I applaud you and understand.ladies and lads that think they need to be close to perfect in order to have a relationship with someone.
Yes, maybe there are some things that need to be improved in regards to character and faith... I completely understand. Relationships are serious business and one does not want to enter them with things that could cause conflicts and burdens. However I think those excuses are not always valid disqualifiers for relationships.
Now do not get me wrong, there are some situations where yes they are, and it is best you do not date in those cases. Like, if the Lord has maybe ministered to your heart in that particular area in relations to relationships and instructed you not to proceed or if in the last relationship you noticed that this particular thing was causing EXTREME problems.
My thing is this: conditions are never going to be perfect for relationships. There is always going to be something that needs fixing in our lives…we are like a walking construction site! That is why dating in the world is a joke. What makes us different as Christians is that we have The Handy Man who helps us fix it.
Too often though, I think people begin their own construction but do not check with the Handy Man first. They start restricting off areas without realizing that maybe He had plans on using that area to help them in their remodel, relationships specifically.
I find it funny because we are quick to restrict “relationships” we say, when we are reconstructing, but we do not postpone friendships or forbid new friendships. Well, friendships are relationships too! But when it comes to these special “romantic entanglements” we deem that field forbidden until we are at our best... until we think we have the perfect time needed to handle a relationship. Until we think we are at just the right place with God. Until we think we are nearly perfect and totally compatible. But we have in a sense made ourselves incompatible…because what is going to happen then, when our “perfection” starts to fizzle? ;)
Romantical relationships are often one of the main areas to be wrapped with DO NOT ENTER caution tape when people start their DIY projects. Realistically though, when it is a healthy relationship, it can be used to help build you up maybe even more so than you trying to fix yourself on your own. Maybe you’ve had a leak, and for years you have been trying to patch this leak. Well, when you get another person on the job, they may have the perfect innovative idea that will patch the leak right up.
I mean...um, they are called “help mates” for a reason—not to say that whomever one is dating is going to be the person they marry. But a relationship is prepping for being a “help mate”, and being a “help mate” is going to definitely require some “fixing” skills.
One is not automatically granted “fixing” skills when they say vows and come back from the honeymoon; these skills must be developed. Some people get some skills developed before marriage, and they do so by taking on “projects”.
Let’s say you see a “project” you might be interested in. You study the project a bit, familiarize yourself with it and find you really are intrigued by the design and vision. So you decide to take on the job. You are working on the project and something goes wrong. So you pull out your toolbox and begin to work through and learn how to fix the problem. In fixing the problem, you are becoming familiar with the tools and are therefore one step closer to being a real Craftsman.
Sometime during the project, you realize that it is not really an adequate project for you. So you resign from the project. Although your work on the project is finished, you are still leaving with skills that will help you on your next site. This way, when you get to your life project, you will have some background experience on how to fix certain problems when they occur.
Now this is not to say go out, pick up a hammer and start pounding everything you see and taking on every project offered. Some people can learn everything from one project and stick to it and work on it for life. Some people go through many projects before they find their life project. The mindset and goals of the construction worker, though will play a major role in determining how many projects he will take on before he chooses one for his life project. But even when choosing projects, he needs to choose wisely.
However, the number of projects one has is not the main concern. What ultimately matters is that your project is approved by the Handy Man.
Some people find it hard to know if their project is approved or rejected by The Handy Man. But know that just because He does not necessarily say anything directly does not mean that entering a project is it wrong. As my marriage and family teacher put it: “You will know when it’s wrong.”
And you will.
Sometimes we end taking up projects that we were not supposed to take up. That’s alright, take the skills you learned and move on. Don’t be afraid to pick the hammer back up again, though. If you see a project that interests you, do some investigation, check with the Handy Man and see if it has the potential to be a life project.
But back to reconstruction. Yes…working on oneself is all fine and dandy. What is not fine and dandy is thinking that you will eventually reach a condition that will be “perfect” for a relationship. Sure, some conditions are better than others, but at the same time it is important to learn to be able to work through ALL CONDITIONS.
