When planning our social calendar, we’ll consult our friends, our dates and our wallets. Rarely do we consult God. We often leave God out of this area of their lives because we think God doesn’t know anything about romance or He doesn’t care. But Genesis chapter 2 shows that God is the very author of romance; He knows more about it than anyone. God shows from the very first few chapters in Scripture as He reveals His heart that He intended for people to have a weak-in-the-knees, sweep-you-off-your-feet romance.
Matthew 10:30 shows God cares about everything in our lives—down to the very hairs on our heads. In order for this awesome romance to unfold in our lives, we need to have our attention and love focused on God. He must be the one thing that makes us whole, secure and confident. We must be focused on and fully committed to His will, waiting on His timing and allowing Him to guide us.
But before we move forward into romance, we need to first stop and examine ourselves and where we’re at in relation to where the Lord would have us to be. Imagine a person is driving, and he has a certain destination he wants to reach. He’s looking at the map, but that doesn’t help because has no clue where he is. It’s been miles since he last saw a road sign to guide him. Maybe he’s too far ahead because he’s been speeding. Maybe he’s not far enough along because he’s been taking some wrong turns. Regardless, he’s got to pull over and figure out where he’s at and how to get back on the correct route.
Psalm 18:30 says that God’s way is perfect—and that includes His timing. God has a plan for the relationships in everyone’s life. He has a purpose for each one and a time in which He wants it to unfold. We must be focused on God so we don’t fall behind or get ahead of His timing for romance to unfold in our lives.
We may fall behind because we are not focused on romance, and that is God’s desire. It’s a good thing for someone to be organized and have goals, discipline and boundaries. However, we can be so focused on these things that we don’t allow room for God to work in our lives.
We may get ahead of God because we are too focused on romance. We may feel lonely and incomplete—but we’re not meant to find wholeness, strength, security and meaning in another person. These things are to be found in God alone, and He is longing to be the first source of these things.
We may even feel we can’t start our lives and really be used by God until we have a partner, neglecting the ways God plans to use our spiritual gifts right this moment. We may not be interested in growing or being used by God because of our unmet desires, but what we’re really saying when we feel this way is, “God, I don’t want to do anything for You until You bless me in this area.”
We may also have prematurely attached a name to our desires for romance. This limits God’s ability to work in our lives because we have decided whom to set our hearts on instead of allowing the Lord to lead us to someone.
When we delight ourselves in the Lord, He gives us the desires of our hearts (Psalm 37:4). But Before God fulfills that romantic desire for us, He wants to prepare us for it. He wants to make sure that we’re willing and able to be used by Him no matter where He has us. He wants to prepare us emotionally, spiritually, socially and financially so when He opens the door, it will honor and glorify Him.
Instead of forcing a relationship, we need to take the time to examine ourselves and ask:
· Have I had time to develop as a person?
· Are my time, attention and love focused on God?
· Am I serving God?
· Am I content where God has me?
Considering these questions may prevent us from moving forward into a relationship before God wants us to. Rushing into a relationship prematurely causes all kinds of problems, such as taking some or all of our focus off God or creating a false intimacy that is not built on a solid foundation, which could ultimately lead to sin.
Guided by wisdom and patience, we allow emotions to develop in the order of acquaintance, friendship and then romance. When this happens, very real, deep and biblical emotions grow. As the relationship unfolds, the healthy, genuine love 1 Corinthians 13 describes will be able to develop. As a couple focuses on God and relies on Him to lead the romance, He will bless the relationship. As the two focus on and grow closer to God, they will also be growing closer together.
So as we look at our road maps and figure out where we’re at, the Holy Spirit may convict us to make some changes. This may mean ending a romance or starting a new relationship. Whatever it may be, making a change may not be easy or comfortable. But in Philippians 4:13 and Psalm 34:18, God offers two promises: He will give us the strength to make changes, and He will comfort us as we do.
When we think about romance, we may get many different pictures in our minds. For many, the picture has been painted by Hollywood and the world’s standards. The one accurate thing in this picture is that romance is intended to be a good thing. In His perfect timing, God will bring two different paths together into one path. And as the two focus on God, He will lead them down the road He has set before them—over every bump and around every turn.
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