Breakups and love stories
I’ll never forget the night “He” broke up with me. Though it happened more than a year ago, the intensity of that experience remains seared upon my memory even now. It was few months to service year. I was happy and thriving—with plenty of friends and a good-looking, spiritual fiancé who seemed to adore me.
Life was fun and fulfilling. And then, within the space of a five-minute phone conversation, my world came crashing down around me. “I think we should break up,” He told me, with a matter of cold fact which dug into me like a knife. My trembling fingers tightened around the phone, and I choked back the sob that threatened to explode from my tightening lungs.
This didn’t make sense. Hadn’t he said he would always love me? Hadn’t he told me, time and time again, that he could never live without me? Didn’t he appreciate the fact that I had built my entire world around him for the past eight months? Didn’t he remember the countless hours we had spent together, declaring our devotion and love for each other and selecting names for our future children?
The nightmare had come true again. A relationship that had become my entire identity, security and source of fulfillment was being ruthlessly ripped away leaving me heartbroken and devastated. A cutting pain squeezed my heart, so intense I could scarcely breathe. Somehow I managed to end the phone call with at least a small amount of dignity.
As I drew a chair close, I sank into a dark cloud of despair, mercilessly pouring a torrent of rejection and hopelessness into my reeling mind. It was over. Once again, I was in for a sleepless night of agony, hours of weeping until no more tears would come. Once again, I would have to face the aching, desperate loneliness of walking into a crowded room full of strangers—with no hand to hold, no strong arm to gently rest on my back and give me security.
Once again, I was alone. During the past few years, I had made incredible sacrifices in an attempt to somehow cling to every short-lived love relationship that came my way. I had given pieces of myself away to each guy that came into my life—pieces of my heart, my emotions, and commitment. I longed to be loved and cherished.
I had dreamed of a perfect love story ever since I was a five-year-old girl watching Cinderella and sleeping beauty. But somewhere in the midst of the endless cycle of one temporary romance after the next, my dreams had shattered right along with the broken and fragmented pieces of my heart.
Yes, I was still young. But even so, I’d already begun to give up on the idea of ever finding real love. Growing up in church, I had listened carefully to the instructions given by my youth group leaders and tried to follow the Christian rules of dating to the letter. But those rules failed to protect me from a broken heart and shattered life.
And as I observed my Christian friends, I saw we were all following the same pattern: an endless cycle of shallow and cheap romances that never lasted and left us emotionally bleeding and insecure. My desperation finally motivated me to pray and rest more. I’d been a Christian from the time I was five, but in the past few years God had taken a backseat in my love life
I would have said that He was my highest priority but in reality, I was far more preoccupied with guys, friends, and getting hitched. I assumed that I was still on good terms with the Lord. But the fact that I kept getting my heart broken again and again finally made me wonder if I was doing something wrong. I mean, I was this spiritual girl, dedicated to God with a few mistakes and scars from poor decisions. There-God wasn’t a core part of my life
A few days after the breakup, still wallowing in depression and confusion, I cried out to God. “What am I doing wrong?” I asked earnestly. “I’ve followed the Christian courtship rules. I’m not having sex before marriage, and I’m considering Christian guys.
Why am I so miserable and insecure? Why does every relationship end this way?” Then came a soft tugging upon my heart. Suddenly, I somehow knew that my life did not need to be this way and that God had something better for me.
I heard Him gently whisper these words to my soul: “You continue to get your heart broken because you are running around the block, you are everywhere but not found rest in him. Precious, you are holding the pen of your life and trying to write your own story. I am the Author of true love. I am the Creator of romance. I know your heart’s every desire. I want to script a beautiful tale just for you, but first you must rest.
You must let me become the center of your existence. You must let me have total control of your love life, and every other area of your life as well. The thought of giving God complete control of my life, especially my love life, was a bit daunting. I didn’t really mind obeying certain Christian guidelines for courtship, as long as I could still be in charge and write the story myself but… letting go of my right to make all my own decisions about relationships? I just wasn’t sure I was ready to give God that much control. God was asking me to trust Him—fully, completely, and wholeheartedly.
He was asking me to allow Him to script my love story. But what if He let me down? Even though my Sunday school upbringing had taught me that God loved me, inwardly I always suspected that maybe He was more interested in making me miserable than in blessing me.
