Where is God in our Relationships?

I’ve been trying to write about relationships, but I keep running into the same roadblock.  I try so hard to be optimistic about life, but for a few minutes, allow me to express my frustration. 

I love the parts of the Bible where God chooses the humblest of people to accomplish the greatest things.  He chose Moses, the guy with identity issues and a serious fear of public speaking to lead the Israelites back to their homeland.  And let’s not forget that when Jesus was born, it was announced to the poor shepherds before the great rulers.  The angel appeared to them and said “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”  This savior came for the ones who are poor, who are oppressed, for the ones who society rejects.

The entire ministry of Jesus was much the same, from the time he went to eat with Zaccheus the short little tax collector to all the times he healed the blind and the sick and the lepers.  I love the stories when God lifts up the underdog, when he makes it known to the world that this person, the one you probably overlooked is the one I am going to work through.  This is the God I know and love—the one who said in the Sermon on the Mount “the last shall be first, and the first shall be last”

But most of the time, when we talk about how God is involved in our dating relationships, I don’t recognize him anymore.  Mostly, I see a God who gives a lot of bad dating advice. This is the God who says he will bring you the right person “in his perfect timing”, which is usually when we’re not looking.  And God’s timing is worth the wait, even if we’re waiting until we’re 85.

When I see the women who are getting married before I am, I can’t help but notice that most of them have straighter teeth and wear smaller pants.  And when I examine my own heart, I am just as guilty, knowing that I too have passed up a few guys who I’m just not attracted to.  While I know there are exceptions, nobody can deny that in general, the people who society views as more attractive are grabbed up sooner.  I know we could probably debate for days about the role of attraction in dating, we could go back and forth about personal responsibility vs. genetics when it comes to “taking care of yourself”, and we could swap stories about all the reasons we’ve loved someone other than their level of physical attraction.  But honestly, that’s not really my point. 

My point is this:  Knowing the character of God, can we really believe that God is perfectly orchestrating our relationships?  Because I feel like so many of my issues with God and with Christianity over the years have stemmed from the belief that he is playing favorites.  Even when it comes to basic provisions, I think we’re too quick to assume that it is God’s will for us to be eating Thanksgiving leftovers for a week and a half while we have neighbors who are waiting in line at the food bank.  Is this really the way that God works? 

I don’t know if there’s really an answer to this question, but I still feel like it’s worth asking.  I think it’s worth re-evaluating how much of a role God plays in the way we choose a husband or a wife.  We can either admit that we have more autonomy than we think when we choose to love people who society views as beautiful and desirable, or we have to admit that our choices aren’t always a good reflection of God’s true character. 

And so, I’m asking for your thoughts.  How big of a role do you think God plays in our dating relationships and the people who we choose to love?

What I’ve Learned Traveling Alone

This is coming from a girl who sometimes gets depressed staying in a hotel by myself when I’m traveling for an out-of-town wedding. For me, moving to another country was always on my after marriage list. But somehow, at the age of 25, I found myself getting on a plane, trying to overcome the tightness in my chest and fear of being stranded alone in Guatemala when I know exactly three phrases in Spanish.

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On Finding Your Calling

Hi, I’m Becca, and I’ve had ten jobs in five years.

From teaching to church ministry to floral arranging to sports retail—I’ve done it all. I spent a semester as an art student. I’ve moved six times, most recently to Central America. Clearly, I am not one to give career advice. In fact, I could probably write a book about how not to succeed in life. 

continue reading at single roots

Singleness and the Enneagram (New post for Single Roots)

I really hate it when people tell me I need to work on myself before pursuing a relationship with someone else.

Seriously, it’s probably one of my top ten pet peeves, next to guys who ask me out on Twitter. It always comes off as slightly condescending when another person assumes that because I’m single, I don’t possess some vaguely defined amount of self-knowledge and superior morality that every married person in the world must already have.

But even so, I am reminded nearly every day that a part of me is fundamentally broken. I don’t think this is a singleness problem, but a human problem. Continue reading

 

When Everything Goes Wrong

“What are you afraid of?” he said. “Don’t you trust that God has a plan?” I had this conversation with a pastor in the beginning of my junior year of college.  I had spent the summer selling over-priced vegetable plants for minimum wage while my many of my friends had landed great internships, gone on exciting trips, or gotten engaged to the love of their life. The recession was in full swing, and I was terrified of what would happen when I was no longer living my life by a course catalog. God was at work in everyone else’s life, but was he going to take care of me?  [Read more…]

Suddenly, Everything Changed (New post for Single Roots)

“Enjoy it while you can, honey, because once you’re married you’ll just wish you could be single again.”

I’ve heard this one a few times, along with various other pieces of jaded advice from unhappily married women or well-intentioned friends who are trying to make me feel better. I’m sure most singles have experienced this — the “You should be happy you’re single, because marriage isn’t all its cracked up to be” pep talk. When we’re thinking about something we don’t have yet, it’s easy to console ourselves by writing it off and saying it must not be that great anyway. Continue reading

Sunset from Kiliney Hill (Ireland)

Sunset from Kiliney Hill (Ireland)

If Our Hearts Need to be Broken (New post for Single Roots)

To be honest, I haven’t had a lot of good dating experiences. In my 25 years as a socially awkward introvert, I’ve always struggled with the vast differences between the men I want to date and the men who want to date me. Very rarely does someone fall into both categories. If we lived in a world where men idealized women who read a lot of books rather than women who are confident and attractive, perhaps my experience would be different.

Recently, I was reminded of one of my favorite quotes by C.S. Lewis from his book The Four Loves which says, “To love at all is to be vulnerable.” Continue reading