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The topic of relationships and dating comes in ebbs and flows within my group of friends. It’s like in one year everybody has a little “boo thing”, and then in the next they are recovering from the last break up. Thus the flow of conversation changes with my girlfriends depending on where each person is. Everyone loves to say when you break up, “You will find someone better,” or, “We didn’t like him anyway,” and my favorite “You learn something new with every relationship.”
I understand why people say that last one, because for the most part it is really true. Sometimes the lesson learned is that you were stupid. Or at least that’s how you feel. But usually you learn something new about yourself, perhaps what you want or don’t want, or see yourself in a different light. I’ve found that one of the dangers of the post-relationship evaluation is shifting blame. The first place we tend to shift it is to the other person, because clearly we are totally innocent and have done everything completely right. The second place we shift blame is to ourselves, we do this because we are hurt or wounded and trying to make sense of it all. The third and most dangerous place that we shift blame is to God.
God knows all, sees all, and has power over all. He created the heavens and the earth with words! You don’t get more powerful than that. Of all that He spoke and created in the earth, He MADE us in His image. Which means we have the same ability to create with our words and the world around us is affected by our actions. If that is the case, then we can make decisions which means whatever we experience in relationships is a direct result of the selection we’ve made. It’s so much easier to blame God right? Asking how He could allow something to happen, or why He didn’t hold up a huge sign to say, “STOP!” Because He is sovereign, I do believe that in everything He is gently guiding us with answers and clues. But because we are carnal human beings, we either don’t see them or completely ignore them.
I had to really get real with myself regarding this. There was a portion of a relationship that I believe God allowed to be. As they say hindsight is 20/20, so as I look back I can recall a time when Jesus was no longer the center and I continued on in my flesh. Yes, I said it, in my flesh. It became a soothing agent for me, a place of familiarity, instead of an opportunity for us to continue to grow and draw closer to God together. Then when it got down to it I wanted to blame everyone, the guy, God, the postman, my neighbor, basically everybody but the person equally responsible, me.
It’s only when I began to understand nothing has happened to me in the area of relationships that I have not allowed, that I experienced breakthrough. If you’re dating a guy and he turns out to be a jerk, you aren’t to blame for him being a jerk, but you are responsible for making the choice to date him in the first place. No one forces us; we have the power to decide. Furthermore, anytime the relationship shifts from being Christ-centered, you lose the ability to truly hear from the Father concerning it. Don’t blame God for that, it’s all on us. Lastly, sometimes it just doesn’t work out. Let’s not be so super high-minded and deep! We are all imperfect yet we put so much pressure on each other to be perfect. Let’s all continue to grow in love, patience and grace, understanding that whoever we are in relationship with is a choice that is one hundred percent ours and that no one, especially not God, is to blame. One day, you’ll choose a mate and he’ll choose you right back, and all the hiccups from before will become distant memories.