Feb 27, 2007

Coming to realizations on relationships

by Leslie Hagar, Opinion
Life was so interesting when I was 13.  I was awkward and optimistic. Can one be awkward and optimistic at the same time?  During my high school years I thought I would figure people out and, by the time I got to college, I would be calm, cool and collected. All of that and, of course, ready to meet the perfect guy. Now as I am approaching graduation I find that I have not achieved “calm, cool and collected” and Mr. Wonderful is still elusive.
 
At 21, I find that God has led me in unexpected directions. I have developed friendships that will last forever —guy friends and girl friends. So here is the question: can guys and girls really be “just friends?"  The Wonder Years said, “A guy and a girl can just be friends but at one point or another, they will fall for each other. Maybe temporarily, maybe at the wrong time, maybe too late, or maybe forever.”  
 
Now, my Wonder Years quote only takes me so far — and doesn’t really rank up there with scripture, so some study and prayer were in order. Recently someone asked me if I had a crush on a friend I’ve known since freshman year. The answer was an automatic, emphatic, “no.”  But it did make me think, “If this person asked me this question, am I giving the wrong impression?” Are my actions suggesting I do when, in fact, I actually don’t?

Then came the epiphany—in all of my praying, trying to figure out why my actions and my heart weren’t lining up, I realized that what I had been verbalizing in prayer was, “God, I trust you. You’re faithful. You make me whole.”  But the actual prayer of my heart was, “I’m content in You because I know You’ll send me someone before I graduate. You’re the best! Thanks!” With the epiphany came the thought that, like the 13-year-old heading into high school, as I graduate from LU in May, my theory and God’s best for me are not aligned. Proverbs 21:21 (NIV) says “He who pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity, and honor.” I need to pursue righteousness. And my desire must be for God’s best for my future. Yes, I am a relational creature, but first and foremost, I am a creature who needs a relationship with Christ above all else.
 
Psalm 139:14 (NIV) states, “I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” This verse is often quoted regarding self-acceptance but also rings true in the area of relationships.

I am meant to thrive exactly as I was created. Christ came to the earth with one specific objective, but He lived life fully. He traveled, He built furniture and He made close friends. Indeed, He is our perfect example of living life to the fullest.

At Thomas Road Baptist Church on Feb. 10, Dr. Ergun Caner gave a sermon titled, “Love Lives and Land Mines.”  To the ladies he said, “The perfect husband doesn’t exist. The fact that he’s human brings him down some. Women get married hoping things will change. A man gets married hoping things will never change. The only perfect person who ever walked the earth never got married.”

He went on to say that we, as humans, shouldn’t be looking for someone to complete us. That thought is not biblical—to think that we are incomplete without the other half. Carrying this thought further into the subject of my recent study, it is true that we are only incomplete if we are living without a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ.  When considering a potential life-partner, the question now becomes, “Can I be more effective for Christ with this person than I can be alone?” And, “What is God’s best and perfect will for my life?”
 
Waiting around for something that may never come is difficult.  Trying to force the hand of God where my love life is concerned would not only be arrogant, it would invite His discipline. Hezekiah prayed for longer life—he was granted his request, and he had a son three years after he was supposed to die who grew up to become one of the worst kings of Israel. I know that the Lord is faithful—He sees the bigger picture. There is no better place to be than in the will of the Almighty.

Contact Leslie Hagar at lahagar@liberty.edu.
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