Marriage is forever. Or at least it is supposed to be. When God said what He has brought together let no man separate (Mark 10:9), that means even the two people who are involved in the relationship. Marriage is a covenant, and once you have decided to become one flesh with someone, you are obligated to work it out, whatever “it” may be (barring a few exceptions). This is why the period before marriage is so crucial. The single and alone period, the dating and courting period, the engaged period. These are all times where you get to work on yourself, get to know people and decide whether or not a particular person is worth putting up with (I mean loving) lol for the rest of your life. That is why it should be done right. There is absolutely no need to rush into a marriage, settle for any old person or put up with any old thing. On the one hand, you do want to practice unconditional love, trust, and all of the other stuff that will be needed for a happy, healthy marriage even while you are just dating. However, you still have the onus of choosing your mate wisely which includes knowing when to let go of someone who isn’t quite measuring up to what you know you need. It is indeed a fine line, and I can see how so many women become confused in the process of dating and waiting. On one side they’re hearing “Don’t be so quick to cut people off.” “Learn to love people unconditionally.” “ Love is patient.” “Give people a chance to grow.” “He has a lot of potential.” . Then on the other side they’re hearing “You should never settle.” “Let go of the dead weight.” “Do not lower your standards.” So who is right in all of this? The answer is both sides. You absolutely need to be cultivating your love and dedication for your mate right now. If you are quick to run as soon as things get tough in a relationship or when your significant other does something you don’t like then you are essentially practicing divorce.
It is important to learn how to communicate, be patient with people and pray for them instead of cutting them off right away. However, the level of commitment and dedication you give depends on the person. Obviously there are different levels in a relationship and everyone is not allowed to get to the next level. Your love, devotion, patience, submission and all that other good stuff grows as the relationship deepens. Of course there is a certain standard of love and respect that we are supposed to show to everyone no matter the relationship. We are supposed to walk in love, patience and respect with all people including our parents, friends, neighbor, the person who caught you off in traffic, the mailman-everyone. If you begin to exercise unconditional love (love that is patient and kind, love that gives, love that believes the best) in those relationships, it will make for an easier transition when it is time to love romantically. The same is true on the other side of that coin. If you find yourself always having an attitude, being impatient, loving people with conditions or only when they are acting right, always quick to cut people out of your life then more than likely you will react the same exact way in a romantic relationship. Just because the person is different doesn’t mean the situation is. That is why you see some people carry the same baggage and issues and problems from relationship to relationship. They think they can’t keep a man because they’re not finding the right one when in actuality, they are the problem and the common denominator. There is a heart issue and a love issue there that needs to be addressed so that they don’t go around ruining relationships with everyone in their life.
How do I know it’s time to let go?
Look for patterns in people. You have to learn the difference between a bad circumstance or an off day and a bad pattern. We are all human, which means we are bound to mess up something at some point. Nobody's perfect. If you are searching for the perfect person he does not exist (my husband comes pretty darn close though tehehe). Ok back to my point, a person will definitely show you who they are. You don’t have to wait long for someone to continue displaying some of the same patterns over and over again. The problem is, we usually ignore it the first few times in order to salvage the relationship instead of realizing that holding on will cause a much bigger issue down the road. Matthew 7:16-18 says this: “You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit.” In context, Jesus is talking about false prophets but really this principle can be applied to anyone. We must be careful to check the fruit or in other words a person’s actions and what they are producing. Over time, you will begin to see a pattern of either good fruit or bad fruit. You will notice actions that either line up with what you want in a person and relationship or what you do not want. It’s actually quite simple when we break it down. We just over-complicate it with our emotions and our fear of being alone or starting all over. But trust me, it is much better to be alone than to marry wrong. When you are dating, you can be selective; you have a choice whether or not to put up with someone’s issues. You decide who comes into your life and who stays.When you are married, however it is a done deal so choose wisely.
Check your own bag of issues
Ok let me be incredibly transparent to the point of almost embarrassing. So for as long as I can remember I have had an irrational fear of being let down by people (that I have since been delivered from). I know many people don’t like when people don’t keep their word but ya’ll I was next level. It was so bad that even if a friend told me we were going to the mall next weekend and for some reason we ended up not going, it felt like a little piece of me died on the inside. I would be so crushed over the pettiest of situations.I know where it stemmed from. See my mom was addicted to drugs all of my life (that’s not the embarrassing part. She has been clean for several years praise the Lord, we have the best relationship now and she doesn't mind that I share this). So she would always make promises that she just could not keep being that she was not well (addiction is a disease). Whether it was promising that she wouldn’t use anymore or promising me that she would come to see me in a school play, it all just ended up in massive disappointment. So fast forward to my adult years when it’s time for me to get into a relationship and I just carried that baggage from my relationship with my mom into my romantic relationships. A guy would tell me he was going to take me out and flake and I would automatically harden my heart towards him. Thank God that when I gave myself to God, I was able to really come to terms with this and allow Him to heal me. So when it was time for me to start dating John I was not tripping. I still had (and still have) my moments where I want to feel a certain type of way, but now that I know where it comes from it is so much easier to catch myself. One time John had to cancel a date or an outing because he had a legitimate reason, and I felt that all too familiar feeling begin to rise up in me, but I knew not to let it overtake me. Back in the day, I probably would have started ignoring his phone calls, but the new and improved, more mature Rita knew to look in the mirror and stop projecting her own issues onto a perfectly good man. My point is, don’t sabotage a relationship just because you have not gotten your own issues in check. Your daddy issues, your mommy issues, your old relationship issues, your insecurity issues, your self worth issues, whatever they may be. Allow God to heal you of them so that you are able to choose a mate objectively and see him through clear eyes, not the eyes of your past.
Look to the Holy Spirit for help
We definitely don’t allow the Holy Spirit within us to do His job as much as we should. He’s not just a helper, He is the Helper. (John 14:16) We take for granted that we actually have God’s Spirit living on the inside of us. If you really stopped to ponder this truth, your life would be so much easier.1 John 2:20 says this: “But you are not like that, for the Holy One has given you his Spirit, and all of you know the truth.” Isn’t that good? We should never say that we don’t know or we don’t have the answer because the One who has all of the answers lives on the inside of us and all we have to do is seek Him to seek out the answer. He is not trying to hide anything from us.
I understand that not everyone will have a story like me and my husband where the Lord spoke to both us directly (you can read our story here) and tells us we’re each other’s spouse. However the Holy Spirit does know everything. He knows if that person is a good choice and if you two will be good together. He knows the Father’s perfect will for your life, and He most definitely has something to say about every relationship you find yourself involved in. I know this because he warned me about every single person I was involved with before I started dating John. I talk about it here. Furthermore things are not always as they seem. We see the outward appearance but the Lord sees the heart. (1 Samuel 16:7) His ways and thoughts are higher. (Isaiah 55:9) Sometimes God has a completely different perspective on a relationship, situation or circumstance than we do, but we will never access it by looking at things in the natural, through our own carnal vision. So if you don’t get anything else out of this post get this: Learn to involve God in every single relationship or potential relationship even on down to the small details such as whether you should give out your phone number to a particular person or whether you should accept a date from someone. You could save yourself so much heartbreak and headache just by implementing this. I know I could have.
Still Hidden in Him,