Christianity -- Christian Living/Relationship Advice
QUESTION: I broke up with my boyfriend tonight. I knew he wasn't a Christian and it really started to weigh on my heart. I tried to speak to him about Christ and his disbelief was so much that I had to end it between us because I knew it was unhealthy. God started giving me dreams every night warning me of what could happen and it really opened my eyes.
I have a problem with being "afraid" to be alone. I have a son from being raped. He doesn't have a father and I struggle with Loneliness, I am scared because God didn't make it this way, for a child to be without a father. I have endured sexual abuse throughout my life so sex is an area that I really struggle with as well. I have yet to find a man who respects sexual purity till marriage,#which is something that I agree with# But to be completely honest, after I was molested and raped as a child I find it extremely difficult to say no when I get into that pure pressure situation to have sex. I was taught as a child that the Bible was a Lie and God really wasn't real.
I am a Christian now, I have been saved, I attend church regularly and I believe God should come first in my life before anything or anyone else. I have received counseling and understand that through Christ I am wiped clean white as snow from my past and sins.
I still struggle with how to go about finding a godly man to encourage me in my walk with Christ. I am very passionate and I want to be married so I don't continue on like this...Like a flame that quickly burns out. I cannot and will not keep Quitting on God. Please can you give me some insight on how I can go about this in this aspect of my life?
ANSWER: Hi Shanaya, Thank you for your question and your trust in allowing me to help you with such a delicate matter.
I'm sorry that you are dealing with a hurting heart tonight. But- it sounds like it was the right decision for you to make. It doesn't make feeling the pain any easier to go through though.
It sounds like you know yourself quite well to, and from experience I can truly say that it would help you to take this time to allow God to work on you. You may feel alone, and this is not a good feeling I admit, however in order for you to make the best decisions for you that God needs you to make; you made a first step.
A relationship needs to compliment who you are already. It accentuates who you are, and enables you to become a better person for that other person because you want to do better. It isn't that you don't like who you are already, but a relationship some how asks more of you- the better parts of who you are, and draws them out in the open. That my dear cannot happen when our hearts are encrusted with pain and old wounds of the past.
This day and age, it maybe hard to find someone with the same morals and goals as your own, but they aren't impossible, there's two criterion that have to be met first in order for the right guy to come along. I fully believe that everything happens for a reason, and there are no chance meetings, or coinsidences in life. If you believe in God then you should believe that God directs all things, and finding someone who is right for you- is not yet.
There's work in you that needs to be done. God has someone picked for you- trust that and know it, believe it. Pray about it, but do not allow your life to become stangnant by allowing what happened in the past to rule you, who you are now. I know what I'm talking about, I've been abused too, and I let people abuse me and I was promiscuous too. But somewhere down the line there comes a time in one's life where God stops allowing you to place the blame on 'what happened' and what so and so did. We are all accountable for our actions and reactions in life and there are two ways to deal with adversity; you can run from it or learn from it.
The most common reaction is to turn tail and run, I did, and so have you. It's a normal reaction but now that you realise what you want and you are setting goals for yourself, the rules of the game have changed. You are now taking ownership of your life and with that, you can't just take ownership of just a piece, you have to own all of it. That means admitting what happened to you, and allowing God to enter into your heart in such a way that allows Him to heal you. We are good at self medicating our wounds through beaten down habits. For some it comes in the form of alcohol, and for others it is through finding the love of our life through sex. I want you to know right now that you are loved, and you will be loved in the way that you need and in a way that is respectful to you. The love that is out there for you is a love that is secure and will help you to retain your dignity and integrity, but NOT before you are ready.
This is going to be a difficult transition but its all about learning to rely on and trust in God. Allow yourself to get to know you. In break ups we dwell too much on the fact that we are without someone but the fact is we act like we have lost ourselves because that someone is no longer there. You were someone before that guy came into your life, it's time to get to know her, again but in a deeper way so that the next guy who comes along does not love the mask that you wear, but gets to nurture and care for the you that is secure in being vulnerable.
You are a courageous and strong woman. I know you do not doubt that, but I also know that at times you wish you didn't have to be so strong. Your Christianity and who you are as God's child is built upon the ability to be strong and voice yourself in authenticity and security in knowing who you are in Him.
That Godly man will come to you when your spirit is whole, when it is ready to recieve the love that is available to give you. When our hearts are hurting so deeply, we can't see the love that someone offers, and without meaning to we trample on it. It is because we can't see past the pitfalls of our pain that we cannot see the beauty of the love given. It is because we enter in relationships tained, scared and a bit bitter, always trying to figure out someone's motives, and not really trusting in their actions or what they say. The abuse jades us, and that is why you are right where you need to be.
