Top Posts of 2018

The top blog posts of 2018 for the Courtney Kramer Blog. This past year a lot of my writing centred on being a mom. My writing has evolved over the years as my life has changed.

 

First of all, thank you for reading my blog! I appreciate every comment, view and share of my posts more than you know. I started this blog back in 2013 because I had so many thoughts floating around in my head that I wanted to share with others. I have always been into journaling so blogging was a natural extension of my love of writing.

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To the ladies in waiting…

I recently read an article by a man on a popular Christian magazine site giving advice to the ladies in waiting. To be honest I thought his advice was a lame excuse for men choosing to act like adolescents and waiting for a woman to fix their problems. I fear this sends a message to women that men have pretty much just given up on maturity and you must take the lead. To this I say wrong! Please don’t settle for a man-child, because real, godly, mature men still exist.

To The Ladies in Waiting

To all the ladies I have 5 things to say:

1. Get serious about your relationship with God

A personal relationship with God has to be a priority no matter what stage of life. It can be especially easy to neglect God (or even friends or family) when feelings of romance start. Your attention is directed at keeping this new interest attracted and happy. As a result, other priorities tend to take a backseat.

To prevent God falling by the wayside I would encourage you to get in the habit of reading your Bible + praying daily (She Reads Truth is a great resource). Once you get into this routine it is so much easier to fight off temptation and have a right view of what God desires for your life. If you are walking in truth and living accountable to God you will be much more sensitive to His leading in your life rather than letting your flesh or your heart lead you.

 2. Respect Yourself

In the vein of trying to keep a potential match interested, it can be easy to compromise your standards.

For example, maybe you start showing a little more cleavage or wearing tighter pants when you hang out with him because he’s told you he likes those things. In the moment his affirmation feels good so you keep dressing this way. Yet in your heart, you know that dressing this way is not the best for your relationship because it can cause him to stumble and he is not respecting your values. Although, when one is married go ahead and dress provocatively for your husband because you want him to look at you and be attracted to your body. When one is dating or even engaged the partner does not have these rights to your body. Furthermore, as a Christian, God-fearing woman you are an example not only to the world but younger woman and girls. Even if you don’t realize it especially in the social media age one is always being watched.

Although, when one is married go ahead and dress provocatively for your husband because you want him to look at you and be attracted to your body. However, when one is dating or even engaged the partner does not have these rights to your body. Furthermore, as a Christian, God-fearing woman you are an example not only to the world but younger woman and girls. Even if you don’t realize it especially in the social media age one is always being watched.

Furthermore, as a Christian, God-fearing woman you are an example not only to the world but younger woman and girls. Even if you don’t realize it especially in the social media age one is always being watched.

Overall don’t compromise your standards or values to be with a guy. Either he needs to learn to respect you and understand the biblical principles you are choosing to follow or there is another guy who will.

3. Don’t Settle, but Do Settle

You marry who you marry and you have to accept that, to some extent. I am all for men continuing to mature and become better people. However, if you decide to marry someone you are choosing to accept them just as they are without hoping marriage will suddenly change them.

For this reason only date and marry a man who is mature, who is solid in his faith, who handles his money well, who is connected to a community and loves you well. Beyond these basic character qualities be willing to settle on less important attributes.

4. Be Honest with Yourself and Him

This one is hard. Especially if you have trouble confronting people or speaking up. Yet it is imperative to a healthy relationship. If something in your relationship doesn’t feel right or you are really bothered by something your partner is doing have the courage to speak about it. No one wants to date someone is holding resentment against them because eventually, it’s going to kill the relationship.

That being said, before you raise an issue pray about it, seek out what God says in scripture and talk to a trusted mentor. This will prevent an eruption one day of all your problems. Which can a small problem big and catch your partner off guard. Try to take a few days and collect your thoughts. Perhaps the issue is not as big as you first thought.

Whenever I have needed to confront a problem I have always found it helpful to start with scripture to establish that I’m not just basing this issue off of my opinion but the authority of God’s word. If your partner is a Christian they should feel convicted by God’s word.

5. Stay in Community

Finally don’t be a lone wolf. If possible attend the same church as the person you are dating. This allows you to be under the same teaching each week but it also provides a group of people that can get to know both of you and possibly mentor your relationship.

In my experience older couples are usually very willing to get to know a younger couple. We had some very close friends around our parent’s age who made an effort to get to know us, they invited us over and the husband even sang at our wedding. We will always treasure these friends and appreciate their godly influence over our relationship.

I know at times it can seem like there are no good Christian guys left out there. Although this can feel discouraging don’t let it tarnish your standards. There are good godly men out there seeking a godly wife. Don’t settle for an immature, kinda Christian man-child because even if you marry him you will encounter a lot more heartache than if you had waited for a solid Christian guy.

Waiting is hard and dating is not always easy but the rewards of being intentional and standing by your values are worth the marriage they produce.


Summary:

1. Get Serious About Your Relationship with God

God should be a priority at every stage in life, but especially before you enter a relationship because dating can really affect who you are.

 2. Respect Yourself

Don’t compromise your values to keep a guy interested.

3. Don’t Settle, but Do Settle

You won’t marry a perfect man, but still set baseline standards for who you will date.

4. Be Honest with Yourself and Him

If your relationship has a problem or something doesn’t feel right pray about it first before confronting your partner. Remember to have courage and don’t let issues build up.

