I love to cuddle, hold hands, be all cozy, watch a movie and be all up in my partner's space as every romantic would, (Darn these romantic movies!) but would I be willing to deny myself of all these things which I really love to do for a season, and focus on what really matters? Absolutely! God usually tells us to let go of some things for a season not because He doesn't want us to have fun or enjoy our lives, but it's because He paid too high a price for us to just mess it all up in a moment of weakness or in a moment where we let our guards down.
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He wants to protect us from heartaches and all the weight it brings with it, he also wants us to be holy, as believers. I was once in a bad relationship for 6 months, and it took me about a year to fully forgive and let go of what happened to me. I think about it sometimes and I still cringe. How did I let myself get there? How did I allow someone else to hurt me so bad? Why did I not listen to God at the beginning when He told me that situation wasn't His plan for me? In order to avoid these questions in the future, we have to take necessary steps to pay attention to the small stuff, which begins with letting God be Lord over our lives.
The Small Stuff
In marriages, people often say don't sweat the small stuff, pick your battles, overlook some certain things. And I get it, because God has called every one of us to live in peace. But if you are in a dating relationship, I would say sweat the small stuff, because it is those little things that lead to big issues in marriage. I'm not talking about he left his shoes out there or he left his clothes on the floor, or didn’t say I love you over the phone before he hung up, I'm talking about issues like, he/she went a whole day or days without communicating with you, or he promised to do something and he didn't, or he lied about something, you found out and he got defensive.
I was listening to a show (Sharing Life Issues) on the radio a couple of days ago, (shout out to 92.3, for making my tiring drive home from work interesting each day at 7pm!) Anyway a lady called in and was sharing about the issues she had with her husband of just three years. It seemed like she was the only one who carried the financial burden of her family, and her husband was yet to find a job, although he served as a pastor in his local church. He was made to resign at work, due to some downsizing issues, and since then hasn’t looked for anything else, according to her.
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Now she was getting frustrated, and whenever she tried bringing up the matter to him, he didn’t want to talk about it. Some questions arose as I listened in like—did you guys have a conversation before you got married, about his goals, dreams and purpose? Did he mention he wanted to become a minister? And what plans or agreement did you guys have, for when the time came around, or did he just wake up one day and say he wanted to be a pastor?
You see these are conversations you have to have as you are getting to know someone, or even dating them—what are your plans for the future? What is your purpose? What do you feel God has called you to? Ask all the questions there is to ask, if you are not feeling right about something, communicate, don't leave things unsaid, don't sweep things under the rug, be open with one another, yes; sweat the small stuff.
The dating period, should be the time you guys use to get to know each other well, not cuddling and kissing at every chance you get, but truly being committed to learning about each other. Deny yourselves from the physical things (such as sex and its derivatives) which will only cloud your judgment while you are dating, focus on God and stay committed to Him.
One way you can find out if you are headed in the right direction in your relationship (as Christians) is the God factor; is he/she pulling you closer to God or taking you away from Him? Is he/she causing you to compromise on the word of God to please them? Is your relationship with God stronger or weaker while you are with this person?
Anything that pulls you away from God is an idol, which has stolen your affection, and should be done away with. If the person you are in a relationship with is pulling you away from God, then take a break, reevaluate things. If you cannot maintain a healthy balance with your relationship with God and this person, then I would advise that you break up, because you will only end up losing and destroying yourself.
Study the people they call friends. What do their friends believe in? Who are the people in their close circle? Who are they accountable to? What do they listen to, what do they watch? Most times the majority of our problems are what we let in through our eye and ear gates. It's imperative that you know those who speak into their lives before you get involved with them. No it's not just you two; it takes a village for you to build a successful life together. Not saying you won't have your private times; just make sure you don't mistake private for secret. I'd rather be single doing the will of God, than be married and be out of His will.
Maya Angelou said when a person shows you who they are believe them. This is very true, oftentimes we dismiss what people say like, "oh he didn't mean it” or “maybe I made them act that way.” I dated a guy who told me on the FIRST date that he could sometimes be controlling, I blew it off saying to myself—no, it couldn't be that deep, but deep it was! He later went on to tell me how he broke up with one of his exes, by telling her to get out of his house. It wasn't long after that, he was controlling me and telling me to get out of his car, while breaking up with me.
If I was smart then, I would have thought to myself saying; do you really want to be with someone who is controlling and treats no one other than himself with compassion? You see I've heard countless times from people especially women saying after marriage he changed, it was as if he was a totally different person. A person can pretend I hear people say. While that is true to an extent, if you really pay close attention to what they say when you guys have a conversation or the lack thereof, that can tell you a lot.
When they reveal certain things about themselves, believe them. Sweat the small stuff; don't think your own situation will be different if that person has not repented of their old ways. Don't be afraid to stand for what you believe; if a man or woman isn't on the same page with you, that's fine. Those who are against what you stand for, stand in their own "truth" why as a Christian shouldn't you stand for what you believe? No human is worth your peace, your joy, your purity and your eternity.
Don’t cave into the pressure of society; it’s better to take your time to find the diamond that you deserve, than settle for a lifetime of cubic zirconia. Cubic zirconia is cheaper, easier to get, and looks like the real deal, no doubt. But with time, that little sucker starts deteriorating, and its true colors begin to show. Focus on God, and He will bring the right person your way. So sweat the small stuff, evaluate the situation you are in, and choose wisely.
Please feel free to share your relationship stories with us! What has worked for you and what hasn’t? We don’t want to be the only ones doing the talking, Let’s Talk Nation is for open and honest conversations!
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About The Author: Evi Idoghor is a Christian, writer, and content creator on Letstalknationblog.com. She is a chemical engineering graduate from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Consumed by her love for writing and desire to effect change, she launched her online platform––Let’s Talk Nation––to tap into her creativity and start meaningful conversations that would make a difference around the world.
Most of her writing has been influenced by her time spent in America, where she lived for about 11 years. Also, she lived in Nigeria and South Korea and currently loves traveling the world while learning about other fascinating cultures. You can find her on all social media platforms with @eviidoghor.