Relationship Reset: Stop Chasing Mirages!
Great relationships don’t just happen by accident; they happen on purpose. We don’t just wake up one day and go, “Wow, we have a great marriage!” We have to put in the work so that we can have the Godly relationships our Father has for us, but it is all too easy to get distracted by the mirages of the world.
We are all human – and God knows that. However, he doesn’t want us to settle for destructive patterns and unfulfilling pursuits when He has designed marriage as a blessing and a gift. These mirages can trick us into falling into unhelpful patterns and mindsets, but understanding how these mirages sound can help us avoid falling into them.
3 Mirages We Fall For
- If I find the right person, everything will be alright. Many people believe this mirage. This mirage says that if we just find that person, the right person, everything in our lives will come together. Of course that isn’t true – the most wonderful person in the world can’t fix your life.
- Relationships are all about chemistry and attraction. This mirage says that chemistry and attraction will get your relationship through the ups and downs that come with this life. Of course, that isn’t true; when things get tough in your marriage, chemistry and attraction tend to fizzle or at least take a backseat.
- We always learn from our past mistakes. This mirage tells us that we always learn from our mistakes, and unfortunately that is just not true. We can find ourselves falling into our old patterns with new people, even though we think to ourselves, “I won’t make the same mistakes again.” Did you know that only a quarter of all second marriages succeed? The fact is, it’s human nature to fall back into old, destructive patterns – so unless you change your heart and behavior, you can’t expect to have different results.
3 Foundational Truths
- Become the right person. Ephesians 4:31 (NIV) tells us: “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” If you want to be with someone who is loving and forgiving, you have to be that person as well. Ephesians 4:32 (NIV) says: “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” We have to work on ourselves, whether we are married or in a relationship or waiting for a relationship, because our emotional health grows healthier the more we become like Jesus. The more we become like Jesus, the more loving, forgiving, and compassionate we are. Think about the people in your life that you enjoy being around; they exhibit compassion and forgiveness, don’t they? Become the person you want to be around.
- Walk in love. Ephesians 5:1-2 (ESV) says: “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us…” We have to choose to walk in love. It is a choice, and sometimes it is a difficult choice to make, but it is absolutely the right way to live. Your marriage can only be healthy and thriving when you choose to walk in love – and it’s something we all have to decide daily. God’s love for us is selfless and kind and new every day, and when we walk in that love, we can share it with our spouse and everyone else in our lives.
- Fix your hope on God. This has a lot to do with who you are – and who you believe you are. Your hope can not be in your significant other; if you are looking to another human to give you an identity, you’re in trouble. Dr. Les Parrott, a professor of psychology and founder of Parrott Institute for Healthy Relationships, said: “If you try to build intimacy with another person before you have done the work of becoming a whole and healthy person, every relationship will be an attempt to complete the hole in your heart and will end in disaster.” This is absolutely true. Our hope and our identity have to be in God, and only then can we fully love others the way we were made to. Understanding that you are a child of God and precious and valued just as you are is essential, and when you accept that it changes everything.
Our relationships were meant to be wonderful and full of joy and blessed with abundance. While it takes work to have a godly marriage, it is well worth it – and it is important that we reject the mirages that distract us from everything God has for us in our relationships. Once we decide to stop chasing those mirages, we can walk in the fullness that our marriages were always meant to have.