Friday, July 20, 2012

Seek Contentment in God's Kingdom

Protect Your Heart: Part 1

One of the dangers found in the culture of dating our society accepts is a broken heart.  While it is impossible to be involved romantically with a person without getting hurt, it is possible to reduce the sting and prevent long term damage.  To do this we have to keep circumstances and relationships in proper focus.

First, remember romance and marriage are not essential for happiness or being a faithful follower of Jesus. We can have a full, productive, and satisfying life following Jesus without a romantic relationship.  It is my belief that one of the things which rob so many Christians of joy during the season of singleness is the obsession of being in a relationship.

I know that was my experience.  Rather than using that time in my life to mature, to prepare for marriage, and to use my time building for God's Kingdom; I used it fretting over the fact that I was single.  Every event, even things like helping with church camp, began to take on this anticipation that maybe this is where I would meet my future wife.  Instead of keeping my focus on where it needed to be, I was thinking about possibilities.

Even the couple of times I was in a relationship, before I met my wife, I couldn't freely be myself because I had to do everything I could to hold on to the relationship.  I did this because I thought those relationships might be my last chance at "happiness."

During the two years between my last break up and meeting my wife I did a lot of praying and soul searching.  This is one of the truths that stood out to me as God brought healing to my heart: You don't need to be married to be happy.  The breakthrough came for me roughly two months before Jenny and I met.  I had a dream and in the dream I was older with my dog Barkley as my only companion, and I was content.  A dream that would have at least saddened me before, if not frightened me, gave me hope.

So many single Christians need to arrive at this point and realize that their lives are more than a relationship.  What brings significance, hope, contentment, and joy to their lives is a life lived following Jesus.  I know this is easier said than done, because I have been there, but it can be done.

I want to remind you of the words of Jesus:
 Jesus replied, "Moses permitted divorce only as a concession to your hard hearts, but it was not what God had originally intended. And I tell you this, whoever divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery—unless his wife has been unfaithful." 
  Jesus' disciples then said to him, "If this is the case, it is better not to marry!" 
 "Not everyone can accept this statement," Jesus said. "Only those whom God helps. Some are born as eunuchs, some have been made eunuchs by others, and some choose not to marry for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven. Let anyone accept this who can" (Matthew 19:8-12; NLT).
Now it is important to remember that this happened within the context of a discussion on divorce.  Because of the high value Jesus put on marriage and commitment the disciples believed it would be better not to marry.

Jesus is not saying that marriage is wrong or sinful, but he is pointing out that there is a higher goal in life, and that is God's Kingdom.  When we seek the Kingdom above everything else we will discover that God will provide everything that we need for life (Matthew 6:33).

In order to protect our hearts we must first set our hearts on what we is the most important: The Kingdom of Heaven.  That is where we will find the joy, hope, and contentment our hearts truly need.


Min.Dre said...

I love how God's Holy Spirit will change you when you focus on Him and not yourself. I don't know if you remember, but it wasn't that long ago when I was going through what ended up being my second marriage and second divorce. I almost allowed that devastation to take me over and consume me. The Lord literally had to take all that i put above Him for me to see that He is all i will ever need. I don't need to find purpose in someone else. I got all the love I need with Christ alone. I have learned to be abased and abound in Christ alone. I am content and encouraged to do God's work. I gave my all to Christ and He took it and used it for His glory. I have learned more about who I am in Christ than I ever could of done alone. No anger in my heart, no malice, no judging about my exes. I just live to serve the King and His people.

Paul Steele said...

That is good to hear Dre. I am so thankful that we worship a God who is so powerful that He is able to turn the bad in our lives into good. Keep focusing on Jesus and His Kingdom!

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