by Rachel Renee Smith
When you think about the person you want to be in relationship with, what characteristics come to mind? God-fearing, humorous, adventurous, responsible, kind, respectful, thoughtful, good-looking, intelligent, charming or what?
No matter how varied our individual lists may be, we all want the most important and basic thing – we want someone who will love us. We want that unconditional love that will look beyond our past, our faults, and our ugliness and only see the beauty, the power and the potential. We want to rest, knowing that we are safe and secure in the arms of one who will never abuse us or turn us away.
Those who wait on God to reveal their soul mate realize that every good and perfect thing comes from the Lord, so that person is worth the wait.
The question I want to pose to you, whether you are in a relationship, seeking a relationship, waiting on a relationship or already married is – are you that good and perfect gift for your soul mate?
Here are some ways to tell if you are God’s gift:
I Corinthians 13 says, “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes and always perseveres.”
Do you love as Christ loves the Church? Are you patient, loving and kind?
Or are you envious, boastful, proud, rude, self-seeking and easily angered? Do you keep record of other people’s wrongs?
Now of course when you fantasize and think of your future mate, it can be very easy to say “Yes, I’m ready! I know how to love.”
It is easy to love when things are going exactly the way we want them to go. However, do you know how to love when it comes to that person who always rubs you the wrong way? What about the ex that always knows exactly what to say to get your blood boiling? That cousin that is just loud for no reason? That aunt who is always comparing you to her kids? What about those parents who you blame for all of your issues?
Many of us have people in our lives that we are pretty much stuck with for better or for worse and we didn’t even have to walk down an aisle to claim them. These are our family, our children, our bosses, our co-workers and the people whose lives are intertwined with ours for some inescapable reason.
How do you treat those people? Do you hold grudges? Do you avoid them? Do you stop speaking? Do you blow up in anger? Do you hold your tongue while secretly getting more and more upset? Do you find it hard to forgive? Do you yell, slam doors or get revenge?
Now imagine God finally sends you your sweetie and you do all of that stuff to them! That beautiful, gorgeous, handsome, smiling and dimpled gift is unknowingly destined to be the victim of your grudge-holding, passive-aggressive, screaming, yelling, door-slamming self.
You may think this is impossible but the reality is that it happens all the time. It is easy to say we should get over our past romantic relationships and clear away that baggage before we get into a new relationship. However, we forget about the relationships we have that are not in the past yet still negatively affect us. We carry that baggage into our romantic relationships as well. Our mistrust of our other loved ones becomes mistrust of our soul mate. The worries, the fears, the triggers – we carry the garbage we picked up from other relationships and never forgave and we eventually see our God-given gift through those eyes.
When God blessed me with my husband-to-be I soon learned how my past was interfering, even in what was the most wonderful relationship I have ever known. As soon as something happened in my relationship that reminded me of something from my past, those old emotions were stirred and we had a problem. I was not free to fully love and accept my fiancée until I forgave and released all of the wrongs that I thought I had already left behind. I had to let those things go in order to fully give him my love. If I had not let those things go, our growth as a couple would have been severely limited. We would not have had a chance to work out any of our real issues because I would have still been fighting against issues from my past.
Forgiveness is a tool that frees you to be able to enjoy your life and enjoy the people in your life. It frees you to love and be loved in return. When you are willing to forgive and walk in love, you become a gift, ready to be released to the one whom God has prepared for you.
Rachel Renee Smith is married to the love of her life. She is the mother of one, godmother of two and a lover of God. She is passionate and excited about the life and purpose that God has given her and is the Author of the devotional, “The Rain Won’t Hide These Tears“. Visit her website at www.RachelReneeSmith.com.
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