Relationships have been on my mind a lot these past few days, specifically about pursuing and dating. I had been told, through social media, sermons, and other people that it is the woman’s job to wait on her Boaz. I realized that, although the ladies were being taught how to be pursued, the men were not being taught how to pursue.
Anyways, I decided I wanted to find the root of this whole “women should be pursued” (and I don’t necessarily disagree with it) phenomena. It definitely could not have come from the story of Ruth and Boaz since Ruth strategically sought-after Boaz. The next best verse that came to mind was Proverbs 18:22, He who finds a wife finds a good thing… This is a verse that I had heard multiple times. However, for some reason, this time I had questions. What does it mean to find a wife? What does finding entail? Are finding and pursuing the same thing? Does finding mean you have to go look?
Yall, I had questions.
I decided to find the context of this verse. I thought there was a story or parable leading up to this verse that would give me a better understanding. So, I went to the source; Proverbs 18. I was excited and thought I would find something. Alas, there was nothing; no context, no clues, nothing whatsoever. This verse is the epitome of “I said what I said”. I thought to myself, surely this cannot be it. I was a bit frustrated at this point. Just a tad bit. I then prayed about it and I asked the Holy Spirit what exactly it means to find something or to be found, and he laid the story of the prodigal son on my heart.
If you are not familiar with this story, it is basically about a man who has two sons. The younger son comes of age and decides that he wants his trust fund since it now rightfully belongs to him. His father gives it to him, and the young boy squanders it all on worldly things. The money runs out and a huge famine arises in the land. The young boy is now poor and hungry “so he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs” Luke 15:15. While he is feeding pigs, nobody feeds him, and he finds himself eating what the pigs eat. Then the boy has an epiphany- some sort of realization- and he remembers that in his former life, even the servants are treated better than him. He decides to go back home. This is when his father sees him from afar and runs towards him and throws him a huge party saying that this is his son who was lost and is now found.
The son was found, yet the father was not out in the streets looking for him even though he had the means to do so; He had servants that he could have sent out. He could have organized search parties for his son. Yet, he didn’t do that. This was because he wasn’t looking for him. He wasn’t looking for him because his son wasn’t lost in the true sense of the word. Lost according to the google dictionary means “unable to find one’s way; not knowing one’s whereabouts.” The prodigal son knew his way back home, that’s how he made his way back home. He knew his whereabouts because he decidedly went to where about that he was. He went away of his own free will and he came back home of his own free will (really, the grace of God). So, like I said, he wasn’t literally lost- So, if his father wasn’t looking for him, how did he find him? He found him because he was waiting intentionally for him. Yes, he found him by waiting for him. Waiting is not a passive act. Not at all, it is purposeful and it is deliberate.
In waiting, you have time to get your house in order. You have time to prepare for the person you’re waiting for. You have time to maintain the relationships that you already have. You have time to take care of yourself. You have time to become the person that God intended you to be. You have time to become aware of the things that you might have missed. You have time to do a lot of things that you would not necessarily be able to do if you were out on the streets actively searching.
If the father had gone to look for his son – instead of waiting- and left the house to the servants and his older son the house might have gone to ruins. The prodigal son would not have come back to the abundance that he once knew. Likewise, make sure you’re taking care of your temple and feeding your mind and soul, so that when you’re found, you’re not found in want, lacking or depleted.
The father found his son because he waited for him in hopes that he would come back home. It was this hope that led him to stand outside his gate in anticipation and it was this hope that caused him to see his son coming back home. He was also able to receive him well because -in his waiting- he prepared for his return.
However, before the father could “find’ the prodigal son, the prodigal son had to make the conscious decision to go back home. He had to remember who he was. More importantly, he had to remember whose he was. He had to remember where he came from. Most importantly, he had to leave the pig’s sty.
17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger!
Something I learned from this:
People might not know who you are- and it is not their job to know- so, they will treat you any kind of way without apology. Nevertheless, it is your job to know who you are, and it is your job to remember whose you are. When you remember these two things, it raises the standard and causes you to reclaim what’s yours. You will remember the abundance that your father has and you will no longer settle for the scraps that this world has to offer.
Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.
Back to the story, note again that the father did not go have to go into the world to find his son, instead, he waited eagerly for his return. It was in this way that he found him.
In the context of “the prodigal son”, the finding was a two-way, mutual process that involved choosing. The son had to choose to come back home and his father had to choose to welcome him back home.
If the son had come home and his father had forgotten all about him, the son would have walked into an unwelcome atmosphere. He might have ended up unwanted and even if he was allowed to stay, he would not have retained his rightful title of “son”.
If the father had gone out in the streets to look for his son when the son wasn’t ready to come home, his presence would have probably been met with reproach and scorn.
Essentially, the son had to want to be found, and his father had to want to “find” him. They both had to be ready.
What does this have to do with relationships?
Well, if you’re trying to find somebody, make sure that they want to be found. They should want to leave the place that they once were, on their own accord (really, a direction from God)- and some people are more than content with where they are. Unless you’re offering them something more than what they have, something beneficial to them, something substantial- not even in a superficial sense- leave them be. If the father had tried to offer his son shelter, provision and love when the son’s money was still plenty and his yes-men were still in formation, do you think the son would have taken him up on his offer?
Likewise, if you’re ready to be “found”, don’t walk towards somebody that has not been waiting, praying, and preparing for you. Because when you find them, they will not know what to do with you and you’ll stand there looking silly. “When the purpose of a thing is unknown, abuse is inevitable”- Dr. Myles Munroe.
Relationships require mutual effort. You both have to want it. If you find yourself doing all of the work all of the time, it might be time to let that relationship go.
This post is by no means telling you how to go about pursuing or being pursued. Everybody’s situation is unique and only God can truly direct YOUR path that he has laid out for you. Everybody’s path is different.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not depend on your own understanding, Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
The point of this post is that finding is a two-way process and like I mentioned here, someone doesn’t necessarily have to be lost in order for them to be found. In fact, when you find that person that you are looking for, I hope that they are ready to be found and I hope that they have already been found first by God. I pray that he has already captured their hearts and I pray that they are already fulfilled, complete and made whole in him. I pray that they are not lost.