This is in response to a question in a blog post of a particularly great writer and very devout follower of Christ, probably more so than me–she makes my faith look like that mustard seed that Jesus was talking about. Her site is called Beauty Beyond Bones, if you haven’t checked it out I recommend doing so. Her question was one of asking what lessons have I learned recently…
That’s how long I’ve been single. And it has been by choice. All for one reason. I keep telling myself that I am not the kind of godly man that is fit yet to be in a relationship with a woman and help her to grow spiritually by being Christ in her life. But I’ve been telling myself that for so long, that now with Valentine’s Day approaching, I’ve been looking really hard at what has really been holding me back from looking for that woman…. And I am not that type of Christian that simply believes that God will bring her into my life and all I have to do is wait patiently. God does that yes, but it’s not gonna happen while you sit at home, writing on your blog late at night, and she’s gonna simply and magically appear… And for the record–yes, I am talking about myself.
After some deep hard reflection, I realize that I am simply afraid. I look at what God has taught me about being a godly man in a dating relationship, a marriage, being a parent. There is simply so much for Him to teach me. But I’ve been resistant to God in regards to Him telling me to begin searching out a relationship. Why? Mainly because I’m afraid I’ll fail in it. Which is definitely something for me to say, considering that, in my life, because I’m simply afraid of failing wasn’t reason enough for me to not do it. But the REAL reasons I’m afraid is this:
1. Failing in the relationship means I’ve let down God
2. Failing in the relationship means failing the woman I care about emotionally, spiritually, and physically.
3. Failing means that I haven’t truly learned anything from God.
With these three things, they may sound irrational, but really, numbers 1&2 scare me the most, number 3 I can look at in my life and at the lessons I thought God taught me and see where I screwed up. But 1&2 scare me the most. God has expectations of me when it comes to being in a woman’s life. If she is a believer, and she shares the view of how God wants that relationship to be, I must sacrifice myself physically, emotionally, and spiritually for her just as Christ did for His Church. And by demonstrating that, she’ll be living up to God’s expectation of her by submitting herself to me, not because I’m a man, but out of respect and devotion as the Church does for Christ because of what He did. But she will only do that for me when I demonstrate my love for her as Christ did for the Church. And that is a HUGE responsibility for God to lay on men. That’s not to say that the responsibility that God gave women is any less huge, but their response, as dictated by Scripture, should only happen when the man demonstrates his love for her by sacrificing himself physically, emotionally, and spiritually for the great benefit of his significant other to have support and to grow. The Church didn’t trust in Christ until after He had demonstrated His love and sacrifice for us at the cross.
Failing her in those ways means that I have most likely led her astray, and by that token, have done her great harm spiritually, and that can affect everything, even her own relationship with Christ, and also may cause her to lose trust in me as well as God, which is of the utmost importance in any relationship.
So, yes–I’m afraid of failing my girlfriend/wife, of which I have not yet attained hear in good ole Omaha Nebraska. God has been telling me for some time now that He knows I’m ready to be in a relationship, even if I don’t think so. But it is my own fear, something that Satan is good at using to hold the followers of Christ at bay with, that holds me back. I guess another lie I keep telling myself is that by saying I’m not ready, I am keeping myself humble, which can be true, but by doing this, I’ve found that it keeps me from applying any of the lessons that God wants me to apply in my life, and He keeps telling me, “You’ll never know if you’ll fail until you step out and do.”
And it took a tv show quote to shake me out of my fear this evening…it said, “if you’re not advancing, you’re retreating.” And I realize that by being afraid to apply the lessons that God has taught me, I have been denying myself the privilege of knowing God more deeply and growing my relationship with Him in another way, by loving another person in a way that matches the love of Christ for His bride, the Church. And by denying myself that, I have actually backslided away from God, out of fear of approaching Him in a much different way and getting to know Him in that fashion and letting Him to continue to grow me into the man of God He wants me to be.
So with that said, I’ve begun looking at ways I could find that girl and help myself begin applying the lessons that God has taught me over these 11 long years.
So, as my fellow writer and sister-in-Christ, Caralyn over at Beauty Beyond Bones, has done in her blog post, I have a question to ask… In what way have you been fearful and keeping yourself from approaching God and letting Him grow you? How might you change that? How would God want you to change that?
Your Fellow Brother in Christ and Author,