Have you ever been in a situation where you were talking to or dating someone and the entire time you were with them you found yourself coming up with reasons for why you should stay? I know I have. In fact there was one time in particular where I found myself seeing tons of red flags and yet I kept trying to move forward. If that relationship was a road then I ran alot of red lights and we all know that red lights mean STOP! So, since they say hindsight is 20/20, I want to share with you what I learned from that past situation.
Preparing For Marriage Side Note:
One of the main things that I learned is the difference between being open and compromising. Throughout my journey of singleness I'd finally arrived to a place where I felt that God was finally preparing me to be a wife. I'd like to point out here that preparing for marriage is often a process. I speak to people who want to be in a relationship or want to meet "The One" but haven't yet taken time to assess whether or not they are "The One" for someone else yet.
For me, this process included investing in my relationship with God, pursuing Jesus, finding contentment in Him, getting rid of marriage as my idol, allowing God to prune me, renewing my mind, etc. Once God and I began the practical aspect of my preparation stage I knew he was dealing with my heart on being open. As a teenager and into early adulthood I had fairytale expectations of what "The One" should be like and I knew God was getting ready to change that.
So, What's the Difference??
With this in mind, I entered into a brief relationship with the mentality: Ok, this is a Christian man and I am going to go into this and "be open" just as I believe the Lord has been dealing with my heart about. Honestly, it didn't even cross my mind that there was a difference between being open and compromising. Let me explain: one of the key words in the definition for compromise is settle. The actual meaning of compromise in this context is to accept standards that are lower than is desirable. That's not good! Being open is different because openness is a state of not being closed minded. It means to leave space, to allow access. This means that when we compromise we are settling and accepting things we know we shouldn't but when we are open we aren't closed minded and leaving space to allow God access to do as He pleases in our lives.
In my past situation, it was a compromise because we weren't on the same spiritual level but I reasoned with myself thinking, But he seems hungry for the God, maybe he will grow quickly. Another example of compromise was the fact that this person had a tendency to lie, amongst other things. SETTLING. And I get it, people feel the need to compromise for different reasons and we all make mistakes. However, I want to encourage you with the reminder that it doesn't matter how old you are or what your situation is, you DON'T have to compromise! If God has placed the desire for marriage in your heart, he will bring that desire to pass as you delight in Him and when He blesses you, you will NOT have to settle!
An example of being open may be dating someone who lives in a different city or state if that's how God decides to write your story. Another example of being open is dating someone who is attractive to you but may not look exactly like your "type". Openness often times lends itself toward natural/earthly, sometimes temporary factors: jobs, hair length, geographical location, style, talent, etc.
Compromising most often directly impacts your spiritual well-being, character, values, beliefs, etc.
So as you evaluate your relationship, whether current or future, I encourage you to take what I've shared into consideration. Are you settling and ignoring things that shouldn't be ignored or are you open and choosing not to be closed-minded in areas that do not jeopardize your walk with Christ?
I look forward to sharing with you in my next blog. In the meantime, if you're not subscribed to me on Youtube (Ris Walker) please do so, as I am working to put out more videos. :) Thanks for your support!
Follower of Christ. Wife. Blogger. Youtuber. Speaker. Mentor. T-shirt Designer.
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