I’ve heard someone say that you meet a whole bunch of the wrong guys so that you can recognize and appreciate the right one when he eventually comes around...
How true this is, I can’t say, but I know that I’m done nibbling on bananas when it is grapes that I’ve prayed for.
Over the years prior to this moment of revelation, I used to find a guy (or he would find me), and I would think to myself that this one might have potential. Then I embark on a bit of a journey getting to know him better so that you can determine a few things... (Some things are just not obvious at first glance). However, sometimes you are able to recognize a few things rather quickly, and here is where I have often made this crucial error in judgement. Let the games begin!
God helps me to understand why it is not a wise path to travel down. I don’t listen (for a variety of reasons over the years), and then I become increasingly attached emotionally – because I continue to invest in the relationship (ignoring the warning signs) and before I know it I am stuck with a guy that is not what I want, but now I have fallen for him and I think things are “complicated”.
Complicated indeed because at this point I stand a very good chance to have my heart broken... (sometimes this has been more painful than other times, but painful nonetheless). Then it goes to stage two of the process.
I try to find a way to “fix” the situation by starting to pray fervently that God would do some miraculous work in this person’s life, because after all, every person has some good buried down inside... hidden treasures, so to speak, if only they would dig deep enough. However my motive is not pure. I don’t want this person to change because I want them to be a better person. Instead I’m not owning up to the fact that I’ve been a fool in not heeding God’s flashing warning signs and now I’m trying to prevent my heart from being broken if the man would just co-operate and change like he’s supposed to.
I acknowledge how he is not a man that I think worthy of marriage, BUT there’s no reason why he can’t BECOME it, right? If only God would wield His magic wand and do a miracle, because after all, we serve a God for whom nothing is impossible and the fervent prayer of the righteous has tremendous power...?
There’s just one problem: You see, when our hearts become clouded with selfish motives we cannot manipulate the Word of God to suit our purposes. That does not make God’s Word any less powerful, but God knows the motive of our hearts when we pray, and He might elect to not answer it the way we want because He knows better. He also knows that you will end up thanking Him for it, even though the consequence of your foolishness is painful for the time being.
Nevertheless, when God has then failed to change this person I would then feel upset as if God has not been true to His Word. (At least I have caught on to the fact that I can’t change people and therefore I don’t even try.) I also get upset with the guy for not wanting to co-operate with God and change, and I feel frustrated because it seems that God has taken a vacation from answering prayers... FERVENT prayers at that!
Through all of my experiences I have finally learned something: If you meet someone and they are not what you desire in a life partner, and can’t live with who they ARE, then don’t waste your time investing in a relationship that has no future. Stop nibbling on bananas merely because there are no grapes and then land up slipping on the banana peel. You can hurt yourself REAL bad, you know? Rather wait till the grapes come around; the man that DOES have the qualities that you’re looking for and then you can nibble to your heart’s content!
You see, potential is just that: an unfulfilled promise of something that is not guaranteed. If a person has the potential to be someone or do something but they don’t choose to fulfill that potential, then you are going to be stuck with the reality of who and what that person IS. Can you live with that? If the answer is yes: move ahead. If the answer is NO.... move out of it. You must remember: "till death do you part" can be a very long time...
If someone DOES improve and grow over time it is a bonus. But if you ALREADY don’t like what you see, and you have no guarantee that they will change, then you need to consider carefully what you are prepared to live with or not. A very dear friend of mine calls it “deal breakers”; Those things about a person that you either HAVE to have to move ahead (not negotiable), or those things that they have that you CAN’T live WITH... Those are determining moments in your relationship – maybe even crucial ones.
I’ve just come to realize that life and time is very precious... I don’t want to waste any of it anymore; not if I can help it. I know what I’ve asked for, and I’m not THAT hungry that I want to nibble on anything other than what I've asked for.
I’ve come to realize that there is a big difference between “till death do us part” love and “love thy neighbor as you love yourself” love. People are precious and valuable, but I don’t marry every one of them for this reason.
When it comes to a life partner... I’ll stick to my grapes, thank you!