“I’ve been hurt before”
How many times have you heard this statement used as an excuse for trust or commitment issues? How many times have you used it? Frankly, people, it is 2013 and it’s time for us to GET OVER IT!
After a certain age, or after we’ve been in a couple long-lasting relationships, chances are that we have ALL been hurt before. But it truly saddens me to know that people are unwilling to let themselves love someone else or be loved by someone else because they are so caught up in the fear of a repeat of being hurt. As Christians, we cannot allow ourselves to be ruled by this fear!
God does not want us to be afraid
2 Timothy 1:7 says For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. Fear should have no part in a Christian’s (love) life. God has given us the power to choose, and to ask Him for wisdom in choosing, a significant other. God has provided the perfect example of love so that we can love others. God has given us the sanity (discernment) to stay away from those unfit to be our significant others. If you find fear cropping up in your relationship, pray on this Word and ask God if it is truly fear or if it is the Spirit of God telling you this person is not God’s choice for you.
God wants us to forgive
Hebrews 8:12 tells us that God will not remember our sins. So if we are to emulate God, why are we holding on to what someone in the past has done to us and using that as an excuse to not commit fully to someone else? We need to forget in order to get past our hurt, and the only way to do this is to forgive. Sometimes we think we have forgiven the person who has hurt us. We should examine our hearts and determine if this is really true. If years later we are still holding on to the fact that we’ve been hurt in the past, then we probably have not truly forgiven them. And besides, it’s not fair for someone to suffer for someone else’s sins. (Jesus did enough of that!) We should give them a real chance to prove that they can treat us better.
God wants us to move on
God does not want us to live in the past. Phillipians 3: 13-15 speaks of a mature person having a mindset of “forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead”. Our past should not be brought up as a tool or defence of noncommittal behaviour in the present or future. Our past should not imprison us so that we cannot enjoy what newness God wants to bless us with. And our past should not keep us from a more blessed future!
Hurt comes with the territory
Finally, if you want to love and be in a relationship, you have to be willing to risk being hurt and hurting someone. Only God can love us unconditionally – a true love that involves no hurt, after all God is love (1 John 4:16) and God will not hurt us (James 1:13). The phrase “love hurts” is a lie. Only the consequences of our inevitably imperfect attempts at love will hurt. It’s only when we do not behave in the perfect Biblical loving example (1 Cor 13: 4-10) that we hurt or get hurt. We need to accept that hurt will happen and it’s how we deal with it that is important.
Caution versus fear
Now I’m not saying that you should not to be cautious when you are forming new relationships, but don’t give a half-hearted attempt of commitment because you are afraid of being hurt again. If you’ve observed the person you like long enough and see that true Christ-like qualities are there, give them a clean slate to work with and not one covered with the markings of your past. Pray to God about your choice and ask God to let the desires of your heart be in line with His desires for you. Ultimately, we do not want to end up with someone who will hinder us from growth in Christ.
I hope that God blesses any new relationships in store for you this year, or matures the love in any current relationships you are in.
And remember to love like you’ve never been hurt!
A friend of mine recently found out her fiancé had an affair and decided to call off the wedding. One thing I admired was how strong and faithful she remained. I remember, when one of my exes cheated on me, how much I blamed myself. Ugly thoughts inundated my mind. She’s so slim and beautiful and fun. You’re so blah – boring, unattractive and fat. No wonder he wanted to be with her… Honestly, there were times I wanted to go further than emotional self-hurt. I wanted to physically hurt myself. It was a low point in my life and out of shame, I did not talk to anyone for a long time. Eventually, after many nights of secret tears, I turned to the Word. I wanted the reassurance that no (hu)man should make me feel this way when my perfect God has my back.
You are not worthless
19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. 1 Cor 16:19-20
I had to remind myself that thought I didn’t deserve it, God allowed the death of His Son so that I could have eternal life. No one is worthless to God because this gift is for everyone who will receive it.
God cares for you, the individual you
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. Matt 10:29
There are countless sparrows on the Earth yet God has ensured us that every single one of them is cared for. We are more than sparrows. Not one of us will fall without God knowing. He knows your hurt. He knows your entire history. Sometimes it’s tempting to think God isn”t compassionate about our human problems:
But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. Psalm 86:15
You may not know the answer, but God does.
