While avoiding unhealthy emotional connections and relationships is important, it’s not enough to guarantee success in keeping our hearts guarded against compromise. The secret to ultimate emotional satisfaction is to pursue a mad, passionate love relationship with the One who made our hearts, the One who purifies our hearts, and the One who strengthens our hearts against worldly temptations. The secret is to focus your heart on your First Love.
Do you remember the first time you felt you were in love? How he dominated your thoughts morning, noon, and night? How you could be available at a moment’s notice if you knew he was coming by? Remember how you would drop anything and everything when the phone rang, desperately hoping to hear his voice on the line? The potential of this relationship’s going somewhere consumed your world. No matter how hard you tried, you just couldn’t get him off your mind, right? (Not that any of us tried all that hard!)
God longs for you to be that consumed with Him. Not that you can stay on a mountaintop like the one just described every day of your life (all love relationships go through peaks and valleys), but He desires to be your first love. He wants your thoughts to turn to Him throughout the good and the bad days. He wants you to watch for Him expectantly, so that you sense Him beckoning you into His presence. He aches for you to call out to Him and listen for His loving reply. Although He wants you to invest in healthy relationships with others, He wants you to be most concerned about your relationship with Him.
Maybe you are thinking, Oh, I’ve been hearing that all my life! The answer to all my problems is “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!” I know Jesus but I’ve never felt complete satisfaction with Him, either! If that’s the case, I can understand why you might challenge what I’m saying. But I know from experience that what I say is true, and so do many women I know. And I can’t help but wonder if you have really invested yourself wholeheartedly in pursuing a satisfying relationship with God. I encourage you to honestly answer the following questions:
- Have I really invested much time getting to know God personally and intimately?
- Do I read the Bible searching for clues as to God’s character and plan for my life?* Have I given God as many chances as I have given other men? fantasy? Internet chat rooms?
- Have I ever made the choice to pray or to dance to worship music or to go for a walk with God instead of picking up the phone to call a guy when I’m lonely?
- Are there moments spent alone (masturbating, fantasizing, reading or looking at inappropriate materials, and so on) that I ignore God’s presence in an attempt to satisfy myself?
- Do I believe that God can satisfy every single need I have?
- Am I willing to test this belief by letting go of all the things, people, and thoughts that I use to medicate my pain, fear, or loneliness, and becoming totally dependent upon God?
God longs for you to test Him and try Him on this. He wants to dwell in every part of your heart, not just rent a room there. He wants to fill your heart to overflowing.
Don’t let guilt from past mistakes keep you from seeking this truly satisfying first-love relationship with Him. God does not despise you for the way you’ve tried to fill the void in your heart. He says, “Come now, let us reason together…. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool” (Isaiah 1:18). He is eager to cleanse your heart and teach you how to guard it from future pain and loneliness.
Excerpted from Every Woman’s Battle: Discovering God’s Plan for Sexual and Emotional Fulfillment by Shannon Ethridge. Copyright 2003. All Rights Reserved. Published by WaterBrook Press, Colorado Springs, CO 80921. Used by Permission. Not to be copied without Publisher’s prior written approval.