I remember the moment like it was yesterday. I had spent another day arguing with my boyfriend about the imaginary scenarios in his head. If he wasn’t accusing me of cheating on him, he was telling me that I knew that I could do better than him. Or he was telling me that a man on a street was staring at me and I should go talk to him. Or maybe we were arguing about the many times God came to him and told him I was being unfaithful. I can’t remember the specifics of the argument, but I can remember what he said in his defense. As we sat in his car, he told me that I needed to accept and love him for who he was, flaws and all. I was too tired to argue and was late for my meeting, but it was only after I was out of the relationship did I understand that I did not have to love him as he was, if loving him was hurting me.
For the past week, the internet has been gripped by stories of seemingly happy relationships that have ended due to infidelity. And while we should never judge a relationship based on what we see on social media, there has been a trend in the past of “Godly” men who use their Faith and God as a shield when they are exposed for doing wrong. God is not testing their will power or their ability to stand firm in the face of temptation. The Bible says that what a man thinks in his heart, that’s what he’ll be. What you are seeing is their character in full display. As women, it is not our job to heal and mend broken men.
A few years ago, I decided to do a personal study on the Biblical books of Ruth and Esther. The only books in the Bible named for women. In the book of Ruth, she leaves her homeland to travel with her mother-in-law after her husband dies, and eventually meets and marries a man named Boaz. Whenever we tell the story of Ruth, we always share it as a love story for women to find hope of meeting their true love. But as I studied the book, I realized it has just as much biblical applications to men as it does to women. Boaz was a man worth marrying because of his character. Character is what makes a man. It’s what makes a person. And talk is cheap. But it’s where your heart lies in the quiet moments when no is there to help you make the right decision that determines who you are.
Now, I’m no relationship expert and I can assure you that for many years I have dealt with and entertained men who claimed to be Christians, but there was no proof of that fruit in their life. Yes, God can mend a broken relationship and he can turn something evil into good. But maybe we need to stop teaching women to stay by the side of their man no matter what because God will help them, and start teaching women to discern character and fruit in a man first. Because ladies, if he was a mess before you marry him, no ring will change that. But it pains me to see God being used as an excuse for your bad behavior. No sir, that’s not the Lord. Being in an unhealthy relationship, you spend so much time, being unhappy and fighting that you never enjoy just being with the person.
Just this week, I had a realization that when God has answered my prayers from the smallest minute thing, to the biggest concerns what I’ve noticed is that they have all brought me peace. And I realized I had never experience peace in my intimate relationships. So, my prayer now, is that the man that God has for me will bring me peace. Because I am at peace by myself, and I refuse to give that up just to say I have someone by my side. God is not a God of confusion. No, my relationship will not be perfect because it will consist of two flawed individuals, but my heavenly father did not create me to be a doormat for pain. Ladies, there are trifling men out there. But there are also amazing men out there. Please do not settle for less, because you think you don’t deserve more.