A guest post by Surrenderedgirl – I’m so thankful for the opportunity to share what God is doing in this dear sister’s life. May her post richly bless you, as well:
After several months of dating, I had built up resentment towards my boyfriend. I don’t naturally talk about my feelings much, so I would usually just keep things inside. Instead of talking things out, I would give him the silent treatment, and I would make it clear with my body language and facial expressions that I was upset at him. This made him sympathetic towards me at first, but eventually it just put distance and tension between us. I eventually realized that I wasn’t accomplishing anything by doing this.
I began to feel frustrated in my relationship with my boyfriend. I loved my boyfriend, but it seemed like he was always disappointing me or doing something I didn’t like. I then discovered the book “The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands” by Dr. Laura Schlesinger (from April – I LOVE this book! Just please keep in mind that the author is Jewish, not a Christian, although, she does quote the New Testament in support of God’s design for marriage). Through that book, my perspective of men and my boyfriend changed dramatically.
It turned out I was focusing on all the negatives in my boyfriend, I was harboring resentment, and I didn’t understand how different women are from men. All these things had resulted in disrespectful behavior toward my boyfriend who really hadn’t done anything wrong.
Once I stopped putting so much pressure and expectations on my boyfriend, we were both much happier. And it turned out that we really had a great relationship, I had just been creating problems in my head that weren’t even there!
Although our relationship was much better, I still found myself being overly dependent on my boyfriend and his affection. I began researching what to do on the internet. I kept coming across the article by the Peaceful Wife called “How to Make Your Husband an Idol.” When I read April’s list of things that make something an idol, I was shocked. I realized I was making my boyfriend into an idol in my heart. Although I recognized this, I didn’t really make much effort to change. God was trying to get through to me, but I never quite listened to him.
I would try putting God first for a little while, but it never seemed as appealing as putting my boyfriend first.
So God took a different approach. My boyfriend began attending a very rigorous, accelerated college program. Prior to this, my boyfriend only worked a few days a week, so we had lots of time to spend together. When he started college, he was busy almost everyday with classes, work, studying, church, bible studies, and working out. He was always busy! I felt like my life had been ripped apart. I felt lonely and hopeless, like all the happiness had been taken from me! I immediately knew I was making him an HUGE IDOL in my heart. I quickly repented to God and asked him to help me.
Through www.peacefulwife.com and other resources, God taught me how to stop putting my boyfriend first in my heart. I also began reading the books “Sacred Romance” and “Falling in Love with Jesus”. These books opened my eyes to the reality of having an intimate relationship with God. During this time, I went on a two week vacation with my family. It was the longest I had ever been away from my boyfriend, and God used that time to show me what kind of relationship I could have with Jesus.
Because I couldn’t depend on my boyfriend, I had no choice but to rely solely on God. I experienced a closeness with Jesus that I had never experienced before. I still cherish those special moments I was able to spend with the Lord when I was in total abandonment to him.
Today, I have to constantly keep myself in check to make sure I’m not putting my boyfriend before God.
My boyfriend and I definitely have a much healthier and balanced relationship now. We are still very much in love, but I no longer feel like my whole world revolves around him. I have so much more peace now. I am able to show respect to my boyfriend, and I no longer resent him.
I realize he is only human, and that only God can satisfy my deepest needs.
We still struggle sometimes with lust in our relationship, however, it’s nothing like it was before. When we feel we are getting too close physically, we try to stop things as soon as possible. Occasionally we start to slip back into old habits, but we are getting better and better at staying on course! We are both learning to put Jesus first in our lives and our relationship. It has been such a beautiful thing to see the work God is doing in my life and my boyfriend’s life. The biggest lesson I’ve learned is to be thankful for the hard times, the lonely nights and the suffering. Not because it’s fun, but because those are the times when God reveals himself to us, when he heals us and tears out our idols, and when we can experience the fullness of his love for us!
Have a blessed day!
And here’s the link to my blog, surrenderedgirl.wordpress.com