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Can I miss an ungodly relationship in a godly way?

Can I miss an ungodly relationship in a godly way?

Can I miss an ungodly relationship in a godly way?

I ask myself questions like this a lot:

1. “Is it wrong to miss what God doesn’t desire for my life?”

2. “Is it wrong to grieve a relationship that was sinful?”

3. “Is there a way I can hurt AND grow in love for Jesus?”

Considering these questions, I want to give you 3 gospel truths I find helpful in these moments.

There is freedom in knowing that Christ chose us

Don’t allow yourself to remain in a state of shame and guilt; of course you have a sinful heart! You have a heart that Christ needed to die for. But because of that death, you are in Him, and there is no power in the world that takes you from the power of the one who made it. If your main concern isn’t Christ, then that only means you can go to your Father and ask him to be those things for your heart. Christ will never let you go no matter what your feelings say.

God wants you to experience His closeness in times of heartache”

God reassures us in our pain

Psalm 147:3 tells us “he heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds”. This says so much to us about God’s character and our relationship with Him, He’s someone who can actually see into our hearts. He sees the ugly thoughts inside us that we are so ashamed to reveal to even the people who love us most, and He looks into the hearts of weak, small and broken people while holding up galaxies. This verse is telling us that God is aware of the struggles we face; He is not blind to it. And He intends for there to be a healing process that comes from Him. Not only that, He intends for you to experience His closeness in times of heartache. It does not make you ‘unchristian’ to need God’s help; it defines you as a Christian. We are defined as children who lean on our Father to carry us, and it actually glorifies Him when we do so. But what does it mean for Him to “heal” hearts? When we look at the expression used of “binding up their wounds”, we see this is up close, this is personal! Has anyone ever given you stitches or mended a cut without touching you? God reaches into the heart and heals the brokenness in it in, a process our minds just can’t comprehend. In this beautiful Psalm, God is showing us such an intimate and beautiful picture of His pursuit of us in our heartache. What does this mean for us as we ask these questions? It means God is telling us, he knows what we feel and He doesn’t want us to hide it from Him, He wants us to bring this to Him, because there is no better place to be than in His craftsmanship.

When we are attracted, we can give the other person Christ-like love

It is never wrong to love, but it is wrong to replace cross-like love with our selfish affections. When attracted to another person, I only ever thought about what that was doing to me; I only recently realised that if He doesn’t want this same-sex relationship for me, then He also won’t want me to be a stumbling block for her. I thought I was rejecting a love when I refused the idea of us as a couple, but I was actually loving the other person the way God desires me to, because He also desires to have them as His child. His love is one that never selfish, but was in fact one that laid down all the rights that He deserved (as God) to bleed gruesomely for hearts like me who deserve only punishment.

I refuse to make you for my gratification. That's how much I love you”

Desiring Christ does not lead to hating the person who tempts us into sexual sin; instead, it truly loves them by saying, “I love you, and because of that I will not be a barrier to you knowing the only love that can complete you. He will love you so much better than my selfish desires ever could. I refuse to make you for my gratification and satisfaction. That’s how much I love you”.

When I find myself struggling with temptation or heartache, I find it helpful to think on these questions:

1. Is my main concern to be close to God in all things?

2. How do I see God and His character? Who is He to me? 

3. What is my definition of love? Does this echo a Christ-centred love?

4. What is making it difficult for me to seek Christ wholeheartedly? 

5. What can God do with this pain left over from my attraction to another human?

This article was published in the Christmas 2018 edition of the TFT magazine, Ascend.