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While Waiting for a Life Partner
Wisdom Keys for Single Christian Women
By Nicole R. Baptiste
AuthorHouse LLCCopyright © 2014 Nicole R. Baptiste, Ph.D.
All rights reserved.
Isaiah 49: 15-16
"Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me".
This book, While Waiting for a Life Partner: Wisdom Keys for Single Christian Women, focuses on healing and revolutionizing the thoughts of single Christian women as they relate to a successful Christ-centred life partnership. It is also a precious jewel in the hands of a Godly man who is praying for one of God's daughters as a life partner. This book highlights some wisdom keys that are geared to breaking strongholds, developing knowledge, and understanding factors that should be considered before, during, and after courtship and eventually in a marriage relationship. Wisdom keys speak to the emotional intelligence required by single women to develop the whole person spiritually, psychologically, intellectually, physically, socially, and physiologically. The audience for this book is Christian women who are single: whether they have never been married or are single again. However, men can also benefit from the insights and wisdom keys found in this book. Single Christian women expect certain qualities in a life partner, but this is seldom discussed. Even further, best practice for readiness for a life partner relationship is rarely explored in Christian circles. As such, this book seeks to address these gaps. It is also a response to the author's personal experience of singleness and being challenged by God on how she will treat one of His sons as a life partner.
This book draws from research that was conducted with Christian women and men seeking their perspectives as it relates to qualities they are seeking in a life partner. Interviews were conducted with a total of thirty-four single Christian women. These women were from all over the world (Asia, the United States, Canada, Indonesia, Australia, Eastern Europe, Russia, the Caribbean, Africa, New Zealand, Netherlands, South Africa, and the UK). The women were of different ages, cultures, educational backgrounds, and level of accomplishments. They were asked to share their perspectives on the qualities that they are looking for in a life partner; to give some insight on what they hope to achieve in life; and to discuss how past relationships ended and the lessons learnt from these experiences that can help them with current and future relationships. The respondents were also asked their perspectives about how they would engage and interact with a life partner to promote a happy relationship.
It is important to have insight into what Christian men are looking for in a wife or life partner. The Bible says that 'he that finds a wife, finds a good thing and obtains favour from the Lord' (Proverbs 18:22). This implies that a man has to search out a woman he can eventually call his wife. Men are inevitably drawn to different women from physical, psychological, and physiological perspectives. Therefore, before we can think about how to care for a potential life partner, we must first understand what Christian men are looking for in their search for that 'good thing'. As such, interviews were held with forty-three Christian men seeking a life partner. Some men were single, others were widowed, and yet others were single again. The male respondents were from (Asia, Australia, Canada, the United States, the UK, Latin America, New Zealand, South Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and the Caribbean). They were of different ages, cultures, educational backgrounds, and accomplishments. The men were asked to share their perspectives on the qualities they are looking for in a life partner; to give some insight on what they hope to achieve in life; and to discuss how past relationships ended and the lessons learnt from these experiences that can help them with current and future relationships. They were also asked their perspectives on how they would engage and interact with a life partner to promote a happy partnership.
The findings from this research reveal key qualities that a life partner should possess, which include having the same faith and belief in Jesus Christ; being fun to be with; being a good communicator; having compassion, integrity, and honesty; having ambition and intelligence; being mature and emotionally stable; compatibility; reliability; being healthy; and being able to forgive. Other findings are presented throughout the book. Regardless of your age and stage in life, the wisdom in this book will be beneficial to all single Christians. It will also encourage women to reflect on their lives to develop the fundamental wisdom principles that precede the move of God as it relates to a life partnership. The first eight chapters of the book unlock knowledge about our socialization process, who we are, God's perspective on purpose, the benefits of singleness, and the principles of a healthy relationship and friendship. Chapters 9 to 11 discusses qualities for a life partnership and the needs of men and women in a life partnership. Chapters 12 to 18 address personal and relational life realities faced by women and how God is faithful throughout all circumstances.
Wisdom Keys are fundamental principles that women and men can use to unearth insight and knowledge required to effectively prepare oneself for a meaningful life partnership. It represents a roadmap for those who are waiting for a life partner and provides a framework to facilitate introspection and transformation. The 'Wisdom Keys' principles supplement the topic covered in each chapter to engage and encourage the reader in a process of reflection and enlightenment that is geared towards exploring the purpose and process of waiting. My prayer is that as you read each chapter, you will take the time to reflect on and to absorb the 'wisdom keys' principles. You can also make daily entries, adding your own thoughts in the 'reflection section' at the back of the book. Journaling and writing your thoughts can help you to prioritize your perspectives and priorities, which you can use for change, to find clarity, and alignment to God's direction and purpose. Readers are challenged to get ready to embark on a life-changing journey as it relates to waiting for a life partner.CHAPTER 2
Our Socialization Process
This chapter discusses our socialization process and how this affects our perception and reactions to people and situations. Taking a closer look at our socialization process will help us learn and have a better understanding of who we are as individuals, who we are in Christ and to find out our true limitless potential and purpose. Reviewing our socialization process is done for the primary purpose for us to reflect on our life at different stages to ascertain whether there are any unresolved issues that requires our attention. This involves honest reflection of our past experiences that may have stifled our growth, creativity and relational progress. Moreover, we were all born into an existing culture, which to a large extent will define and limit our views, experiences, roles in life, and our existence.
