How Relationships Can Help to Refine

I used to work with a person who, when asked, “Why did you marry your wife when you are treated so harshly by her?” responded, “I’d rather be married and miserable than be single and alone.”  What?!  Is that why God created him in His own image, to be married and miserable?

Many relationships experience difficulties because two “incomplete” people enter the relationship wanting the other person to “complete” them (thank you Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire).  Instead of looking for someone else to complete you, look to the Lord.

Draw close to God, and God will draw close to you (James 4:8).
Grow closer to God and learn His will for your life and your relationships.

Evaluate the things you like and dislike about yourself and about those you have been in relationship with. 

Determine how you can become a better person (and mate) and the type of person you want to be with.

The closer we are in relationship with God, the closer we will be to God’s will for our life and the healthier we will be in our relationships with others.

Where are you in the process of being refined, hammered, and purified?  How close are you to being what God created you to be?  Don’t give up God’s dream for your life in order to settle for a relationship, follow someone else’s dream, or because a prior relationship didn’t work out.  Don’t allow your unsuccessful relationships to define who you are, rather use them to refine you into the person God has designed and planned for you to be.

I will keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ Jesus saved me for and wants me to be.  No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven (Philippians 3:12-14).

 Cliff Young is a contributing writer to Sandlot Stories (ARose Books), as well as the monthly column, He Said-She Said, in's Singles Channel.  An architect and former youth worker, he now works with Christian musicians and consults for a number of Christian ministries. Got feedback?  Send your comments and questions to