April 13, 2012

Perfect Partner = God's Perfect Homework?

Something that I wrote for a friend's.. blog? It's actually a reply to someone that commented on his post, and I intend to give a quick reply on that comment. Somehow without realising it I've written down a whole essay on her comment. Lol!

Well anyway you can see the blog here.

You'll see my reply there. Here's what I wrote, with slight editings here and there.

A Reply

Just a personal thoughts, with the help of Lord Jesus, our king of knowledge whose understanding surpasses all kinds of earthly wisdom.

Yes, I also believe that as Christians we have to continually seek God's will in our lives. Be it in our work, family, ministering life, or romantic relationship. And yes, God blesses us with freewill and freedom to choose whatever things we want to do, and whatever kind of person we want to be with. Talking about the issue of free-will is hard. There's an endless controversy about this matter out there and I don't think it has ever come to a solid conclusion. What I believe is, God's wisdom is too great for us mere humans to comprehend, and sometimes there are issues we better leave behind, in order to take the necessary step forward in life (Deuteronomy 29:29).

God is love. Nothing more, nothing less. We can only receive true love from God, because He is the only existence in this broken world that is pure. He's spotless, unblemished. With Him, we'll never get disappointed, and the love will always be mutual. How wonderful the world is if everyone can give us as much love as what He gives us.

You asked about ,"... whether we choose the ‘right’ or the ‘wrong’ God already knows, doesn’t He?"

In my opinion, yes, I believe He's crystal clear about our every single life choices and their impacts on our future. And yes, He knows who's best to partner with us. And another yes, we have to seek His will and rely on His guidance to unravel His most amazing plan for our lives, instead of counting on our own strength and effort. Never rely on human's wisdom a.k.a logic (1 Corinthians 1:25). God's works always go against our logic. I think, if we continually seek Him and stay within His presence, sooner or later we'll know whether that person is the right one or the wrong one. God always gives His wisdom freely to anyone who asks for it (James 1:5). He'll definitely let us know. So yes, stay near to Him and He'll provide that life partner who will bring us even closer to Him.

Yes, I also agree that entering a relationship, and treating it as a "trial" phase to test whether that person is the right one or not is unwise. Yes, it'll definitely make a very shaky foundation, as you said. How can people be in a nonsecure relationship and strive to be the best of themselves? I refer nonsecure as when there's always a BIG risk that your partner will leave you, someday, sometime in the future. Maybe three strikes in the dating stage, and he/she'll be gone. Or 3 years in the relationship and he/she feels bored and leaves you for another person.

Everyone is different. I believe that God gives us our own unique strengths and talents in life. Some people are more secure about their love-worthiness and they're more stable emotionally. Maybe they can enter relationship without the initial commitment and still produce good fruits out of it, because they are able to create a positive, building relationship wherever they are. No matter how much they're hurt, they're able to just let it go freely and still be the best loving person they can ever be. They're the ideal candidates for adult relationship.

Unfortunately, not everyone's like that. Some people are more insecure about themselves, and for these bunch, I strongly agree that having the commitment straightaway in the relationship is best. Save the broken hearts, I'll say.

In most cases, these insecure bunch are the ones who've had many romantic relationship failures. They love to play around with fire. They enter relationship just to tread the water and see how it goes. In the process, they don't realise just how much damage they've actually done to their partners, and even to themselves. They break promises and start learning that promises they've received can be broken as well. They cheat on their partners and start learning that there's no guarantee people can love them for eternity. They tell lies, and start learning that people may not always be as honest as they seem to be. They abandon people for their weaknesses, only to learn that someday, those they love the most are able to leave them.

Do you see how bad a no-commitment relationship is? The extent of the damage is unthinkable. For these reasons, if my friends belong to the insecure bunch, I'll always advise them against "trying out" people. Make the commitment issue straight first before entering any adult romantic relationship. I'm not going to say it's wrong. I just think it's very unwise.

