Some of you may have read over on my new blog that I recently had my heart broken. Now, as terrible as that is, it did get me thinking about some pretty important things. One of those things had been particularly heavy on my heart, and that is the fact that we all have a basic template for relationship – whether it be between two friends, family members or in a romantic sense.
This template for relationship came to mind as I was analysing what went wrong in my relationship (or at least, what I think went wrong). Part of what went wrong is that, as a relatively new couple, my ex and I got carried away by the excitement and completely smothered our relationship. We have known each other for some time and he’s always been part of the family, so getting a tad carried away was easy to do, unfortunately. The other major problem we had is that we both made promises to each other of how we would live our lives / how we would date.
I suppose it’s normal, to a degree, to make all kinds of promises and have all kinds of ideas when you’re in love and not really thinking straight. The problem with our relationship is that we made all these promises on Skype, while we lived 1000km apart. This long-distance dating was ideal for keeping our promises, and made up half of our relationship. When I finally moved back home to my family, and consequently closer to him, it was far more difficult for us to stick to our promises. We got caught up in the excitement of finally being together.
As a result, we broke many of our promises to each other. What those promises are doesn’t matter at all, what does matter is that we both failed. I believe that each of us has felt like continuing our relationship wouldn’t work, as we’d failed and there’s no way to fix that or to make sure that we do not fail in future. It’s human nature to feel disappointed in yourself after failing, and I know from experience that if I fail at something enough times I lose all hope of ever getting it right.
This is where the template comes in… Being heartbroken has really brought me that much closer to God. I’ve spent many hours crying out to Him, asking for His love and support. I realised that, because of my many mistakes in life, I don’t deserve any of that from Him, but He is faithful and gives it to me anyway. Let me repeat that: despite my many failures, God still chooses to pour out His love in my life!
What a revelation! I’m most definitely not saying that we should continue to forgive someone over and over again, giving them hundreds of chances to correct their wrongs. What I do think, though, is that in cases like my recent relationship we should not give up simply because we failed each other, but rather that we should pray, talk and consider all the options. In the case of my ex and myself, it really makes no sense to end our relationship purely based on our failures. There’s a clear solution to our problems, and that is to take several steps back and to start dating properly, and not act like a couple who’ve been dating for a few years. This doesn’t mean we’d never make mistakes again, but it would mean that we would be less likely to repeat our past wrongs, as we both know what they were. If I were so selfish as to tell him that it won’t work simply because he failed in the past, I’d be a fool.
His mistakes and failures did not hurt me, and mine did not hurt him (at least not in the way that cheating on your partner or abusing them would, but our failures certainly did some damage). I’m not saying he has to take me back and give us another chance, I’m simply trying to use this as an example for how we should treat people in our lives.
Forgive. If there is a chance of correcting the wrong, and if the wrong is not something huge like physical/sexual/emotional abuse, then ask yourself whether you’d be willing to put in that effort and make that commitment. If more people used our relationship with God (or rather, His relationship with us) as a template for how we should treat each other, we’d see less marriages failing, less fighting and less hate.
God treats us with unconditional love and grace. Should we not then treat those around us with love and grace as well? Yes, yes… I understand fully that there are some things that would prevent us from trusting someone ever again, but for the most part, should we not be more gentle when it comes to everyday, smaller wrongs?
I guess it’s worth thinking about, at the very least! 🙂
**If, by some chance, my ex is reading this, please know that you inspired this post and that I hold nothing against you. In fact, I am proud of you for being man enough to admit that you failed and for allowing me the chance to apologise for having failed as well**