5.12.2012

I have a boyfriend.

And His name is Jesus.

Relationships are hard. Period.

They add a whole new plane to the balance of life. You have to guard your heart emotionally and physically. You have to spend time with friends and keep them close rather than spending all your time with the person you are dating. You have to know where the lines are in the relationship. You have to be able to communicate well. You have to be Christ-like and humble in all your actions towards them and others. You have to basically lay down your pride every single day.

I am very perceptive towards people. God blessed me with a discerning heart and an observing personality. I observe relationships. I observe how people interact, and I also look at my own experience.

These are some of the things I've seen:

Each person desires something out of the other. This expectation is the product of our language of love. Either one interprets love by touch, time, gifts, service, or affirmation. Too much of one of these can ruin a relationship and allow it to be an idol.

  • Too much time can allow either person to put the other on a pedestal. This causes hurt not only within the hearts but also in other people around them. People are offended by losing their friend. Also, God is offended because someone has stolen the heart of his son or daughter that is rightly His is in the first place.
  • Too much touch can cause hearts to harden and turn away from God. Future spouses feel robbed of the part of the heart that is given away physically to the previous broken relationship.
  • Too many gifts can feed our pride. The girl can think she can take advantage of the guy and entice him to get her anything she wants. She's taking away money that is rightfully God's in the first place. This causes hearts to love materials rather than the Lord.
  • Too much service is taking away the service we first owe to the Lord. Our hearts of service are for God, and if He asks us to bless one another then we obey. 
  • Too much affirmation can pierce our faith. A girl can put too much weight on what a guy promises to her. A guy can have too much faith in himself to carry through.  We put our faith first in the cross, and that allows us to have faith in one another. 

People always say that, "You should put God first before the relationship." I never really understood what that meant. I thought it had something to do with praying and devoting time to God. It's really not about that. It's about laying down your built up pride about yourself, even backwards pride, which is thinking that you're so undeserving that you shouldn't have the blessings given to you, and making your day about the Lord. It's about serving God with both of your hands, and not with one hand holding someone else and one hand lifted to Him. Both hands of each individual are lifted, and both encourage one another to walk in purity and service to the Lord. 

5.02.2012

Let His will be done.

I find college to be a very interesting concept.

We stick however many thousand young adults on a piece of land with buildings and make them learn something. Maybe they'll get a job for what they've learned. It's weird, but we put so much thought into one phase of our lives that could be better spent in other places. Although, I know I'm supposed to be here at Grove City serving the Lord. It's just odd how we decide to end up in such a place like this.

One of the most important aspects of a campus is community. Think about it. What really put you over the top to go to your college of choice? For some it's academics, for others it's doctrine, and for a lot it's about community. Most people that decide to go to Grove City say the community is one of its best aspects.

I chose Grove City mostly for the community. For an entire semester, I didn't really find it. I found friends, and I saw friend groups forming. I tried to do things with groups, but I found myself dissatisfied, still looking for intentional community. I didn't know why, but I felt really alone. Where was the passion and drive to act on the passions God has given us? Grove City seemed so stagnate to me for a while. I heard and talked a lot about Jesus, but I didn't see Jesus. I didn't see communities actually listening to God and seeking to live the way Jesus did. Everything that was said to me seemed so dry. Complacency threatened to take over my spiritual life.

One day, towards the end of first semester I went to my mailbox to check my mail, but who gets mail the day before they leave? A student on campus approached me asking if she could share with me what God had told her about me. I was amazed. I didn't know anyone on campus with that kind of boldness. So we sat down on the mailbox bench, and I listened to beautiful pictures that this passionate girl had for me. She shared with me encouraging words specific to my life... and she didn't even know me! She had just met me for goodness sake!

We prayed for an hour. It wasn't a bow our heads and pray for a good day prayer. It was a let's listen to God and hear what He would like to speak to our hearts prayer. This wonderful friend in Jesus spoke to me so many different words of wisdom. I was completely blessed. She brought me into a community that was exactly what I was seeking. God answered a prayer I didn't even necessarily pray! I just desired something, and He heard that desire. I've been diving in this community this whole semester, and I can't wait to experience more of the fullness of His Spirit. At Grove City, I never felt the sharing of the Spirit of God like I felt it that Saturday night.  It was open and completely God-honoring.

God works everything out in the end. Our choices about college and who we spend our time with is essentially not our own.  We just have to stop pretending we can control our own lives and leave it up to He who knows all things.

If you want to know more about the Spirit of God (and go to Grove City), come to Sticht Auditorium from 7 - 8:30 pm on Thursday, May 3 to hear a conversation on the Spirit of God between Dr. T. David Gordon and Jim Baker.