I think checklist is really a great tool to help people who are still clueless about what they're looking for in their future partners. At least, when they're trying to create one, they can hopefully realise just how clueless they are (like I was lol). They don't know what they want. What does that mean? Maybe they don't really know who they are, what they're pursuing in life, their dreams and passions. And that's not good, right?

But I also believe that those who have a long list of items in their lists will benefit from it (like me now lol!). They know just exactly their strengths and weaknesses, so they can filter out people who aren't compatible with their weaknesses the most. For example, if you have a really short temper and you know it's your huge weakness, would you still consider another bad-tempered person to be your life partner? It's your future life partner. It's for your whole life. Are you sure you can handle that kind of person?

With or without having a partner like that, we'll still have to improve our temper, that's for sure. At the end of the day, having a partner is to have someone that can help bringing the best out of you. Someone that can help to complement your weaknesses, not to aggravate them. Most of the time I find that temper is a contagious thing. You talk with someone who speaks very loud and soon enough you'll find yourself speaking in a louder voice. You may initially be a very patient person, but staying with people who keep on throwing tantrums in every fight will give you the fighting spirit to talk back and just say whatever. Fighting spirit is really contagious. I'm pretty sure you've had experienced it too. Are you, by being close with that person, sinning more than what you can handle? Is the relationship buiding you up, or holding you back from being more alike to Christ?

2 Corinthians 7:10
For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.

I agree, noone is perfect. Only God is, and finding a perfect lover is nowhere possible here on earth. That's why I also agree when you say that sometimes God wants to speak in our lives through our partners. Relationship have to sharpen each other's character, afterall (Proverbs 27:17). Two is better than one. If one falls, the other can pull him up. And a great relationship takes compromise too. A hell lot of it. We're dealing with an imperfect partner, so we have to tolerate and accept his/her flaws and weaknesses. Of course!

But for the sayings

If you treat the ‘wrong’ person right, eventually he/she will be the ‘right’ person.

What if God creates marriage to make you ‘holy’ rather than to be ‘happy’?

Somehow I can't really agree with these two quotes. First of all, I sincerely think we can never change a person. To be more realistic, changing ourselves is hard enough, what more changing another being? I think what we can do is to just surrender that person to God, in determination through prayer and petition (Philippians 4:6). Make a plea to God, ask Him to change that person instead of spending our time trying to change them. We humans are internally wired to be social beings; we influence and be influenced by people, but we can never change people. Only God has the power to do that. I'm pretty sure He will change that person's heart, or your heart, if the relationship is right in His eyes. You'll shape one another and grow in spiritual maturity together. Isn't that wonderful?

Now, I think most people have problems in the compromise. Commitment's always the first issue. But after it's solved, sacrifice comes to be the next issue. Being together with another wonderfully made human being, conflicts and differences are unavoidable. Compromise is a must. But how do we draw the line?

Proverbs 15:8
The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD,
    but the prayer of the upright is acceptable to him.

The verse clearly says that sacrifice of a person with a crooked heart is not worthy of His sight. So when you said you need to tolerate and accept that person's weakness, I assume that means sacrifice on your part. What I'd love you to think about are: Is your heart set on the straight path? Is your motivation pure? If it is, I believe God will hear your prayer and do something about your current situation. But if it's not, I think the sacrifice is.. not necessary. Just spend some time to think about it.

Like what Solomon said, guard your heart (Proverbs 4:23). Always keep it on check. Ask God to search deep within your heart and make it straight (Psalm 139:23). I believe that when you are in the right relationship, you'll know. You just know. Our fellowship with God will give us enough wisdom to know. The relationship will feel genuine, pure, and secure. Even though the wall of differences may seem so tall and indestructible, your heart will still be filled with peace and joy. You both know what God is like, but being together will push you to know even more about Him. You'll have an even deeper fellowship with God, and at the same time, a fellowship with your partner. People around you will witness the passionate work of God in your relationship. It'll shine and become a living testimony of God's amazing power in changing lives.

Isaiah 26:3
You will keep in perfect peace 
    those whose minds are steadfast, 
    because they trust in you. 

Philippians 4:7
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

You will be at peace, he/she will be at peace. Happy family!

God bless you!