"Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I declare; Before they spring forth I tell you of them.”---Isaiah 42:9(NKJV)
FORMER THINGS. COME....TO PASS.
I "happened upon" (Proverbs 16:33-AMP) an article about online dating. I have my own discernment about doing it (it's not "wrong" but people really do need to check their motives about if they are trying to "make things happen" as opposed to really trusting God; especially since in God's perfect plan, the Woman was brought to Adam by God not her own design-Genesis 2:22) but that's not the reason for this post. It was something specifically stated in the blog that caused me to "pause my morning" for just a moment:
"Relationships are increasingly lived out on digital networks as people research a person's Web profiles before dating them, then they chat online, and later have a persistent connection with someone on Facebook even after a relationship ends. That trail of photos, timeline history and chat accessibility with exes has effectively ended the traditional idea of a breakup. The Pew study noted that 31 percent of social network users use websites to check up on someone they used to date."
OK. If you follow this blog pretty regularly, then you probably remember that it wasn't too long ago that I shared that I actually went to see what some of my "past dudes" were up to. Not on social media (because I didn't want to connect with them) but on Google. I felt led to do so in order to get some clarity on something *about myself*; not to rekindle anything *with them*. Personally, when my wedding night comes, I'm not interested in (cough, cough) "regifting myself" (Hebrews 13:4) and so I'm not interested in recycling or even upcycling a guy from the past.
However, different people have different goals and ambitions and so while I'm not telling you that you need to take on my mentality about online dating or having sex with an ex (in marriage), I do want to send out a bit of a PSA.
Lately, something that the Spirit (John 4:24) has been talking a lot to me about is motives; that it's important to really be honest, especially with yourself, about your *real and true motives* for why you say and do the things that you say and do. The reason why is this: "We justify our actions by appearances; God examines our motives." (Proverbs 21:2-Message) Oh and this: "Mixed motives twist life into tangles; pure motives take you straight down the road." (Proverbs 21:8-Message)
That said, as I was pondering (Proverbs 4:26) the fact that over 30 percent of people are online "checking up on" who they used to date (have sex with, whatever), I thought about a few things:
1) I actually don't recall a relationship in the Bible where two people broke up, got back together and then got married (if y'all can name a couple, hit me up on the comments). They kept it fairly simple. They met and got together. And stayed together.
2) Unless you are divorced and looking for your original partner for the purpose *and divine order* of reconciliation (and he's not already married to someone else-I Corinthians 7:9-10), what exactly would be the point in going back to an ex? Is it that you've "forgotten" the reason why the two of you broke up in the first place (which hopefully this blog will bring back to your remembrance) or is it that you don't see any other possibilities in sight (2 Corinthians 5:7, Jude 1:2-Message) and so you're going back to what you know?
3) If you're reaching out to the ex, have you ever stopped to ask yourself why they haven't been looking for you? Something that seems to be a bit of a trend with a lot of the women that I talk to is that a part of the reason why they're not with their ex (or exes) anymore is because they didn't feel cherished enough, invested in enough, appreciated enough, cared for enough...*valued enough*. OK, so the way to remedy that is to *initiate* contact again? If a guy didn't take good enough care of you the first time and he really has changed, wouldn't he show that, first, by *reaching out to you himself now*?
4) If you want the best that God has for you, remember what James 1:17(NKJV) says: "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. " Even simple prepositions can make a really big impact if you let them. FROM means "used to indicate the original location, situation, etc". FROM also means "in a period of time starting at". So if for some reason, you are going back to a past guy, *the original situation*, shouldn't it first start with God telling you to do that? And honestly, I don't know of a lot of people who ask God if they should go back to their past nor does biblical history give us a ton of examples when he tells people to. There's Moses---who went back to deliver the Israelites but (catch it) didn't actually make it into the Promised Land (Joshua did-Numbers 27). And there's Naomi who actually went back home after her husband died (Ruth 1). And let me just say this: If your ex feels like "home", then please make sure it's not a home full of dysfunctional. There are a lot of abused children living at home with their abusers.
5) And finally, if you keep looking back at the past (and we all know what happened to Lot's wife when she did that!-Genesis 19:26), can you really remain focused on what God has that is *new* for you? Remember the guy that I referenced in the previous blog? People who were aware of the journey have asked me if he "came back" would I be with him. Well, first peep that they asked about him *coming to me* not me *looking for him*. Also, we never were involved physically; just spiritually and so there would be no "regifting" (not even rekissing) going on (LOL). And finally, for him to come back, let me tell you...that means God *did do* a new thing in his heart because "he" knows the kind of love that I deserve and the standards that God and I require. But would I be with the "version" who hurt me? Absolutely not. One definition of new is "unfamiliar or strange" and "him" or not, I actually welcome an "eyes have not seen, ears have not heard" (I Corinthians 2:9-10) kind of experience now. Since good and perfect gifts come from God and not from me and I like surprise presents, I'm all for welcoming the unfamiliar because that means doing something that I've never done before. Even when it comes to a relationship with a man.
Sometimes, just as the lead verse implies, God *is* in the midst of doing something new, even in matters of the heart, but we're so busy talking about (or is it chasing down?) our *past* that we're not listening (Proverbs 28:9-Message, Isaiah 43:19) to what he's trying to tell us about our *future*. And it's costing us...dearly.
So if you happen to be someone who is considering recycling (LOL), boy...you know how it is when the Spirit brings a song to my recollection. It's an oldie but a goodie too!
And before you (re)visit it, let me just say: "A fool for love is not a fool for pain." Love is not foolish because God is love (I John 4:8&16). A fool is just a fool! But when Lisa comes in on the bridge with "If it's not LOVE you've come here for, tell me why you're here knocking at my door?" take a moment to pause and think...is being with an ex about LOVE (in some rare cases, it might be) or something else: lust, loneliness, desperation, fear, low self-esteem, impatience, hopelessness. You get it.
Because if it's anything less than love. It's not going to work. *Again*.
And like a dog returns to his vomit, fools (FOOLS) return to their folly (Proverbs 26:11).
Don't put your own self in harm's way. Please take heed. And one more listen.
Oh and let's throw one more in for good measure. ;-)