I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’ Isaiah 46:10
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
We are not privy to the knowledge of our future or how the situation will turn out. We don’t know what worse hurt God is saving us when we do hurt. But God assures us that he already knows and he has promised us that his plans are not for us to eternally suffer. This does not mean Christians are promised lives with no suffering. Even the Apostle Paul suffered so that he will not become self-sufficient and forget that God is the source of his strength and wisdom.
… in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 2 Cor 12:7
Sometimes these trials are necessary for the growth of our character. How do we learn if we are never tested. How do we remind ourselves of God’s Word if we are never asked to use it.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4
Do not be foolish
A deeper meaning to the following verse was revealed to me:
The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”… Psalm 53:1
I always thought this was directed at atheists/agnostics. But this message is for Christians too. When you disobey God, doubt God, curse God, you are essentially proclaiming in your heart that there is no God. Though in your mind you know God exists, you do not proclaim this in your actions when you say or do things that are outside God’s message about us.
Anyway, these are just a sampling of the messages from God helping us to realize that these times will pass, we will heal, we must keep the faith when the going gets rough!
I like to cook and I love to share. When I give out food to my friends, I usually give them in those plastic storage containers with lids. But do you know there are some people that will NEVER return your containers… and be so brazen as to bring their lunch to work in them!
Of course, now I know who to trust with my expensive containers (you know the nice leak proof ones with lids that actually fit) and I know who gets the cheap knock-offs that I’m okay with never seeing again.
I wish I knew earlier to share my self like I do my Tupperware…
Be careful who you share your secrets with.
Samson was a leader of the Israelites and a fierce warrior. Unfortunately he “fell in love” with a woman named Delilah and told her the secret of his great strength. The funny thing is he lied to her twice before telling her the truth and he knew she tried to trap him both times. In the end, Samson paid for his indiscretion with his life. (Judges 16) These days a shared secret may not get you killed (depends on what kind of secret) but it can get you a ruined reputation or a lost friendship.
Be careful who you share your dreams with.
Joseph was the favourite of the 12 sons of Israel (Jacob). For this reason his brothers hated him. So when he shared his dream with them they hated him even more:
6 He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: 7 We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.” (Gen 37:6-7.)
Later in verse 11 we read “His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.”
Joseph ended up sold into slavery by his brothers. The interesting thing about this story is that in the end Joseph ends up in charge of Egypt (Gen 41:41) and due to famine his brothers had to come to him for food for their family. God had made him the lord of all Egypt despite the actions of his brothers.
So when I wrote the subheading, I didn’t literally mean dreams but ambitions and plans. Once you’ve prayed over your plans, and God has given every sign of approval, be careful who you share them with. Some people spitefully create stumbling blocks, like Joseph’s brothers, and others, like Joseph’s father, will keep the matter in mind knowing anything is possible through Christ. The lesson in this tale though is that what may seem like a stumbling block could be the mountain path to your dream but it isn’t always so.
Be careful who you share your thoughts with.
This should really read “be careful who shares their thoughts with you”. It’s so important not to let the wrong people get into your head. This is especially important if you are in a uber-competitive situation for e.g. grad school. I can certainly testify to this. I have had more rejection letters in my short time in grad school than my whole life. This hasn’t stopped me from knowing God has blessed me with intelligence, the ability to work hard and a bright future in store. This concept is most succinctly put in Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. Don’t let others put a value on you. Think about yourself as God thinks on you: He loved you enough to send His Son to die for you. (John 3:16)
Be careful who you share your body with.
I already wrote about your body being a temple (1 Cor 6:19-20) from a health and fitness perspective in Sweat it out! What I haven’t touched on is how you share your body with others. “No” is a very powerful word and when qualified is very effective.
If you’ve put in so much time at work as to compromise your health, let your supervisor know – “No, I cannot work this weekend because I need to rest. My productivity has declined and I can do a better job when I have recovered”.
If a guy friend has asked you to “put a good word” in with a girl he would like to get involved with, and you know he is a womanizer, you can say “No, I don’t think you guys are compatible and I would hate to see either of you get hurt”.
If your girlfriend thinks you guys have been together for awhile and it’s time to move to another level, you can say “No, I believe that God has made sex for marriage and I would rather respect and love you by not defiling your body.”
Who would have thought God could allow an experience with storage containers to inspire so many thoughts! Remember, treat yourself like the expensive, leak proof kind and not the cheap knock off because we are all paid for dearly!
