Idolatry: the Relationship Killer

I’m only using excerpts from this letter for brevity and to maintain the writer’s privacy. The woman referenced was a long-time girlfriend.

Phil: Sometimes I feel that God is punishing me for something I’ve done by taking the most important thing away from me. After all, I have been spending a lot of time with her, and not as much time with Him.

God should be the “most important thing” in your life. Anything else that is “most important” is an idol. In his own words, God is “a jealous God.” He wants the top shelf in your heart and he has been known to take away things that we put before Him.

Phil: Basically, I think maybe she left me because we spent literally almost 24 hours a day together for the past year, and neither one of us have many friends outside of each other.

I hate to say it, but your instincts are probably right here. If you think you were smothering her, the odds are you were.

Phil: I really want her back, but I don’t know what to do right now.

Have you heard the saying, if you love someone, let them go, if they ever were really yours, they’ll come back again? Back up. Let her go and give it all to God. It sounds like you got too close too fast. Release the relationship to God, tell Him everything you told me, and everything you were too ashamed to tell me, if there was anything. He already knows, so he won’t be surprised.

Casting down idols isn’t easy and when we’ve made a person an idol, it’s as bad for that relationship as it is with God. Putting a person in God’s place puts a burden on them they weren’t designed to carry. The inevitable result is crash and burn.

It sounds like you have a lot of pain and trust issues built up that you need to get resolved before you’ll be ready for marriage. You may want to make an appointment with your pastor to work these issues out, he should be able to direct you (if he’s worth his stuffing.)

I think I should also mention I don’t believe in “dating around,” as she mentioned. The greatest romance of our lives should be with our spouse. The focus for singles should be, in terms of human relationships, on friendship. Romantic relationships should be reserved for exploring the possiblities of marriage in the immediate future. Guard your heart, you want to keep as much of it as possible for the woman you’ll marry someday. Before marriage, the best way you can show love is giving out as little of it as possible, if you catch my drift.

Right now, make new friends, get God back where he belongs, release your past hurts and relationships to him, and give him your future, too. God’s not a dating service, but he does want to help you figure out who he wants you to spend the rest of your life with.

It’s not going to be easy. This will all take spending a lot of time on your knees in prayer. And you’re probably going to need a lot more guidance than I can provide, so again, I urge you to talk to your pastor or another person over you in the Lord in your local body.

In Christ,