You can’t fix him… and why that matters.

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I have spent about a year wanting to write about God-centered relationships but my heart wasn’t in the right place. I felt like a hypocrite.

My ex-boyfriend is a “Christian”. However, we didn’t view our faith in the same way. He believed in God, but didn’t like going to church, praying, reading the Bible, getting involved in youth group or even talking with me about how amazing the God we serve really is.

Depending on where you are in your relationship with God, that might not seem like a big deal to you. But for me, it was. My relationship with God comes first in my life and I wanted to be with someone who felt the same way. I spent a lot of time asking God whether or not I should be in a relationship with this guy and whether or not he was a part of God’s plan for my life. I so badly wanted Him to show me the “right” path to take. Beyond that, I wasted countless times listing pros and cons trying to figure out if being with this guy long term was something that I really wanted.

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Dear Brokenhearted

broken-heart

Dear Brokenhearted,

You are not alone.

We have all been betrayed, abandoned, or wounded by someone we love. Some offenses are greater than others, but we all are familiar with the ache of heartbreak. The low, sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach as the person you thought you knew chooses to stop caring.

Hope dies, and your heart cries, “This is not the way things are supposed to be!”

And, you’re right, it isn’t.

We serve a God who is love (1 John 4:8), and what He designed was good, very good (Genesis 1:31). Heartbreak wasn’t a part of the original design but a product of the fall. It’s a fervent reminder that this is not our home.

The person that broke your heart, their lives are affected by sin just like yours is. It doesn’t give them a Get Out of Jail Free Card for their behavior or their inability to protect and treasure your heart, but it’s merely the reality of living in a broken world. People are going to disappoint you. In fact, although you may not want to hear it, I guarantee you disappointed them too.  This is because we are all constantly in a battle against our selfish flesh, struggling to die to self so that He may become greater (John 3:30), and so we can actually love the way we are called to (1 Corinthians 13:4-13). The sad truth is that often our hearts get caught in the cross fire of someone’s struggle to die to self. This does not make the person bad. This definitely doesn’t give you the right to hate them. It merely makes them human just like you.

You may have been disappointed by someone, they may have changed, but you have a Heavenly Father that is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). He will never leave you, nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5), and He promises that nothing in all creation can separate you from His love (Romans 8:38-19).

God loves you. He also loves the person that broke your heart.

You have a choice to do the same. Although often it is necessary to distance yourself from a friend, boyfriend, or family member after a heartbreak, you can still choose to honor them by not gossiping or smack talking about them. They are a beloved child of God, made in His image, and therefore your tongue should respect them as such (James 3:8-10). It’s not easy, but it’s right. God is just, your difficult choice to do what is right in spite of your pain will not go unnoticed. (Galatians 6:7-10).

So my dear brokenhearted this is not just about your pain. It never is. You have a choice. You will either become a victim of your circumstance and allow it to define you, or you will allow it to refine you.

Romans 5:3-5 tells us, “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”

You can either listen to the voices that will trap you in a cycle of self pity, feelings of unworthiness, and distaste towards the one that caused your pain, or you can choose to allow God to define and refine who you are. He says you are loved (John 3:16). He says you are His child (1 John 3:1). He says you are radiant (Matthew 5:14). He says you are more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37). And even in your weakness He says, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

My dear brokenhearted friend, I am sorry. I’m sorry that you had to experience this, and I don’t want to make light of your pain. Trust me, I understand. All I want is for you to see there is more than this moment. God desires more for you than your broken state, and He’s ready to help you overcome it.

So, take a little time. Eat the ice-cream. Cry the tears. Mourn the loss.

But.

Don’t let it define you. Allow God to refine you.

Bruno Mars Wishes he had Chosen Purity?

Bruno Mars Purity

In a beautiful, yet little known track called If I knew, off of his latest album, Bruno Mars sings:

“I wouldn’t have done all the things that I have done/If I knew one day you’d come.”

