How Can I Follow God's Lead in My Relationships?
- Thursday, March 13, 2014
EDITOR'S NOTE: He Said-She Said is a biweekly advice column for singles featuring a question from a Crosswalk.com reader with responses from a male and female point of view. If you've got a question about anything related to singleness or living the single life, please submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org (selected questions will be posted anonymously).
QUESTION: What is the difference between genuinely seeking and following God's leading in relationships, and merely creating my own destiny? As a man, whenever I seek God, I feel strongly led to initiate and take a certain direction in this arena, and when I do not follow that direction, I do not have a sense of internal peace.
First of all, I don’t believe we can actually create our own destiny.
In the 2005 romantic comedy Hitch, Will Smith played a character known as “the date doctor.” Single men solicited his help in order to initiate a relationship with the women they were interested in. Hitch’s self-described purpose was to “create opportunities.”
We don’t have the luxury of hiring Hitch to do it for us, but we can create our own opportunities and influence our destiny with proper action.
The “difference” you search for is simply between relying on God and relying on yourself.
Seeking and following God’s leading should be a part of all areas of our life, especially relationships. Too many times we make our decisions or take action based strictly upon emotion rather than looking first to God to show us the path to take.
Seeking begins with prayer for an honest understanding of who you are as a person, discernment of knowing what type of woman would help encourage you to be a better man (and you for them), and wisdom to recognize who that person may be.
Once you sense God directing you towards a specific woman, you do need to initiate and create an opportunity to meet and talk to this person. God’s “leadings” must be followed up with some sort of action on our part.
When I’m following God’s will and his desires for my life, I usually don’t have to “make” something happen. Situations seem to move very easily and quickly, and oftentimes I just need to get out of the way and not mess things up.
When I have to justify, make excuses, rationalize, overthink or amass friends’ approval for my actions, I am usually not doing what God wants me to do
As you have found, internal peace comes when you seek God first.
I am so encouraged, as a woman, to read your question and hear God leading you as the "leader" in the relationship. I think the Bible is very clear on the role of the man in romantic relationships and marriage. It's not that women do not have say-so or should feel subservient; it simply means the man does the pursuing. Both parties should be praying and asking for God's leading. Both should be seeking what God would want in your relationship.
Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight (Psalm 119:35).
Now you did ask what the difference is between genuinely seeking and following God's lead and following your own. You know the peace you described feeling? It is the Holy Spirit guiding you and giving you that peace. As you grow deeper in your relationship with God, you will be able to sense his direction for your life. The least turn in the wrong direction will be uncomfortable, feel strange and create anxiousness. While turning in the right direction you will have peace, even in the midst of some storms, and you can know it is what God desires of us.
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