That’s me Cynthia, writer/blogger of Marry Over 40 By Faith and InSeason Mom pictured above.
For some time now, I’ve secretly wanted to do a photo shoot. When talented photographer Grace-Given (Jimmie Basco) presented the opportunity, I hesitated. Then I decided not to give in to my fear and to fulfill my long-awaited wish.
I asked my best friend Lisa to accompany me for moral support. Little did I know she would not only provide moral support but she would provide much needed technique support.
My friend Lisa pictured above
As Jimmie, the photographer, suggested certain poses to get the best shot, I discovered something about me: I was as stiff as a board when it came to looking relaxed and natural in front of the camera! (I’ve heard previous comments about my stiffness when I’m dancing from one of teenage daughters.)
While he coached me along, Lisa, used her background as a former model, to demonstrate what he wanted. Listening to what Jimmie said and looking at what Lisa did, I learned 3 life lessons:
1-Be willing to listen and learn from a variety of supportive people/mentors
Whether your goal is to lose weight or to advance in your career, your success does not hinge on your knowledge alone. Gain knowledge from several resources. Then apply that knowledge to move forward.
2-Appreciate Your Own Uniqueness
All of us have something about us physically that we would like to change. Yet, this very thing adds to our uniqueness. What’s even more amazing to me is with 7+ billion people in the world, you will never run into anyone who is exactly like you. Science says two people cannot have the same DNA, even identical twins. To me this means that the God of the Universe thought you were such a great treasure that He created only one “you.”
3-What You Feel Inside Will Show Outside
“Think about Larry,” said either Jimmie or Lisa during the photo shoot. Larry is my husband. Until then, I was thinking about unfinished work I had to do. And, my thoughts were showing in my eyes and in the camera lens. Soon my eyes lit up with thoughts of Larry. I would encourage you to make it a regular practice to replace defeating negative thoughts with uplifting positive thoughts.
Thanks Lisa and photographer Grace-Given (Jimmie Basco) for making my first photo shoot fun and for helping me to learn a few life lessons in the process!
It's no surprise to me that Karen received a Dove Award, a Movieguide and a Grace Award for her soul-stirring performance as Miss Clara in the movie War Room.
I asked Karen if she had any advice to share with single Christian women about marriage.
"If you're feeling the pressure to get married, just to get married and you haven't found anyone," she said, "don't just jump into any situation to have a husband and to have a child.
You could be jumping into a fire. Trust God because nothing is more wonderful than having a mate that is loving and supportive. This is a healthy relationship to bring a child into."
Read about Karen's journey of conceiving and giving birth after age 35 on my InSeason Mom blog.
You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter and her Website.
Check out the clip below and her moving portrayal of Miss Clara in the movie War Room.
Who would have thought by growing up on a farm God was showing me a life-long lesson?
I didn’t appreciate the peaceful farm scenery growing up. I wanted to live in town, a fast-paced city. Now I always feel refreshed when I go to our family farm, soaking up the sunshine and looking at the beautiful scenery.
Having been raised on a farm, I’ve seen first-hand that when you plant seeds for a crop not all of them will produce at the same time. Each will operate in its own God-given season.
The exact is true with our lives. You may have wanted to get married during your twenties or early thirties but did not. You are in your season of waiting.
Getting married at 40, conceiving naturally and giving birth at age 42 and 44 was NEVER in my well-designed plan. I was supposed to be married to Mr. Super Christian and have all of my well-behaved children by age 27! However, the detour from my perfect plan has made me more compassionate and humble. The years have taught me from seeing the experiences of others that when our dreams are fulfilled too quickly, we take the fulfillment for granted. We become prideful.
Now, years after praying through my season of waiting, I know and embrace the ministry God has chosen for me. I know that providing support through this blog for Christian women 35+ who want to get married and providing support for first time moms and women who want to be moms over 35 and 40 through InSeason Mom is His well-designed path for me.
When I connect with women over 35 and 40 who are in their “season of waiting," I do not view them as statistics. I see them as I see myself and that’s why I often call them “my sisters.” I want them to know that God has not forgotten them. He still has wonderful plans for them (Jeremiah 29:11). I know this because He has used my life as a testimony to the other side of their journey-Harvest time!
