I know this topic will probably raise a few eyebrows. It’s quite ironic that I’m writing about ending relationships when this site is all about striving towards the right one, yet I feel that this is a topic that has rare coverage. How can you experience a healthy relationship whilst settling for one plagued by the diseases of guilt and compromise? Now, there are those who will try and cover over the issues in their relationship, or defend the visible cracks until they themselves are emotionally drained. How do you know if your relationship is unhealthy? The fact that you are considering the question to begin with speaks volumes. One day I remember travelling with a friend, when she asked me the following question;
How do you know if he is the one?
The car was silent for a few moments whilst I tried to work out what the best answer would be. Nothing came to mind. All I could say to her was, “the fact that we are both in relationships, yet neither of us can answer that question actually answers that question”. It dawned on me how blind we become when we believe something is truly for us. We want that person to love us the way we want to be loved, when we should be looking to the God who created that person to first teach us to love the way He loves. It is never a nice thing to have to even consider ending a relationship, especially when you are not only emotionally but have allowed yourself to become physically involved. Personally, I believe the reason why so many of us struggle to leave bad relationships behind is due to the fact that many of us act married before we have even considered making such a commitment. There are many people in the world who say they would never get married, or they could never see themselves with one person for the rest of their lives. The truth is, they want marriage without the official commitment or requirements. You can’t have one without the other and expect to avoid the emotional baggage that follows. Long-term relationships seem to be the hardest to come away from. It’s just like quick-sand: the longer you stay where you are, the deeper you go and the harder you will struggle to get out. Thankfully we have a Saviour who stands by us with His arms outstretched, ready to pull us out if only we choose to accept His help!
6 Come, and let us return to the Lord; For He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up. Hosea 6:1 (NKJV)
Emotions and feelings are certainly a major battleground in considering separating from another person. You have been dedicating your time and energy to satisfy their needs, and it is scary how easy it is to get used to being with a person and end up getting used in the process. In Letters to Young Lovers, Ellen White says this;
You have a large fund of affection and will need to be constantly guarded lest you bestow your affection upon unworthy objects. LYL 76.6
When you bestow these affections, you are forming a bond with the recipient of these affections. Look at it like paying for a loaf of bread. The bread could smell delicious and look incredible, but if kept in the wrong conditions it could quickly grow bacteria. You have already made the payment, and in future you would probably buy a different loaf from elsewhere. We treat relationships in a similar way. We get upset when a relationship becomes unhealthy for us, yet we pay for another relationship under the same condition and we are surprised when the same thing happens! Notice how little payments add up to one big payment? It is the same with our affections. It may not even be the sexual aspect, but in choosing to dedicate your love to different individuals, your balance is decreasing every time. Only God can restore your balance in preparation for the right person, but He requires your account in His name first. I believe that when someone isn’t for you, you know it deep down. Even though everyone around you may be sharing their opinions of support or concern, you can’t escape your own thoughts and the convictions of the Holy Spirit. Sooner or later you will have to face your future with or without this person. It saddens me when people say that they may never meet another person like the one they are with, and I must say I have had these same thoughts myself during past experiences. I have realised that we are prone to think such thoughts when we lack the faith that we should have had before even entering the relationship to begin with. We probably would have never been there in the first place if we were where God would have wanted us to be. A lack of self-worth and a lack of faith are a dangerous combination, and the reason for so many damaging relationships today. We rarely take time to just sit and reflect by ourselves, so in the time that you are taking to read this, I would like you to ask yourself the following questions about a relationship you may be in, or may be considering;
1. Does the person you are with possess qualities for the future in regards to becoming a mother or a father? 2. Is being married to this person a happy thought? 3. Do your close family and friends support your relationship? 4. Would you be happy if your children possessed the characteristics you see in this person? 5. Do you believe that it is God’s divine will for you to be with this person? 6. Do you regularly come together in prayer over your relationship? 7. Could you see this person helping you with a ministry? 8. How comfortable would you be if this person was left alone with your parents? 9. Are you able to talk about finances open and honestly with this person? 10. Does this person put their relationship with Christ first in all things?
If you struggle with even a couple of these questions, then the alarm bells should be ringing. In previous topics we have established that the purpose of a relationship with another person is to help each other, and those around you, heavenward as a result of your love for one another. When a relationship isn’t allowing you to do this, then you need to either make the necessary changes, or go your own way. Yes it will hurt, and people will want to know what happened, and you will have to get used to being single once more, but this is part of the process of growth. It is far less painful to leave a bad relationship than it is to remain in a bad relationship for the rest of your life. If only you could see what God has in store for you. If only you could gather the strength to step out in faith even though you can’t see what God has prepared for you. When we give up the selfish desires of our heart and yield them to Christ, we open ourselves up to blessings that exceed our sinful understanding.
8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:8 (NKJV)
For me, covering this topic hasn’t been about providing step by step instructions on how to break up with a person, but rather I am encouraging you to take the steps to let Christ fix you where you have been broken, and that may include leaving a relationship in the past. When you look to God for the answers, you will know exactly how to leave the pain in the past, and free yourself for the promise of the future.
Religion is needed in the home. Only this can prevent the grievous wrongs which so often embitter married life. Only where Christ reigns can there be deep, true, unselfish love. Angels of God will be guests in the home, and their holy vigils will hallow the marriage chamber. LYL 86.3