When life takes a rough turn

So OK, you don’t need this, your romance is going along just peachy; could you keep this just in case a “friend” needs it sometime? I won’t tell!

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).

There are many ways that life could throw a “curveball,” a “spanner in the works,” but I am specifically thinking of when a Christian young person has his/her heart broken in a romance. You might react by saying, this isn’t exactly a subject dealt with in Scripture, is it? But remember that the Bible is all about the following:

  • Sweet, loving, healthy relationships (of whatever sort, in the church, with those we hope to reach, in our families, and with our friends.) And, yes, a romance is a relationship!
  • As Christians, we are obliged to be loving to everyone; we are not obliged to fall in love with everyone (1 John 3:18).
  • All is not fair in love and war. If the Christian is obliged to be a Christian at work, at school, and with his family, then he is obliged to be a Christian in matters romantic. Again, this does not mean that you must fall in love with a particular person or “You’re not a very good Christian.” It simply means that you do not view that person with disdain or treat him unkindly. Communicate clearly but in Christian love.
  • Whatever happens to you romantically, it is important to remain focused on your primary relationship, that is, with God. Seek his kingdom first, and he will supply what you need to live in a purposeful and fulfilled manner (Matthew 6:33).
  • I do not know an easy way to do this romance thing; there are no sure-fire techniques (you don’t use techniques on other people anyway; you love them!). In romance, you probably need to expect some blind alleys, some setbacks, some detours. How do you find out what another person is like without becoming vulnerable to him (or her)? Unlike the Lord, we cannot see a heart and must spend time with the other, get to know them, and determine things as best you can.

You don’t have to do this solo; do it with the Lord. If you don’t feel you have sufficient wisdom (and who does), ask God (James 1:5). Don’t try to lean on your own understanding. Trust him. In all your ways, acknowledge him, and “he will direct your ways” (Proverbs 3:5,6).

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Stan Mitchell

Stan has preached since 1976, in Zimbabwe, California, Texas and Tennessee. He serves as preacher for the Red Walnut Church of Christ in Bath Springs, TN. He is currently Professor of Bible at Freed-Hardeman University. He is married to the former Marjorie McCarthy, and has one daughter, Tracy Watts. He is the author of four books: The Wise Get Wiser, the Foolish More Foolish: The Book of Proverbs, Give the Winds a Mighty Voice: Our Worship in Song, and Equipping the Saints for Ministry. He has recently published another book, "Will Our Faith Have Children: Developing Leadership in the Church for the Next Generation.

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