Ladies, I know the desire to marry can almost seem unbearable--especially if you've over 35 or over 40. At times, this strong desire can make you go against your God-given judgement. But, it's not too late to return to what you know is truth (1John 1:9).
One of the steps you must take to return so that you can receive God's best is to stop treating your boyfriend like he's your husband. I found this encouraging article by Andrea Alley, How to Not Treat Your Boyfriend Like a Husband. Read it and let me know your thoughts.
“I just wonder what you would say to a woman who is Christian with not a one prospect. Most Christian men I have befriended ended up not committing. It is like they are scared to. Then the ones who aren't Christian want to get to know me. What am I to do? Praying for decades hasn't worked. I haven't been on a date since I got saved. Part of me wonders if it is worth it to wait for a man who loves God. They all seem afraid to be husbands. I give up...” (Marrying Over 40 follower)
Several years ago, I, or at least one of my girlfriends, could have easily written this question and the comments. One girlfriend actually became so frustrated that she refused to attend any more weddings! Here are a few suggestions to help you through your season of singlehood:
1) Pray. Tell God exactly how you feel.
Don’t worry about surprising Him with your anger or frustration. Psalms 139:2 reads: You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I'm far away (The Living Translation).
2) Get some rest.
I know when I’m tried, I’m more apt to be irritable and view everything through my negative-colored glasses.
3) Share a laugh with a friend or watch your favorite comedy show.
According to Natural News.Com, laughter moves lymph fluid around your body simply by the convulsions you experience during the process of laughing; so it boosts immune system function and helps clear out old, dead waste products from organs and tissues. No wonder Proverbs 17:22 reads:
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person's strength.(The Living Bible)
4) Pray for the husband that God is going to send you.
I remember the first time I heard this I was surprised. Then it made sense because unless the man God is sending you hasn't been born yet, he is facing challenges just like you.
I think I read this statement over 20 years ago in Your Half Of The Apple: God and the Single Girl by Gini Andrews. What a powerful impact that made on me.
5) Realize that God’s man for you may not be a Christian yet. God is still working on him.
Too many seasoned believers fail to tell single new Christians that it is possible that you can be unequally yoked” with another believer.
Let me explain. A brother may be “Mr. Super Christian” within the church building, but does not act the same way outside of the church building! Read my article about a few of the warning signs.
I do suggest, after much prayer, get to know (not in the biblical sense) a single man with good morals. Introduce him to your beliefs. Do not fall into the trap of soul-winning for you and Jesus. Commit him and your relationship to the Lord.
6) Write a Thankful/Count Your Blessings List.
A University of Connecticut study found, a grateful heart is a healthier heart. Patients who viewed their first heart attack as a blessing in disguise, for giving them a new appreciation for life were less likely to have a second attack than those who blamed their heart troubles on others.
Being thankful is not only good for your physical health, it's good for your spiritual health! I won't mention the numerous scriptures such as Psalm 107:1 which states, "Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.
Make a list of 100 things you are grateful for and read the list when you start to feel sorry for yourself.
As the old gospel song says, "Count your Blessings. Name them one by one. Then it will surprise you what the Lord has done!"
I'm also offering Hope Calls Faith Walks For Single Christian Women. Whether you use this coaching service or not, I would love to hear from you! Be encouraged!
I was 27 years old and my clock was ticking loudly to meet Mr. Super Christian. My goal of getting married and having a baby by age 30 was near. Christian sisters, family, friends and enemies were reaching their goal of marriage by age 30. What was I doing wrong? I was more faithful--- in my eyes than they were. Finally, I learned “the secret” by observing how one sister operated. She always seemed to have dates.
She said her first marriage didn’t work because her mate was too immature. Within a few months after her divorce, she was back on the dating scene, dating heavily. The secret I learned from observing her was she practiced what I call “Soul-Winning Him For Her Then Jesus.”
I need not explain how this works. It's self explanatory, but just to make sure you understand, I will describe the process.
Step 1: You meet a single man who is appealing to you.
