Sunday, June 19, 2011

Praying in a Relationship

I began thinking the other day about how I haven't blogged in a while.

"I don't really know what to blog about..." was my first thought. Usually my blog posts have some direct correlation to my life, and while I certainly CAN talk about Josh forever, I'm pretty sure you don't want to read about it.

Then I began to think of all you teen ladies at Christchurch in Newport. About how I want to share in this season with you-- clue you in on things I'm learning or nuggets I've picked up along the way for when you're in perhaps a similar season: This blog post is for you.

Pretend we're sitting in Bob McCan's office with pizza and cans at a typical LIFE meeting. (oh how I miss those!) Pull out your sheet of paper; let's talk.

You know how we hear about how people in relationships are "praying for God's will" all the time. Well...what exactly is that? What does that mean? How do you do that in a relationship? How do you know if a guy is "the one" you're supposed to marry?

You ask yourself: Is his character good enough? Are you attracted to him enough? Will he be faithful to you? Will he be a good provider? Will he love you well? Will he be a good dad?

The "evaluation" questions are endless.

And they are good questions- certainly practicals to consider and get other's observations and counsel on, no doubt.

But I wonder if in only praying through the character of the MAN, we miss hearing from God.

I have attempted to make it common practice at times in my relationships to "set aside" the evaluation part of the relationship in prayer, and instead SEEK THE LORD about His will. Here's what I mean:

I'm a hairstylist. I've heard TONS of stories. Men who've been unfaithful in their marriages. Men who are strong godly leaders and then 10 years into their marriage decide they're not a Christian and leave. Men who die unexpectedly at a young age. I would be a fool to think that "those things couldn't happen to me" no matter how wonderful a man's character might be. I can't know what God has in store.'s possible. My future husband could be unfaithful. We could get to our honeymoon, and he could tell me he's been lying to me about some huge secret that I never could've guessed that affects me dramatically. He could tragically die much sooner than old age. He could have a disease he doesn't know about that we accidentally give to all of our children...and then he could pass away...leaving me with very ill children to provide and care for. Maybe 20 years into our marriage he decides that there's a major part of the Gospel he doesn't see the same as he once did and I'm confused about how to follow him. Maybe just 2 years into it he tells me one night, "I'm not sure what I believe anymore..."

The thing I'm seeking to do in this season of prayer, is hear from the Lord...that EVEN IF one or all of those things took place...could I with confidence, look back and know that I heard from the Lord that I was to marry that man. That it pleased God for me to commit my life to be faithful and serve this soul. When the romantic feelings wax and wane later in life (I hear they do), will I, before the Lord, have peace that I didn't rush into a decision emotionally, but I sought His face...and His will even above my own. Is my love for this man based on GOD'S love for me and not his love for me-- do I believe God is calling me to love this man no matter what he does, who he becomes, what he believes in the future, or what trials we face?

If the answer is "no"...that shouldn't scare us. It's not necessarily a reflection of us...or our willingness to work hard at relationships. The Lord just might simply not be leading us to marry that man.

...because, here's the thing: there's only one man the Lord does lead us to marry. Just one.

This is about me and God. Me trusting my future with HIM. Is HE leading me to this man?

What happens in the future is out of my control. But I know and trust the One who is in control and who has marked all of my days. I just want to do my part to seek HIM in this decision and commitment.

These considerations have helped me pursue what can be a very wonderfully "cloudy" time. I have found great comfort in the faithfulness of God, the power of His promises, the gift of infallible Scripture, and the joy of knowing that "A man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps." (Proverbs 16:9)

I pray something in here is of some use to some time.


Anonymous said...

Janelle, you are an amazing young lady. Thank you for sharing your wisdom. I am sharing your blog with a special young lady we both know:) Vikki

My year in Wales... a memoir in the making said...

Good perspective. Keep at seeking the Lord lovely!

Christen Duxbury said...


I found myself at your blog...I'm not sure how but I'm here and let me just say that I am very encouraged by your writing. You are blessed with a creative spirit!

I hope to reconnect at some point down the road!

-Christen Duxbury