This blog post is meant to be read in accordance with Episode 3 of Unashamed Radio, now streaming on Soundcloud. Following our show, each week (Wednesday’s 8:00 – 10:00 pm EST), you can find a continuation of the night’s discussion here, including more scriptural context for each topic. We tend to get beautifully lost in only a topic or two, so anything planned that we don’t get to, within the two-hour confines of our show, will also be discussed here. While Wednesday nights are meant to be more of a conversation, here on the blog we will go more into detail and dive into the biblical backing pertaining to each subject. We thank you in advance for tuning in, listening on Soundcloud, and stopping by here on bearcastmedia.com!
On Wednesday, we had Kenny McNeal and Moses G on our show to discuss their amazing stories of how God moved in their lies, as well as talk through a few topics in part 1 of our 2 part series on Dating. We had intended to go through three topics: letting people go, grieving your relationship, and singleness for the sake of the Kingdom. However, we only ended up getting through letting people go, and the conversation was so stirring and clearly healing for Kenny and Moses at this point in their lives, that in the moment we didn’t want to force it to go in any other direction.
For the first half of our two-part series on dating, we focus less on the actual relationship, and more on what happens when it doesn’t work out. How you choose to respond, after the fact, is just as big and important of a part of dating as the actual relationship is. The truth of the matter is, rarely do we get that one relationship that lasts a lifetime right from the start. We get it wrong and we get it wrong often. What’s even more heartbreaking is when we have to let those people go from our lives completely, sometimes for a season, sometimes for many.
The beauty about relationships, with friends as well as significant others, is God’s design for us to grow together throughout life. Relationships are God’s source of protection and provision, but on the other side of that comes with knowing that the people you surround yourself with can be and are stronger than our own convictions. The reality to the believer is that you will either be corrupted or conform to those around you, for Proverbs 13:20 says “Walk with wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.” As a Christ follower, it is so important to keep Christ at the forefront of your mind, and at the center of everything you do, for in Proverbs 3:6, it states,
“In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”
While we think that we are so strong that we can maintain our convictions and help push those we are closest to in the right direction, the reality is that we must first grow the roots of our faith deeper, before we can outstretch our branches. The second reality is that we are not their savior, but Jesus is, and often times submitting everything to Him includes the people we hold the closest to our hearts. It is not our job to mend wounds and fix lives, but it is our job to let them go and give them up to our Creator who can.
Two of the best pieces of advice I got when my relationship of almost 3 years ended came directly from scripture. I had not been a Christ follower when myself and my then boyfriend had started dating, and then about a year and half in Christ knocked on the door of my heart and my life was changed forever. However, as I started to live my life differently and seek to pursue Christ above all else, my relationship wasn’t my own anymore, and I was faced with the very thing we talked through on Wednesday. I had to let him go in order for Him to take the reigns in both of our lives, even if that meant it wasn’t for us to do together. That advice I was talking about came out of Psalm 27:14 and Matthew 6:33-34, which respectively say, “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord,” and,
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Wait for the Lord, Seek first the Kingdom of God, and do not worry. It’s amazing how clearly you start to see things when you put God at the front of every aspect of your life. Heartbreak is never easy, and even though I had a firm foundation of my faith to stand on throughout that time, it didn’t make it any less painful, but Psalm 34:18 reminds us that “The Lord draws near to the brokenhearted.” Even though that time left me physically alone without a partner, I was never really alone because Jesus is always fighting these battles with us, beside us, sowing up our scraped and scarred hearts, and helping us look toward the future.
Part of that future involves a time of singleness that everybody has. The bible talks about singleness as a gift, which was a concept completely foreign to me until recently. I had always looked at being single as a burden, and always couldn’t wait until I would meet the man of my dreams and take on the world with him. While that sounds so beautiful and romantic, it’s surface level and unrealistic. On top of that, spending all my time fantasizing and waiting for “the one” to come around was making me waste the gift from God that is singleness. Here is what I mean.
The apostle Paul was a single man when he wrote 1 Corinthians, specifically 7:7, “I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that,” speaking on singleness. Paul continues discussing the idea of marriage and singleness throughout the chapter, but I want to touch on a couple specific verses that stick out, v. 29, “What I mean, brothers and sisters, is that the time is short…” and v. 35, “I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.” Paul was ministry minded, and wanted to use His life for the sake of the Gospel, and here he is instructing and advising those also with the gift of singleness to not waste it away, but use it for good.
Singleness shows us two very important things: the first being the supremacy and sufficiency of Jesus Christ.
It is vitally important to build your relationship with Christ before entering into any relationship, but more than that, it is important to know that Christ alone will sustain you. We are meant to live in relationship with and rely on our Creator, and if we don’t strengthen that before we pursue a relationship with someone else, we’ll start to rely on that person for things that only Jesus can provide. Singleness teaches us the sufficiency of Christ, and helps us build our relationship with Him first, for we are complete in Christ, not when we find who we think our star-crossed lover is. The second thing it shows us is that God desires to use each of us in our own unique way, to fully devote ourselves to Him, to help the people around us with nothing holding us back, and to spread His love and life to as many people as we can. When we are single, we are so much freer to boldly and unabashedly walk in the authority of Christ, and go wherever our feet can take us for the sake of His Kingdom. We cannot waste this gift and opportunity anymore waiting for who we think is the right person to come along and sweep us off our feet. We must go, and seek, and do everything we can while we still can for the sake of the Kingdom, and for the sake of the Gospel.
To close us out, I just want to remind anyone that has read this far that God knows your heart, and He knows and understands all of the struggles and heartbreak that we face in this life. We have not been left on an island by ourselves, but we have a Creator who loves us and cherishes us and wants nothing more than to love and be loved by us. God made Himself man in the form of His Son, Jesus, who lived the life we should have lived, and died the death we should have died in our place, and then rose 3 days later, conquering even Death so that we could live. Jesus knows what it feels like to be betrayed and experience the pain this life comes with, but He also knows the greatest love, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13). So when it all seems too hard, you feel alone, and that the walls are crumbling down around you, remember the love that Jesus has for you specifically, and the incredible path He has set out before you.
If you have any prayer requests please leave a comment below because we would love to pray for you! Thank you again for your support and for listening and reading along with us. Much love and blessings to each and every one of you.
**For a further look into these topics, check out the following sermons from The Porch at Watermark Church in Dallas, TX: “Don’t Leave Your Friends Behind,” “The Good Life Knows God’s In Control,” and “Life Begins When You’re Married.”