There are so many resources on relationships available, each one telling you the exact steps to find “the one” or how to nab the person who “completes you”. But as time went on, I found that each of my romantic relationships was not where I wanted it to be. I was discontent, always trying to find the person that I thought would fix that missing piece in me. What I know now is that on the road to finding the person God has for us, we can fall victim to a lack of contentment in two major areas. This first area is discontent while we are single and the second is discontent in proper boundaries and expectations when we are in a relationship. Contentment is the catalyst for a successful relationship, creating unity between two people. When we don’t have contentment, we run the risk of letting fear lead to settle for less than God’s best.
Discontent in the Single Life
I struggled with this one for many, many years. In my heart, I knew I was meant to one day be a husband and a father. However, I believed that I wouldn’t be “complete” until I had a family. Instead, what I needed to do was work on myself and my contentment in being single before I could ever think about the next step. I started by checking in with myself to see what areas of my life needed healing. Here are the four steps that you can use to protect yourself from discontent while single:
1. Write out a timeline for your life and look for the pivotal points where you decided to move in a different direction. Look at these trigger points:
- Areas that caused pain, happiness, fear, and faith
- Areas where you need forgiveness
- Areas you can offer forgiveness
- Areas where you need to grow and find comfort
2. What do you stand for and stand against?
3. Write out a very detailed list of who you think God wants for you.
- What are their values?
- What is their character?
- What is their potential calling?
- What are their passions?
4. Take the 40-day challenge in which you choose not to date, flirt or seek relationships for 40 days. Instead, take this time to pray and reflect.
After asking myself some tough questions and looking at my life through these steps, I realized I did not have my heart’s desire because my heart was not prepared for it.
Think of the term “soul mate”. Notice the term does not describe a not single soul, but a two-part set. A soul mate does not complete another soul, but rather complements it. Each person is responsible for their soul and its healing. If you are trying to find the right person while wounded, you will only create more pain for you and another person. In order to have a soul mate, you have to be a soul mate yourself, recovering from old wounds and being comfortable in your own skin.
Discontent in Relationships
Relationship boundaries and expectations set the tone for the marriage. It is where lines in the sand are drawn, and stands are made. The single greatest flaw a marriage can have is the couple not realizing they are on the same team. Great teams are made up of an understanding of the roles and positions that have to be played. There are game plans drawn and plays executed. All communication centers around a unified vision, not dominance or a fight for control. Any team pitted against itself can’t succeed, and we see the same wisdom in Scripture:
“Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. (Matthew 12:25, NIV)
Think of your relationship like a triangle similar to the diagram above. The unifying goal of marriage should be to get closer to God, and as we draw closer to God, we will in turn draw closer to our spouse. Just like the plays in a game, we have to know which direction we’re moving in. If the plays aren’t working, it’s essential that we call a timeout and look at the components of the play. If we truly want healing in relationships, we must start with the soul. The soul controls the intentions of the heart and the desires of the mind; we have to heal ourselves first before we can heal our relationships.
“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.” (Matthew 18:19, NIV)
All improvements in life, big or small, start with the decision to improve. The only thing holding you from the marriage you always wanted is our willingness to truly reflect on where you are at, where you have been and where you wish to go.
The Journey Principles offers a spiritual approach to healing your relationships through God’s love.
In your Service,
This blog is dedicated to my amazing wife Karen who breathes life into my heart each day. Thank you, Karen, for seeking God’s will so that when He put us together, we were healed, whole, and ready for the gift. I love you!