Honoring Your Man and Trusting God When You Are Afraid

Posted on December 17, 2013 by


sad puppet

ADMINISTRATIVE NOTE:

I hope to post as much as I can and respond to comments when I am able to while my husband and children are home for the next 2 weeks.  So – you are welcome to comment on anything!  But – I would like to take an email vacation until January 6th.  If possible, I would appreciate if you can hold emails until that time.  Thanks for your understanding and cooperation!

The greatest tests of our obedience to Christ and faith in Him come in our moments of deepest fear.

It’s easy to obey and trust when everything is going the way we want it to.  It is in those moments when the outcomes of particular decisions will significantly impact our future or we feel threatened that we are most tempted to try to usurp control, take over and force things to happen the way we think they should.

This is where we truly learn to die to self and live by faith, trusting in God’s sovereignty in our lives.

SCARY SITUATIONS:

  • my boyfriend begins to pull away and have doubts about our relationship
  • I haven’t heard from my man when I expected to, and I begin to think about all the worst case scenarios that may have happened to him
  • medical tests bring bad news
  • my man accepts  a job far away
  • my parents aren’t excited about the man I love
  • a tragedy happens and people I love are seriously injured, maybe even killed
  • I think it is time for us to marry, but my boyfriend hasn’t mentioned anything and I am starting to panic
  • my boyfriend cheats on me/sins against me

HOW DO I RESPOND?

Humanly speaking, at first we may begin to respond with fear.

But, if Christ is my LORD, soon after the fear hits me – I can take it to Him and lay it at His feet and determine that I can trust Him through this storm, whatever it may bring.  I hold to Jesus’ promises to me that

  • God works all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.  Romans 8:28
  • I will never leave you nor forsake you.  Hebrews 13:5
  • Cast your cares on the Lord He will sustain you.  Psalm 55:22
  • Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:4-8
  • I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through him who gives me strength.  Philippians 4:12-13
  • I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.  John 16:33 

Dig into the promises of God and focus on Christ in the storm.

Sing praise songs to Him!  Turn up the music and sing at the top of your voice about the faithfulness, provision and sovereignty of God.

Resist the doubts and fears.  Focus on the person of Christ.  Go to Him for strength and comfort.

WHAT DOES THAT LOOK LIKE?

  • my boyfriend begins to pull away and have doubts about our relationship

I seek God’s face.  I seek His will.  I hold everything loosely in my hand except for Christ.  I may ask a few gentle questions.  If he is not responsive, then I may give him space as I focus on worshipping Christ and resting and trusting in His provision, love and sovereignty.  I don’t have to scramble trying to ensure my boyfriend won’t leave me.  I don’t have to freak out.  I know God will give me wisdom and strength and courage to handle whatever happens. I make sure that I haven’t offended my boyfriend and let him know I am on his team.  But I am able to calmly give him space if he needs it.

  • I haven’t heard from my man when I expected to, and I begin to think about all the worst case scenarios that may have happened to him

Instead of assuming he has been in a fatal car wreck and is probably dead – I put my trust and hope in Christ.  I will assume that he is ok and that something happened to delay his call/text.  I know that even if something really terrible did happen, God is with me and as long as God is with me, I will have all that I need.  Eventually, I may text him once just to check on him.  But I will not feel any need to smother or pressure him or ream him out.

  • medical tests bring bad news

If I or my man suddenly face a major health scare, I feel my emotions about that and acknowledge how I feel – scared, nervous… then I go to my knees in prayer and commit the whole thing to Christ, trusting Him that He is able to heal.  But I also trust that if He allows us to walk through suffering, that He will use it for our ultimate good and His ultimate glory and that there is much to learn and glean from the trial ahead.  I can focus on James 1 and rejoice in my trials because my God is sovereign over them and He is able to use trials to strengthen me and mature me in my faith.

  • my man accepts  a job far away

I can share my feelings of sadness that he is leaving even as I support him in his decision.  I can take the issue to God in faith, trusting Him to guide and direct us in what is ultimately best.  I don’t have to try to make things change or take over and try to force him to stay if he feels he needs to take this job.  I can trust God and I can trust that God will lead through this decision and that God’s sovereignty extends to every situation.

