Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Rambly Thoughts on Relationships and on How Much Better God's Plans and Ways Are and on How He Can Do Great Things When We Listen to His Voice! :D

When it comes to relationships, it seems like even within God-honoring relationships we can easily tend toward focusing on ideals of how things must or *must not* take place.
It’s easy to think that something couldn’t possibly be God unless it happens exactly according to our preconceived ideas and the rules we’d made in our own minds. (“God, the person has to have certain outward qualities, cannot be from any other state, etc.”) I think it's also important for us to realize that lack of immediate emotion doesn't mean a relationship is unthinkable, just like the presence of emotion doesn't mean that one is appropriate.

Within the boundaries of Biblical relationships that are in line with God-given guidelines, I think God is more than capable of surprising us by transcending our expected specifics of how things should occur. (When I say that He's capable of transcending emotions, I do *not* mean that we won’t be attracted to our future spouses! I’m just saying God is capable of sparking attraction where we didn’t expect it.)

It’s easy to get so worried about how God will work things out that we’re actually distracted by our own consuming thoughts and miss out on things God has for us, things that don’t always occur exactly when or how we expected. Guidelines are awesome, but once we’ve studied Biblical principles about relationships, walking in line with what God shows us in each circumstance we face is most important. We girls can be consumed with making ourselves the most desirable, most attractive potential spouse for someone and constantly hoping that the right person will show up in the next month or two, when God already has taken it upon Himself to transform us with His beauty if we're really willing to allow Him to transform our lives and make us more like Him. We really don't have to be worried. When we follow Him each step of the way and do our best to be the women He wants us to be, we can grow in maturity and make wise choices, without carrying alone the burden to transform our own selves.  He can show us just what we need to do to be ready for whatever He's calling us to, if we're just willing to sit at His feet and listen.

It's easy as young women to let our feelings determine our desires, when our greatest desires should be to allow God to conform our feelings to line up with His plans. God’s so much more capable of bringing things to pass than we are, anyway, and the things He plans are always so much higher than our own plans. It's true in so many areas of life.

We really should do our best to be prepared for whatever future we think God is calling us to, to be well-approved, and to grow in wisdom and in favor with God and man. Yet as we wait, I think we need to wait even more upon God than upon a future spouse. =)

"As for God, His way is perfect;
The word of the Lord is proven;
He is a shield to all who trust in Him."
Psalm 18

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Being Satisfied in Christ, Overflowing with Love for HIM!

We serve a jealous God. I think that it would bring Him much greater joy if we learn to be fulfilled wherever He has us now. Then if He does bring us another person to love, perhaps we'll be able to expand our love and attention to another person without it being as great a distraction as that Paul lamented. I'd like to be in a spot where the love I give to others is the overflow from being saturated in my love relationship with Him. I think we'd be in an amazing situation if our relationships with others didn't detract from our relationship with God.
How difficult, though--I suppose that's why Paul recognized how easy it is for us to be distracted and caught up with others without putting Him first.

It sounds silly, but it reminds me of what I felt like God was teaching me the other day while I was eating a snack. I felt disappointed because it just wasn't as pleasing as I'd hoped. "This is so unfulfilling," I thought. I felt convicted as soon as the thought crossed my mind for even applying the term "fulfilling" to something so transient that could never deserve that adjective on its own.

When I'm having a difficult day, somehow a snack doesn't raise my level of joy in proportion to the difficulty.
If our attitudes are flawed, will a relationship fix all the problems?
If we're already not content where we are, would we really be completely content in a different state?
We might be happier for a time, but the state of being in a relationship is never without its difficulties, either.
Just like the snack couldn't bring contentment, I don't think different relationship statuses can alone bring total fulfillment.
I tend to think that good things aren't as fulfilling as we'd hoped if we aren't already satisfied and content in the Giver of them even before they're given.

God is so good to us!