By: Tim Sader
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. (1 Corinthians 13:11)
Not getting a driver’s license with all my friends was hard on me but I got through it by looking to the bright side and enjoying the freedom I felt when they drove me places. For the most part this worked for me until I got my first girlfriend and suddenly wanted to go places alone with her. I wanted to be the guy who would show up at her house with flowers and pick her up for a date where I would get out and open the door for her. In all my fantasizing about being that perfect gentleman usually dates included a third and maybe a forth wheel. One of them would open the door for me, let me down on the lift, they would open doors and move chairs for me. This seemed awkward to me and I’m sure very different to the girl I was there with. My first serious girlfriend was Wendy who is my friends Ricky and Steven’s sister. She didn’t live with them because she was away at an alternate school but after meeting we would send letters back and forth. Finally she was able to come back home when her behavior had improved. I never saw her as a girl with behavioral issues because we got along great and I could relate with her on a different level. I would listen to her talk about the horrors of group home living so she trusted me and we formed a strong bond. One day after going to church with her grandmother she was dressed up so I asked her to walk with me. I complemented her on her clothes and asked if she wanted me to be her boyfriend; she said yes. We dated through the summer and were on again off again for most of my senior year of high school. A few weeks before prom I wanted to have a special date where I made food and we would have a picnic under the stars. So I made food and asked my friend Joseph to drive us to the river where there was a dock for me to go on. The concept was great but people fished from there and when we were about to eat all we could focus on was the fish guts so we didn’t eat. The conversation was great as it always was but after a while it was time to go so we got on the road and went home.
Wendy and I made some great memories I went to prom with her and she was my first intimate relationship but we were young and it wasn’t meant to last forever. In my twenties we tried to make it work again but we were much better friends than lovers so we decided to keep our relationship platonic. I know it was best because our paths have lead in two separate directions. As teenagers when we find someone to date we have no experience so we are convinced it is love. This is childlike thinking, love is a strong emotion between two potential romantic partners. It should not be something we dive into without getting to know someone and learning about who they are. Being with someone at the deepest physical level is only a benefit of loving our partner but we think the opposite is true when we are young and dumb. When I was thinking this way it seemed like the right thing to do but the Lord knew my motives. We were not committing our ways to Him though; we had no plans or thoughts about our future life together. He cannot establish plans if we had no righteous intentions when we made them (Pr. 16:2-3). Like a muddied spring or a polluted well are the righteous who give way to the wicked (Pr. 25:26). I am not saying Wendy was evil but we both were swayed to give way to wickedness and youthful lust. Fresh water and salt water cannot flow from the same spring and neither can righteousness and wickedness work together (Jas. 3:11). Though Wendy believes in God her ways of believing are different than my own so being with her was unfair to both of us. We were unequally yoked and doing each other an injustice by trying to make what I knew was wrong suddenly become right. Wendy has been a good friend to me, I am grateful of that but now that I am married I know that the Lord had different plans for my future. Now I know He had my best interests in mind and I couldn’t be happier with the wife He picked for me.
Often when we are younger or wrapped up in a situation that we enjoy it is hard to see what the better plan for our lives is. Only God can see the best path for our future and only He can establish our steps so that we go in the right direction. There is little we can do right if we are on a path that is contrary to what the Lord is doing. Stepping outside of His will is choosing to walk in wickedness and no matter how good it feels we will never get it right without seeking Him to make it that way.
Lord I pray for the courage to walk away from situations in my life that are contrary to your perfect will in my life. Help me also to have the stamina to hold onto hard situations that are part of the journey of my life. I trust my future to you and ask that the Holy Spirit will teach me and guide me into the destiny you prepared for me since the beginning of time. In Jesus Name, Amen.
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