Knowing whether to build a relationship with God or with man is a question many single moms face. Many more will question whether they can do both simultaneously. Nothing exists in a vacuum, so there is often an almost tangible urge to replace what was lost with something new. Because of this, when faced with the workload, overwhelm, and worries of single motherhood, the desire to have someone share those burdens with is immense.
It is devastating to have your self-worth tied up in a relationship and then have that relationship end. Women were made to be desired and loved. We are made to nurture and love. Our hearts crave this more than diamonds, more than dream vacations, and even more than we crave perfect husbands. Additionally, many single moms crave this even more after a breakup than before. That said, forming the right relationship after a breakup is important. Too many subsequent Marriages end in yet another divorce. Too many women are left feeling deeper in the hole. Worst of all, too many children are left torn in two with multiple half and step siblings and at risk for abuse, promiscuity, and worse, losing their eternal souls.
Before a single mom can begin forming a relationship, she must understand the fundamental differences between building a relationship with God and building a relationship with man.
Differences in Building a Relationship with People
Building a relationship with God is done differently from how we build relationships with people. In our human connections, we should proceed slowly. Trust needs to be built over time and needs to begin with ourselves. We must trust ourselves before we can begin to truly trust another. We must be strong in order to appreciate strength. We must be tested in order to recognize those who have passed their own tests.
Without knowing and understanding ourselves and our purpose, we cannot have a solid relationship with another person. When we are constantly shifting who we are, we build on sand rather than on rock. Our relationships become like spaghetti thrown at a wall to see what sticks. We cling to someone in desperate hope of finding security and love or we fall flat to the floor. The former leaves us confused and drained with the effort to make the relationship last. The latter leaves us defeated and doubting and desperate to throw ourselves at the next relationship hoping there we will find meaning, dignity, and love.
It is only when we know who we are and understand our worth that we can build a solid, loving, lasting relationship with another person worthy of us. This takes time and godly discernment, and is not to be taken lightly. Building a relationship with another human being means getting to know him or her in various aspects. It is helpful to see that person interact with family and friends, with strangers in the grocery store, and with those driving down the freeway. It is necessary to see that person when life is going well and when it is not.
In the wedding vows, husband and wife promise to love, honor, and cherish one another in sickness and in health, for richer and poorer, in good times and bad til death do them part. This is a good measure for any trusting human relationship, but it should not be thought of first in the Marriage ceremony. As the relationship dance begins, we should always be looking for clues about how the other person acts in sickness and health, in wealth and poverty, and in good times and bad. We should be looking for red flags, caution signs, and green lights detached from our desire for certain outcomes. These should help us decide whether to move forward in our relationships or stay back. When building a relationship with any human being, we should see that person in various circumstances and let trust build slowly and mutually over time.
Building a Relationship with God
Building a relationship with God is different from building a relationship with mankind. When building a relationship with man we should wait to see how things develop and give our trust over time. When building a relationship with God, we should begin with trust and wait in that trust to discovering how God moves over time.
We should trust God to be all powerful, all knowing, and all Loving. We should trust God’s call to be obedient to Him whether or not we understand why. We should trust God to forgive us when we are disobedient. We should trust Him to give us good and permit us bad so we learn to understand ourselves and Him better and grow to love both.
When we begin our relationship with God on trust, we should move through life looking to see how the Trinity Loves, honors, and cherishes us. We trust and then move through sickness and health, riches and poverty, good times and bad. We see His work as we go through these phases, but sometimes we see Him even more when we watch a loved one suffering. It is in our hardships that we learn the power of trust and the extent of our own ability to love. Alternatively, it is in our hardship that we succumb to our own weakness and move away from trust.
A relationship with God does not mean moving away from Him when what would be considered red flags in human relationships occur. It means moving closer to Him instead. Everything, red flags, cautionary prickles on the back of your neck, and joyful green lights, provide the opportunity for to increase trust in the Creator of Trust. As with all human relations, there will be times of encouragement and joy and times of doubt and even dismay. That is part of life and part of our broken human experience of love; however, when we commit to building our relationship with God on trust and refuse to be pulled away by Satan’s distractions and ploys, we grow always closer to Him.
Building Relationships with God and Man
Relationship building is very important. We are created for fellowship. We are made to love, but we must get the order of that love right if we want to fully love and be loved by others. While relationship with man is based on shared experience and built on trust, relationship with God must be based on trust and then built on shared experience. Too often we try to reverse these and end up in a mess. Sadly, others, our children, extended family, society, Church groups, schools, and more end up paying the price for our disordered affections.
Building a relationship with God is performed in the reverse order of our broken human relationships. It begins with trust without understanding or proof. It is not a lack in God, but a lack in our trust of Him that makes our relationship with Him difficult. At the same time, when we move ahead in trust despite the unanswered questions, our relationship, our trust, our ability to love becomes oh so powerful!
I will return in a few weeks with tips on how to build a personal relationship with God, but for now, I pray you simply commit to doing so. Agree to live life backwards. Submit to trust in Him and then move through life patiently waiting to see how that trust will be fulfilled over the long haul.