  • my parents aren’t excited about the man I love

I can calmly listen to their concerns and objections, realizing that they love me and probably are trying to look out for my best interests.  I can take their concerns to God in prayer and seek His will not my own.  If there are valid objections, I may need to prayerfully end the relationship or postpone it.  If the objections are not valid, I still may want to slow down and fast and pray and seek God’s will about the situation and seek godly counsel.  If I still believe that God is calling me to serve with this man, I can be at peace even if I don’t have my parents’ approval as long as I am sure that I have God’s approval and that the decision I am making is wise and honors Christ.

  • a tragedy happens and people I love are seriously injured, maybe even killed

I can take my pain and grief to Jesus.  I can feel my emotions and share my emotions.  I can continue to praise God for His goodness and faithfulness and have faith that is unshakable, trusting in His sovereignty even in moments of tragedy.  I can cling to His Word and His promises and use this time to examine my own life and be sure my priorities are where He wants them to be and be even more determined than ever to live in obedience to Him and to ask Him to fill me and empower me to do the tasks He has for me to do.  I can have God’s peace that passes all understanding in the midst of the storm.

  • I think it is time for us to marry, but my boyfriend hasn’t mentioned anything and I am starting to panic

I can take my concerns to God and fast and pray.  At some point, I may need to share something with my boyfriend if it has been 1-2+ years and we are both out of college and have jobs.  This will require great sensitivity to God on my part.  I don’t want to pressure my man.  But there may come a point when I need to gently, respectfully share my heart that it is my desire to be his wife in the future.  This can get really sticky – because it would be easy for me mentioning something like this to feel like pressure.  I don’t ever want to pressure a man into proposing to me.  That needs to be something he does because he wants to do it.  But there can be a time when a woman may need to respectfully broach the issue.

There are a few different schools of thought here:

– plainly tell him and issue him an ultimatum.  “If you don’t want to marry me, then I am leaving.”    The thing I don’t like about this is that it is definitely a lot of pressure.  Very few men would respond positively to this kind of ultimatum.  Then he wouldn’t be proposing because he wants to – but because you demanded it.  NOT GOOD.

– Mimi Tanner coaches women on relationships (not a Christian perspective).  She talks about just emotionally and physically pulling away to allow him to experience life without you for awhile as you become busy with other things.  This way, you are not threatening him or telling him what to do.  But sometimes, this may help a man to see that he really does want you in his life and doesn’t want to lose you.

– or, you could do a lot of praying and seeking God’s face and carefully listen to what He prompts you to do – which seems like the best choice to me!  I am not sure that I could possibly know exactly what each woman should do in such a situation.  But God does!

  • my boyfriend cheats on me/sins against me

If he is truly repentant and willing to do what it takes to rebuild trust, I may decide to forgive him and take him back, extending him the same grace God gives to us.  But I will need to see REAL fruit of God’s work in his life before I am willing to commit to marriage.  I will also keep him at arms’ length for awhile to observe that he is sincere and that he is truly seeking God.  I may also need to seek wise, godly counsel to pray with me and to help me see any red flags, most likely.  Depending on the particular sin, especially if there is not true repentance and fruit of God’s Spirit in his life afterward, I may decide that I need to let him go.  This is something I can bring to God and seek His will about and be sensitive to God’s Spirit about.  As long as I have Jesus – I have all that I need.  I can be ok without this particular man.  I can be ok without any man.  The key to my contentment and peace in life and my joy is my walk with Christ.  If I have Him, I have more than enough.  If I don’t have Him, I will never be satisfied.

In our moments of fear, we can look to Jesus, seek His will, desire His presence, desire to please Him and lay down our wills and our desires at the foot of the cross.  He is able to give us strength, joy, peace, wisdom and direction as we seek Him.  So we can be unshaken even when the trials come.  In fact, we can cling to Him even more during the trials, knowing that He is going to use them to chisel us to look more and more like Jesus and we can embrace all the learning and growing He has for us in each trial, so that we don’t waste a drop of the pain.

 

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