Give her a ring or move on. Bold huh? Not really. This is something I had to wrestle with. This is something I had to do. There is a Scripture in the Bible that says: “When I was a child, I thought as a child but when I became a man I put away childish things.”
I became an unashamed born-again Christian at the age of 17. Before the age of 17, I was a full-blown immature child. When it came to relationships with the opposite sex, I was no good. I struggled. Lying, manipulating, poor treatment and just doing whatever I wanted.
I didn’t grow up with great representations of how a young man should treat a lady. I learned how to treat women from the movies I watched, from my boys and what I thought in my head was right. So when God got a hold of me at 17, I knew there were many changes to be made. Starting with my view on love, relationships and women.
For many years, I was destroying relationships because I wasn’t getting to the root of my problems.
From the ages of 17 – 24 my relationship with God began to grow and develop. I was intentional on seeking Him. I was intentional on learning how to understand His word and actually apply the word to my daily living. Although I was intentional on growing with God, there was not a lot of intentionality and effort being put forth on how to develop a healthy relationship with a woman. My maturation process of growing from a boy to a man was slowly beginning to happen.
As I was in this stage of maturation, God began to reveal to me, that I had a lot baggage from my past that I needed to hand over to Him. During these 7 years of maturing, learning, struggling and growing, I had to learn the hard way that a person’s heart, in particular, my heart needed to be clear of feelings and emotions from past relationships before entering into a new relationship with a daughter of the King.
By the age of 24, I found myself feeling far away from the man God was shaping me to be. I knew my life had so much more to offer than being this disoriented, skewed guy toward relationships.
I once heard someone say: “A vision of the future transforms how you live today.” So at the age of 24, for about a year and a half or so I went on a quest of singleness. I had no attachments or commitments. I was truly focused on sitting with God, being at His feet and allowing Him to pour into my heart.
I desired to grow as a leader and future husband. I took action. I began to surround myself with wiser, mature Christian married men with healthy marriages. I also prayed continually for the Holy Spirit to work on my heart and for God to continue to prepare me for the person that I would enter into relationship with. I was intentional on praying about the direction God wanted me to go in with choosing His best for my life.
So there was this girl name Jasmine. Jasmine and I began to date back in 2007 at the University of Detroit. We had known each other since the 7th grade. (She always had a crush on me ; ) When I got to U of D in 07 to play basketball, she was there pursuing her education and she was apart of the cheer team. I always knew there was something different about her so like any other man on the planet would do, I began to pursue her. She was playing hard to get. I actually had to put some work in for this girl. After a couple of months of hanging out, getting to know each other, we jumped into a relationship.
Our relationship, like most started off great. There was much laughter, romantic dates, we were staying up all night talking on the phone, sending long lovey dovey text messages and so on. (This is when side kick was popping! If you don’t know what a side kick is, google it) A few months into our relationship, a few arguments began to pop up. I thought this is normal. This is what couples do. Then the arguments became apart of our relationship. All of a sudden we found ourselves having fall outs. We discovered something was not okay in our communication toward one another and instead of me seeking help, advice, guidance and counseling, I decided to break the relationship off.
Jasmine and I were together for two years before I broke off our relationship in 2009. From 2009 – 2011 after our break up, we were messy. We were hanging out, texting, calling, getting jealous of each other when we would talk to and meet new people, continuing our arguing, etc…
Although I was a Christian at this time, I was 19 and 20 during our time of dating. As you learned in the beginning of this post, I was in the maturation process. At the same time, I was in the process of making mistakes after mistakes. Going from a child to a man, there’s a stage in there called puberty. I won’t go into detail, but you and I know there is a lot to learn during puberty.
Toward the end of 2011, Jasmine shared with me that she was done and she was moving on for good. She shared that she was tired of me playing games with her heart. I was thinking, “yeah whatever, she will continue to be around.” I’ve heard her say this before but for some reason, this time when she said this to me, it seemed to be serious. And she was. We stopped communicating. For 6 months, we were disconnected. We didn’t say a single word to each other.