What if I gave Him the pen and He completely destroyed this area of my life? What if He never allowed me to find a love story at all? Or what if He directed me to someone I wasn’t even attracted to? I wrestled intensely with the decision. And in spite of all my fears and misgivings about turning the pen of my life over to God, one realization was extremely clear. As long as I continued writing my own story, I knew I would only find more heartache and disappointment. I had made a mess of this area of my life thus far. It was clear I needed some serious help.
So, more out of desperation than confidence, I invited the Creator of the universe to be the center of my love life. Has He disappointed me? Just the opposite. I have found that rest I sought for years and pressed fully into a higher calling.
As for God, His way is perfect. PSALM 18:30 In fact, it’s often deemed more spiritual to take matters into our own hands, make all our own decisions, and then ask God to bless our choices. And that’s the way most modern Christians have chosen to approach this area of life. As long as we are in control, we don’t give Him the opportunity to prove just how interested He is in this precious area of our lives.
God’s version of building a relationship is infinitely superior to the pattern this world offers. God doesn’t need to imitate the world’s method for writing a love story; He has His own version. And once you find yourself in the pages of His captivating script, you’ll never want to go back to the mediocre romances of our modern times!
We invite you on a journey to a God written love story. This journey is for anyone who has made mistakes and said, “It’s too late for me to discover that kind of love.” It’s a journey for anyone who is tired of the same old scene of physically intense relationships devoid of meaning and purpose.
This journey is for anyone who will dare to dream beyond the cheap and diluted romance our culture offers and hold out for an infinitely better way. This journey is even for the skeptic who doubts that such a way exists. No matter where you are or where you have been, this invitation is for you.
The Author of all true love and romance stands before you, asking, Will you let me write your love story?
Rules of the game
I used to believe that God didn’t have much interest in my love life other than to make sure I wasn’t going too far. I had grown up in church, so I’d been subjected to many a “youth group purity pep talk” from the time I was eleven or twelve years old. My parents made me read every popular book on the subject of Christian courtship and go to every youth meeting at which the subject being addressed was “love, sex, and marriage.”
So, I was pretty confident that I knew God’s thoughts on the subject of guy/girl relationships. All of the instruction I received from Christian voices could, in my opinion, be boiled down into two simple Christian dating rules: Rule no. 1: Don’t have sex until marriage. Rule no. 2: Make sure you date only Christian guys who believe the same things you do about rule no. 1.
Even though I was raised in an average neighborhood, attended a conservative church, and grew up in a loving Christian home, I was sent to a missionary school; in the convent, I was exposed to the warped sexual climate of the culture from a young age.
My peers started having lesbian oral sex in the hostels when they were fifteen or sixteen. And by the time I got to the university, the majority of the girls I knew were hooking up with different guys every weekend, sleeping with guys they barely knew, and never expecting anything more than a one-night stand. In this sex-saturated environment, following the two Christian courtship rules seemed like a radical commitment.
My Not-So-Perfect Plan I was sure God would be impressed if I graduated from the university; a virgin. I figured the rest of my love life was up to me. Somehow I perceived that as long as I obeyed those two Christian courtship rules, I could pretty much make my own decisions regarding who to court, when to court, how to court, even who to walk down the aisle with.
What mattered most was to save my cherry popping session for my husband. I began to view purity as the edge of a cliff. “As long as I don’t fall off the edge of the cliff, I’m fine,” I would tell myself. I began to inch closer and closer to the precipice, gave more and more of my physical purity away, until I was teetering on the very brink of plummeting over. Virginity intact yet purity defiled
I told myself I was still pure, but in my heart of hearts, I knew better. With every step closer to the edge of that cliff, I had lost something precious. Yes, I hadn’t had sex. But I had certainly given my heart, mind, emotions, and body away. I had no more confidence, no more security. I didn’t know who I was anymore. It wasn’t until I really started crying out to God in desperation that I awakened to the fact that I didn’t have to live this way.
For the first time I realized that God had more of an interest in my love life than just making sure I followed a few rules. He wanted to be involved. More than that, He wanted to write my love story for me… without my manipulative fingers constantly taking back the pen and trying to script it my way.
