Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The worst love advice I've ever gotten...

So, with Valentine's Day approaching, the amount of terrible relationship advice that I've overheard or seen online has been horrendous. It got me thinking about the amount of crappy love advice I've received over the years. Granted, it was advice given by well-meaning friends and family that care about me, but it never worked out well for me.

Disclaimer: At one point I followed and agreed with these opinions and even recommended this advice to others.  I'm now viewing this so-called "wisdom" from a biblical view of love and relationships, so if you disagree with me, I'm sorry.

So, below are the top 5 pieces of advice I've been given that now make me cringe.... and what I wish someone had told me instead. 

1. Do what makes you happy. 
"You DESERVE to be happy." No. Actually, you don't. You're a sinner, separated from a perfect God and apart from a relationship with Jesus, you deserve the wages of your sin, which is death. Harsh, I know, but its true. Fortunately, God has given us the gift of having our sins wiped clean by Jesus! But even as Christians we don't deserve happiness. I am not entitled to happiness. There is definitely an unshakable joy that comes from knowing Jesus, but joy doesn't always mean happiness. Every blessing, every moment that you're happy is a gift from God. So my point is, real love isn't about your happiness. It's about the other person's happiness, and ultimately its about honoring God with your relationship.

2. If you can't get someone off your mind, they are probably supposed to be there. 
False, you probably just have a creepy obsession or are in the infatuation stage of your relationship. Don't worry, it happens to most of us girls. It will pass and soon enough there will be someone else on your mind 24/7. 

3. It's good for there to be jealousy in a relationship. 
Ehh, probably not a good indicator of a healthy relationship. Jealousy is generally an indicator of insecurity and control issues. Yes, it shows that you care about the person, but it usually shows that you care about the person in a selfish way. I know that I only get jealous when I'm making another person my idol. I'm letting that person be my security, so when that security is threatened I get jealous. When they aren't giving me the attention I need, I get jealous. My security and identity should be in Jesus alone. He is the only one who will never fail me. 

4. Time heals broken hearts. 
No, God heals broken hearts. God can use time to heal, but ultimately time itself doesn't heal anything, it just dulls the ache. I wish someone had told me that in high school. I just kept trying out all the wrong answers, waiting for time to pass. The answer for your broken heart isn't more time, the answer is putting your faith, hope, and trust in Jesus to be your everything. 

and of course we can't forget the most common advice ever...

5. Follow your heart. (Thanks Disney) 
Actually... don't follow your heart. "The heart is deceitful above all things" (Jeremiah 17:9) is one of my favorite verses because it's so true. My emotions, my heart; it is so fleeting. One minute its telling me one thing, the next its telling me something completely different. Basing decisions solely off of emotions is unwise. Your emotions are not truth. (I have to constantly remind myself of this). They are abstract and constantly changing. Don't trust them by themselves. Use some logic and godly wisdom as well. Save yourself the heartache and follow Jesus instead of your heart.

This is the advice that I wish I'd been given in the past. Honestly, it probably was given to me from my family that loves the Lord, but I didn't want to listen. Today, I'm grateful for God's deep, unfailing, perfect love. I'm going to meditate on this verse today...

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:17-19)

I am so grateful for the women in my life who love the Lord and constantly give me godly wisdom when I'm tempted to listen to the wisdom of the world. Thanks for helping me figure out this thing called LOVE. I love y'all. 

Happy Valentine's Day! :)