To kick off Thanksgiving week, I will let you know something I am truly thankful for: the godly people in my life that advised me soundly about relationships from the time I was young until today. Keep reading to see how they impacted me….
When I was a kid, it seemed like they just did not want me to have any fun. By the time I was twelve years old, I was interested in boys and the thought of waiting until I was an adult to be in a romantic relationship seemed impossible. Unfortunately, I squandered their advice at times, but they did not give up on me. Their prayers and guidance helped me to make wise relationship decisions as an adult and their listening ears have given me a safe place to go for advice so that I’m not tempted to follow the world’s destructive relationship advice.
In addition to giving me sound advice, and trying to shelter my heart, these godly friends and family allowed me to see them fail. They were humble enough to let me know about occurrences in their relationship they wished they could’ve changed. They put aside their pride and gave me the opportunity to learn from their mistakes – and for that, I am grateful.
It is easy to believe, especially when you are newly married that every other married couple has their act together but you. This isn’t the case. Behind most closed doors, you can find some marital conflict. How you choose to deal with the conflict is what matters. These mentors all shared stories of trials and triumphs which I could remember when I felt I was the only girl in the world who encountered marital discord.
Along with allowing me see their failures, I am thankful for the family and friends that allowed me to fail without considering me a lost cause. Like many young people, I did not want to be corrected for bad behavior. I did not want advice that recommended I end a relationship I was clinging to for dear life – and the last thing I wanted was to hear was, “I told you so” when a relationship ended badly.
Those who loved me through those self-inflicted heartaches will always be near and dear to my heart. Sure, there were some people that loved to point a judgmental finger in my face and remind me of how they predicted my failure, but it’s the ones that picked me up, dusted me off, hugged me, and invited me in that I deeply love, appreciate, and respect. When the heart is involved, it is easy to make mistakes and it is easy to judge someone harshly for those mistakes. It takes compassion and the love of God to receive someone and forgive their foolishness.
No one in this world besides God has forgiven my foolishness more times than my mom. I’m sure there were times she felt her heart could not take any more, but she continued to forgive me and love me anyway.
When I was fourteen, I had a boyfriend that made almost everyone in my life shudder. Being as young as I was, I was not allowed to go on dates with him – and knowing what I know now, I’m thankful for that! There was a darkness that surrounded this person. My friends and I all had disturbing dreams about him and after I’d leave his presence, it was not unusual for me to experience anxiety. But oh, how my mom and I fought over this guy! She knew he was bad news, but I refused to relent.
Though I didn’t know this at the time, she woke up in the middle of the night with a strong burden to pray for me during this season in my life. She said that she came in my room and prayed for about 45 minutes before she had the peace to fall back asleep. One day, during a time of frustration, she said, “don’t come crying to me when he breaks your heart!” Well, it was only a few weeks later that he did just that. He called me and broke things off over the phone.
I will not soon forget coming out of my bedroom, slowly walking towards the kitchen with tears in my eyes, and seeing my mom’s concerned face. She opened her arms and let me cry. I did go crying to her and she let me. She could’ve said, “good riddance, he is such a jerk” (and she may have in private), but at the time, she just let me cry. She did not make me feel any more foolish than I already felt.
I haven’t seen this guy in about fifteen years now. From what I heard, he was jailed for beating the girl he dated after me. Since then, he has been arrested on several assault charges. Needless to say, I am thankful for a praying mother, grandmother, and mentor that cried out to God on my behalf, that loved me when I was difficult to love, and gave me advice, even when I received it in anger. What a different person I would be today without them….
Who are you thankful for this week? Who has given you wisdom and unconditional love? Do they know how much you appreciate them? This would be a great time to let them know. Who has given you godly advice about relationships? These people are priceless. Adore and honor them! If you have never had anyone mentor you in regard to relationships, ask God to send a mentor (or mentor couple) your way. Such people are invaluable!
For whom are you thankful this week?