God bless you,
It’s been three months, three months of bliss – three months of pure undefiled happiness. Each moment reminds me of a day spent in paradise, and every time our eyes meet, I cannot imagine a day without you in my life. Slowly it grew, like a vine creeping and crawling, slithering into the heart and mind. A fondness, a feeling, a flame so famed by its well known alias ~ LOVE… but was the feeling and flame the same.
Was it truly love?
I sure thought that it was. A love that formed its roots within the deep recesses of my heart, a love so unexpected, so unique, that I couldn’t tell the end from the start. It certainly was something of an enigma – unknown, uncontrolled, uncanny, unmatched. From sweet slumber I’d rise feeling inexplicable delight knowing that you sir was a part of my life. Smiling every day, feeling no pangs of pain, numb to disappointment, in fact there was no hurtful thing to come my way and if it did, I wouldn’t know its name – for to me before you, life was just mundane.
Oh such a sweet romance, gently idling by the phone listening for your special ring tone, hearkening to your heavenly voice, everything you said was gold, blocking out the world’s noise. Plans made creating pockets of time that could only be shared with you, these would soon become memories to reflect upon when we’d say our “I do’s”. It’s been three months, three months of moonlit walks, and candle lit kisses, savory foods and delectable dishes. It’s amazing how much we’ve connected over the meals shared in spots that are now more to us than just the places that supplied our fare, yes much more, they’ve become a notch on the timeline of our love.
It’s been three months, three months since our first kiss shared in the dark of the universe where there was only us, and I knew, I knew it was true because for me, you were more than a dream, you were the epitomy of what it meant to be a soulmate – you were a soul-me. Three months, three months since I first noticed the way my legs twitched every time I felt your lips. It’s been three months, three months since you showed me what a gentleman truly was, a man who would lift me off my feet just so they wouldn’t have to touch the scuzzy streets. It’s been three months, three months since I first knew what it felt like to be wrapped in the arms of a man who truly knows how to love… three months. Three months and you wait till the clock is about to strike midnight less two on the eve of the new year that crashes through, and you say as you look into my eyes and hold me tight in your arms, “Will you be my boo?” and I respond “Yes” but was I just unleashing the storm all because I chase after the one?
Is he “the one?”
All that’s been said without a mention of God, not a gentle prayer whispered or a request for guidance whistled, no… just an uninterrupted spiral of sentimentalism over the man who seems to glisten. Is he truly the one when there’s no time left to consult with God about the one whom the heart He (the creator) gave you, craves for? THE ONE who made you, who knew you before He formed you in your mother’s womb (Jeremiah 1:5), THE ONE who knows what’s best for you, is THE ONE whom you deprive of telling you whom you should allow into your life. God is THE ONE who can help you choose, who knows the inner workings of “the one” you claim is for you. Without His direction, this connection is destined to fail, so save yourself the heartache and please let God’s will prevail. Do not make the mistake of the many before you, mistaking “THE ONE” – Your heavenly Father, for the “the one” – a mere man. Let THE ONE true God lead you to finding “the one” i.e. the helpmeet Jesus-picked and chosen for you – that’s when you will experience true bliss –pure and undefiled happiness. This is the only way you will know a love so true!
Here are some great articles you should check out!
The Book of Ruth describes one of my favourite Old Testament stories. There are such great aspects to it…
- Conversion: A woman with pagan beliefs genuinely converts to belief in the one true God of her husband.
- Tragedy: A mother loses her sons, 3 wives lose their husbands.
- Loyalty: The friendship and love between a mother-in-law and a daughter-in-law
(Mothers-in-law get such a bad wrap… thanks Hollywood :S ).
- Sacrifice: A daughter-in-law stays and cares for her aged mother-in-law despite being a young widow herself, who could easily find a new husband.
- Love at first sight: A man with good intentions notices a virtuous woman and cares for her.
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
The complete story
It all began on that fateful day when I happened to be driving by a green expanse opposite the very symbol that would be the protagonist in the fiendish plot to keep us apart. But what a beautiful and memorable day it was when we both realized that this seemingly serendipitous meeting was simply meant to be. How was it possible to cross three lanes of traffic and get a parking spot where there never seemed to be parking at that time of day? How was it possible that two people who had not seen each other in years would be able to glimpse each other from across the way in the blur of the busy of life? All conditions pointed to probabilities of inverse infinity therefore making these series of events impossibilities, were it not for a blessing from above said the two hearts seemingly already in love. Pleasantries exchanged, a smile here and there, mostly little chuckles both trying so hard to be suave and debonair. Finally it was time to part after all of ten minutes, but those ten minutes seemed to be the longest and strongest – for a bond was formed that day that would prove difficult to tear apart.