I mean after all, once you are married, there is no calling “time out” when you feel the conditions are not right for a relationship at the moment. One cannot say “Honey, I do not have enough time in my life right now for this marriage relationship between work, church, and volunteering at the Y. Regroup in six months?”
It all sounds kind of silly then, when you put it that way doesn’t it? Anyways, moving on..
There will be times during a marriage that one or both members is going to need a SERIOUS spiritual refresher…but that person is not going to get a divorce to do so! There are going to be times when one feels like they have no time…but you do not end the marriage over it! The marriage will carry on because the two will learn to work through it TOGETHER. They will build each other up. They are each other’s HELP MATES.
This is why I think that having those “perfect conditions” in order to be in a relationship is unrealistic. Why? Because those "perfect conditions" are not going to stay perfect forever and are not necessary to make things work. Those perfect conditons are to help our own ego, to make us feel that we are more perfected and worthy of the relationship.
What I am trying to say is that work in progress should not necessarily mean DO NOT ENTER. Who knows how the right person would be able to help us out? Sometime we find that in order for work to really actually progress that we need a helping hand :)
But perhaps I think this way because I look at things from the perspective of the big picture: marriage.
Ultimately, I know that I want to get married one day and if I cannot learn how to work with someone to help learn to manage my time, fix my spirit man, and other problems in the practice game now or to be able to do so when someone else is in the picture…what is going to make it any easier then?
Relationships are practice for marriage and in a marriage a couple can learn and be strengthened when the conditions are not always picture perfect.
There are many things about myself that I need to work on and change. I need to work on my relationship with Christ, I need to work on some of my habits, and I need to work on listening skills just to name a few lol. But I am working on them now, while I am single. Therefore, for me, self improvement does not mean that I would not get into a relationship. Instead, it just causes me to be even more cautious about the project I think to take on (or, since I am a girl, who would be taking up my project..lol). This is because I know that whoever is trying to take up my project needs to show qualifications of being able to be a help mate (and for me, I am preparing to be a help mate also) to me and to not cause us both to become stalemates. But realistically, dating someone who is not trying to help you anyways does not really sound like a good idea…lol :)
So, you have just read a snippet of Faith’s relationship thoughts. But these are all just opinions. I mean, the girl is not relationship philosopher…so she will stick to what she is: a student…yes, off to homework..?
Great Faith in a Hidden Place
When I read the Christmas story this year I realized that the many times I had heard and read the story before, I never really gave much thought to Joseph. When hearing the first few chapters of Luke that comprise this story, you always tend to focus on how amazing Elizabeth’s pregnancy was, Zechariah’s unbelief, Mary being a virgin and giving birth to Jesus, etc etc etc. But, who really stops and takes a look at Joseph and the great faith that he possessed as well?!? Today, we will do just that!
Imagine being engaged to the love of your life and finding out one day that she’s prego! And you, my friend, are not the father!
First thought that pops into your head, “OH NO SHE DIDN’T!!!.”
Second thought, “How will I explain this to the family???”
Third thought, “Getting that ring back!!!”
Now, Joseph probably didn’t have those same exact thoughts per say but you can only imagine what he felt like. The Bible says that “Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.” (Matthew 1:19).
After he had thought about all of these things, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and explained the whole situation. Joseph went on to take Mary as his wife and did everything as the angel had instructed (Matthew 1:20-24).
Now that ladies and gentlemen is what I would definitely classify as great faith! How many men that you know today would have been able to do what Joseph did? That’s what I thought.
In thinking about Joseph I just want people to realize that anybody can have great faith, as long as you have a few simple things. One, you need a situation, doesn’t matter how big, small, complicated, simple. Two, you need to be willing to hear from God. If Joseph had gotten angry and made a rash decision, he could have easily missed what the angel had to say. Three, you have to be willing to act on what you hear. Joseph acted on what he heard, and we all know how the story went!