“I can’t make any promises, but don’t be afraid– perfect love casts out fear.”
Trusting first and foremost in HIM, in Love Himself, who died and rose again so that any of us could even stand a chance in this thing called love.
A few related thoughts on the matter:
1) The best thing you can do for the other person in a relationship is to love God most. It really is. I mean, you always hear it, but praise be to God that I’ve been realizing just how very true it is.
2) Guard your heart. But not in the way we tend to think of it.
When we take the verse in context, I’m led to believe the author’s really saying that we ought to guard our hearts from sin (don’t take my word for it– check it).
But what we usually think is that we’re to guard our hearts by not being open and vulnerable. We think it means we ought to protect ourselves from getting hurt. Which is silly because only God can really do that and any time you get into a relationship, there should be the understood risk of getting hurt… really hurt.
This thwarted view of “guard your heart” often results in us being gun-shy, taking things way too seriously, or sabotaging our own relationships. AND I think what’s also partially implied is that if we obey this nifty little rule, we won’t get hurt (meaning the relationship will end in marriage?)– a works-based rule, that honestly has no contextual value, IMHO.
So ultimately, there may be pain (even if you get married, there will inevitably be pain), but our willingness to enter a relationship comes from knowing that God is sovereign and that He desires to give us His very BEST, whether that means you break-up or you get stuck with someone… for life. (; Haha.
So guard your hearts, not necessarily from each other, but FROM SIN.
And maybe guarding from sin will indeed prevent you from pouring your heart out on the first date or something (b/c that’s probably not very wise).
And what I do know is that if I had guarded my heart from the sin of idolatry, my past break-up probably would’ve been a bit less painful (I would’ve been losing one of the closest companions, rather than THE ONE THING I was gaining all of my meaning/security from).
Anyway, let me know what you think!
3) Through relationships, God helps us realize His great love. (Another “Well DUH!” revelation/realization.)
What I’ve realized in the past year is that, though it caused much heartache at its end, God really used my last relationship to love on me during THE most difficult time in my life. Those arms were His around me. Those tears were cried against His shoulders. He was ultimately the one who held me until morning, as I wrestled with my questions and with my brokenness. And I am so thankful for it. Yes, thankful to the boy who showed much kindness and patience in doing those things, but so much more so thankful to my God who was showing HIS great and perfect, unwavering love and compassion through him.
And when that relationship ended, praise be to GOD, as HE held me and loved me and began to rebuild my broken heart, I realized that all along, underlying it all, it was Him and His great affection for me.
Anywayyyy. So many thoughts/things I’ve been learning. I’ll probably read this tomorrow and be unhappy with the style/grammar. But w/e. I gotta start getting some of this down before I forget!
Other than that, must say, life’s been pretty great– PTL! Which actually scares me like no other, but we’re dealing, taking things before the Lord one day at a time. (:
Finally, in other news, I want a steam iron.
to God alone be the glory