I’ve been discussing relationships and romance with one of my friends who is having a hard time reconciling her fear of dating or rather having an attraction to someone. I thought I’d want to share my thoughts on how I found love and why I think that falling in love is to an effect, an act of faith. Often times faith is necessary when you’re uncertain of something but you have, for lack of a better term, a gut feeling about something.
First of all, one of the main reasons that leads me to believe that faith is essential to relationships is whenever emotions are involved it leaves you very vulnerable and that is a scary thing. You’re uncertain about how the other party feels about you, whether you’re investing your time and efforts in a fruitless endeavor or the beginnings of a magical journey with another person. But you might be asking yourself, what’s your point? I think to better understand where I’m coming from I’m using a broader definition of faith than one might think. Faith is one of the strongest motivating factors for people to act and move forward with any circumstance. If we didn’t believe that our actions would have a positive outcome or impact on our lives for the better, I believe that most people would not choose to act. We ascertain educations on the faith that it will help lead to an employable career. We work with the faith that our employers will pay us a wage worth our efforts. None of the aforementioned scenarios are guaranteed but the outcomes we expect will most likely happen. We know this because we have experienced similar in the past or others we know have had positive outcomes related to similar actions. So our faith is much like a motivation to act based on our understandings of the way things work in society. I also feel that our faith is found inherently from within as a gift from God to help us move forward in life.
As a fairly religious person, I feel that faith is indeed a gift from God or a higher power if you don’t ascribe to God (a debate for another time). This gift along with the gift of our agency are some of the greatest tools we have to succeed in life. How I use my faith is something I struggle with all the time, but not in the way you might think (I’m clearly a conventionally non-conventional type of person). I struggle with knowing and acting on inspirations that come into my life. Faith as defined in the bible in Hebrews 11:1 states that “… faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”. Like I’ve stated before a lot of the things we do or aspire to do in life aren’t guarantees but highly probable situations. My biggest struggle is that I want things to be ideal before I act, and that’s not how faith works. Faith requires that we act on informed decisions, that we move when we don’t know the end result but have an idea of the end goal. To relate this back to the original topic, in relationships (I’m going to generalize here) we want to find someone to be our companion, someone to spend our time with, someone to understand us, and someone who we can be comfortable with to the point that we let our walls an inhibitions down.
That’s the end goal, for me, my faith has always been an essential part of my ability to have successes in relationships. I believe that God has a plan for all of us, and my faith has helped me to understand that successes and failures help get me through those plans. In dating, it’s inevitable that there will be times where things just work and it will be great, and other times where you’ll experience devastating rejections and bouts with loneliness, but through it all my faith has helped me see that all these experiences do help me to grow as an individual. Faith gave me the courage to ask girls out that I never thought I had a chance with, it helped me to enjoy my life while I was single, building relationships and friendships that I still enjoy to this day, and my faith helped me to find the woman who eventually would become my wife. Am I saying that if you have faith you’ll be successful in relationships? No that’s not my point at all. What I am saying is that faith does give you strength to leave your comfort zone, to fall in love, to leave yourself vulnerable to rejections, because it’s through faith that you’ll understand that pain and heartache are experiences that we can grow from. While rejection, the feelings of inadequacy, and other negative feelings may come during early stages of courtship and dating (I am that traditional that I’m still calling it courtship), those feelings are nothing compared to the feelings of regret, inaction of not having gone after someone, or the feelings of not telling someone how you truly felt when you had the chance.
Let’s face it, dating is scary and being rejected is even scarier, but as Jesus taught in Matthew 19:26, “with God all things are possible”. So if you ask me why I think faith and relationships go hand in hand, I’ll say that life IS scary, rejection in relationships ARE things that no one wants to experience, but faith that God has something good in store for me are worth all the pains, sufferings, and heartaches that happen. Once we find the good in among the negative, then we’ll see that our faith was not fruitless, and understand that “with God all things are possible”.