A mixture of emotions came with that realization. There was a glimmer of hope when I understood that the Author of romance actually wanted to write my love story. And yet the hope was instantly clouded by doubt and fear. Could God really do this without my brilliant input? Even though I had messed up my love life so far, I was pretty sure I still had way more insight into the finer things in life like love, sex, courtship, and marriage—than someone as old (and seemingly outdated) as God.
I had been trying to make sense out of this area of my life for so long, and I had felt the pressure of figuring everything out for myself What if I marry the wrong person? What if I never meet the right guy? How will I know who the right one is? What if I make a mistake and ruin my whole life? Worries like these had been my constant companions for years.
Now God was inviting me to give all of these fears to Him—and to let Him lead and guide me through each step. I didn’t have to carry the weight anymore; I could lay it completely in His hands. What freedom! But was it too good to be true? Could I actually trust Him? Would He really take an active role in my love life? Would He lead and guide? And of even more concern to me was the question, would He lead me where I did not want to go?
In my world, the only reason someone would graduate from university a virgin was if he or she was a complete loner. Nearly all of my mates boldly narrated their sexual exploits on a regular basis. Several couples at school would go to their lodges during lunch or breaks and have sex after lectures.
And of course, every social party was all about going off with your latest fling to experiment sexually: in the halls, in the car, in the toilets, and everywhere else, girls would be touched and grabbed by guys in ways that would have utterly shocked our parents. Yet most of us encouraged this kind of warped male attention. From what I could see, becoming a sex object was far better than being mocked and rejected by guys. Any girl trying to keep her purity was disregarded and labeled a prude… and was totally undesirable to every guy she encountered.
The Abstinence Approach In the midst of all this, there came a wave of Christian teaching about purity in the form of abstinence seminars, books with guidelines for “Christian dating,” and promise rings. It came in many different packages, but the basic message went something like this: “Kids, don’t have sex before marriage. You need to respect yourself and your future spouse. Sex will be so much more beautiful if you wait till marriage. Protect yourself from STDs, pregnancy, and heartache.
Abstinence is cool! Thousands of young people are committed to waiting. Why don’t you wait too?” Somewhere along the way, between my mom and dad’s parental exhortation and my youth leader’s “purity pep rallies,” I got the message that my virginity was a treasure to save for my future husband. I tried to believe that someday there would be a man who would appreciate the fact that I had remained a virgin for him. Even though I didn’t see one eligible guy in my life who seemed to want a pure young woman, I was assured men like that did exist.
Early in my school and relationship life I made a commitment to purity, heroically declaring, “I’m not gonna have sex till marriage.” I hoped my husband would appreciate such a sacrifice someday! In the meantime, I was going to satisfy myself in the oceans of pornography.
My husband, parents, church leaders, and even God would have to be impressed. All this time I thought of myself as pure because I was holding on (barely) to my virginity. I didn’t feel pure. Deep down.
What a Real Man Wants
I heard this analysis for the first time in convent in my corner listening in on the conversations made by some of the high end adventurous girls
“Guys, Do not like virgins” my heart struck a dead end, it melted in me like wax
“But what if there isn’t a guy out there who really wants a woman of purity?” This question haunts nearly every Christian young woman I’ve encountered. And I understand why. In our culture, purity in any way, shape, or form is not valued, at least not by most men. We are persuaded to think that men like easy women and they don’t want to waste their time with those who play hard to get.
It seems that for every woman I know who has made a commitment to purity, one of her biggest struggles is that men are always trying to get her to lower her standards. Even most Christian men do not seem to fully appreciate a woman’s desire to guard her heart and protect her purity. It’s an unending battle for a woman to hold on to her treasure, and then she begins to wonder if it’s even worth it. What if guys really aren’t looking for that kind of purity in a woman?
That’s not true, from my conversation with few Christian guys, I derived this from them on what a real man wants.
I couldn’t resist asking a few questions. “So do you guys all want a woman who is committed to purity?” A chorus of emphatic affirmative responses filled the air. “And what’s your opinion of girls who are easy?” “It’s disgusting.” “A turnoff.” “Totally unattractive.” “How do you feel about a girl who is careful about guarding her emotions?” “I have the utmost respect for a girl like that.” “That’s the kind of girl I’d want to marry.” “If I’m interested in a girl, it may be frustrating if she doesn’t fall for me right away, but deep down I am all the more intrigued by the challenge of winning her heart.” These are real responses from real men.
