When the two of us speak about our relationship and The Wait in front of live audiences or on radio or television, we hear plenty of questions from people of strong faith who are already getting their minds right and syncing up their choices with God’s will. They’re looking for ideas on how they can be more disciplined, patient, and proactive.
If you’ve already been practicing The Wait without knowing it, and it’s going pretty well, here are some fine-tuning tips that could make it even better:
1.Check in regularly with your accountability partners
If you can put together a support circle of men or women who are all practicing The Wait, that’s gold. Everyone gets the challenges of celibacy and knows what everybody else is going through. But if you can’t find others doing The Wait, don’t worry. All you really need is a small group of people you’re close to who care about your well-being. Meet with them regularly and conduct your meetings based on the following ground rules: total honesty, constructive criticism, and no judgment.
Your accountability partners will pat you on the back when you make great choices and won’t let you off the hook when you make choices that undermine The Wait. They’ll help you get back on the horse if you weaken and sleep with an ex. They’ll cheer you on when you sign up for the master classes you’ve been talking about taking for two years. They’ll keep you honest and on track, even when The Wait seems to be dragging on.
2. Set clear goals and time frames
True, you don’t have control over when God will bring you and your intended spouse together.
However, that doesn’t mean you don’t get some control over timing. Set specific goals for yourself, such as a certain salary or a target weight you want to reach. Lay down equally specific schedules: “I will make executive vice president by the end of 2017.” You might not know when your ideal mate is coming, but that doesn’t mean you can’t exercise some control over the rest of the process.
The Wait shouldn’t be a grim trudge through daily obligations. It should be a joyful daily discovery of what you’re really capable of.
So, when you reach a milestone, reward yourself and celebrate your progress! There’s absolutely nothing wrong with going out on the town with friends to celebrate a promotion, or treating yourself to a trip to a Caribbean beach as a reward for getting your financial affairs in order.
Just be sure that your celebration doesn’t undermine the work you’re doing: no backsliding into bed with anyone, no matter how attractive. Set up your celebrations well in advance so you have some incentive.
As we’ve mentioned, this one should be elementary. God is at the core of The Wait; you’re doing all of this to give him room to work in your life. So, check in with him even
more often than you do with your accountability partners.
We suggest a daily prayer specifically about The Wait, asking for strength and discipline and listening to the Lord speak to your spirit. He will reveal wonders to you if you’re quiet and learn to recognize His voice.
5. Keep a journal so you can see how far you’ve come.
One big reason some people fall into complacency and stall is because they lose any sense of what they’ve accomplished. Journaling is the best way to keep track of where you were and where you are now. It doesn’t matter whether you use a Tumblr blog, a video diary, or an old-fashioned leather-bound book and a pen. Journal from the first day of The Wait to the last, capturing as much detail as you can.
When you feel tired or discouraged that you’re running in place, go back and read your journal entries. You’ll see how far you have come in a surprisingly short time. If your journal is online and public, you might even get encouraging comments from well-wishers cheering you on. That always helps raise the spirits and stiffen the will.
6. Heal the past
Everyone who waits comes to the dance toting something from their past: rivalries, trauma, anger, you name it. But it’s precisely those ugly pieces of luggage that led you to the promiscuity or the multiple failed relationships. If you want to wait, you’ve got to let the past go and move on. That often means reaching out to people who have hurt you and making peace with them. We know that’s difficult, but here’s the most effective way to do that: forgive.
For someone practicing The Wait, forgiveness is power. By forgiving others for their treatment of you, you free yourself from anger, regret, or guilt. You take back your power by taking the high ground—God’s ground. Have you ever looked at someone from your past and thought, “They don’t deserve forgiveness”? Maybe they don’t, but remember that it’s not about the other person; it’s about you. Confronting and forgiving turns the page, closes the book, and lets you heal.
Now that you have tips on how to fine-tune, it’s time to take action! In the comments below, let me know which tip you are going to apply TODAY!