Sometimes we get hurt in relationships simply because another person sinned against us or perhaps we made a bad choice ourselves. So this article is not about blaming God. Other people’s choices and our own choices have consequences. With that said, certainly God also has larger reasons at times for why he let us experience something painful.
So here are 4 possible reasons God let you get hurt in a past relationship.
1. God Will Let You Get Hurt If It Is Needed for Your Deeper Healing
I can’t tell you how many people I have talked to people who went through a really painful relationship experience which God used as the catalyst for a major life change. When you break up with someone you thought you would marry, when someone you liked rejects you, or when someone you love wounded you by their sinful choices, this pain brings you to your knees.
But when you are there, that’s often when God’s greatest moments of transformation happen. When we are on our knees, we are then in the best position to be healed and sanctified by God. What often happens is that a relationship may have taken you to your knees, but when you are there you actually realize there are even bigger issues in your heart than this relationship itself.
It’s very common for God to use the pain of a relationship to actually start the healing process in areas that go far beyond this specific relationship. As Romans 8:27-29 famously states:
And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.”
2. God Will Let You Get Hurt If You Need It in Order to Grow Into the Person He Needs You to Be for the Future Marriage He Does Have Planned for You
I firmly believe that when God wants to give a blessing to someone, he will give that blessing to them at the earliest moment possible. But what does that mean, “the earliest moment possible”?
It means that there are blessings God wants to give us in our future that we are not ready to receive in our present. But the sooner we are ready to receive it the sooner God will give it. In Luke 16:10 (NIV) Jesus said, “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.”
When we apply this to relationships and seasons in life, we can state this principle: The faster you are faithful to God in this season the faster God will allow you to move into a new season. For example, if God wants you to get married one day, he will cause this to happen at the earliest time possible that will result in the most good for you and the most glory for him.
So to get you ready, sometimes God needs to let you go through some relationship trials first which are actually meant to prepare you for the future relationship he has for you. As James 1:2-4 teaches us:
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
3. God Could Have Let You Get Hurt in a Past Relationship as a Way to Cause Repentance
Have you ever heard of the phrase, “You can’t have your cake and eat it too”? One online explanation of this idiom states it’s meaning as:
You cannot simultaneously retain your cake and eat it. Once the cake is eaten, it is gone. It can be used to say that one cannot have two incompatible things, or that one should not try to have more than is reasonable. The proverb’s meaning is similar to the phrases ‘you can’t have it both ways’ and ‘you can’t have the best of both worlds.’”1
When it comes to sin, we often want to eat the cake but still have the cake, which is not possible. In other words, we want the quick pleasures of sin without the long-term consequences of sin. Likewise, we want the blessings that come from faithfully obeying God without the hard work of faithfully obeying God.
But God doesn’t operate like this. God knows that sin will kill us and ruin our lives, so he will do whatever is necessary to wake us up and bring us to our senses before it’s too late. Notice what Paul instructed in 1 Corinthians 5:4-5 in regards to a man who was stuck in sin:
When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.”
God doesn’t solve our sin issues by taking away our choice to sin. Rather, God often completely gives us over to our choice to sin so we fully realize how destructive our choices actually are. But he always does this in love. Notice the motive Paul stated in this passage for handing this man over to Satan, “so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.”
God will often do this in our lives too. He will let us go down terrible relationship roads when we are not willing to obey his warning signs at each turn. God will absolutely warn us. God’s biblical commands are like big flashing “DO NOT ENTER” signs at every point of decision. But you still have the choice to obey that sign or not.
In love, just as the father let the prodigal son run away from him (Luke 15:11-32), God will let you run as far away from him as you need to in the hopes that you will one day get far enough to realize the only way to be saved from your poor choices is to come back home to him.
4. God Let You Get Hurt Because He Is Sovereign and We Just Need to Trust Him
There’s many more possible explanations we could discuss in trying to answer this question about why God let you get hurt in a past relationship. Maybe all of the points applied to you so far or maybe none of them did.
Perhaps the most important thing to remember, however, when we ask hard questions likes this is that no matter what happens, God is sovereign and is worthy of our trust. We won’t always have the answers we want. We won’t always know why God allowed certain things to happen or didn’t allow certain things to happen. But as Christians we must submit to the truth that God is in control and loves us even when life doesn’t make sense.
Notice the order of the sentences in Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” It doesn’t say God will first make your path straight so you will then be comfortable enough to trust him. It states that our trust must come before we can see God’s straight path.
So while it’s helpful to ask these type of hard questions, if you haven’t found the answer you were looking for in this article, I hope you are reminded of the bigger and more important truths regarding God’s sovereignty and love for you.
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