It was not but a few days later when those flirting words turned into “Can I take you on a date?” to which a swift reply came, “But of course, better sooner than late.” Excited at the prospect of having the one you’ve dreamed of express their interest in you, makes the heart flutter, the mind wander, and the stomach uneasy too. The first date goes smoothly, you seem to love everything he does from the smirk on his face, to the size of his waist, and the fact that he doesn’t do dutch. He makes you laugh, he makes you smile, and your head fills up with thoughts of walking down the aisle. You think to yourself where has he been all my life? As the days go by, smooth sailing occurs, no ups and downs, no twists or turns. Everyday seems dreamier than the day the before, and before you know it, your heart leaps out the door, and you confidently declare – no need to look any further, for THE ONE I’ve searched for all my life is finally here! And you feel just as this poet did.
The sun, it did shine the day you came into my life and everything that was wrong became all right everything that was upside down turned around
And I smiled because finally my heart had found its home and I didn’t need anyone to tell me that you are where I belong I knew, I just knew that it was you
And the morning sun it would rise and dance through the happiness that shone in my eyes And all my dreams they did come true every second that was spent with you And every wish I had ever made came to life that one fateful day
And I smiled because finally my life and everything made perfect sense and I didn’t need someone to tell me that this was love or what it meant I knew, I just knew I was meant for you ~ By Anonymous~
But then it seemed as soon as those words rolled off your lips, no sooner would you have wished them back into the recesses of your left brain before your neurons triggered the action potential to make vocal organs bring forth these seemingly coherent wisps. Words which now seem to have been the utterance of a fool that rushed in. But don’t worry, you are not alone, you have company at the soulmate inn. We have all been there one time or another. The concept of “The One” has plagued us all, and it forces us to wonder “Does the concept of ‘The One really exist?”
Stay tuned for part two as we explore the role of God, the guy, and the girl as we journey through the world of love to find the ephemeral answer to this perpetual question. Until then, I leave you with a listen of the song Soulmate.Writing from the heart, Ms. B
Happy Valentine’s Day!
What a fitting day to discuss true love. When I was a kid, I used to collect those “Love is…” cartoons with the little naked couple by Kim Casali and Bill Asprey. (If you’re feeling nostalgic you can check them out here.)
As a kid, the simplicity and innocence of those cartoons left me with romantic notions of one day living with the man of my dreams and making sweet gestures just like that nameless couple… well not exactly like them… I am pretty sure I would not be prancing about in the nude!
As a grown up, and having experienced love and loss a few times, I know that the elementary tenets that the cartoon provided did not give the complete picture. There are a few things I’ve learnt the hard way, the easy way being I should have paid more attention to what God has clearly outlined for us in His Word. Here’s what I’ve discovered so far:
Before you can love someone else, you must love God.
I cannot begin to stress how important this is. The most important love commitment in your life should be God.
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:7-8)
To truly love someone, you must have a relationship with God.Let’s delve deeper and play “connect the dots”.
John 14:21 says Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me.
Romans 12:2 says Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Together these passages encourage us to obey God and to achieve this we must renew our mind (meaning we must read and study his Word). Finally reading his Word gives us insight on what it means to love others.
love God ••••• obey God ••••• read his Word ••••• learn to love others – dots connected!
Before you can love someone else, you must love yourself.
So you’ve probably heard this before. We all remember becoming crying milksops when Tom Cruise delivered that epic line in Jerry Maguire:….You complete me ….The truth is, we should be “complete” before we find a mate despite how romantic Tom/Jerry sounded. You should already be a complete person though hopefully developing into a more Christ-like person. And complete people are people who love themselves. This love is not to be confused with pride, selfishness or greed, all of which the Bible warns us against. Biblical self-love is healthy, understanding that you are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27), your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:19) and you should feed and care for it (Eph 5:29).The Bible says the second greatest command after loving God is
Love your neighbour as yourself (Lev 19:18; Matt 22:38 NIV).
If you cannot love yourself or do not love yourself as you ought, your neighbour will never be loved as they ought either. As the old ladies like to say “Get your house in order before you invite guests”. (Okay I never actually heard an old lady say this but we can pretend!)
