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I’ve been in a relationship with my best friend for over three years. Having others speak into our relationship is really important to me—but there’s just one problem: My sources of wise counsel disagree with each other! Half say I could do better, and the other half say that the uneasiness and uncertainty I’m feeling are because I have unrealistic expectations for relationships and men (which, I admit, I do have). How do I know which source of wise counsel is really the wise one?
This is such a great question! I feel like 90% of my responses tell people to seek wise counsel, so what DO we do when our counsel disagrees?
Make each member of your wise counsel hold an egg on a spoon. Whoever can run down to the mailbox and make it back to you first is the person whose advice you should listen to.
Ask yourself what you consider to be “wise counsel.”
1. Do they ask you sincere questions about your relationship? Even the hard ones?
2. Do they give advice based on knowing you (as opposed to “This is what I did, so…”)?
3. Are they invested in you and your relationship?
4. Are they wise by biblical standards (not perfect, but actively learning and growing in their faith; see Proverbs 1)?
5. Do they pray for you?
I had created a list of introspective questions I thought could be helpful, but my father added these questions, and I thought they were much better.
So, some thoughts from my Pops…
1. Have you written out your “unrealistic expectations” and looked at them closely?
2. Can any man fulfill your “unrealistic expectations”?
3. If you found a man who did meet these expectations, ask yourself why he would be interested in someone like you.
In other words, if you are expecting so much of a man, is it to the degree that he would have to lower his expectations to end up with someone like you?
Harsh I know, but it’s good to think through the statements and expectations we make.
Having asked yourself these things, if your expectations are realistic and your guy is not investing in the relationship and his own personal growth like you are, then do not mislead yourself in concluding you have unrealistic expectations.
Also, remember that if you read Scripture collectively instead of picking and choosing verses, it screams of balance and grace. I always encourage people to seek counsel, but I hope they balance that with their own ability to interpret Scripture independently.
Psalm 119:99: “I have more insight than all my teachers/For Your testimonies are my meditation.”
Have you cracked open the Biblia lately? It’s actually quite resourceful.
Lastly, ask yourself the hard question.
“Do I really want to be with this person?”
I think we often get stuck in the mindset of “I should be with this person” or “what if there is something better?” or there’s always the kind of person who just enjoys living in the uncommitted drama of uncertainty. These approaches can all cause you to fall into the trap of stagnation.
So I’d consider making a decision before another three years of your life pass you by.
BUT WHAT IF IT’S THE WRONG ONE?
Ultimately, you can’t control the outcome of your life, but you can strive to make the best possible decision with the information given. An important thing to remember if you believe in God is that Satan is real, too. I doubt he wants the commitment of a husband and a wife to succeed or even begin.
I personally believe that both dating and marriage come down to obedience and a choice. If you don’t want to be with your boyfriend for the rest of your life, say the painful goodbye. If you want to be with him in spite of the things that irk you, give some grace, start meeting with another couple, and be open and honest about your relationship. But try to enjoy your best friend, for crying out loud!
Obedience can give you lots of freedom, and, sadly, that can freak some of us out if we like being told what to do.
Remember, God is for you. He is pleased that you have a heart that wants to do the right thing. Try to rest in that right now (Psalm 68).
From my heart,
TOUGH Question: Let’s say you DO marry this guy (or any guy) and the marriage gets difficult. Should we conclude you made the wrong decision?
Love and Respect (Now) is a division of Love and Respect. Please be considerate.