It is important for us to examine our lives from the beginning to where we are today. This will facilitate reflection and hopefully reveal areas in our life that require healing and restoration. As we developed, we had good and bad experiences in life, which shaped our personality, attitudes, and behaviours. God's plan is to ensure that regardless of our past, He will cause all things to work for our benefit. This is captured in God's word, that says, 'We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose' (Romans 8:28 NIV). This implies that regardless of our experiences, God will cause all things to work for our good so that we will be stronger and better, having gone through these life experiences. Regardless of who you are, we have all gone through certain challenges, and some of us are still going through issues that require the healing power of God's word for real-life situations. For those of us who had positive experiences, it is likely that you have a positive self-image, sense of belonging, and validation of yourself and have little challenges forming and maintaining meaningful relationships with others. However, for those who had negative experiences, it is important to seek personal freedom from the things of the past and unresolved issues that have crippled and hindered you from moving forward successfully in a healthy, well-adjusted manner. Our past hurts require inner healing, spiritually and emotionally, for those struggling with issues of the past that was part of our socialization process. Issues can include abandonment, rejection, generational curses, soul ties, mental illness, traumas, psychological violence, abusive families, and dysfunctional relationships, to name a few. Uncovering and dealing with these unresolved concerns will bring us one step closer to receiving our healing and living life victoriously. God's intention is that we should be happy and live life to the fullest. The Bible says, 'I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly' (John 10:10 NKJ).
Our socialization process is discussed in stages of our life cycle, revealing how we have developed and how these stages may have affected our interaction with people and the characteristics we display in relationships. It is important for us to know that God is always there, although we don't always feel that He is. The Lord is there from the beginning of our life, during our childhood years, our teens, our young adult years, and for the rest of our lives. God is here today, He is ever present and watching over us.
Pre-Birth: Life in the Womb
For the context of this book; life in the womb refers to the beginning of life to birth of the child. As a caterpillar goes through the metamorphosis stage to become a beautiful butterfly; so too does an embryo go through the stages of development, from fetus to birth. Research has shown that a fetus in the womb responds to stimulus from the mother's external environment. In essence, the fetus is aware of the mother's emotional well-being, the mother's heartbeat and voice, and other aspects of the mother that indicate the connection between a mother and child. Therefore, if the mother is experiencing joy, sadness, stress, fear, abandonment, and other emotions, the fetus in the womb absorbs these emotions, which can be deeply rooted and can impact the child's personality. These pre-birth experiences have shaped our personality and can result in skewed emotional responses, thought processes, and behaviour patterns based on our experiences in the womb. Since the womb experience is important to our feelings of acceptance, validation, and love and our choices of friends and a life partner, it is pivotal that we get healing and deliverance from any negative experiences that took place in the womb.
Some scientists and theologians argue that if there is a disengagement with the mother and the unborn child while the child is in the womb, this disconnect can translate into the child feeling rejected and unloved, which can have serious problems throughout childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. Therefore, one can deduce that if a mother experiences love, kindness, and acceptance while pregnant, it is likely that the child will have a sense of value, love, and belonging when it is born. Moreover, if the mother experience trauma and negative experiences, this can have an adverse affect on the fetus. What happens in the womb is pivotal and sets the foundation for a person's life and their sense of belonging, existence, acceptance, rejection, trust, insecurity, and anxiety, as well as the attitudes and behaviours that may arise later in their lives. One respondent shared the following with me:
Wendy's story. Wendy's parents got married in their early thirties, and she was conceived a few months into the marriage. Although they were surprised by the pregnancy, both parents were happy and looked forward to the new addition to their family. However, Wendy's father's mother was in doubt that her father was her biological father until Wendy was born and she saw the strong family resemblance. This concern caused huge anxiety and negative emotional distress to Wendy's mother and father during the pregnancy. Because of this womb experience, Wendy had rejection issues, anxiety issues, and insecurity in belonging as a child and into adulthood. This had implications on how she saw herself, her thought processes, her feelings of being valued, and her ability to communicate and bond with others in friendship and meaningful relationships. As an adult, Wendy recognized these characteristics and sought healing from God's word and through Christian counselling. She has professed to being in more control of her emotions and life and has grown closer to God as a result of this.
