Relationship Goals

Many people, reading the title of this post, are probably thinking “Uh! Another girl in her feelings about being single” or “I wonder what she has to say” or even “I’m tired of people always talking about what they want in a man/woman”. I feel all of this. I’ve thought these things before when I would come across tweets or Facebook statuses or even just in some conversations I’ve had with some folks about love, marriage, and dating. Also, I’m at a time in my life where many of my friends, or just people I know, are getting married and starting families. I don’t wish to speed that process up at all but sometimes I wonder about what my future looks like and whether God has marriage and a family for me. Let me make one thing clear before I continue: I am NOT saying that I don’t have faith that God will give me a husband and a family, but I AM saying that He doesn’t owe me anything. The sovereign God who created the heavens and the earth and everything therein is not obligated to give me even a parcel of food!! He is God and He is Holy regardless of what He gives me or withholds from me. We owe Him our entire being. That’s how I feel anyway! Now that that is off my chest, let’s continue with my other thoughts…

So, marriage is a beautiful thing and I would love it if God gives me a wonderful family someday but if He doesn’t, what would my response be? Bitterness, anger, rebellion, depression? No! God doesn’t deserve that. If He doesn’t do anything else for me…EVER…He will forever deserve to be praised because of who He is. That being said, how then can a single, young woman grow to not be bitter in a time of marriages and relationships? How can she use her energy that she places into wanting a relationship and a family so badly to serve and honor God unashamedly? There is no step-by-step answer to these questions but I can share what God has brought me through and how it has caused me to fall into a deeper love with my King whose name is Love!

Over the last few years of my life, God has carried me through some very interesting phases. There was my ‘wanna be married more than anything’ phase, my ‘single and ready to do something stupid’ phase, my ‘how come I can’t get a man’ phase, and then the lovely ‘Paul’ phase. My ‘Paul’ phase was my favorite at the time, because during this time I had seen Jesus so clearly. I had come to the realization that I had been hurt and my heart had been trampled on. I was afraid to love but Christ had showed me His pure love in ways I had never seen before and I wanted to be totally consumed by Him. I wanted to be His ride-or-die, souled out for Him! I wanted to do whatever He wanted, and I believed that I could only be this way if I was single. After all, Paul did say, in 1 Corinthians 7, that it is better for everyone to be as he [single]. The moment my ‘Paul’ phase began was during a prayer group meeting with some friends. We were reading 1 Corinthians chapter 7 on this day. My friend said that he wanted to specifically look at what Paul says about marriage. After reading, we talked for a minute about marriage vs. singleness and how awesome being single is (in the context of being totally focused on God’s will and that alone)! We didn’t say bad things about being married because it’s beautiful! God honors marriage and I love what it stands for and how God allows us to give ourselves to another person in covenant but during this prayer group time, we put emphasis on singleness and how at this point in our lives Christ needs to be the focus and the center. It was an amazing conversation, to say the least. I walked away from this conversation feeling more attached to my Lord than ever. I felt so ready to commit to Him and give Him my all. That is a great feeling and one that we, as believers, should experience everyday.

I am not sharing this to tell people to go and live as Paul did (although it wouldn’t be all bad), but I do want to make the important point that while we are single we need to enjoy it through Christ. Christ calls us to do several things (i.e. make disciples, care for the poor, widows, and orphans, etc). What He calls us to can even include travel abroad, and wanting to be in a relationship so badly can fog the lenses of discernment and cause one to become stagnant or disobedient. As Christians, we need to learn to love being single, which also means that we need to get to a point where we are completely, and totally content with Christ and all that He is. Many of us Christians believe that we are already at this point. Of course we are content with Christ because…we have to be. But, the reality of this is that many of us have the desire to be married and have a family. While this desire is not bad, it becomes the center of our lives and what is most important to us. Thus, relationships/relationship goals have become idols in many of our lives.