You said something very important because I've said this to God in prayer that I'm going to share with you. " God please help me find a man who respects me, for me..." and it turns out that in order for anyone to respect us, we have to resect ourselves. I didn't respect myself, because of what I endured. I hung onto the pain while pushing it under the rug and I kept it hidden as a security blanket. No one could work out my problems for me, not even the man I fell in love with. I had to work them out, alone. Meaning that while someone maybe able to hold your hand, you have to do the work that God needs you to do, all the while allowing God to do the work He needs to in you.
Change doesn't happen over night, it is gradual, and the first step to respecting yourself is to forgive yourself, for the situations that happened beyond your control, and to forgive others who hurt you.
Forgiveness isn't a right of passage we give to others, it frees us of the burden of guilt that we take upon ourselves and own, that we have no buisness in owning. That responsibility lies with the victimizer. They have their own cross to bear, the only one you have is to heal yourself of the pain that they caused you. When you can work that out, you will discover freedom and healing that only God's salve of peace and comfort can give. He heals the wounds of the heart and buffs bitter scar tissue as smooth as silk. Your memories still remain, but the pain attached to each memory is no longer existent. That's a wonderful place to be, and you can get there- it just takes one step at a time and a patient endurance to know that God will walk with you every step of the way if you are willing.
I am here for you, to talk with and to listen. You will get through this, it just takes time. You have to give yourself time to heal, you can't do that while trying to consentrate on establishing a relationship and trying to maintain it. If we concentrate our focus on diverted attentions, we soon forget what it is initially was the object of our focus. For you- you need to focus on you.
God Bless you and may God bring you peace and comfort.
Please stay in touch,
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Thanks for your encouraging words Shan.
I really feel like I can relate to you alot and I really appreciate your godly insight as well. I know that breaking up with him was the right thing and know God does have in store for me someone special.
I do feel this need to improve myself spiritually, physically and mentally from all that I have been through.
What I have endured in the past is just a testimony of what god can do with someones life...no matter how broken or scarred.
I am becoming part of my local church and as soon as I finish my studies I can sing for worship and in the future even do missionary work so I'm so excited for my future.
God has blessed me through my past trials.
I went from being molested, raped, physically and mentally abused, and tortured while pregnant to being blessed with a beautiful baby boy, active in the church, helping the homeless and broken everyday....God can really work miracles in peoples lives, no matter how desperate or broken. They just have to surrender To Jesus and continue to strive to be more like him. Constantly distinguishing they need to always put him first before anything or anyone else. That is when the transformation really begins.
I hope that my story can reach out to those in need of comfort in rough times who struggle with depression and uncertainty.
Sometimes Satan tries to bring me down and tell me that I am not good enough or I have too much baggage to ever deserve Love, that my struggle with the temptation to commit the sin that tempts me most will never subside, that my son will never have a father worthy of him....I know this is a lie and its important to kick those thoughts out with the Power of the name Jesus Christ. I feel lucky to know that there is a God who loves and guards us.
I was wondering if you have any advice on what to say to unbelievers when they cross my path, When they say things like "I don't believe in the bible because its written by men," and all the other controversies? Also what does scripture say about sex outside of marriage?
Hello Shanaya, I appologize, I did not see the follow up question sooner until now. I have had emails pile up on me as I have taken a leave from the computer for a while.
The bible was written by men, 40 different men to be exact over a period of 40 generations. While it was penned by men, the inspiration was from God, there's a difference. The bible is one of the most popular 'books' but that does not mean to say it is the most easily read. It is true that people have read the bible and thought it to be a historical document or just a good read; a classic akin to Moby Dick. However the fact is that the bible as best to explain it is like one big huge parable.
You know that the parables were not easily understood for good reason, and this too with the bible. The bible is not meant to be read by just everyone, and those that were not meant to understand the depth of God's word will only read it as a typical historical document, finding fiction among possible although highly improbable fact. ( I says this as to quote the unbelievers of course, never am I intending to mock the word of God.)