We can be encouraged that God intervenes in our lives, despite our human experiences that may have affected our socialization process in the womb; While Waiting for a Life Partner: Wisdom keys for Single Christian Women we are assured of God's love towards us. God's word says, 'Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee, and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations' (Jeremiah 1:5 KJV). This scripture assures us of the Father's intentional plan for our lives. It means that we are not an accident. Our gender, ethnicity, height, voice, features, and everything that makes us unique are intentional. So the next time society or the enemy tries to tell you that you are not pretty enough, slim enough, or bright enough, you can stand on the word of God concerning your life with confidence, knowing that you are blessed and appointed by God in the womb in preparation for the world and the Lord's plans for your future. Regardless of your womb experiences, you can receive healing, freedom, and restoration through the word of God.
This relates to day one of life to twelve years. The healthy development process of a child is usually based on the relationship between the mother and child as it relates to key needs of food, shelter, clothing, collaboration, engagement, love, care, and security. The father's involvement in the child's life is also significant. The father should be a representative example of a leader and the priest or pastor of the home, as he submits to the Lordship of God. The father should also provide security, protection, identity, leadership, commitment, love, and responsibility. Without the father's input, much of these significant aspects of life may be weak in the child's developing personality. We can have unresolved issues from childhood due to an unhealthy development process. This in turn can affect our interaction with others, our view of sexuality, our self-esteem, and our response to relationships, to name a few. This is captured in Marcia's story:
Marcia's story. Marcia was seven years old, and her parents had three children. Her father worked full-time, and her mother worked part-time. Marcia's mother left her with a family member for a few hours, as she had to run some errands. The son of this family member, who was eighteen years old, sexually molested Marcia while she stayed at the home. Marcia was scared and traumatized by the experience and never told her mother what happened, for fear that her mother would not believe her. As a result, this issue was unresolved and affected Marcia into adulthood. As an adult, Marcia found herself with multiple sexual partners, struggled with insecurity and low self-esteem, and had challenges developing and maintaining meaningful relationships. After years of this dysfunctional behaviour, Marcia is now in her late thirties and has been delivered from these past experiences through God's word and intervention in her life. Marcia now feels that she is ready to receive what the Lord has in store as it relates to her destiny and life partnership.
This relates to age thirteen to nineteen years. Teen years are often challenging, based on the surging hormones of adolescence and the sense of invincibility. These developmental years focus on exploration and a deeper consciousness of self and others; we begin to identify ourselves with specific groups, norms, ideologies, and relationships. These can be shaped through peer pressure, societal norms, or how we perceive ourselves based on unresolved issues from the past. Our personality continues to develop from positive areas in our past that promoted happiness, empowerment, commitment, and relationships, or negative emotions like fear, resentment, self-righteousness, or a skewed sense of sexual identity, self-confidence, and other teenage problems. These years, we are more likely to try to find friendships that would validate our identity and sense of purpose. Parents are still part of our socialization process, but a lot more autonomy is given to facilitate freedom of choice and some reasonable judgement. Scripture declares that we should 'remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, "I find no pleasure in them"' (Ecclesiastes 12:1NIV). The adolescence stage is the platform that is used to propel us into adulthood and maturity. It is at this stage we begin to think about and make plans for our lives as it relates to educational development, a career, financial security, and healthy relationships. Unless we are anchored in God's word, we can become shipwrecked, time after time, seemingly unable to get out of this dilemma and move on. At this stage, adolescents are more prone to eating disorders, drug use, addictions, inappropriate expressions of anger, poor time management, insecurity regarding limits, and other problems. One respondent shared her story about an eating disorder and how this affected her confidence and ability to make friends and secure a relationship with the opposite sex.
Excerpted from While Waiting for a Life Partner by Nicole R. Baptiste. Copyright © 2014 Nicole R. Baptiste, Ph.D.. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse LLC.
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Table of Contents
ContentsBible Translations, viii,
Book Endorsements, ix,
Chapter 1 Introduction, 1,
Chapter 2 Our Socialization Process, 4,
Chapter 3 Knowing Who You Are, 14,
Chapter 4 God Always Protects Purpose, 21,
Chapter 5 The Benefits to Singleness, 31,
Chapter 6 What Is a Healthy Relationship?, 38,
Chapter 7 Principles and Readiness for a Healthy Relationship, 46,
Chapter 8 Friendship, 51,
Chapter 9 Qualities Men Are Looking for in a Life Partner, 59,
Chapter 10 Qualities Women Are Looking for in a Life Partner, 67,
Chapter 11 Male and Female Needs in a Life Partnership, 77,
Chapter 12 The Professional Woman, 85,
Chapter 13 The Biological Clock, 92,
Chapter 14 Broken Relationships, 99,
Chapter 15 X: Your Ex, 105,
Chapter 16 Keep Yourself Attractive and Interesting, 112,
Chapter 17 God Who Has Promised Is Faithful, 120,
Chapter 18 God's RSVP, 131,