Relationships/relationship goals have been my idols for my entire life. It wasn’t until recent, during my ‘Paul’ phase, that I decided (with God’s grace) to make Christ my Lord and put away my idols. This included my strong desire to be married and have a family. So, I was going strong in my ‘Paul’ phase for about 9 months. It was great, but then some other things happened in my life. I started making some not so smart decisions and realized that I was rebelling but I couldn’t figure out who I was deciding to rebel against. Naturally, I said I was rebelling against my Lord but later I found out that I was rebelling against a previous relationship.

‘Paul’ phase ruined! Uh!! It was so good!! I felt like I was in such an awesome place in my life and I was totally focused on Christ. While this may have been true, I was also suppressing some things, apparently. In the midst of making bad decisions, I realized that I was getting male attention, which was what I wanted! I would go out and get all of the wrong attention from random guys. Thank the Lord I never got hurt or made any stupid mistakes that I regret. Experiencing all of this RIGHT AFTER my ‘Paul’ phase made me realize that committing my heart to the Lord requires trust and patience. It is a process that requires putting in work every single day. I was content, but then I let impatience influence me, as well as my surroundings. I entertained conversations (and many, MANY chick flicks) that put me in my feelings. I got advice from the wrong people (mostly myself) and I did not go to the One who could patch up the wounds of my heart that I somehow picked at and opened back up. I found myself in a really low state and I began to idolize and covet relationships…again! Then, all of a sudden, I began to struggle with many things in my personal life that placed an even heavier burden on me. It was rough. I forgot how to pray. I felt that God was far and I wanted to throw in the towel! Then, I started to pray and the only thing I kept praying for a long time was “God, I need you! I can’t do this without you” over, and over, and over again. God began to reveal to me how He never stopped loving me and that He never will. He showed me how He was there the entire time. He showed me that having a relationship with Him requires commitment, honesty, trust, and selflessness. God was teaching me the meaning of unconditional love and I fell for Him yet again. I saw Him in His majesty in a more beautiful way than I did when I fell in love with Him for the very first time six years ago. His holiness caused me to weep because I was in awe that a King so wonderful as He would allow me to even TRY to love Him. God, so eloquently and so gently showed me what true love is through His scriptures. His word is beautiful. God showed me that the most important relationship in my life is the one I have with Him, the One who loved me first.

Because I named this post “Relationship Goals,” I want to wrap up by telling you all my relationship goals. There is only one relationship that I desire to be in more than anything else in the world, and that relationship is the one that I have with Christ. I want to get to know Him more and more each day. He has proved His love to me and it hasn’t failed me yet. I want to be completely surrendered to His will and to His word. I want my desires to be His. I want to love like He does. I’ve never known a love like this and I just want to experience it each day, even on my “down” days. I want to love like Jesus’ word commands us to. I want to live and love selflessly to please my Lord. I want to love God with everything that is within me and love people as Jesus tells us to. I want to follow Him. I want the scripture Galatians 2:20, and many others, to be true in my life. My ultimate relationship goal is to completely trust God with my heart and my entire life. He deserves it all, plus more!

I am in a new phase right now in my life and it is definitely my new favorite. I cry a lot and I realize that God’s love is unfathomable and that is very frustrating but it all takes me back to Him. I call this the ‘trying to figure out how to love my Lord’ phase. I might call it something else later but I’ll stick with that for now. I like this phase because it shows me that God is “by my side, thick and thin, highs and lows” [Lecrae song reference haha]. This phase is the most humbling of any that I’ve ever been in (including the ones not mentioned). This phase causes me to be more vulnerable and requires me to be more focused and devoted. It’s pretty awesome. I encourage you all to seek Christ like never before, especially if you’re struggling with the idea of being single “for so long” but also just because of who He is. The more you get to know Him, the harder you fall. The great thing about falling for God though is that He will be there to catch you and embrace you like none other. ❤

Thanks for reading my thoughts! Feel free to leave any comments or questions. May God reveal His unchanging love to you and cause you to fall for Him over and over and over again. There is nothing like it…

-Jaz