The bible is the living word of God, and what I have often said to unbelievers in the past is that out of all the historical written word, out of all the books that have been written, the bible is the only book that has not changed ( all that drastically) over time. The essential information within the bible remains in tact. It is the only book that can be read from cover to cover, or from front, to middle, or from middle to in between where it can still be understood and it is the only document that we have to date whose prophetic timeline remains constant and up to date. The bible addresses all three timelines, history, present and our future all the while remaining on point. It is only percieved not to be so because of man's interpretation of God. It is through his misunderstanding of who God is, that the bible becomes erroneous. Man does not like to admit he is wrong, but can we be so arrogant to judge the God of Creation? One can try, but they won't get very far. God stumbles the minds of the proud, and although God requires us to make an accounting of scripture, meaning to provide an answer when asked, we are not to make an arguement out of it. Some people will want to argue and try to trip us up and often times the arguement for their supposed sound reasoning is to attack the bible and its authors.
God is the author of scripture, He just used men to take the dictation. It is as simple as that and if they want to argue, well, the fact is that the bible actually backs up archeological evidence that modern day science is not begining to reveal. Masada is a good arguement and so too the dead sea scrolls. They are the only document today that backs up word for word what is in the original Hebrew text.
There are many arguements for the bible, and one other case for unbelievers is that the bible is the only script that teaches about moral conduct in a way that works. Every other 'self help' method teaching out there, even Christian ones that are not in alignment with the correct teachings of Christ, set an individual up for failure. Ever wonder why there are so many exercise and diet and self psycology, self esteem books on the market today? Because self preservation sells. God has the ultimate secret to self preservation and that is getting rid of it for a life of servitude. But this is why we have unbelievers because they don't want to listen to anything that calls them out on the need for change, and thus goes the vicious circle.
Scripture says alot about sex outside a marriage, but because we have a legalistic poing of view of marriage, what God says and what we believe marriage to be does not make sense.
Marriage in God's view is not determined by a piece of paper. One is married once they have sex with a person. Now the God we serve is one who is merciful and full of grace, forgiving us if we ask and sorrowfully turn away from our indiscressions. Sex outside a committed relationship is absolutely wrong. It is adultery and one that in biblical times would see you stoned to death. Why such a harsh punishment? It has to do with the fact that sex had everything to do with procreation. When a couple who believed in God concieved this was seen as a blessing from God and that having a child, meant that you would rear that child up knowing God and teaching that child daily- every single moment of that child's day and life would be centered around God. Having children meant that you were having children for God and not for your own purposes. There is another aspect to a committed relationship that we over look because we do not understand it. The act of sex between two couples ( Man and wife) kept the covenant that was initiated between Adam and Eve going.
The blood of Adam was used to create Eve. Scripture doesn't tell us this exactly, but through modern day science we can know this. The rib bone is one of the few bones that contain marrow, and in the marrow is where blood is made. God tells us that the life of humans and animals is contained in the blood. Hebrew understanding tells us this is a spiritual accentuation of Man or animal also known as 'nephesh'. The nephesh is what animates the body and makes life a coherent methodical thinking creature. The nephesh is what God breathed into Adam's nostrils and scripture through the story of the flood tells us that all life that had the breath of life in it was killed. This breath of life is the nephesh, or the spiritual accentuation of man and animal.
Through this one tiny bone, life was given to Eve, through the blood and by the blood. The blood of Adam given to Eve carried his life, but also the breath of life that came from God. However it was done, God created Eve from Adam but seperate from him as she had her own character. Together they would become one in the unity of sex as the blood bond between them was not yet complete. When Adam and Eve had sex the first time, the breaking of her hymen, would cover him and act as a witness towards their creation and their spiritual union. This is what scripture means as two become one, yes in a baby making sense, but also in a spiritual sense. From one spirit, two were created. From one man, two people were created, man and woman. God uses blood as a witness for His covenants, and the way that Adam and Eve were created was the first blood covenant on earth, this is why God killed the first sacrafice for their sins; blood for blood. They sinned against one another as Eve enticed Adam as they both went against God's rule. They broke the blood covenant before it was even to be witnessed, as it was after thier indiscression did they consumate their union.
sex outside a marriage is adultery and adultery and death are the only things that break the covenant between man and wife. IF the offense is forgiven, then it should be noted that within the marriage to heal and move on, it is as if the infidelity never took place. ( Eventually couples get to that place, not without a lot of hard work, and rebuilding the relationship through communication.)
You have asked some very insightful questions and I hope that I have answered them for you in a way that leaves no doubt. By all means if you have more questions I will be happy to address them for you. I will be keeping an eye out for all experts emailings in the future. Thank you.
marriage: Matthew 5:32 , Romans 7:2 1 Corinthians 7:27
God Bless you,