anxiety, christ-centered relationship, christianity, conviction, faith, friendship, men, quotes, relationship advice, relationships, romance, sex, single life, song of solomon, song of songs, time, women
“I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or the does of the field, that you not stir up or awaken love until it pleases.” Song of Solomon 2:7 and 8:4.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is the verse that God used to calm me down.
Last April, a close friend (inside joke) and I traveled to Ukraine for a law school competition. It was finals weeks when we returned which meant we would be spending lots of time in the library. On one particular afternoon, April 27th to be exact (I am a numbers girl), a young man, whom I will refer to as Mr. Library, caught my eye. I had seen him a handful of times over the past 3 years, however, on April 27th, something stirred in my spirit. My piqued interest caught me off guard for a few reasons: (1) physically, he was not my type; (2) it was finals; and most importantly, (3) I planned to leave the state in 3 months and move back home to NYC. All I could think was, “ain’t nobody got time for that!” April 27th was the start of __________ (I have not figured out the appropriate word). I could not get Mr. Livery off of my mind. I secretly hoped to see him overtime I entered and exited the library; I prayed about him and for him; I asked a male friend for the 411 (they attend the same church); and I spoke to a few friends about what was going on. Was I crushing on a stranger?! I had not had a crush on someone since my sophomore year of high school. These newfound feelings were annoying and a distraction. I started seeing him EVERYWHERE and it was not because I intentionally placed myself in locations where I knew he might be.
I grew so close to God during that time because I needed to know if something was to come from those feelings and whether it was in God’s will that something should.
Receiving the 411 on Mr. Library made things a lot worse. I was able to check off things from my list, the most important being “a man who is on fire for Christ” (the exact words my friend used). My male friend used that phrase to describe him because he knows what I am looking for in a husband (Make sure your friends know what you are looking for so they can keep you accountable and help to weed out the rubbish!). In addition to hearing and reading about his heart for Christ, I saw him worship. *GASP* Therein lie the problem–knowing all of those things about his heart for God + my schoolgirl crush, led me to idolize the idea of a relationship with Mr. Library. At that point in time we had not even said more than “hello” to one another. *shaking my head*
My male friend offered to make introductions, however, I was fully aware that he would introduce us and then leave me to flop around like a fish out of water, and I am too awkward for that so I had to take a pass. Do not let my awkwardness fool you, I am usually bold and introducing myself to men had never been an issue for me. However, something was different this time. The Holy Spirit just would not allow me to feel comfortable with “making the first move.” The Holy Spirit reminded me that I want my husband to be a leader and to exercise headship in our marriage, therefore, I could not start off a relationship by making the first move.
My friends continued to encourage me to introduce myself but I felt convicted not to do so. My prayers and journal entries grew longer as my annoyance with the situation increase. I was content in my singleness (I still am), why was this happening to me?! And why did it continue throughout bar prep?! Talk about an inconvenient distraction! And the last thing I needed was a distraction. To my dismay, Mr. Library continued to make appearances in the library throughout the summer. One day while walking a lap and memorizing flash cards, he popped up during my second or third lap and happened to be sitting on a bench that I passed. This did not make it any easier for me to leave it to God. My flesh wanted me to introduce myself. My friends wanted me to introduce myself. God kept telling me to wait. Wait?! I am all about efficiency and getting things done. I just wanted to get to know him so that I could get over him (I tend to lose interest to be in a relationship quickly, especially once I get a sense that the specific guy is not meant to be my life partner). Every voice said to do it except for the voice that mattered most–God’s. UGH!!!
The Holy Spirit will communicate with you if you choose to listen to Him and boy was He communicating with me and seeing me straight! Things the Holy Spirit said and asked me:
- Are you making an idol of the idea of having a Christ-centered relationship with Mr. Library?
- If it is truly God, God will make sure that your paths cross. He does not need your help.
- Make sure not to operate in a spirit of seduction by trying to be around him more, trying to get closer to him, and giving him hints to point him in the right direction. (at that point in time I had done the first two)
- God is able to speak to Mr. Library, be patient.
- Let God write your love story and do not attempt to take it out of His hand.
- “so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11
- Sacrifice immediate gratification for long-term kingdom-pleasing success.
- Be Like David: choose to seek the Lord in silence and solitude before making another move. 2 Samuel 5:17-19
I would like to delve into a few of the aforementioned points.
- Making an idol of the idea of having a Christ-centered relationship
- Do not operate in a spirit of Seduction
- Allow God to write your love story and do not take the pen out of His hand
I do not know about you but I for one have had relationships where Christ was not at the center. I have vowed to never do that again. The relationships were good according to me but I want a relationship that is good according to God. Having a Christ-centered marriage is God’s will for all of His children who marry; it is a good thing to want. However, obsessing over the idea of a Christ-centered marriage to the point that you allow your infatuation to cause you to look at a person without seeing him/her. Do not let your infatuation cause that person to feel invisible. Most importantly, do not allow your infatuation to cause God to feel invisible. Additionally, just because a person loves Christ does not mean that you are supposed to be in a romantic relationship with one another.
2. Do not operate in a spirt of seduction
Seduction does not always mean that you are enticing a person to sexual intercourse; seduction also means to attract or to charm. I realized that I had perviously operated in a spirit of seduction with men by trying to be around them more and get closer to them in order to charm them to get what I wanted but did it discreetly enough that they would think it was their idea. The spirit of seduction is extremely manipulative and evidence that a person is not operating in the Spirit of God. I am being transparent with ow so that you may be transparent with yourself.
3. Allow God to write your love story and do not take the pen out of His hand.
God knows best! Repeat after me, God knows best. So often we enter relationships that we have no business being in. We enter those relationships because (1) we do not trust God, and/or (2) we do not listen to or hear from God. First, I will address my latter point–you do not list to or hear from God. You cannot listen and follow God’s instructions if you do not hear from Him. You cannot hear from God or distinguish His voice if you do not spend time with Him. In order to spend time with God, you must read His Word, pray, and worship. God has given you a book filled with instruction; if you do not read and study It, you will not be able to distinguish His voice from the voice of the enemy. God will tell you if the person you are interested is he person you should be with. He will tell you whether the timing is right. Secondly, you enter relationships that you have no business being in because you do not trust God–you do not trust that God wants to see you flourishing, you do not trust that God wants what is best for you. Your lack of trust allows the thoughts of loneliness to win; your lack of trust allows the fears of being too old to conceive a child to win; your lack of trust allows your fear of not finding someone else to love you to win; your lack of trust allows the fear of not finding someone who will put up with all of your (and possibly your family’s) shenanigans to win. You allowed your lack of trust in God to place yourself into relationships that are not in God’s will and keep you out of relationships that are.
Trusting God is not always easy. It is especially difficult when operating from a myopic perspective. I constantly have to refer to God’s Word to be reminded of His faithfulness. I constantly have to reflect and remember how God has proven Himself faithful in my life. Take a moment to remember God’s faithfulness.
Always listen to God’s voice and know when to silence the others.
To be continued . . .