Step 2: You discover by talking with him that he's not a Christian. He may even harbor bitter feelings toward Christianity.
Step 3: You agree to go out on a date with your handsome suitor, maybe, even a few dates.
Step 4: He's passes your test of what you look for in a mate so it's time to win him "for" the Lord.
Step 5: You invite him to church, bible study and to all your "Christian" activities.
Step 6: If he doesn't become a Christian during your specific time frame, you throw him back to the world and start the process again.
What is even dangerous spiritually is that you go to Step 7 after Step 5.
Step 7 is you continue dating him, compromising your beliefs and values, in hopes that he'll marry you---someday.
Nothing is wrong with the goal of soul-winning because we are told to do this in the scriptures (Matthew 28:19-20) nor is anything wrong with inviting a date to hear God's Word. What is wrong with the above process is if you examine your heart, you are really on a mission to win a man to the Lord for you and then for Jesus. You want him to become a Christian so that he can become a suitable mate for you. Jesus wants him to become a Christian to save his soul and to enjoy a rich, abundant life.
I’ve been where you are now: over 35 nearing 40, desiring a mate, a man in the Lord. And, in most churches single women outnumber single men. Too often I thought my chances of getting married to God’s man was as impossible as a donkey holding a conversation (Numbers 22:28)!
If you're practicing "Soul-Winning Him For You Then Jesus" I encourage you to stop. This practice is mainly rooted in faith and doubt. Ask God to help you see the date who comes to church with you as He sees him---a man in need of the Lord.
Pray to God to give you the trust you need to release your date to Him. I can’t promise that God will give you this man as a mate. I can promise that if you are faithful to the Lord, He will not withhold any good thing from you (Psalm 84:11).
As I walked away from the store with my purchase, I smiled knowing that God had used my experience to teach me a valuable lesson: a lesson about unfair conclusions, misconceptions, and inaccurate judgment.
Recognizing God’s mate for us is often difficult because of our own misconceptions. We often think we know how our man will look, talk and smile. (I know I did, too.) We give little thought to the racial appearance of our future mate because we assume he will look like us. However, a quick study of the scriptures will show examples after examples that God’s thoughts are not our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8).
I encourage my single Christian sisters who are over 35 and over 40 to open your hearts to the beautiful rainbow (men) of colors that our Father has put in the world. I encourage you to examine the color of their hearts more than you examine the color of their skin.
Join Marry Over 40 By Faith on Facebook and Twitter.
Okay, I admit it. When I was single, I created a list of what I wanted in a mate. I’m a “list person,” meaning I enjoy making a list for everything. Did you know that your long “mate-shopping” list can be a hindrance in recognizing God’s man for you? Here are a few of the most popular items on single Christian women’s list:
Physical requirement. There are handsome men in the bible. David had two fine sons, Absalom (2 Sam. 14:25) and Adonijah (1 Kings 1:6). And, Joseph was so handsome (Gen. 39:6) that I'm convinced his beauty played a role in getting him locked up! And ladies, be honest. Who doesn’t want a Shemar Moore or John Stamos look-a-like?
However, physical beauty changes throughout the years. The beautiful head of hair becomes thin or ashy grey. Sadly, healthy young people as well as old are stricken with an unexpected handicap or disease. Accidents disfigure even the most beautiful people. Maybe, this is one of the main reasons God said to Samuel in 1Samuel 16:7 “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” English Standard Version (ESV)
Career/Education/Financial Status. The showoff partner is the first cousin to the trophy wife. His status, whether it is career, education or finance, impresses you and others at parties, church, class reunions and other public functions.
The truth is your relationship, especially your marriage, will not be lived out at church, parties or class reunions. What will become most important is how he treats you. Does he builds you up most of the time or slowly destroys your self-esteem?
Deal-breakers. There should be major deal breakers or refuse to accept on your list. But, no man will have everything you want on your list. Do not expect any man to fulfill all your needs. Only God can do this! Go to God and continue to ask him to open your eyes to the man that he wants to be your husband.
What are your thoughts about making an Ideal Mate List?
