"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds."---Psalm 147:3(NKJV)
Really, the quote says it all. Right? It really does affirm why I LOATHE boyfriend/girlfriend relationships. If someone can find where they originated, *please* hit me up! Ugh.
Anyway, onto getting some resolve and healing from our first loves...
As I've shared before, my first love took (count em') OVER 20 YEARS to really, fully and *finally* get over. Literally. I was sexually abused growing up, so he wasn't technically my first sexual experience, but he was the first one I *chose* to give myself to. The second chapter of my first book walks through the beginning stages of the journey. I also think since he was my first (and quite possibly my second) pregnancy, and according to this video right here, who you conceive a child with remains a part of your DNA for the REST OF YOUR LIFE, that plays a part in it too. SEX MAKES PEOPLE ONE (Genesis 2:24-25, I Corinthians 6:16-20--Message), y'all. Don't just "choose wisely" in the common sense sort of way. CHOOSE BIBLICALLY and that's marriage (Hebrews 13:4)!
Anyway, because I had given my first love so much of myself, even 14 men later, there was a part of me that believed that when it was all said and done, we would end up together. Partly because every few years we would reconnect and explore the possibility. Mostly because since he was the first man I had invested so much of EVERYTHING into, I couldn't truly and fully imagine moving on to someone else.
It wasn't until two years ago that I really could. UGH.
And that's why I'm doing this project!
There are SO MANY MARRIED COUPLES I deal with who are in trouble, in part, because they are not "all in" with their spouse because either they are not fully over their first love or they haven't FULLY FORGIVEN (Matthew 6:14-15) their first love. I DO NOT WANT YOU TO BE THIS KIND OF STATISTIC.
So, let's get started, shall we?
I asked the woman who participated in this project to answer a few questions. Five, to be exact. What I'm going to do is share some of their answers (with pen names) and explore overall resolves.
Share the biggest lesson you learned from your first love:
"If anytime in the relationship you feel something's not right, TRUST YOUR GUT. Because 9 times out of 10, IT'S NOT."---Ashley
"The biggest lesson I learned from my first love is that..just because you're fully committed to someone doesn't mean that they are committed to you. The 'I love yous', 'I want to marry you' mean nothing unless there's follow through. My first love and I were together off and on for almost three years and he still wasn't sure whether or not he wanted to marry me. He didn't want to make 'the wrong choice' (PRAISE GOD for rejection). I was all in...but he wasn't. Spending substantial time before the Lord will help (the Holy Spirit is called the HELPER for a reason) weed out the counterfeits and be OK with whatever His answer is (you'll know). It's for your own good."---Katherine
"I have learned that someone can deeply love you and still decide to betray you with the goal of ending the relationship to protect themselves! It's like war in love!"---Margo
"My first love was a woman...I learned that God is love and He can not exist in a homosexual relationship. The relationship was not covered by God and it lead to so pain and lower self-esteem."---Diane
"If you're sexually-involved, God can't bless it. No matter how great the sex is or how happy you are with the intimacy. I didn't really believe that until it about killed me to leave my first love alone."---Lisa
"If you love him more than God, he's not your first love. He's your idol."---Melissa
"If he's not God's best for you, it's a COMPLETE WASTE OF TIME. And if you're not working towards marriage, then he's not God's best. Boyfriends are nothing more than emotionally-draining placeholders if you ask me."---Rebecca
What jumped out to me the most about these answers were phrases like "fully-committed", "betrayal" and "sexually-involved"---MARRIAGE TERMS. As a result, something that I discern (Proverbs 2) God is using this time for concerning a lot of us is *reprogramming our minds*.
We're not supposed to be *fully-committed* to ANYONE but our husband. A boyfriend has not earned that right by God and so we shouldn't release that kind of power to them.
How did a *single man* betray a *single woman*? Any couple who is not at the very least engaged who decides to be exclusive are *robbing themselves* of the freedom of singleness. There are waaaaaaaaaay too many men who marry women due to breaking under the pressure or complying to an ultimatum instead of *CHOOSING* to be with a woman because GOD REVEALED to them that they are actually ready. Singleness should be about *focusing on oneself*. And later, as the SPIRIT LEADS, coming to the conclusion, without stress, that someone is the one for you.
