Lori tossed her books onto her nightstand and then threw herself onto her bed. She began sobbing into her pillow. God had finally blessed her with an amazing man in her life and things were going great between them.
She just couldn’t understand why she felt so scared and so upset.
Lori had thought that once she began a relationship with someone it would be fun and all of her problems would go away!
So why was Lori so out of whack and emotional?
Because things were changing. Life couldn’t be the same way that it had always been for Lori and that thought scared her. Flashes of doubt, worry, insecurity and fear plagued her when she thought about the future. What if things didn’t work out between her and Jake? What if she said or did something that would ruin everything?
So, you thought everything would be magical and amazing after you got a boyfriend? Think again!
Being in a relationship with someone can be challenging, different, scary, difficult and rewarding. During the time of a godly courtship/purposeful dating process there is much to experience. Huge and trying decisions must be made and there are lessons that need to be learned. All of this can wear on a girl’s nerves!
You want to make sure everything is perfect. You try to depend on God and surrender your feelings and desires to Him. However, even in the middle of all this and in the midst of the joy that your new relationship brings there is still confusion, doubt, worry and NERVOUSNESS!
In this article I want to share with you 4 practical ways that you can stay focused on Christ and enjoy your days of roller coaster emotional challenges while in a relationship.
Before we begin I would like to point out one thing.
If you do not feel God moving in this relationship and you are trying in your own strength to “make things work” you need to stop right where you are and re-consider your relationship. Ask yourself this one, very important question: What is the primary purpose of our relationship? What is the goal behind the friendship?
If the purpose of the relationship is to make you feel better or to make you happy then I’m sorry to say that in the long run it will fail. Even if it doesn’t happen right away, sometime down the road the relationship will come crashing down because it was all about you. Nothing that is all about us ever comes to a happy ending.
If the purpose of the relationship, however, is to bring glory to God’s name and for the purpose of furthering the Gospel through your actions with each other, then, no matter what the outcome, God will use your relationship for good (Romans 8:28).
“Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God.” Romans 15:7
If we place our happiness in men and in what they do or don’t do for us, we will be sorely disappointed, let down, and ultimately hurt and left wondering what went wrong. But, if we trust that God will be the sole provider for our peace, joy and life we will not be dependent on men to make us happy and the relationship will be used for God’s glory regardless of the outcome.
This purpose must be established early in the friendship and must be the inspiration behind the entire relationship.
Glorifying God should be the number one focus for both people in the relationship and pursued passionately even if it means doing or saying something that frightens you (like standing up for what is right; trusting the future and response of the other person to God).
John 14:15 says “If you love me, obey my commandments.” Let God be a part of every detail of your relationship and obey His Word at ALL COSTS. He will reward you in the end!
With that being said, let’s figure out how to biblically stay tuned into God and His plan for us in the midst of an emotionally crazy ride called the “Being in a Relationship” status. Here are 4 simple ways that you can stay semi-sane and strive to maintain your normal way of thinking while treading new territory in a relationship!
1. Stay Busy!
In this phase of your life it is easy to become… well, twitterpated. Our minds wander in and out of reality and our hearts are lighter than air. It’s normal to get tired of your regular duties at home or at work/school because of what’s happening with this newfound relationship in your life and you can skip out on a lot of things that should be attended to.
Don’t let yourself get carried away with romantic thoughts and miss out on what God has you doing today! Set goals for yourself everyday with things that will keep your mind and hands busy. Exercise, clean, bake something, read a book etc. Find things that will keep you busy so that there is no time for idle thinking, because, as the old adage says “an idle mind is the devil’s playground.”
“She watches over the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness.”
roverbs 31: 27
2. Stay in the WORD!
It is critical at this point that you turn your eyes and thoughts to God more than ever. If God is your anchor through a trial He will certainly be your stronghold in a relationship. Read your Bible every morning and before you go to bed at night.
Let Jesus be the first and last thing on your mind every day. By doing this you are avoiding the dangerous action of idolizing someone other than God in your life.
“Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” Proverbs 31:30
3. Do Your Homework!
While being in a relationship it’s easy to form your own opinions of how you think a relationship should or shouldn’t work. It’s good to seek godly counsel from your parents, pastor, friends and through books written by godly men and women who have experienced this “relationship road” before you.
I would recommend books by Joshua Harris, Michael and Debi Pearl, Nancy Leigh Demoss, Anna and Sophia Botkin and Elizabeth Elliot. These can be very helpful and insightful. When we are emotionally worn out it’s so refreshing to read books that shed light and insight on this important chapter in our lives.
“Without counsel, plans go awry, but in the multitude of counselors they are established.” Proverbs 15:22
4. Get Involved with Others!
Right now all you can think about is you and your sweetie. That’s all fine and dandy but only to a point. God has placed other people in your life for you to serve and bless. Your family should be number one, friends and church family second. Jake (or whatever his name may be) fits in after your relationship to God and family. This can be difficult because you may be thinking that you’ve spent enough time with your family already. It has to be time to move on by now!
But wait, you’re not quite married.
You are still called to serve, bless, and die to self for your family. Your family is a guaranteed lifelong relationship – Jake isn’t just yet. So focus on continuing to build solid relationships with your brothers and sisters and parents. Learn to encourage your boyfriend in the Lord by practicing on your family!
“She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness.” Proverbs 31:26
I hope these 4 steps will bless you in the time to come. Steady your soul and mind by making it the cry of your heart that Jesus comes first in your thoughts and actions. Don’t worry yourself by constantly thinking about the future. We don’t know the outcome but Jesus does and that should be enough.
Let’s talk about it; I would love to hear your thoughts!
- Are you an emotional basket case while in a relationship right now?
- How will you steady your heart and mind?
- Will you choose to trust God with your future and obey His Word at all costs?
- Will you bring glory to God through your relationship by making it the ultimate purpose of your relationship?
Thank you for taking the time to read this. God bless!
Photo credit: www.flickr.com | Brandon Christopher Warren