“Women in their late 30s and 40s are flooded with negative information about their probability of getting married to having healthy babies,” says Cynthia, author of Marry Over 40 By Faith and founder of InSeasonMom, recognized by CBS New York and MSNBC as a leading resource for first time moms over 35.
My goal for Marry Over 40 blog is to do what God has allowed me to do with my InSeason Mom’s blog for women: to ease their fears by exposing myths with facts, to show them there is a Power greater than circumstances, there is Hope. There is God.
I’ve shared my story of getting married for the first time at age 40, conceiving naturally and giving birth at age 42 and 44 to two healthy daughters,” says Cynthia. “I know there are other Christian sisters who got married close to 40 or over 40. I want them to encourage single sisters with their testimony/marriage story. The Enemy is wrong! Marriage for older sisters is possible because “all things are possible with God. Mark 19: 26.”
If you desire to encourage others with your story, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Be encouraged my single Christian sisters, there are nearly 6,200 weddings daily in the US! https://www.facebook.com/Marry-Over-40-By-Faith-1028670703896620/
Many years ago the classic television series “Touched by An Angel” aired an episode called “An Unexpected Snow.”
The story was about an unexpected meeting between a man’s mistress and his wife over the Thanksgiving holiday.
“He’s not supposed to be married,” Megan (the mistress) argued. “He’s supposed to be with me. God made a mistake.”
“If something gets this ugly and this painful, God had nothing to do with it,” Monica (the angel) explained.
Satan often preys on Christian single women over 35 to make them think something godly can come out of their ungodly unison with a married man. Satan uses the men’s religious titles or his Super Christian status in the church to make the women think that they have landed a prize.
The married boyfriends say all the right words that single godly females who want to get married long to hear. Sisters, remember Eve was deceived by what the Enemy said (Genesis 3:4). These married boyfriends appear to be the answers to the single godly women prayers, but they are ravenous wolves (Matt. 7:15).
Let's stop talking about single godly females as a group and talk about "you" as an individual godly woman. To keep you in an ungodly relationship, the Enemy will magnify your fears—
fears of unbearable loneliness without this man and your fears of never finding a single man like your married man.
The truth is if you took a few minutes to really think about your relationship, you would find that your relationship with your married boyfriend isn’t as rosy as you would like to believe. If you took a few minutes to stop listening to the romantic love songs or looking at the romantic movies, you would discover your relationship is built on a weak foundation. Your relationship is built on a sand of lies (Matt 7:26-27) and a relationship built on lies is doom from the beginning.
Satan, the master deceiver, knows as long you, a godly woman, remain in the ungodly unison, what you want most will never come. God's man for you could walk in front of your face and you would never see it, not with your spiritual eyes. You have allowed the Enemy to blind you like an unbeliever (2 Cor. 4:4).
I pray for you as Elisha prayed in 2 Kings 6:17, "O LORD, I pray, open (her) his eyes that (she) he may see…
You are a beautiful and valued daughter of the King, my sister!
It’s been a long time since I read a fairy tale. So I had to pick up a children’s book to make sure the "happily ever after" ending was still there. Although many of the stories have been revised, the fairy tales still convey the same message. 1-There is only one true soul mate. 2-Only when you find your soul mate, you will find true happiness.
One of my best girlfriends— who loved reading romantic novels—believed this concept for years. I’m not sure it was her studying the Word more in depth or her last relationship ending in marriage, which helped her see clearer. The truth is you can be compatible with more than one person.
Is your belief in the "Soul Mate-Only One" myth keeping you from leaving a dating relationship that's not good for you? Or is this belief keeping you from looking at new dating relationships because you feel you lost the “right” one—your soul mate?
Hunt's comments are not only enlightening but are in agreement with Colossians 2:10. "And you are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power." We are complete in Christ. We don't search the world looking for our other half because we are complete in Christ!
What are your thoughts about the true soul mate myth?
|Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net|
A few years ago, I commented in a leading Christian magazine about marrying later. Another reader responded:
“It's not impossible, but if one is being honest, one has to admit that it is rare. Statistically, the older a woman is the more the odds are against her...particularly if she wants a Christian mate. Most churches have a surplus of single women of a certain age, but relatively fewer available men, and the ones who are all too often act like the proverbial rooster in the hen house. I've seen it, and it's not pretty. Women who marry older often times it's just out of sheer luck...or manipulation. That's the truth.”
