Perhaps you were doing just fine in your singleness, but then you met someone new and an intense wave of unmet longing came rushing over you. Or maybe you dated someone years ago, but for some reason you’ve been thinking about them a lot lately.
Whatever your situation may be, if your heart is hurting because of some relationship situation, why would God allow this? Here are 4 possible explanations.
1. God Often Prepares Us the Fastest Through Pain
When you put your hand on something hot, you move it immediately because it hurts a lot. If it didn’t hurt that bad, it would take you longer to notice the damage being done.
Pain isn’t God’s only method of developing us, but it is perhaps the method that produces the quickest results. Pain forces you to deal with your issues immediately because you want the pain to stop. Without the pain motivating you to find answers to the problems in your life, oftentimes we would let the problems remain much longer than necessary.
This principle applies to relationship issues and growth as well. In love, God will use pain like a professor using a laser pointer during his lecture, drawing your attention to the exact lesson he wants you to learn right now. Or like a doctor trying to figure out what you need, he asks, “Where does it hurt?” As C.S. Lewis wrote, “Experience is the most brutal of teachers, but you learn, my God, do you learn.”
Psalm 119:71, “It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.” There’s always a purpose for the pain. Don’t just try to escape the pain. Ask yourself, “Where does it hurt?” The pain is pointing to a place in your heart that God wants to heal.
Ask God what he’s pointing to through this pain. The sooner you solve the root issue, the sooner the pain will stop (Psalm 32:1-5).
2. Your Heart Is Being Torn in Two Because You’re Trying to Follow God and Someone Who Is Running from God
An unequally yoked relationship will always hurt you because it will pull your heart in two different directions. A part of your heart will be devoted to the Lord but a part of your heart will be running from the Lord as it chases this person who is not interested in loving Jesus. In kindness, God will let your heart hurt because he knows it’s impossible for you to follow him with half a heart. Jesus said:
If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26-27)
If a desire for a person is causing you to have divided desire for God, pain will always ensue. Give your heart completely to Jesus. Not only is Jesus the one your heart needs most of all, you will only find someone who is completely devoted to Jesus once you are living in a way that is completely devoted to him as well. By chasing someone who doesn’t love Jesus, you are missing out on Jesus and you are missing out on finding a relationship with someone who does fully love Jesus (Jeremiah 2:13, 2 Timothy 2:22).
3. You Attached a Deep Heart Longing Onto a “Not Very Serious Relationship”
The longing for a husband or wife is a very deep desire in the heart; however, this deep desire is often attached to trivial relationships that are nowhere near capable of fulfilling the level of longing for love we have.
This is why people start hurting so bad about something that seems so small. It’s not that this random guy meant that much to you. It’s not that this woman’s rejection of you that you barely knew is really that hurtful. Rather, the intense pain you feel is there because you attached a deep desire in your heart to this “not very serious” relationship situation.
The solution is to recognize this, detach your desire from this person, and present this deep desire to the Lord. 1 Peter 5:6-7 instructs, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”
God has a plan. Trust him with your heart.
4. You Are Loving Correctly but You Are Using that Love on the Wrong Person
Sometimes your heart is ready to give love but you have not met the right person who can properly receive that love. Pain will ensue if you choose to use your love on the wrong person. Romantic love must be given away in a careful, measured way (Song of Solomon 8:4).
When the love is given to someone who misuses that love, it hurts your heart. For love to be pleasurable and not painful, the love must be received by someone who appreciates it, cherishes it, and gives love back in a similar way (Ephesians 5:33).
Related Article: 5 Uncomfortable Things God Will Use to Reveal “Your Person” to You
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