Perhaps I’m missing something here. I don’t know the whole story, right?
Perhaps I should leave this open for more discussion and ask you some questions first, right?
Perhaps it’s easy to say this flippantly since I’m married now and my wife is cool.
Perhaps I have some older brother protectiveness in this, because, well, I do.
Perhaps I care more about making Jesus look good than making you feel happy, because, well, I do.
But here’s what I think the reality is, my brother:
You Have A Flawed View Of Yourself And What The Gospel Is…
I don’t want to make you resent me, but I know how if I tried to build this up and then sneak the reality in there in hopes that you’d “get it on your own” you’d likely already be done listening.
I know how you’re already done listening now, and already gone, unless you have a twinge of guilt and/or conviction that’s keeping you here to hear this out and understand it.
I know this because I was you…
Dozens upon dozens of times I was you as far as the practice goes. I say “as far as the practice” because I did what you’re doing, I just didn’t make it sound so justified when I quit the relationship. I more so “used and abused” without an excuse.
This means I can detect the scam…
I know that it’s easy to like the benefits of companionship and to be proud of yourself for “conquering” her heart and “winning” her affections.
Sometimes you’re even convinced (fooled) you truly are exploring the depths of who she is, genuinely interested in her and a future together.
Then the newness wears off. The high of the conquest fades away. Then you’re just stuck loving a real person who is all flawed, needy, raised differently than you, taught differently, has her own mind and will and habits, and just… whoa… too much work!
So you’re “out”.
Easy to justify though, right? After all, you don’t want both of you to be “unhappy” and “stuck” together, right?
So instead, you just make each other both unhappy and un-stuck together, and slightly more pessimistic moving forward in future relationships. Totally makes sense…
…except it doesn’t.
I know this because I changed…
A better way to describe my experience would be to say “I was changed” rather than “I changed” but both are true in the end.
Like I mentioned, I’m married now and by God’s grace I’m no longer preying on lady’s emotions and leaving a wake of destruction in my path. However, I didn’t get here without a great deal of negative destruction in my own heart that happened, and then positive but painful destruction and rebuilding that needed to happen, again, by God’s grace.
The truth is, if you’re a guy claiming to know God, and to know love, and to love a lady, yet you don’t think and act in a way that our big brother, Jesus, and our Father God would appreciate, then as my earthly father used to say to me when I was misbehaving:
“Boy, you’re cruising for a bruising!”
See, God loves both you and his daughters too much to allow you to continue in your skewed thinking and actions. He will do what it takes to break down and destroy what is wrong inside of you.
If you resist the refinement, you’ll either have a taste of your own sharp pain and hurt in such a way as to wake you up from your ignorance or you’ll experience the dull pain of loneliness and resentment in your heart over the course of many years.
Why? Because God protects his children, his sheep, from predators. “Wolves” like you and I were.
He also transforms predators into his sheep.
But why such harsh language? Why am I saying guys like us were wolves?
God Has Made It Clear By Making YOU A Bride, Dude!
It makes my cringe just a bit, to be honest, to even say what I just did. You and me, we’re “brides” to a groom.
It’s weird, I know.
I believe God uses that to get our attention. See, we’re put in the place of the one’s we’re supposed to be caring about and then our big brother shows us how it’s done. He flips the tables on us and punches us right in the face with the reality of our depravity and selfishness and excuses.
“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.” (Ephesians 5:25-27)
“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
See what’s happened here?
We learned a few tricks; played a few games of ball. We thought we were pretty great. We’ve talked a big game – even trash talked our big brother, Jesus. Then he drove the lane and dunked on us. Right in our face. Boom. Showed us how it’s really done… in love.
We’d do well to remember that Jesus is not impressed with our game.
Aren’t You Glad Jesus Didn’t Look For Someone He Was “Compatible” With?
If Jesus modeled the same love we too often do, towards us, we wouldn’t make the cut. You and I have way too many differences to ever be compatible with Jesus!
Ya know what else? I married a really cool, Jesus loving lady, and we’re mind-numbingly different! You’ll never ever, ever find someone that this isn’t true about!
What keeps us and anyone together, and even “in love”, is the same thing that keeps you and I in a relationship with Jesus:
A covenant decision despite all differences to always seek the truth together and the goodness of the other person!
“Well What If I’m Just Not Ready For That Kind Of Commitment?”
Then don’t pursue / date / talk to / stir up the affections of / or anything else, a woman! Plain and simple!
Go get your mind and heart right on these issues first. But, this will have to be another blog post…
Just remember, Jesus doesn’t allow little practice scrimmages though. He didn’t do that with you, don’t be doing that with our sisters in Christ!
And If You’re A Lady Who’s Been Hurt By This Lie?
Sorry. I know it sucks. I’ve watched the pain many times and felt it myself in a counter attack. I have a younger sister too. Here’s the truth:
You pressed him and his character in a way that was too tough for him to rise to yet. Don’t wait on him to change though. If he wasn’t ready to set his mind right and trust God on this now, then there’s no reason to believe he will anytime soon (or even ever).
Be glad you can now be with a man who’s ready and able to lead you well. Be seeking Jesus hard now so that when a guy actually does commit to loving you, it’s an enjoyable experience… Please.
Also, be forgiving and pray for your brothers in Christ. Very few people can explain this issue to us these days, and as simple as it sounds when you hear it, it’s a difficult thing to discern in ourselves. You’ll find out too: unconditional love is hard.