Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The opposite of grace

My sister often touts the message, "Anxiety is the opposite of grace."

s a follow up to my Christian Commitophobia post, let's talk about the red flags the prop up when commitophobia rears it's spiky head.
You may know that I'm dating a wonderful man (I doubt you know how wonderful). Before him, whenever I was dating someone, I would seize up with a severe case of the "what-ifs." 

What if he's not as great as he seems? What if I get sick of him? What if he gets sick of me? What if I find someone better when we're dating? What if I miss out on who God wants me to find because I date this guy?

I would find lots of little excuses to end the relationship before it got serious, before anyone got a chance to be intimately hurt by the relationship.

In many cases, I'm very grateful for those mental pokes of "what if?" However, several months ago a friend pointed out that some of those spikes of fear can come from the devil.

Think about this: Satan's objective is to steer as many souls away from God as possible. If two good Christians who mesh well come together for the extension of God's message of Love, the devil may lose out on innumerable souls.

A successful Christian marriage is a testimony for God and touches hundreds of souls, both directly and indirectly.

"YIKES, we can't have that!" says the devil.

Approach your romantic relationships with God in every moment. Keep prayer at the forefront of your relationship so you can take your time to realize if the doubts come from God or from the devil.

Another friend mentioned recently that thinking, "What do I know about loving a man?  I shouldn't even try this," cannot be from God.

My inevitable Christian commitophobic anxiety about my current boyfriend came several months before we started dating. I maintained the friendship with him during that time, keeping the anxiety at bay, until my confidence overpowered the doubts.

I'm always learning how to better listen to God and discern His plan for my life.

One lesson I've learned in this dating portion of my life is that the devil doesn't want couples who will help advance God's message to exist. Those successful relationships strengthen God's presence and he will do whatever he can to prevent them from growing.

If you're feeling those pangs of doubt and fear, ask yourself if it's because you're worried it won't be successful.

....Or are you worried that it will be successful? If the second, ask God to help you banish that devil out of your thoughts.


Jackie said...

One of my major hangups on whether or not I should date my husband was the fact that he kinda stuck his tongue out when he laughed. And that his shorts were always slightly below his knees, which I found odd. True story.

I had a bit of commitment anxiety at first, mainly cause I just had gotten out of a long relationship. But then I realized I had to stop worrying about what people thought (do I always have to be with a man? am I a serial dater? is it okay to date a community member?) and just appreciate what was in front of me.

Liesl said...

I've been struggling with this in terms of finding a job! I'm just really trying to pray that if the right job comes along, I will be filled with a sense of peace about it and have a desire in my heart to take it; otherwise, I am just trying not to get anxious about it and keep looking!

Marc Cardaronella said...

I think you're right, some of those spikes could definitely be from the devil. God always gives peace, the devil gives anxiety. Your friend's doubts about not even trying because she wasn't able to love, that was definitely from the devil. No doubt about that! When you're torn down by the spikes, that's the enemy at work. But when you consider the what-if's and it builds you up and makes you feel better, probably from God.

Anthony S. Layne said...

Kind of like the pre-wedding jitters ... where people who should have second thoughts don't, and people who shouldn't have qualms do.

Paige said...

Sometimes I actually thank God that I was away from the Church when I married my husband. He and I came back together whereas I may have missed out on something and someone I love with ally my heart if I had met him when I was a practicing Catholic, as I would never have considered marrying him in the state he was in.
That being said, sometimes I wonder about the decision I would have made had I been practicing. Sometimes I wonder if I would have married at all, since as a teenager (even non-practicing) I wanted to be a nun...

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