For the last two days, I’ve been reading my sad-but-true first-person memoir about my two last/biggest romantic relationships before I met the man God wanted me to marry. I also delve into me and Sir Jonathan’s relationship from the very beginning till our wedding day.
I detail conversations and experiences with my exes that had me in tears and had my husband seething. Not from jealousy, but from the treatment I endured from these guys. How I was played like a frickin’ fiddle by master musicians and strung along, entranced and deceived, ignoring every warning sign and running full-speed ahead into heartbreak.
I am SO tempted to republish this book for .99 cents just for the possibility that it may help some young girl or woman out there who is walking in the shoes I once wore. But, as I pray about that (please pray, too), I want to share some practical lessons from my dating duds/epic relationship fails to hopefully help you avoid some serious pain!
This may seem like an obvious no-no, but I wasn’t reading the Bible and really getting to know Jesus and His will for my life. I never sought Him for direction or relationship advice. Those questions were reserved for my best girlfriends who were just as clueless as I was when it came to healthy and successful romantic relationships.
I expected these guys to love me unconditionally when they didn’t even know Unconditional Love Himself and refused to follow His example. So, when their love was totally conditional, e.g., since you’re not gonna have sex with me, I’m not sticking around, or, since you’re too serious about us, I’m afraid of your intensity and passionate devotion so I’ll just exit stage left.
I couldn’t grasp why they couldn’t love me like I loved them, or be as committed to me as I was to them. But again, they weren’t Christians. There wasn’t a framework of commitment and honor and loyalty to a girl; of guarding her heart and being appropriate toward her and preparing for and waiting until marriage. They just did whatever their un-surrendered-to-God hearts wanted–which was ultimately and primarily sexual gratification without exclusive and life-long commitment. Basically, all the perks without the price-tag.
Whenever the guy disrespected me by disappearing for days, or kissing and then running, or whatever other red flags waved in my face, I might’ve complained, but I always ended up defending the guy’s actions and continued giving him chance, after chance, after chance. I never put my foot down. It took THEM abandoning me for me to have no choice but to move on. I always chased them down; called, texted, showed up at their house, forgave and took back, and tried to mend the relationship. I held on until my hands bled. Sisters, PLEASE, when warning signs begin to manifest, don’t wait until your heart is shattered or until he walks away. Put your foot down and move on before he does. Otherwise, you’re just lengthening the suffering.
Since God wasn’t my true source of joy and contentment, a romantic relationship with a broken, sinful, man was. And if any of you have ever been in a relationship with a guy, you know both of you mess up and make mistakes and act selfishly and hurt each other eventually. So if your happiness and hope is dependent on the well-being of your relationship, you’re probably sad and frustrated often (unless he’s a guy who loves Jesus. Not to say Christian men are perfect, but a true sheep of Jesus–not a wolf in sheep’s clothing–will treat you well and won’t put his interest first, but God’s best interest will be primary. He will fear and love God, and desire to please Him in his dealings toward you and treatment of you. He will seek to follow God’s plans and directives and rules for your relationship which seriously are so pure, and good, and safe, and healthy, and just ahhhh. SO much better than how people go about relationships without God being their Guide.
I’m sure as I continue to read my memoir, I’ll discover more lessons to share with you ladies, but for now, I plead with you to really do a relationship evaluation and then a heart check. Take a good three steps back from your relationship (if you’re in one) and prayerfully consider if one) he’s really a Christian; 2) there’s warning signs you’ve been ignoring, and 3) if all your happiness and hope hinges on the well-being of your relationship.
Praying for you.