*As seen in November 2016 Issue Angelic Magazine www.angelicmag.com
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex. Your workmanship is marvelous- how well I know it. – Psalms 139:14
I’ve read this verse so many times, taking in the truth of how complex we are as humans, as children of God, and as individuals. But lately this verse has taken on an entirely new meaning. I often credit God for how beautifully unique He has made me, and even how complex He has made others, but rarely do I take into account what that actually might mean for relationships.
Two complex beings coming together to form a new complex dynamic is not at all simple. But I always expected it to be so easy, without complication. If you are in Christian circles, you’ve probably heard that when God is in the center of your relationship everything flows, works, and moves forward with ease. But how can this be true? By nature, the relationships we create, build and maintain are just as unique and wonderfully complex as we are individually. They are wonderfully made, but never wonderfully as simple or easy as many would like us to think.
I spent six years of my life in ridiculously disgusting, abusive and destructive relationships, ironically thinking they could fulfill me. I came back to Christ knowing my perception and understanding of relationships, especially romantic ones, was something I had to redefine completely. I spent almost five years working on myself. I poured myself into scripture, serving and dedication to anything I felt was God’s call on my life.
During this time, I felt my faith was maturing as well as my newfound ideals of how to define a healthy, godly relationship. So in the waiting for Mr. Man (that was his name when I prayed for him), I developed a list of deal breakers; things I knew could not provide a successful relationship for me. I developed a list of must haves; things I knew I needed in a relationship. It seemed so simple. It was so cut and dry.
I felt so sure God was going to provide a man who fit the mold of both lists I had created. I had finally determined what standard and caliber of a man I deserved to be with as a daughter of God; and what kind of woman I should be in order to find Him. This whole relationship should be a piece of cake, right? (Wrong)
Recently, I began dating someone and it wasn’t long before I had to rip up both of those very list I had been so determined to follow. We each brought our own history and life stories to the table and these presented challenging ideas of love, relationships, and even God to the mix. Our foundations aligned so well. We both wanted to follow God and were determined to follow Him together, but the details and paths we took to reach Him appeared so different. Neither completely wrong nor right; just different.
But God used these differences to force both of us to humble ourselves enough to acknowledge that just because something didn’t fit our prior perception, didn’t mean it wasn’t true. We had to be open to learning about one another, and from one another. God has created each of us uniquely, and given us each completely different paths to walk in life. If we want to join paths with another person who is just as complex as we are, we have to be ready for the challenge of what that looks like. Humility becomes the new standard.
The caliber in which we choose to define our relationship goes beyond what now appears to be the simplistic factors of financial decisions, vocations, marriage; it goes deeper to the complexity of whether our hearts can align with one another enough to say ‘I’m choosing to see it your way, even though I’ve never considered that before. I’m choosing to see what God has shown you, that perhaps He has not yet shown me.’
Have standards. Have expectations. But friends, don’t have hard and fast rules that are unbreakable. God will turn them over, flip them inside out and break each one. As strong as these rules appear, they can be detrimental to allowing your heart to be open and flexible to the unity a relationship should express.
God is a god of complexity beyond us. We are even more complex than we realize. So expect that when you build a godly relationship, it will resemble the one who created it. It will have its complexities, along with its humbling challenges. It will have such a uniqueness all its own, but that’s when you know it too, was wonderfully made.