe it is possible? So, we side-step all that we know they are worth and we suffice the next best thing which, must be love. Just love.
The truth is, we don't truly understand love. When I surrendered my love life to God, I met a God who showed me that I knew nothing about what love was, and still don't, outside of Him. God is love. And He is holy. In order to understand God as love and holy, we must embrace purity.
Purity is more than just staying absence from sex before marriage. I strive toward purity everyday as a woman, wife, and mother.
...purity doesn't mean suppressing sexuality prior to marriage. Living in real purity means allowing the Spirit of God to overtake your life to the point where you are no longer living to feed the selfish craving of your flesh. It means being far more consumed with honoring God and your future spouse than with fulfilling the demands of your selfish desires. ~Eric Ludy
Purity is not merely the absence of sexual indulgence, but the presence of God's Spirit in every dimension of our life. ~Eric LudyIt's much like pursuing a healthy lifestyle verses dieting for one particular motive...to lose weight. A good motive but, it's the healthy lifestyle - eating well and exercising - that sustains the healthy weight as just one of the benefits. In addition, other benefits may be better skin, hair, nails, and overall health - and ultimately we live longer. When it is a way of life, healthy living is not a drudgery. It is not a chore. To the contrary, the more we feed our bodies good, wholesome foods, the more active we are, the more we crave it. And we don't just throw in the towel because we blew it one day and ate a bowl of ice cream.
Purity infiltrates our entire life.
When purity is the goal, it is not a drudgery, burden or chore. To the contrary, as we feed our soul truth and the power of God's word - the more we live it - the more we crave it. The more we crave Him.
Sadly, impurity works in much the same way. The more we access it, the more we crave, the more it intoxicates our life.
Can a man take fire to his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Can one walk on hot coals, and his feet not be seared? Proverbs 6:27-28The hope is in the fact that our lives are made pure in an instant through Jesus Christ. When we turn and stand humbly before the Father in confession, He sees, through the blood of Jesus, His perfection - pure and innocent.
This is a gift.
This is an honor.
This is the miracle our Savior offers when we come before Him in full surrender of our lives.
Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4****