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Navigating Relationships

When It’s Time to Break Up.

Stop waiting for a sign. You already have one, if not twenty.

I am always annoyed when God is used as an excuse for people’s inability to make difficult decisions when it comes to unhealthy relationships. Too many times, I’ve heard those infamous words… I’m waiting for a sign… I’m praying on it… I’m putting everything on hold until the Lord reveals to me what I should do. For anyone on the receiving end of such dialogue, let me translate for you what the person is really saying.  I may only be 99% accurate, but here goes…

I know I shouldn’t be in this relationship but I don’t have the courage to go.  I don’t understand my value. I don’t trust God enough. I don’t want to start over and admit defeat, but I definitely am okay with the continual dysfunction of my situation. I know God isn’t in the midst of my relationship, and I’m comfortable with assessing that fact and doing nothing about it. God is in control. This is a lesson He must want me to learn, because if He didn’t, He’d make a way out. So instead, I’m going to pray on it, which just means I’m going to talk to the air and ignore the listening component. I have no real desire to be accountable for my decisions, so I’m going to put my inaction on God. He’s good with that right?  

Ah, no. It’s an insult actually. God is all about action, and if God is love, then love itself is an action.  Notice in Corinthians 13:4-8, how love is described…it suffers long, it’s kind, it does not envy, it does not behave rudely.  To experience the opposite on a regular basis is all the sign one ever needs that the situation you are in does not represent what God would have for us. Unfortunately, people hop over to verse 7, and see that love “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” Then, we start to wonder, what should we bear? What should we endure? Can’t we work through it?

Well, you can attempt anything…there is no guarantee of success, failure, or happiness, but here’s what I really want you to know… Love carries the burdens of others and helps them to leave their troubles at the cross. Love allows us to believe that redemption through Christ is possible.  Love gives us a type of hope rooted in God’s mercy. Love endures the trials of this world so that we can walk in His grace. We need this type of love so that we can help ourselves and others work towards their soul salvation.

Love is not, however, a reason to keep people in our lives on a personal and intimate level that aren’t interested in reciprocating the character of Christ.  Relationships can overcome many things, but they cannot overcome spiritual disunity.  If two people aren’t working towards the same spiritual goals, then common life goals become secondary to the breakdown that will eventually commence. On the other hand, if God is at the center of a relationship, those two people can overcome anything. What seems like challenges will eventually start to fade away because both parties are committed to trying.

They understand perfection is not the goal, but God’s love is.  Their vulnerability, honesty, and intensity grow in time, not in an instant. They find ways to show each other that they care because they understand the importance of valuing themselves and those close to them. They aren’t codependent but they are partners.  They cherish the good and try to work through the bad.  They understand that growth must be individual and collective. It doesn’t optimally work any other way.

Instead, we often confuse incompatibility with the need to work at a relationship. Be patient. Confirmation will always come in action. You will see who’s steering the shipping and if you’re moving in the same direction. It will then be clear as to whether you should stay or go.  What you do after that is your choice… just don’t blame God if you decide to hold onto the dysfunction.  He doesn’t deserve that, and honestly, neither do you.

 

E.

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