Things I Wish I Knew
One of the most crucial parts of being in a relationship is dealing with yourself.
Many of us are seeking relationships and looking for meaning and wholeness that can only be found in Christ. Taking time to find Him, and thus finding yourself, is imperative. The security we gain in a relationship with Christ is unmatched. Without it, we run the risk of draining people while trying to find it – especially our friends, family, and mates.
Marriage Reveals Who You Are and Who You’re Not
When you’re married and still dealing with unresolved issues in your spirit, it can be a very heavy burden on the relationship.
There were a lot of issues that I didn’t realize I had until after I married – which is very challenging and straining on a marriage. We didn’t have counseling, we were babes in Christ who didn’t want to “burn with lust”, so we married. I’m sure I pressured him.
All those things I had lived with my entire life surfaced when I had to share my life with another person. I had to learn a lot of things the hard way because I didn’t prepare for marriage during my pre-marital season. Not to say that we should expect perfection before marriage, but it’s important to have invested time for yourself and God before marriage.
When we have more time in the secret place with the Lord, He begins to speak to us about what we need to do to change and grow in Him. Psalm 32:8 says:
“I will instruct you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you”.
Sure, married people still receive this promise, but those who are not yet married need to remember that you are more than a spouse. We are the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21). If you are having problems with this truth, check out my article “God told me I was an idolater”.
You Are Still Who You Are After “I Do”
We love to hear all the great things God has to say about us. “We are the head and not the tail, above and not beneath.” But, when God shows you who you are, it’s not always great, blessed, and pretty. Sometimes the truth of who we are can shock and embarrass us. But let me tell you – it’s better for God to show you who you are before marriage than for those issues to constantly surface in arguments with a spouse.
God shows us ourselves in a loving way – a way that we can accept and be moved to change. In life we will constantly evolve and grow, so the farther we get in our development before adding in things like spouses and kids, the easier the journey will be.
As someone who married young while fumbling through a relationship with Christ and then motherhood, I know how it feels to juggle life while dealing with personal development. It can be done, but if you are in a place where you can slow down and take more time out for you and God, do it!
If I Only Knew Then What I Know Now
Since my divorce, I have learned a lot of things I wish I knew before I was married. Here are a few:
- My life is not about me. Hard pill to swallow. God showed me that everything He created me to be is supposed to bless and help others. (Matthew 25:40; Acts 20:35)
- Walking away is not always a sign of strength. Sometimes it’s a sign of weakness. Discernment is key with this one. God wants us to unify and be one, but that’s impossible when we continue to walk away from difficult situations we have in our relationships. We have to know when to mend fences and not break covenant over petty disagreements.
- Keep God first. Whenever we fear, stress, or worry, it’s because we have taken our minds off things above and focused on what we see (Colossians 3:2; Philippians 4:9).
- Don’t rush your own process, and be patient with others in their process. We all grow at a different pace. We can’t compare ourselves to others – nor should we pressure anyone else to be where we are.
- “Whatever you do, do it as unto the Lord.” (Colossians 3:23) Get used to taking the high road! Sometimes we have to forgive when they don’t acknowledge their faults. We’re called to love one another not to judge.
The point here is – make the most of each season! Life is too short to be focused on things you have no control over (yes, I know, it’s easier said than done).
Think about things you want to do. Ways you can better yourself. Take a class or volunteer. Don’t spend your singlehood sitting around waiting for Mr. or Ms. Right, swiping through Tinder matches. There’s nothing wrong with dating and courtship, but don’t forsake the time of preparation. None of us have “arrived” – there is always room for improvement. Let’s use this time wisely.
So, What’s the Play Call?
- “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5) God cannot forget anything. He didn’t misplace your spouse. If you’re single, you’re supposed to be (for now). Make the most of it!
- Don’t waste time! The Word says the ants have no king, but they gather their food in the harvest (Proverbs 6:6-8). Be productive, Teammates.
- Work on healing anything in you that you have avoided until now. Behaviors and mindsets, even generational curses that possibly have hindered your ability to keep covenant or have meaningful relationships.
- Always remember you can ask God for help. If you don’t know how to be single or make the most out of this time, ask God to show you how. Don’t get in the frame of mind where you try to fool God into “thinking” you’re ready for a relationship. God knows our heart, we cannot manipulate Him to get what we want.
- Remember: You are more than someone’s future spouse. Get to know the rest of you!