What I have discovered in my little Sojourn on mother earth is that the kind of men who are worth waiting for really do exist. And they really are looking for a woman who values purity. I have since had similar discussions with hundreds of eligible Christ focused young men of real integrity. And I have yet to meet one who is not longing for a woman of true purity.
Men who go after easy women for another “score” are just looking to feed their flesh. They are not looking for true love, and they certainly aren’t worthy of your time and attention. A real man, the kind of man a woman wants to give her life to, is one who will respect her dignity, who will honor her like the valuable treasure she is. A real man will not attempt to rip her precious pearl from its protective shell or persuade her with charm to give away her treasure prematurely. He will wait patiently until she willingly gives him the prize of her heart.
A real man will cherish and care for that precious prize forever. It’s unfortunate that women have to work overtime just to protect their hearts these days. If we had more real men who treat women as God intended, it wouldn’t be so difficult! But even if real men are hard to find, they do exist, and they are worth waiting for.
So, don’t get discouraged on your journey toward inward excellence. To real men, your purity is beautiful, and it will be highly esteemed someday. I once heard a Christlike guy capture well what a real man is looking for in a woman when he declared, “I don’t want a woman who just turns my head, but a woman who turns my heart.” Just think, if God has planned marriage for your life, there is one real man who might be dreaming of a woman who is waiting faithfully for him at this very moment. Promise me, O women of Jerusalem, by the gazelles and wild deer, not to awaken love until the time is right.
SONG OF SONGS 2:7 (NLT)
Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 2 TIMOTHY 2:22
[Treat] younger women as sisters, with all purity. 1 TIMOTHY 5:2
I have few questions for you:
- What is the difference between technical virginity and true purity?
- Which, if any of your current relationships with the opposite sex are based on a shared value of purity in heart, mind, and body? What friendships and relationships might you need to give up in order to honor your future spouse? Are you willing to do so?
- When you think forward to marriage, what are some of the ways you envision that relationship being different from any other?
- How might the choices you make as a single person affect your later enjoyment of married delights?
- What choices can you make, starting today to be a onewoman man or a one-man woman?
Have you allowed Christ to shape you into a woman of purity or is your femininity being shaped by the cultures influence? If you have not guarded your pearl of purity for your husband up until now, hope is not lost. You can make a choice today by Gods grace, to turn and walk a different way Write down a detailed description of the kind of young woman you desire to be; both for Christ and for your future husband. Then ask God to equip you with the strength to live it out.
Play me a love song
A Different Tune For those of us who have spent years tied to the mast, and for those of us who couldn’t bear the allurement and crashed against the rocks, it’s time to set sail to a different tune. In our love-hungry generation we struggle to believe that the “beautiful side of love” really exists. But the truth is, Nollywood can’t even touch the version of love that is alive and real in the heart and mind of God. It is the “love song.”
And when you hear this love song, you, too, will realize that it is ten thousand times more magnificent than your grandest imaginings. God created us with a desire for companionship. He designed us to intensely long for intimacy—spiritual, emotional, and yes, even physical. He did not make us this way and provide us with these longings as a form of cruel torture, but as the most perfect gift He could possibly give us.
Just as a lover desires to show his adoration by tenderly presenting his bride with a delicate and fragrant rose, so has our Great Lover gifted us with this delicate and wondrous capacity to give and receive love and passion. Once we awaken to this truth, then we will discover that, as the Inventor of romance, He also wants to teach us how to experience it in all its fullness.
If you dream of something eternally sweet and are tired of rope burn, God is eagerly waiting for you to jump aboard His ship so He can play the sweeter song just for you.
As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the LORD is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him. PSALM 18:30
Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. 1 CORINTHIANS 2:9
Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: … Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things. PSALM 103:2, 4-5
I’m still out here, doing the most and hoping for a great love story from the archives of God. You know what? I’m not scared or jumpy because I have come to find rest in him
Will you allow God to write your love story? Don’t forget to leave a comment below or share your experience with us. How’s your waiting season going?
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