I have heard FAR TOO MANY women say that their boyfriend "cheated on them" yet when I ask, "Were you having sex with your boyfriend as well?", most they say "yes" and I follow that up with "Actually, shouldn't you be more concerned about the fact that YOU were unfaithful to GOD?", that tends to catch them off guard. A single person's "faithfulness" needs to be to God first and and foremost and *definitely* before any human being.
Personally, I don't trust people who say "I have no regrets." Regret means "remorse" and remorse means "deep and painful regret for wrongdoing; compunction". Wrong means "not in accordance with what is morally right or good" and "deviating from truth or fact; erroneous".
And you know what?
Fully committing to someone you are not in covenant with?
Doing things in a relationship that go against biblical instruction?
It's not morally right.
Believing that you should "act married"---emotionally or physically" when you're not?
It deviates from Scriptural truth.
And when we don't make the time to *really ponder* (Proverbs 4:26) these facts, what happens is when end up spending (and usually also wasting) FAR TOO MUCH TIME being hurt, angry (Psalm 4:4) and/or bitter (Hebrews 12:15) at the person we gave our heart to rather than being REMORSEFUL for allowing them something that wasn't rightfully theirs to begin with.
In other words...
Can you imagine how much more quickly we would heal from this kind of heartbreak...
If we focused more on repenting to God for not properly guarding our heart...
Rather than being mad at the guy who didn't really know what to do with it?
BECAUSE GOD HAD NOT YET EQUIPPED HIM?
A great read, on a lot of levels and for a lot of reasons, is "Staying Married Is not About Staying in Love" (it's not!). Something that the author brings out in it is that in the Garden of Eden, it was God who gave the Woman away to Adam; he was her father, after all (Genesis 2)!
In the spiritual sense, things shouldn't be ANY DIFFERENT, even now!
When Christ said "Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate" (Matthew 19:6--NKJV), it is only when GOD JOINS US to a man that we are to give our all to that individual. ANY TIME before that, we are acting prematurely and being spiritually irresponsible with our minds, bodies and spirits.
While that might be a hard pill to swallow, think about it beneath the surface. Owning your part in the matter? That takes the power from "him", puts it back onto you and then you start to detach all the more from the guy!
Now for the record, I'm not saying if you were mistreated, lied to or taken for granted that it's "OK" simply because you shouldn't have gotten that deeply involved in the first place. What I am saying, though, is your FUTURE HUSBAND doesn't deserve to be mistreated, lied to or taken for granted because of battle wounds that you're still carrying around due to a PAST BOYFRIEND who received "rights" that he didn't even deserve in the first place! Feel me?
Oh, and to Diane...
I appreciate your courage to share that your first love was a homosexual relationship. Trust me, there are others. We are living in a time when Romans 1 should be taught more. Not so much from the aspect of what it speaks on homosexuality (and it's *quite clear*) but HOW things get to that point:
"Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools. And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles.
So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen. That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved."---Romans 1:21-27(NLT)
What manifested this? IDOLATRY.
I Corinthians 10:14 instructs us to *flee idolatry*.
The moment we place ANYTHING or ANYONE before God...
It's not "love", it's an idol (Exodus 20:3).
And you know what?
A first love OR even the fallout concerning it?
If we're not careful, it can become an idol!
And so, the focus for this week (if you'd like me to pray for you email firstname.lastname@example.org)?
It's concerning how to humble ourselves enough to actually deal with regret so that we can take *personal ownership* for a past first love or relationship in general. If you *know* that you've put more energy into what someone did to you than accepting that you allowed them into a space that God did not permit them to have to begin with (which can actually happen even if you've never been in a relationship with the person; I know many women who "fell in love" with a guy who never was interested in them. Then the women wanted to act like the guy was the one who did something wrong. Nope.).
If you know what is you, ask God to provide you with divine wisdom (James 1:5) about how to own your part, FULLY FORGIVE THE GUY (you can't be forgiven by God if you don't forgive others--Matthew 6:14-15), make peace (Romans 12:18) and set up *appropriate boundaries* (not walls but boundaries--Proverbs 4:23) moving forward.
PRAISE THE LORD that he loves us and our future beloved enough to want us to be able to love "him" with a WHOLE HEART. If some things need to be healed and restored, use this time to walk with the Lord (Amos 3:3) so that he can show you just how to do that.
Your first love will be nothing more than a faint scar, distant memory and a lesson learned...
Someone who can't even begin to hold a light to your future husband!
His Purpose, His Presence, His Peace...