Tuesday, February 16, 2010
I've had a lot of things bouncing around my head as of late and I need to get them out. In light of that February holiday (which I'm generally not a big fan of, and no, it's not just because I'm single), the recent sermons, and what God has been talking to me about, I need to talk about relationships/marriage. I'm a firm believer that we, as Christians are called to be set apart (Romans 12:2, John 17:14-18), sanctified for His purpose. There is no greater opportunity to display this uniqueness than with relationships, both romantic and platonic.
It blows my mind when my friendships blow people's minds. I was having a discussion with some co-workers the other day about how some companies have policies against "fraternization" between employees. Not just dating, but they discourage hanging out outside of work or going to lunch together. One girl was a fan of these policies, citing times when she's had to approach these friend/coworkers and call them out on something they were doing wrong at work. She stated that people eventually use what they find out about you outside of work to stab you in the back in the office. I was legitimately confused as to how this would happen. My obvious reaction was "well, just don't do anything they can use against you." It seemed so easy. I have to constantly remind myself that not everyone's a Christian and even then, not every Christian has their head screwed on right. I just don't get how everyone doesn't have friendships like mine. Brothers who care about me and who see me as a real sister. Sisters who see me as partners, not competition. I've gotten to the point where I think all relationships are going to be that way and I'm really hurt when they are not. Why is it not natural for some people to think "who can I reach out to?" or "who can I have mentor me?" Why don't all Christians see church as a place to serve and see Jesus lifted high, not a meat market where they can scout for spouses and then stop serving? Christianity is NOT just something you put on your resume! Church is not just an "interest" you list on your Facebook. It's commitment, devotion, something you give your life for, not just something you do in your spare time. Too many times I've seen people really excited for Christ, then they get the eye of someone and suddenly Christ is having to share the spotlight. Or worse, Christ goes backstage. I will state here and forever, I am NOT serving Christ to make myself look like a better wife-potential or to draw attention to myself so some guy is attracted to me. I'm NOT doing it because it's just something to do until I get married. I'm in it for the long haul. And even if I never get married, I will not feel my life was spent in vain. And, until God tells me for sure that there is someone he wants me to marry, or shows me that one, I will try my darndest to not give my heart to another guy. I don't care if someone likes me, or even if he thinks God's telling him he should be with me. I personally have to get that conviction before I even like a guy for real. I think of how many times I've talked myself into liking a guy because he liked me or because I liked the attention, or because I was lonely for romance. It's so easy to fabricate, to talk yourself into thinking that's what God wants for you because it would make you happy. Your happiness is not God's will, at least not your immediate happiness. God does not want to share your heart. I'm guilty of this. I must stop giving it away like there's plenty to share and then giving God what's left.
But again, I have to realize that not everyone has my convictions, and I must have patience with all. I'm not saying that if you've been dating someone, you have to break up with them to focus on God. I am saying that if you want God to be first in your life, He also has to be first in your relationship. If it's not true for both, it's not true for either. If you put God first in your life, you should not even contemplate a relationship with someone who does not put God first in their lives. Relationships are not about making your happy or about not being lonely, or about presents and holidays and anniversaries. Relationships, ALL relationships are about showing people Christ. Friendships are to show people Christ. Romantic relationships and marriages are to show people Christ. Friendships are not JUST "practice" for marriage, but they are an integral part of how God prepares us for marriage. Roommates, small group members, brothers, sisters, all do a great part in making us a better person, friend, and (if so destined) spouse. If a person's not willing to let Christians into their lives to do that, do you want to trust that they're prepared for marriage on their own. You would be hard pressed to find a person who is ready for the role of husband or wife without abundant input from older Christians as well as peers. It take a deep commitment to fellowship and accountability to reveal those issues and problems that we hide deep in our hearts and souls. I certainly don't want that to be my job the first few years of marriage, they're hard enough as it is.
Maybe this doesn't make sense to you, or even sound coherent, but there ya go. That's what's been on my mind (well, most of what's been on my mind, a girl's gotta have her secrets), for these past few weeks. Enjoy