I sat across from my friend of 7+ years on her comfortable, homey sofa and tried to ignore the figure sprawled out on the floor at our feet. Her boyfriend, who was intently watching some sort of cartoon (Batman maybe?) on what I assumed to be her laptop, was not even worth conversing with in my opinion. Maybe I’m being a little too hard on him but as far as I was concerned his behavior towards her and lack of value of her put him on the “you ain’t nothin’ but a fool” list. But who am I kidding…he was only there because it was her choice to have him there so why am I taking it out on him? I guess because part of the friend code states that when your friend is dating a loser you can’t very well drop the friend so you might as well get mad at the loser.
So we chatted for hours and God gave me grace to love on her and be a friend and not give in to the judgement, anger and self-righteousness that has surfaced one too many times in the past (practice, practice). I’m sure it was my own fall that instilled this newfound humility in me. This humility even helped me to offer my hand for him to shake (wow, Nicole, look at you!) And as she and I conversed I couldn’t help but think, “Someday we will laugh about this. Someday you will be delivered from this situation, our other friends struggling with sin will be delivered from their situations, and we will laugh about this”.
I hope to God that’s true.
I hope it’s true because my friend really does deserve the best. She is attractive, giving, selfless, loving, kind, and above all loves Jesus. And yet, being a single woman in her mid 30’s and childless has proven to be enough of a challenge for her to settle. Settle for this man, sprawled out on the floor, watching cartoons and now sleeping soundly.
We made sure to keep our voices low out of respect for his slumber.
I toy with these events in my mind throughout the day as it seems my community is under some serious attack in the area of reationships and sexual purity.
I am not exempt.
Some believe it is God’s will when people are single for an extended period of time (feel free to insert your own personal definition of “extended” here), while others believe it is the result of the fall of mankind. I’ve always leaned towards the “God’s will” viewpoint but that has been mostly applied to my own life. I can say I do believe God has made it clear that He has ordained certain times and seasons for my life and yet perhaps others do not have that type of relationship with Him. Perhaps others are susceptible to earthly statistics? That may sound rather prideful for me to believe He would go so far as to designate time periods for my life and not theirs…but He is God so really that’s up for Him to decide. I do know that one thing is true, the things that are established in this natural, earthly world are temporary and can be deceiving. Truly what I do not see is worth more in the long run that what I do. So even though I look around and I see friend after friend settling, becoming entangled in the grasps of the evil one, I know that they will not be there for long. I know that the settling is not worth it. But tests are always given to prove what you do and do not know. So while I may know these things in my head, the journey ahead will test me to see if I will apply the lessons I’ve learned from the past.
I have already failed once in this season, I pray that was all that was needed for me to learn my lesson.
I told my friend it will end. Not that night mind you, we were having a good convo and I didn’t want to be a downer. But the next day I told her that if the relationship is not created by Christ, the relationship will not last. She was quiet and soaked in my words. She knew they were true. And yet, the decision has already been made in her heart to stay in it so all I can do is walk with her through it. All I can do is go over to her house, sit on her couch, and ignore the seemingly lazy figure taking up oxygen in the room. Sorry, I probably shouldn’t have made that last statement…