Saturday, August 18, 2012

An Open Letter to Christian Singles

Dear Single Friend:

Every human being has a physical heart. But we also have this place in our soul that is also referred to as our heart. That’s what I want to talk about here—specifically about male/female relationships. I’m no expert in this area, by any means, but I’ve witnessed a lot of heartache and experienced some of my own. It seems most of the heartache is due to carelessness and recklessness—both avoidable. Either way, it appears education in this area of life is lacking. And if we are being taught these things, it’s a little too late because we’re hard of hearing or hard of listening. Unfortunately, it seems we have to learn these truths only by actually going through the fire or watching a loved one go through it.

We’re all born with a new heart which is ready to accept all that life has to offer. As we experience life, events begin to tug at and imprint themselves onto our hearts. All these experiences make us into what we are today—the good and the bad. The good news is that God can use and will use all these experiences for His good and to accomplish His purpose for our lives. But, sometimes we open ourselves up to experiences that God didn’t intend for us.

I believe we need to remember that a person’s heart is not an amusement park ride which is ridden briefly and then we’re on to the next ride looking for bigger and better thrills. The heart is not something that you should offer to just anyone nor should it be taken without permission. 

The heart is the center of the body, the hub where all the important activity intersects. It’s also that metaphorical place where all our emotions are stored. Our Hopes, our Dreams, and the Spiritual side of our lives all reside there. Therefore we need to be really careful with our hearts. (If you have young children, please begin teaching this to them now.)

Our heart should be carefully guarded when it comes to dating relationships. There is an awful lot of “using” going on between men and women. You know the scenario: Person #1 isn’t really serious about the person #2, but decides they’ll keep their company until someone better comes along. Person #2 has no idea what Person #1 is thinking and opens up their heart, willingly handing bits of their heart over to them. When the truth finally comes to light, Person #1 has happily moved on to Person #3. Meanwhile Person #2 is left picking up the broken pieces of their life.

Who is to blame in the scenario above? The way I see it, both parties are to blame. It’s easy to place all the blame on Person #1. Number 1 knowingly used the other person! However, the second party opened his or herself up to this heart-hijacking. In most cases, Person #2 will often have a sense about the intentions of Person #1. But that feeling is often hidden in denial or simply dismissed. It’s quite possible that gut feeling may have been the Holy Spirit warning Person #2. On the flip side, Person #2 may have used Person #1 to selfishly fulfill a need in his or her own life. It’s that lonely, empty place which we try to fill where only God should reside.

Marriage is a covenant relationship ordained by God. I’m sure He never intended for us to leave bits of our hearts and lives scattered amongst a long string of casual dates. Dating is a very modern concept so you won’t find a check list for dating in the Bible. However, you can find lots and lots of information about how to treat other people. For starters, remember the “One-Anothers” and the "Love Chapter"? These Biblical principles apply to those you date too.

To sum it up, Be Careful with Your Heart. The heart is a fragile place, subject to wear and tear, bruising, as well as outright abuse. We also need to have more consideration for others above our own selfish gain. 

Philippians 2: 3-5 says: Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. 
Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,  
not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.  
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.

Sacrificial love = Christ’s love. 
We need to see more of this type of love in all relationships.

I came up with the following list. If you have some constructive ideas to add, please share. This list doesn't need to stop at 10!

Ten Commandments for Christian Singles

Love God with all your heart. If you have a right relationship with God, your relationships with others will be right.
God comes first in your life—before dating, your ministry, or job. Anything or anyone that occupies your thoughts more than God has become an idol in your life. 

Be honest. Keep lines of communication open from the beginning. If you don’t feel like you’ll ever truly be interested in a long-term future with someone, let them know so they can make an informed decision.

Take care of yourself physically, spiritually, and emotionally. It’s good for you and it will be good for your future mate.

Don’t be envious of married people. They have problems too. Many are envious of your freedom! Enjoy it while you can and use your freedom to do things you cannot do when you have family responsibilities.

Know yourself. If you have the temperament to handle casual dating and are able to enjoy it without endangering another person’s feelings, then go for it. But, if you have a tendency to love deeply and loyally, you may not be able to casual date. 

Pray. Stay in constant communication with God. Listen for and ask daily for His guidance concerning your relationships.

Respect the boundaries of others—physical and emotional boundaries. Don’t steal another person’s heart or anything else that belongs to him or her.

Be faithful. Once you embark upon a committed relationship, have eyes only for that person (after God, of course).

Keep silent. Don’t use the “L” word until you are absolutely certain about your feelings. In general, our society is too casual with the word LOVE. We love pizza. We love football. Honestly, love should be reserved for people—friends, family, and mates.

 Text (c) 2012 The Blue-Eyed Babe.

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