Not so long ago, I was having a conversation with an old friend and we were talking about his relationship with his girlfriend. I’ve never met her, but the story I was getting was that she was pretty rude and unsupportive, and they’d been together for almost 2 years! I asked him quite frankly if that’s really what he wanted for the rest of his life, to which he replied something to the effect of, “No, but I’d never settle down with her. But for now, it’s better than nothing.” Immediately, my brain went to, “Well, if you’re with this girl, what if you miss out on a really great girl that God brings along for you because you’re either, one: too distracted by the mean girl, or two: the nice girl won’t even consider you because even if she likes you, you’ve already got a girlfriend?!”
Today, I read something Jefferson Bethke posted (which if you don’t know him, google him – God’s using him in some awesome ways) that said, “Ladies, imagine your future sons turning out like your boyfriend. If that makes you cringe, you should probably break up.” And as I lay in my bed pondering things about all of the relationships I’ve either lived, seen, or offered advice for, this was rolling around in my head and I had one of those moments where God ‘revealed’ something to me (and when I say revealed, I mean hit me between the eyes with a 2×4). OUR LIVES ARE TOO SHORT TO BE PURSUING OUR OWN PLANS.
I can’t tell you how many guys I’ve dated that I hoped and wished and prayed would change. I’d get into these relationships where a few things about the other person are, well… alright. It’s like, “Okay. I can work with this.” Or how many guys I stayed with for years because it was “better than being alone.” I can’t tell you how many people other than myself that I know have done either one or both! It’d be nearly all of them, honestly, if not all.
All throughout the Bible, we’re reading about how God’s timing is perfect and how He has a plan for us, Jeremiah 29:11 being probably the most popular and well-known. God has a plan with HOPE AND PROSPERITY. Think about that for a minute. HOPE AND PROSPERITY. God has so much to say about relationships, as well: don’t be unequally yoked (meaning you should both probably be believers), the wife respects the husband, the husband loves the wife, they submit themselves to eachother (within marriage!), and – the most interesting to me lately – that a husband must treat his wife tenderly.
The subject of dating I’m going to leave alone for the most part right now because that’s a whole different post – but while there are differences between what is allowed in and outside of marriage (like being allowed to have sex), there are somethings (like how to treat eachother, and probably the rest of those things) that should also apply in a dating or courting relationship.
So ladies and gents – I ask you: could you deal with your significant other exactly as they are for the rest of your life? If your sons or daughters turned out like your boyfriend or girlfriend, would you be okay with that?
I’m not saying that people never change. That’d be a lie and very hypocritical, because I myself have undergone so much change in my own life – but it took GOD to make that happen. A boyfriend didn’t change me, although one tried. My mom couldn’t change me, although she tried, too. People cant change people. So if you’re with someone you’re trying to change or hoping will soon or can’t see yourself with in a dozen years or more – maybe it’s really time to reconsider that relationship (aka: run!). Don’t waste all the time that people like me have. It’s not really all that worth it. But YOU ARE. YOU DESERVE BETTER THAN THAT. You deserve that hope and prosperity in your life and relationships. And this life is far to short to be pursuing anything other than what God has for you.
And for those of you that have already spent a lot of time, effort, and tears on a relationship that’s going no where, if not worse, please, take heart. Because with God, as always, there can be a silver lining. For although He has a perfect plan for you, He knows when and how you’re going to screw it up. If you come to Him and place your life in His hands, He will begin to straighten your path and correct your direction and He’ll bring you to the person He meant for you all along. And along the way, He’ll take every measure to know your heart has been prepared for that special man or woman with whom He will entrust you with and believe me, it will be so beautiful and everything you leave behind you will begin to all make sense.