My daughter is learning what having a real relationship with a man entails. They’ve dated for 2 years and have talk marraige occasionally, so I believe my daughter is pretty serious about it. She came to me recently, and asked how did we (her father and I) do it when we were just starting off and never got to see each other because of our crazy work schedules. She explained why she was asking saying that she was working 10 hour days and when she got off work, her boyfriend was at work, so they didn’t see each other. She would do things for him like his laundry but usually she was so tired, that was all she would do and she would fall asleep on the couch waiting for her boyfriend to get off work and come spend some time with her. What started happening, however, is her boyfriend would choose to go over to a another friend’s house and play video games and then come home around 2 or 3 in the morning. She began to feel unappreciated and unwanted, hence her question to me.
I explained to her that a serious relationship means that both individuals are committed to the success of the relationship and the happiness of the other person. It takes a little maturity to make the decision to commit but it takes a lot of maturity to maintain that commitment and put the other person first every single day. It gets monotonous. She seems like she’s making that commitment, but he is not so ready for the big plunge.
I believe we are a lot like my daughter’s boyfriend at times when it comes to our relationship with God. We verbally make the commitment but the monotony of daily living for Him gets old and we just want to go out and do something that our flesh really wants without looking to Him for guidance as to the wisdom of our actions. What’s more, when we actively live for God’s will every day, we tend to see more adversity in our lives. We get attacked by the enemy just because we choose righteousness. Psalm 34:19 says, Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
I really like this whole chapter because it reinforces my belief that my choice for God enables God to help me. It explains that if I choose to live for my flesh then I am rejecting God and if I reject God, He can do nothing for me but condemn me. A think a more accurate explanation is that God doesn’t attack those who don’t live for Him, but He can do nothing to help them when they are suffering consequences of their poor choices. It’s a two-way street. God is always there for us but if we don’t clear the way for Him by being faithful to Him and putting our own selfish and fleshly wants beneath Him, then we don’t receive His divine help the way He might like to give. Does that make sense?
My daughter feels unappreciated and therefore she’s threatened to stop doing a lot of the things her boyfriend takes for granted. In a way, God can’t do a lot of the things we have enjoyed in the past because we take Him for granted, lose focus on His purpose and stop appreciating Him in the way we should. Our lives reflect our appreciation for Him by the peace He gives us.