I agree with the reader on several points BUT. First, let's see what I agree with her on :
Most churches have more women than men.
In David Murrow’s book Why Men Hate Going to Church, he writes, “I truly believe women must play a key role if men are to return (to the church). Because women dominate in attendance, leadership, and volunteerism, they hold great sway in the local church (even if they don’t realize it). Women must humble themselves, pray, and allow the men of the church to lead the body toward an adventure.” For more interesting points on men and church, check out this link: http://churchformen.com
The proverbial rooster in the hen (church) house does exist.
I agree with the reader that because of the surplus of single women of a certain age and fewer available men, many brothers act like the proverbial rooster in the hen house. Unfortunately, we, the church, have accepted this behavior, which is both sickening and sinful.
Main point of disagreement:
Main point of disagreement:
Older women who marry, marry out of sheer luck or manipulation.
Unfortunately, this statement assumes that the only thing women have to offer is their youth and that luck does exist. Both of which we know is in error.
While statistics may be against us, I know other women who married at a later age and they did not manipulate their potential mates. I know it’s difficult, but I encourage my single sisters to keep believing. If God can part the
Red Sea for Moses, He can
send you a mate…if it’s His will!
Was your first thought similar to one of the following:
1- Yeah right, where are they?
2- I don’t want a “good man” I want a godly/Christian man!
3- No one is good except God!
I certainly agree with you that God is good. I understand that you want to marry a Christian man. However, you as well as I know there are Christian men who are not living what God considers a “good” life at this moment. They have abandoned the love they once had for Christ. Sadly, at this very moment, they have left their first love (Revelation 2:4).
On the other hand, there are unsaved single men who are seeking a relationship with God and will come into a relationship with Christ on this very day!
When you/experts/researchers attempt to count how many single Christian men over 40 there are compared to the the number of single Christian women over 40, your numbers are always off....not on point. You see, it is impossible to factor in the “God math.”
God’s math is seen in Judges 7 when He used Gideon’s army of 300 to defeat an army that biblical scholars believe were several hundred thousand. Although the bible does not provide a specific number of the defeated army, the scholars base their belief on the description given in Judges 7:12: "the Midianites and Amalekites, all the people of the East, were lying in the valley as numerous as locusts; and their camels were without number, as the sand by the seashore in multitude." This does not sound like a few hundred people to me!
Another example of God’s math is seen when Elisha’s servant is only able to see the vast enemy army that surrounds them. Elisha prays for his servant, “O Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” He prays that his servant might have eyes to see the myriad of God’s host surrounding them (cf. 2 Kings 6:15-17). The servant is encouraged once he sees “God’s math” in action.
As a result of not being able to factor in “God’s math” in any statistical research, the results will always be flawed. Even when you say, there are just a few, just a couple or no Christian men over 40 in your church or bible study group, you may be speaking the truth, as it is at that moment. Yet, while you are speaking, there are men, women and children choosing to follow Him!
I am praying that God will open your eyes that you will see and be encouraged by His math! Here's my personal invite to follow me on Facebook and on Twitter
I am praying that God will open your eyes that you will see and be encouraged by His math! Here's my personal invite to follow me on Facebook and on Twitter
My grandfather who passed away at 101 had women “checking him out” in his 80s! According to my research, when he was born, the life expectancy for men was 50! God not only gave him “long years of life” but gave “life to his years”. I’ll bet no one at his 100th birthday party will ever forget seeing him dancing.
My mother, who is now in her early 80s, had suitors approaching her within months after my father passed several years ago and she still has suitors!
My grand aunt didn’t get married for the first time until she was 65, but I got married younger for the first time…at age 40!
When you're feeling discouraged about your marriage possibilities, I want you to look on the other side of the negative thinking, the lies the Enemy is telling you. My dear, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE WITH GOD! (Matthew 19:26) Follow me on Twitter and on Facebook