There seems to have been a rash of break ups lately. 🙁 How my heart aches for anyone who is experiencing that kind of intense pain and grief. In this post, I am addressing couples who were not yet married. (I have a similar post for wives whose husbands want to separate or want a divorce on my other blog today.)
I want to offer some suggestions to prayerfully consider if this is your difficult situation right now:
- Don’t freak out, especially around your man.
This is much easier said than done, of course. But, if you go ballistic on your guy when he says he needs space or wants to leave, you are only confirming to him that he made the right decision and that you bring too much drama to his life and that he is better off without you. Not the message you want to send!
If you are able, by God’s power, to remain calm and relatively poised, your godly self-control, patience, goodness, love and gentleness will probably catch your man off guard and may even make him rethink things a bit in time. It will show him that you have a level of spiritual maturity that is powerful. And it may prevent him from feeling like he needs to leave you.
A woman who is Spirit-filled, gentle, peaceful and self-controlled is very precious and valuable.
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. I Peter 3:3-4
- Give him space and time.
This will not come naturally at all. It will take a very strong faith in God to rest and trust in God’s sovereignty and not give in to your feelings that are screaming at you to chase your guy and hunt him down. But, if you try to force him to come to you after he asked for space, you will repel him to the point that he will not feel that he can return to you, even if he wanted to. I am not saying that if you give him space and time, he will always come back. But if he is going to come back, it will only be if he feels respected in his request for space.
Let God speak to his heart. Let him see how much he misses you. God can do more that you can imagine without your help. If you text and call your ex, you may make it harder for him to hear God. Trust God to work out things for your ultimate good as you fully trust Him and submit to Him whatever the outcome may be, knowing that God knows how to direct the course of your life and that His wisdom is much higher than yours.
Do a study about waiting on the Lord. Find all the Bible passages that say to “wait on the Lord” and about how “The LORD will fight for you, you need only to be still” (Ex. 14:14).
Study God’s sovereignty particularly in the Old Teatament in Genesis, Exodus, Psalms, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ruth, Esther and the prophets.
- Realize that this may not be about you.
Sometimes men leave because they may feel unprepared to be godly husbands. If a man didn’t have godly examples in his life, the thought of trying to be a good husband may be overwhelming. He may need time to work through his own concerns. That has to be ok. He may have a lot of stress in his life. He may be feeling overwhelmed. He may not want to burden you. He may not think he is able to give you all that he wants to. He may have open wounds.
Pray for God to accomplish His purposes and His will in your man’s life whether or not he comes back to you. Pray for God to draw him to Himself and for God to be greatly glorified in his life. Pray for emotional and spiritual healing in his life that he might be a faithful servant in God’s kingdom.
Read Romans 12:9-21 about how God desires us to treat those who mistreat us. Don’t take revenge!
- If he did break up with you because of your behavior or attitudes, realize that God may be speaking to you through this situation.
Ask God to help you see any sin in your life and anything you may need to repent of to God and to your man. Embrace whatever God wants you to learn and be willing to grow and become a more Christlike woman through this painful trial. Allow God to show you anything He wants to and let Him use this to refine your faith and make you stronger in your faith and in your walk with Him.
Study in God’s Word about life giving rebukes and how a wise person responds to a rebuke (Proverbs).
There may be something you need to apologize for. Pray about that. Wait a little while for your emotions to settle down – maybe a week or two. And when you know in your heart that God says the timing is right, write a brief apology to him if you believe that is what God is calling you to do. But do not expect anything in return.
- Regardless of the reason for the break up, ask God to use this time to help you grow, mature and become stronger in your faith in Christ.
God promises to use suffering to refine, mature and grow us and to conform us to the image of Christ (I Peter, Hebrews 12, James 1). Ask God what He might desire you to learn. Be open to anything He wants to teach you and just cling to Christ, spending a lot of time in prayer and in God’s Word and maybe even fasting and seeking God’s will.
- Focus on Praising God.
Read Psalms. Listen to and sing along with praise and worship music. Write down all the blessings God has given you. Think about things to be thankful for. Learn to rest and live in God’s peace in the midst of uncertainty. There will be so many times you will need to do this in life!
Philippians 4:4-8 is a fantastic passage to memorize and study during a time like this.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:4-8
- Allow yourself to be human, to have feelings, and to process your emotions.
You are going to grieve and mourn and be sad when a very special relationship ends. Every little thing may trigger a flood of emotions: a favorite restaurant, an aisle in the grocery store that has his favorite food, phrases he said often, his name and all kinds of things may trigger memories that may be very painful. Take the time you need to work through these things. Take your pain to God. Listen for anytihg God may be whispering to you.
Psalms is a great book to read when you are grieving.
- Use caution in accepting well-meaning advice from friends and family.
Some people may try to rush you on to another relationship. Some may tell you that you are better off without your guy and to forget about him. Most people won’t understand being patient and waiting for God to work and to direct you. And most women today won’t understand why on earth you aren’t calling and texting him and telling him what to do. That is ok. Listen to God, not to other people.
- If he wants to get together, prayerfully consider allowing him to speak first and then listen carefully to whatever he has to say.
You might just be surprised about what God may have been doing in his life. It could be wise to let him share first. If you begin to flood him with negativity or criticism, you may miss out on a huge blessing! This requires incredible patience and self-control. But it may be worth it.
- If he doesn’t want to get back together, respect his decision and trust God’s sovereignty.
Listen to God’s Spirit about when it is time to move on. If you have given him a month or two, and haven’t heard from him, and have peace about moving on, please feel free to do so. Don’t try to force him to return to you. If you believe God wants you to continue to wait, then continue to wait on God and His perfect timing and His will.
- If he does return, consider taking things very slowly.
Don’t try to start where you left off, unless you are very sure you know God is giving you a green light about that. I would suggest prayerfully considering rebuilding the relationship very slowly and purposely on God’s principles and taking care of any problems in a spiritually mature, godly way.
- Watch out for bitterness.
Bitterness is very toxic! Focus on forgiving and not clinging to resentment. You don’t have to trust this man until he rebuilds trust. But ask God to empower you to forgive him of every offense so that you don’t get caught in the sins of unforgiveness and bitterness.
Here is the first post in a series on Bitterness
For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:14-15
- Seek God and His will above all else. Hold your dreams loosely.
Be open to any outcome God feels is best for you. This is always important as we submit fully to Christ as Lord. We cling to Him and allow Him to give or take in our lives according to His wisdom.
- If your man was not a believer or tried to hurt your walk with Christ and encourage you to stray from Him and to sin, please don’t take him back. Only take him back if you have clear peace from God and if this man is committed to living his life in submission to Christ. He doesn’t have to live out his faith the exact way you do – but he should want to put Christ above all else in his life. He should be grieved over any sin in his own life. He should be humbly willing to repent of any offenses he has caused.
God’s Word is very clear that we are not to be “unequally yoked” with unbelievers and that we are only to marry someone (and only date someone) who is “in the Lord.” (I Corinthians 7:39, II Corinthians 6:14).
I am praying for each of you to have God’s wisdom as you face these fiery trials. And I am praying for Him to use this time of suffering to ultimately bless you and to produce good in your life and His greatest glory.
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