"You think you're looking for a spouse, and the truth is you are looking for HOPE." -JP
I love that the last two weeks at The Porch haven't been like a magazine five tips to dating or how to find a man/woman, but rather dealing with the real issue...ourselves. We are the the common denominator to all of our relationships and at the end of the day the healthier we become, the healthier our relationships will be.
I remember sitting in JP's office back in 2009 and discussing with him how I didn't agree with the way he was telling us (young adults at The Porch) to date. I probably argued some of the same points you may be thinking, but he said something I couldn't argue with,
"You've done it your way for how long now? And how is that working?"
He then gave me a verse that I've continued to go back to:
"As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly." -Proverbs 26:11
I know that verse sort of sounds gross talking about a dog and vomit, but in the same way it is gross when we continue to do the same thing, continue the same sin pattern or continue to date the same way and expect different results. A first step is to take time to "look backwards in the rear view mirror-and see the destruction". What is your dating pattern? Are you addicted to the highs and lows of being hurt?
What do you keep doing that you wish you didn't?
In order to move forward in a healthy way you have to deal with the past. You have to heal and be set free. Instead of allowing God time to heal us, we continue stuffing our baggage, trying to hide it, and carrying into the next relationship. Then we often times look to that person or frankly anyone who will give us attention to love us the way only Christ can. Your boyfriend/girlfriend can not be your savior and you shouldn't put that pressure on them to be because they will fail you...but CHRIST won't. I don't say fail you meaning that they will intentionally hurt you, but we are all imperfect people in need of a perfect SAVIOR, Jesus Christ. Whether it is past relationships or family issues, the only way to truly heal is to be open to looking at your past, and taking your baggage to the foot of the cross...bring it to Christ and allow him to heal you. For many of us that is scary because when we look in the rear view mirror it is not a pretty sight or it may be extremely painful, but you'll never be free from your past until you allow God to restore those areas of your life. NOTHING is bigger than the cross. There is NOTHING he can't REDEEM.
_ "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good." -Titus 2:11-14 _
We often think if only I had that special person in my life to make me feel loved every day things would be great, but it is not another person in your life you need...it is Christ.
God loves you RIGHT NOW, not some future version of you. He loves you no matter what your past looks like, and he will continue loving you every single day. Nothing can separate you from God's love.
_ "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." -Romans 8:38-39 _
At the end of the same conversation with JP, he took his dry erase board marker and wrote two words:
Do you trust Him, or are you trying to control? Are you looking to Him to lead you and guide you, or are you doing what you want and asking Him to come along for the ride?
God is good. There is nothing he can't handle, and nothing he is trying to keep from you. We too often settle for good, and temporary satisfaction, instead of realizing God wants GREAT for us. God wants BEST for us. Trust Him.
Praying for you all, that you would be healed, be set free, and trust in the Lord with all your heart.