Do you want the dollar or the dime?
I was at Family Life in Little Rock, Arkansas yesterday, and came home with an armful of great resources. The very first one I cracked open, “Preparing for Marriage: Discover God’s Plan for a Lifetime of Love,” edited by Dennis Rainey, began with a fabulous story by Dennis:
Not long after I graduated from the University of Arkansas, one of my good friends came to me for counsel. She was dating a young man who happened to be my best friend, and I knew what was happening in that relationship. She wanted to marry him, but he was hot and cold, uncertain of whether he was willing to commit himself to her.
For some reason, I had doubts about whether they should marry. So when she asked me for advice, I told her a parable I had recently heard:
A little boy named Johnny was playing marbles in his front yard. His uncle drove up and decided to play with the boy for a few minutes. Then the uncle reached into his pocket and pulled out a dime and a dollar. “Johnny,” he asked, “would you like a dime today or a dollar next week?”
Johnny’s boyish eyes bounced back and forth between the shiny dime and the crisp greenback. He thought, I could buy a bag of potato chips today, or I could wait until next week and buy a rubber ball. He felt some hunger pangs, so he grabbed the dime, boutht some chips and wolfed them down. They were delicious.
A week passed, and when Johnny went out to play one afternoon, he noticed that every other boy in his neighborhood had a rubber ball. He wanted one real bad, so he rode his bicycle over to his uncle’s house. “Hey, Uncle, how about that dollar you promised me?” Johnny asked. But his uncle looked down and said, “Johnny, last week I promised you a dime today or a dollar next week, and you made your choice. You can’t have the dollar now.”
When I finished that story, I asked the young lady, “Do you believe that God is big enough to give you someone else later on that you could love more than this guy?” She thought for a moment and nodded her head yes.
“Perhaps,” I said, “God in His sovereignty knows that this young man you are dating is a dime, and He has a dollar for you later on.”
You’ll have to get the book to find out how the story of the young lady ends, but what stuck me, is how much this parable pertains to the lives of many young women. They settle for guys who are “dimes.”
The young men are often nice, but have serious problems with character and integrity. And the young women are afraid of letting go. They’re afraid they won’t find a dollar-kind of guy. They know the relationships are unhealthy, but in fear, they keep hanging on. They settle for the cheap, quick satisfaction of the dime instead of patiently trusting God to deliver the greater, lasting satisfaction of the dollar.
Do you trust the Lord enough to say “no” to an immediate lesser gratification, so that someday you’ll be blessed with a greater, lasting one? It’s a great question to consider. When it comes to the choices you make, are you choosing to patiently wait for the dollar?–Or are you settling for the dime?
By the way, this is a GREAT book for couples considering marriage to work through!
“Preparing for Marriage: Discover God’s Plan for a Lifetime of Love,” edited by Dennis Rainey
It can be tempting, for couples who are engaged, to focus on planning their wedding day and ignore preparations for the lifetime commitment that begins after the cake is cut. Now, with this revised and updated edition of Preparing for Marriage from FamilyLife, couples can do both!
Created by one of America’s leading marriage and family ministries, this dynamic program is designed to help Christian couples lay the foundation for a strong, lasting and biblical marriage.
Preparing for Marriage includes eight sessions of fun, romantic study that will help couples identify areas for growth in their relationship and start them off on the right foot before they walk down the aisle. Couples will learn how to discern God’s will for their relationship, to handle finances and plans for the future, to clarify their roles and responsibilities, to develop a loving sexual relationship, to deal with family histories and past issues, and much more!
I’ll be giving away a copy of this book together with a copy of “Starting Your Marriage Right” on Facebook on Monday, Sept. 13, 2010. Join the Girls Gone Wise facebook page and enter to win!