You choose who to love.
Wow that was a hard one for me to swallow the first time I thought about it. I always figured love was something that grew uncontrolled and beautiful based on the happenings within the relationship. And again, based on the happenings, love could shrink and depart just as quickly. However, Moses commanded Israel to
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength (Deut 6:5; Matt 22:37 NIV).
With God as the greatest example of a recipient of our love, this implies that we have a choice to love (we being creatures with free will) and further we can choose how much to love. The choices we make and why we make them are definitely fodder for a future post.
It’s not about you.
It is so easy to get wrapped up in how you feel when you are in love. This is so dangerous. If your motivation for loving is feeling good, it’s a perversion of love as defined by the Word. Love considers the recipient most of all. The greatest testament to this is the popular excerpt from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians (1 Cor 13:4-7). Most importantly, verse 5 says that love is not self-seeking, but every other characteristic of love in this passage is about the lover’s behaviour towards the “lovee”. Patience, kindness, honour, protection, good will…. these are all about the person being loved.
Biblical love is the recipe for all relationships.
Up to now you’ve probably been thinking about theses teachings in terms of a man and a woman in a romantic relationship. The truth is your significant other is not the only “neighbour” you have. Love as defined by God’s word is applicable to all types of relationships: friends, parents, siblings, co-workers. God encourages love in the entire community.
So friends I’ll leave you with the gorgeous Tom Cruise as a reminder of what love is not about…. yes you may grab that Kleenex again but grab your Bible too and discover the true meaning of love. And let me know what you think in the comments ♥
And Jesus said unto them; but Who do ye say that I am? And Peter answered and said unto Him, Thou art the Christ. (Mark 8:29)
To know who God is, one must have a relationship with Him.
I could spend hours telling you of His wondrous works and of His ability to do the impossible,
I could tell you about His three-in-oneness, his omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence,
But would you believe it was true?
I could tell you He is called Elohim (Deuteronomy 10:17) – God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God
I could tell you He is called El Elyon (Genesis 14:18-20) – The most high God
I could tell you He is called El Shaddai (Genesis 49: 24-25) – God almighty – The All–Sufficient One
I could tell you about Jehovah-Jireh (Genesis 22:14) – The Lord who provides
I could tell you about Jehovah-Rapha (Exodus 15:26) – The Lord who heals
I could tell you of Jehovah–Rohi (Psalm 23:1) – The Lord who is my shepherd
I could tell you of Jehovah–Nissi (Exodus 17:15) – The Lord my banner
I could tell you about Jehovah-Sabaoth (Psalm 46:7) – The Lord of hosts
I could tell you about my creator, my father, my comforter and friend
but in the end, all of it would mean nothing unless you know Him for yourself.
But if you know nothing else about God, know this:
He is a God of Love…
He teaches about love (1 Corinthians 13), and it’s not just lip service. He shows us what love is and how we should love. After all He demonstrated His great love for us, by sending His only son to die a death that He did not deserve. He sent His son to take our place, atoning for the sins of all the world; sins that were not yet committed by persons who were not yet in existence, but God did it all because He loves us with an unconditional love (John 3:16, Ephesians 2:4-9).
His is a love that is everlasting.
For there is no greater love than God’s love – for God is Love (1 John 4:7, 8)
With God as the captain of our relationSHIPS, the storms of mistrust, unfaithfulness, unrequited love, selfishness, thoughtlessness, and miscommunications will never batter our starboards, and He will sail us safely into the harbor of true love and happiness.
Love is the emblem of eternity; it confounds all notion of time;
effaces all memory of a beginning, all fear of an end.
Germaine De Stael
Welcome to God Guys and Girls: An Introspective look into Love’s True Triangle!
Travel with Angie and I (Ms. B) on our journey through God’s Universe to the most popular tourist destinations: – the city of love and the planets of Mars ( guys) and Venus (girls). Share our experiences and tell about your own as we laugh, cry, reflect, and meditate on God’s word together.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction Proverbs 1:7
This text will be the basis of our words as our goal is to give advice based on God’s word, His principles, and our experiences so we all can increase in wisdom, knowledge and understanding as we deal with the ups and downs of our love-lives. We want you to learn from us and we hope to learn from you as well, so follow our blog and feel free to put in your 2 cents : )
Enjoy the journey! We look forward to hearing from you!