The entire song is about how when he meets the woman of his dreams, he wishes he could give her “all of the innocence” that she gives to him. I encourage you to give the song a listen; don’t worry, it’s relatively short…

The first time I heard this song, I was shocked that a secular artist would admit that sexual immorality is not a wise long-term move. You see, purity is not just a Christian thing that we do because we are “good kids”, and we want to keep our parents happy.

God encourages purity because He loves us, and He knows there is no way we will ever regret choosing purity. Yet there are countless ways the lack of purity can bring about devastation. In my 24 years of life, I have never met anyone who says they wish they hadn’t saved themselves and their hearts for marriage. I have however met a tragic number of those who, like Bruno Mars, wish they had been wise enough to choose purity from the start.

Truth is, most of us have a strong desire to be married someday, a beautiful and God-given desire. The song greatly emphasizes how Bruno wouldn’t have done the immoral things he had done if he knew one day she’d come. If we desire marriage and are seeking after God, there is an incredibly good chance we will one day have that special someone come into our lives…after all, God is a big fan of marriage, He did create it.

Let’s not wind up with regrets like Bruno Mars where he is pleading with his dream girl to believe him that he would do it differently if he could. For me, that is a conversation I’d rather never have to have, and I hope you agree.

So ladies, instead of living 100% in the now and making impulsive decisions like many of our friends and celebrity icons. Let’s start thinking about the future. Let’s focus on when we someday meet that handsome man who we will want to give everything to on our wedding day and every day thereafter, and let’s make choices that will make our lives as joyous and baggage free as they can possibly be. In reference to what a Godly wife looks like, in Proverbs 31:12 it says, “She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.”  Let’s start living intentionally today so we can be a blessing to that man we may meet tomorrow…or 10 years from now.

Guest Columnist: Laura Coulier

Discounted Candy & Cheap Romance

One of the best things after Valentine’s Day? Getting a sweet-tooth fix… for cheap.

Just walk into Target and you’ll find aisles of discounted Valentine’s Day chocolate. Pink colored m&m’s, a box of Russel Stover’s candies, heart-shaped Sweet Tarts…. they’ve got it all.

Unfortunately, it’s not just the candy that is devalued  post-Valentine’s Day. It’s the relationships too.

How many broken hearts do you think there have been since Valentine’s Day?? (and I’m not talking about the strawberry filled ones)

I’m talking about real hearts, hearts that were supposedly head-over-heels “in love”, pumped up on the artificial flavoring of  Valentine’s sweets, thinking it was the real thing. But insincere love is only sweet for a moment.

Valentine’s Day is over. The candy goes on sale. And just like so many girls buy the cheap candy, they buy into cheap love. They trade long-lasting love for a sugary rush of the moment. They make excuses for guys that don’t treat them the way they should. They date a guy that doesn’t respect them for who they are. They settle for second best.

Don’t get me wrong, some girls experience the type of Valentine’s Day that everyone dreams of. It’s sweet, you spend the day with an amazing guy God has blessed you with, and you make memories that will last forever.

But whether you were single, are single, or in a relationship, always seek God’s best for you: a relationship with Jesus Christ.

There is no greater love than Love that comes from God.

His love is never cheap.

It cost Jesus his life. He paid everything, laid down His life, for us. That’s not a cheapened romance. That’s true love.

Happily Never After….

Alright, girls. Let’s be honest. This song is completely different for the pop country sounding T-Swift we are used to. And, I’m not sure I like it. I’m used the guitar strumming to the same melody in every one of her songs. This rhythmic driven sound definitely makes me think twice…. Is that Taylor Swift? Is that Taylor Swift? (See. I told you)

Even though I don’t like the music. I do like the lyrics….. now don’t get me wrong! I don’t like the fact that the song is about a terribly exhausting relationship (she even says “It’s exhausting” in the spoken interlude). What I like is that she has the willpower to call this terrible relationship off for good! We are so used to her songs like Last December, White Horse, and Hey Stephen where she is wishing for a relationship that is never meant to be. But in her song, she’s actually realizing which relationships are never meant to be. It’s a new era of Taylor Swift music.