God never promised to write your love story.

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Months ago I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed and came across a post that set me on edge. To this day, I am still immensely bothered by it.

The post read:

“Being single doesn’t mean no one wants you; it means God is still busy writing your love story.”

I hear that statement and am overcome by the urge to throw something. Why? Because what sounds like a cute, innocent piece of Christian encouragement is actually a dangerous statement that is not in the least bit biblical.

Prior to discovering this post in my newsfeed, I read an article entitled My Marriage Fell Apart, But God is Still Good. At the time I found this article, I had just broken off a 3-year relationship I wholeheartedly believed was heading toward marriage. I was left broken, hurt, and reeling in confusion. I thought this was it. I prayed God would make this work because I believed he was the one. For more reasons than I can mention here, I believed God was writing my love story with this person and had confirmed it to me. Yet suddenly, it was over.

In the article, the author described the experience of her marriage ending. She did everything “right,” she believed God had orchestrated her relationship with her husband, and yet still she found herself with a completely unexpected, devastating ending. In the time of soul-searching that followed after her husband left, she came to ask the question that hit me right in my hurting heart: What does God promise me, exactly?

Like the author of that article, I came to realize that I had somehow latched onto faulty theology. Even though I had the best intentions, prayed wholeheartedly for my relationship to work, and thought I did all the right things God required me to do, I was not exempt from experiencing the heartbreak of losing a relationship and all the dreams that went with it. I was angry that God had seemingly let down His end of the bargain; He didn’t come through. Yet this woman’s story spoke truth right to my hurting soul.

God doesn’t promise us a certain outcome; He promises us himself.”

Having attended a Christian college where finding a spouse was almost as important as picking a major, I inevitably adopted some seemingly innocent (yet untrue) views about how God and dating work. Now on the other side of a failed dating relationship, I wonder: Where in Scripture does God promise to write our love stories? Where in the bible does God promise to give us a spouse? Sure, there are cases in the Old Testament where God provided men and women with spouses, but nowhere are these instances painted as being the norm.

How has the Church come to promote such unbiblical and dangerous views of singleness and dating?

Before you dismiss me as being a bitter Christian who had a bad dating experience, please stop for a moment to think about this statement again.

God doesn’t promise us a certain outcome; He promises us himself.”

In an age where Pinterest weddings and perfectly edited engagement pictures saturate social media, it can be difficult to notice when our cultural expectations start to seep into our view of God. We hear of friends and family members starting to date, getting engaged, planning weddings, having babies—you name it—and we begin twisting God’s Word ever so slightly to bring comfort to our unfulfilled dreams.

I started to see verses about God’s faithfulness to fulfill His promises as guarantees that He was going to make my relationship with my boyfriend work. My life became less about loving God and getting to know His heart, and more about obsessing over how He was going to orchestrate this one part. I was completely distracted from God by hyper-fixating on what I thought He’d promised me.

Fellow followers of Jesus, please don’t miss this. God is not your fairy godmother, and He is not busy writing your love story. God is our heavenly Father who is busy running the universe, fulfilling His plans for you, and for me, and for everyone. He’s busy working out every detail of your life for your good, including all your unmet dreams and your deepest, unsatisfied longings. He’s busy writing your life’s story. If that story ends up including a fairytale love story, or a broken love story, or only the hope for a love story, you need to know this truth.

It’s going to be okay.

God is still good, and trustworthy, and faithful. He still loves you immeasurably more than you could ever comprehend. He has great plans and purposes for you. All He asks of you is that you seek Him, imitate Him, live a life of love, and follow the example of Jesus.

God doesn’t promise us a certain outcome in our friendships, our marriages, our professional lives, our dating relationships—fill in the blank with whatever it may be. He promises us Himself. He promises us an eternity with Him free of tears and pain and sorrow. He promises us His unchanging love.

And that, I am learning, is enough.

~~~

Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. (John 14:27)

Be sure of this: I am with you always. (Matthew 28:20)

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