One day, in April of 2012, I got a text message from Jasmine wanting to talk. At this time, I was thinking, “what the heck does she want? I am sure she is working her way toward engagement by now with another guy, and she is about to tell me all about it.”
She insisted on getting together to talk. She had something she wanted to share with me. When we got together, she shared she still had deep feelings for me and she didn’t know what to do. By this time, I had spent the past 6 months of my life getting over the feelings I had for her, so this conversation came as a total shock.
After the conversation, Jasmine and I slowly began to rebuild our friendship. We were sure to take a different approach. An approach with healthy boundaries. We both had grown tremendously in our walk with God. From being away from each other and disconnecting ourselves, we allowed God to work on our hearts. (Thank God for that) And at this point in our journey, at the end of April of 2012, I had moved to Benton Harbor, MI to serve in ministry (2 hours & 15 min away from Jasmine).
On December 31, 2012, Jasmine and I were at the church I served at, Overflow Church with about 40 – 50 people for a New Year celebration. I had asked her to join me in the sanctuary to go pray. She had no idea, I was going to ask her to court me after the clock hit midnight. (If you don’t know what courting is, click this link: Dating vs. Courting As we went to the altar, I expressed my desire to court her. She said yes. We kneeled down and I prayed for our relationship.
There came a point in my life where God helped me realize, that I cannot continue to call myself a man of God with integrity and continue to play and hurt this woman’s heart. I needed to let go of my childish ways.
5 months later, I found myself asking her to be my rib. To commit our love to an everlasting covenant. To hold my hand in marriage. For her to become my fiance. To take all of our flaws, our baggage and move forward, working together on the same team.
See proposal video below!
Love Goes On:
I have to be honest with you. Maturing and growing was not easy. I kept creating excuse after excuse, wasting her time and my time. I learned that it is easier to say, “God have control of our love and relationship,” then it is to actually live this out.
My friend, please hear me out. If you are a believer then you already know how desperately we need to depend on God. We need to live out our convictions and allow His life to flow through our relationship. We need to honor the word of God that we read with the way we treat one another and the way we live our lives.
So often I see Christian men and women in relationships confused, hurting each other, not willing to work out the difficulties of life together. (This was me!) We have to stop treating each other as enemies and continuing to say we love each other. This is not love my friend. Love keeps no records of wrongs and it does not harm. (See 1 Cor. 13:4-8)
If we don’t first love God, then ourselves, how can we expect to wholeheartedly love another person?
We will not always get it right. We will never arrive nor be perfect but we can share God’s love unconditionally with the person God places in our lives. We have to be willing to sit still and allow God to work on our hearts. We cannot fix our problems ourselves. We need God and people that have been in our shoes to help us grow into the people and couples that God desires for us to be.
So I will end with this:
Sisters: Don’t allow a man to come between you and God. Do not allow a man to run over you. Don’t waste your time chasing someone that does not want to be with you. Embrace your singleness. Seek God. Depend on God. He will come through. Pray hard and allow God to work on your heart.
Brothers: We have to do better. God has called us to be leaders. We need to take care of our sister’s heart. We have to stop playing games. We need to know what we want. We need to be Christ-centered, love focused, with a heart full of integrity, living with diligence in our daily lives.
Sisters: So what is it going to be my sister? Are you going to let God have control of your heart and relationships? Will you be honest about your struggles? Are you going to choose God’s best for your life or are you going to continue to waste his time and yours?
Brothers: So what is it going to be my brother? Are you going to let God have control of your heart and relationships? Will you be honest about your struggles? Are you going to choose God’s best for your life or are you going to continue to waste her time and yours?
As men of God, we are entitled to treat a woman like the daughter of God that He created her to be. I pray we can lead the way for our generation and for future generations.
It came to a point where, God impressed upon my heart, “marry her or move on!”
P.S. What are your thoughts toward love? What do you need to submit to God? Would love to hear back from you!