5. Stay in Community

Find a good church you can attend together and get involved in it!

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For more encouragement check out my most popular post: Encouragement for Single Women

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Thoughts on Singleness: How I Conquered Feeling Lonely, Unwanted and Not Good Enough

I write a lot on this blog of marriage and my experiences being married. I write about this topic because it’s relevant to my life at this point. However, before this current season, I spent a lot of time being single. I’ve written a few posts about those days: Just Wait, When Everyone Else is Getting Engaged and Encouragement for Single Women. Although those were not the most favourite or preferred times in my life, they were necessary and one lesson I learned was to be content on my own.

I understand that being single is not easy in a culture that is constantly pushing the mantra that you need someone to be happy or complete you. I say -lies! I also know that deep down we all accept the arduous truth that no one person can truly satisfy us. Yet we still seek a person or relationship to make us feel good, increase our ego and validate our worth. I understand the endeavour because we see the couples all over social media professing their undying love and affection to each other. They look so happy. Meanwhile, on the inside, we’re hurting or we’ve been injured by someone we trusted and we just want to feel loved and accepted. These feelings are not wrong, we were made to be loved.

Thoughts on Singleness: How I Conquered Feeling Lonely, Unwanted and Not Good Enough

Singleness is often perceived as not being wanted. Internally this may be felt or an ascribed label. Unfortunately, this definition deepens the pain of being ‘alone’. Not only do you not have someone to share life with, you’ve labelled yourself at not being worth someone’s time or affection. You persuade yourself if “I was attractive enough, or witty enough or…” then someone would notice me and validate my value, then someone would tell me I’m beautiful, then I could live out my romantic comedy dreams… I’ve felt all of these thoughts and emotions when I was single. It was hard. I often wondered if I would ever meet someone if I would get married before 25. I went through feeling bitter, jealous, and envious of other’s relationships. I wondered what is so wrong with me? Why can’t guys see my attractive qualities and character? I prayed many nights that God would bring a godly man into my life.

In an effort to change my situation I sought a relationship. Alas, trying to seek out a relationship often has the opposite result. All of my efforts to secure a guys attention usually failed. I tried to look pretty, be outgoing, laugh at their jokes, go to events where I knew there would be guys, talk to them, be available. To no avail did any of it work. I ended up feeling rejected. Eventually, I got to the point where I was encouraged to try online dating. (Which in some circumstances can be helpful to meet people, at the time I wasn’t ready to take this step). Everything I was trying was giving the same hopeless result. Until one evening where God changed my perspective.

I was over at a friends house from church with a few other young adult friends and my friend’s parents. We were talking about our church’s Young Adult group where once a month we had an event called Lunch & Learn where all the other young adults would gather after the Sunday morning service to share a meal and fellowship together. Our church was quite large and the group usually consisted of over 50 people. I always viewed it a perfect opportunity to meet guys (; On this night my friend’s parents encouraged us to go to Lunch & Learn the next day and seek out individuals who were alone or needed friends. We had a pretty solid friend group and it would be easy for us to reach out to others. The following day I went to the event resolute to seek out anyone who needed a friend. Instead of focusing on myself and how I could attract male attention, my desire’s were turned towards others needs. I and my friend ended up sitting away from our other friends to try meeting new people. As a result, I focused on showing kindness and interest to those around me instead of seeking validation from others.

This change in perspective was a pivotal moment for me to move past my selfish desires to meet my needs and to look around at how I could serve others. I wasn’t automatically content with my circumstances, but I began to not obsess over what I didn’t have to what I could give. I still felt lonely as I prayed about a future husband, but God began to change my heart and teach me to trust His timing.

A few weeks later I went home for Christmas and I focused on spending time with my family and doing fun things with my friends. Later my mom commented that she could sense I was lonely, but that I was also subtly content with my circumstances.

Eventually, I did meet a guy, and shockingly (to me) he asked me out on a real first date. From then on I entered a whole new exciting, surprising and unfamiliar season of life. Before that time I had spent a lot of time alone, single and wondering if that time would ever come. Looking back I’m grateful for the time I spent unattached. I realize it allowed me to cultivate lifelong friendships, to participate in a bible study that provided these friends, to spend in-depth time studying God’s word, filling my mind with truth and promises, and to learn the difficult lesson to be content in all circumstances.

I’m thankful I met Mike when I did because I was in a really good place personally. My sole desires at that time were not to find a relationship. Therefore, upon first meeting him I assumed he probably had a girlfriend so why waste time being overly friendly with this really attractive guy (as was my previous practice).

Still today, I haven’t mastered the virtue of contentment, I still struggle with it, although in different areas. In all season’s of life, we are faced with angst. I still have unmet desires and goals I hope to accomplish. Although I don’t know when those will be accomplished, I have learned to be content while I wait. I needed this timely reminder of how changing my perspective changed my situation.

Every season of life has a purpose and if one’s heart is open God is graciously teaching one a lesson. Don’t let your pride or personal preferences get in the way of His purpose. God doesn’t withhold good from those He loves. Although He gives us boundaries in His word to keep us away from situations and acts that are harmful to us, He does this to sanctify us and make us more like Him. At times it’s painful but the reward of obeying Him and living in submission to His commands far exceeds the pain.

Whatever your going through pray about it and trust that God is faithful in His timing.

Click here to read about one of my favourite go-to websites for solid, biblical advice on dating and relationships: Favourites Friday>> Boundless

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