EDITOR'S NOTE: He Said-She Said is a biweekly advice column for singles featuring a question from a Crosswalk.com reader with responses from a male and female point of view. If you've got a question about anything related to singleness or living the single life, please submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org (selected questions will be posted anonymously).
QUESTION: Over a year ago the Lord seemed to tell both me and my brother in Christ that He wanted us to be together; that we were made for each other. At the time we had no feelings for each other; it was purely a cognitive and spiritual understanding. We might have been wrong in hearing God, but we chose to give Him the benefit of the doubt and still believe that He had spoken. After a year of struggle and pain caused by strong parental disapproval, we have been forced to break up even though we love each other and still feel God called us together. We have prayed together tearfully almost every week over the past year, but God doesn't seem to respond. All of it hurts so much, and we don't understand why God would bring us together under such terrible circumstances if He wasn’t going to open doors for us right now. Both sets of parents say that there is "no way" that we will be together in the future... but God tells us that all things are possible through Him, and for those who believe. I don't understand.
I have learned and come to accept I won’t understand a lot that goes on in life, and I’m okay with that because I KNOW the person who does.
What we oftentimes don’t consider in our triumphs and especially in our disappointment is how our one specific event, no matter how exhilarating or traumatic, fits into a bigger picture of God’s plans for our life and for those we touch.
You may have sensed the Lord leading you into having a relationship; however it may have been for a whole another reason than leading to marriage for the two of you at this time. It could have been for the sole purpose of exposing your parents's true feelings. It may have been to encourage each of you to seek a stronger prayer life or to pursue Him more. Or maybe it was meant to bring the both of you closer together now only to be furthered in another time and place.
Is there a possibility the two of you “tried too hard” and cognitively controlled it rather than letting the relationship develop easily and naturally? Sometimes as believers we tend to over-think and over-spiritualize everything instead of just “letting God.”
Of course, there is that chance you may have been wrong in “hearing God,” but whatever the case, God does not need the “benefit of the doubt.” He IS God, before we arrived, now and after our time on earth is over. He does not need our approval, our consent or our blessing, and He does not need to explain His rationale, plans or reasoning for what He does.
Every once in a while (when I truly seek wisdom to understand His ways) I will see a glimmer, receive some insight, or have an epiphany of how a past event, “chance” interaction or opportunity has led me to where I am today, to something I have received or has given me discernment as a result. It is at those times I feel closest to Him.
When we reach a point where we love Him so unconditionally and trust Him so explicitly, maybe we will begin to comprehend and appreciate a little more about what He does. Until then, we’ll just have to have confidence in His greater purpose and find ways to cope with our disappointments.
Thanks so much for writing and sharing you heart. My first question would be to know your ages. Although I do think its important for our families to bless our dating relationships and eventual marriages, I also think it's between you and your boyfriend. If you are young and still living at home, and if you respect your parents' wisdom (Proverbs 3:13: Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding), then perhaps they are corredt in wanting you to not be together right now. With more time, maturity, and life experience (plus the Lord's leading) both you, your boyfriend and both sets of parents will be in support of your relationship. If this guy is who you believe to be your "soul mate," or your eventual spouse, then he will still be that person a year from now.
Now, if you are not living at home and over 21, then sometimes we have to make decisions that our parents disagree with. I would want to know why your parents are so against your relationship with this young man. Is it Biblically grounded? Perhaps a race, age, or financial (meaning, you are both in debt or in school), thing. Perhaps you have different denominations or beliefs. Because you have not stated this why they are against your relationship, it makes it hard to know what direction to take. Bottom line, you have to do what God tells you to do. If God brought you together, he will bring you together again. I would pray for God to give you the patience you need to weather this storm. In the meantime, ask God if there IS anything that would cause your relationship to be unsuccessful. Is there anything God wants you to do first? Although I do not believe in extended dating relationships and long engagements, I do believe in time to grow. Grow in your walk with God, in financial security, education, emotionally, etc. And above all, keep the hope that only comes from God.
But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint (Isaiah 40:31)..
HE is … Cliff Young, a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and a veteran single of many decades. He has traveled the world in search of fresh experiences, serving opportunities, and the perfect woman (for him) and has found that his investments in God, career and youth ministry have paid off in priceless dividends.
SHE is … Kris Swiatocho, the President and Director of TheSinglesNetwork.org Ministries and FromHisHands.com Ministries. Kris has served in ministry in various capacities for the last 25 years. An accomplished trainer and mentor, Kris has a heart to reach and grow leaders so they will in turn reach and grow others. She is the author of three books: Singles and Relationships: A 31-Day Experiment (co-authored with Dick Purnell of Single Life Resources); From the Manger to the Cross: The Women in Jesus' Life; and the most recent, Jesus, Single Like Me with Study Questions (includes a leader's guide and conference/retreat of the same name).
DISCLAIMER: We are not trained psychologists or licensed professionals. We're just average folk who understand what it's like to live the solo life in the twenty-first century. We believe that the Bible is our go-to guide for answers to all of life's questions, and it's where we'll go for guidance when responding to your questions. Also, it's important to note that we write our answers separately (we think they sound eerily similar sometimes, too!).
GOT A QUESTION? If you've got a question about anything related to singleness or living the single life, please submit it to email@example.com (selected questions will be posted anonymously). While we are unable to answer every inquiry, we do hope that this column will be an encouragement to you. Click here to visit the He Said-She Said archives.