I know the title sounds harsh, but I wanted it to jump off at you. This is the first post in the topic line of Common Sense for Christians. Sometimes we as Christians simply abandon common sense, or use God as an excuse to do what we want and not feel bad. I’ll explain…
My masters degree is in Family Science, and I did an internship at a therapy clinic on campus working with couples and families (yes, I was trained in this). So I have some professional experience in working with relationships and observing people, apart from my many years of personal experience just from life. I wouldn’t call myself an expert by ANY stretch of the word, but I would say I’m a practiced amateur. I have also had the fortune of growing up in church and have been exposed to Christians my entire life. So now that you have my “qualifications”…. 🙂
Being a Christian, especially an Apostolic Pentecostal, you become very familiar with a mystical term that floats around and is used in all sorts of ways – the will of God. For centuries, Christians have used this term to simply do whatever the heck they wanted and feel justified. Whether it is mass murder (think of the Crusades) or consolidating power as an organization (I won’t name any particular church that liked to burn people who spoke out against them), it has been used as a weapon. But I am not here to wax long on the ills of humanity as a whole.
My interest in this writing is to give my thoughts on Christians using the will of God as an escape clause in relationships and life. With people, especially in romantic relationships, there is a difference between the will of God and knowing how to be a good boyfriend/ girlfriend. The issue I have lies in using the will of God as an excuse to not bother becoming a better person and LEARNING how to be in a relationship and treat someone.
More times than I can count, a friend or acquaintance of mine has been broken up with (better known as dumped) by a dating partner and simply exclaimed “well, it must not have been the will of God”, or “they must not have been the one for me”.
No, you just treated them like a jerk.
Never mind that you treated them badly, never did anything for them, were selfish, and called their momma names. It had to be the will of God that drove them to be dumped, because surely they are a perfect boyfriend/ girlfriend.
A perfect example from one particular friend. We’ll call him “Abe”. Abe is a twenty-something, average kinda guy who likes playing video games. Alot. If Abe is home, he’s playing Call of Duty or Madden football or any cool, new game. He liked to play so much that he had a tendency to ignore his girlfriend in favor of video games. He wasn’t overly rude about it, but if he was on the phone with her he’d be playing a game at the same time, and be spaced out. “Uh huh’s” only go so far in a relationship. Well eventually this sort of thing pushed his girlfriend past her limit and she broke up with him, telling him she didn’t feel important enough to him. His reaction? “She must not be the one for me man. God was looking out for me”.
In his mind, he was the best thing since sliced bread. The only conceivable reason she might have for dumping him was a divine intervention from God to save him for his one and only.
What’s the point of this ranting you might ask? It’s this:
As I stated before, there is a difference between the will of God and your ability to sustain a relationship. Is the will of God important? Absolutely. Is your ability to sustain a relationship important? ABSOLUTELY.
LEARN how to be in a relationship. Don’t be unwilling to IMPROVE yourself so that you’re a desirable mate to someone who has a head on their shoulders. Be aware that if someone isn’t happy with you in a relationship, most of the time there is a legitimate reason and you need to explore yourself as to why. I’m not saying change who you are, but you can change your actions.
The will of God is not a weapon to use against people, and it is not an excuse to not better yourself. EVERYBODY needs to improve in some way, especially in relationships. We can never stop learning or improving how we treat our significant other, whether married or dating.
Sorry for the capitalized words, I think I got carried away 🙂