Growing up, my parents always preached the importance of being pure… of saving myself for my husband and presenting that gift to him. I knew it was important if for no other reason than God commanded it, but it wasn’t always easy.
One of the greatest gifts God gave me was introducing me to my future husband six weeks after I turned sixteen. My dad was adamant I could not date until I turned sixteen, so when my friends would talk about how cute this or that boy was at earlier ages, I didn’t. What was the point? I knew I wouldn’t change my dad’s mind! I had a short list of qualities I thought I wanted in a husband. Good looking, definitely. Funny, certainly. But most of all, I wanted a man who loved God as whole-heartedly as I did.
Then I turned 16 and looked around at the young men around me. Frankly, I didn’t see any who met the last – and most important – criteria.
Before I could grow too discouraged, my parents sent me to a two-week Christian leadership camp. At the conference I met 79 other young people who were there to learn how to defend their faith in a college setting. While I became friends with most of them, one young man stood out to me from that very first night as we introduced ourselves.
Eric and I spent the next two weeks running in the same group of eight. And I watched him. I saw how he responded to others. That he was intelligent, and had a great sense of sarcasm. I also thought he was pretty cute with his blond hair and green eyes.
|Eric and Cara at ACFW 2010|
At the end of the conference, we returned to our different states and colleges. But over the next five years, I compared every young man I met to Eric. In that glimpse, God has shown me I didn’t have to settle. That there were young men out there that were passionate about their faith. Every time we talked on the phone, Eric would ask, “What’s God showing you now?” Believe me, I always wanted to have something to share.
Four years later, after we graduated, we ended up in the same corner of the country – okay so we were 100 miles apart rather than 800. We took that opportunity to decide whether we were supposed to move past friendship and marry. A year later when we did, I was so glad I’d waited…and that God had shown me more than five years earlier that I didn’t need to settle. Instead, I could trust Him to lead me to the man for me.
Find Cara online at: http://www.caraputman.com/
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