Greetings to you all mid-week, and I hope this finds you well. As most of you know, this past Sunday I blogged about my experience of dating a non-Christian as well as the emotional whirlwind surrounding it. Over the last few days it’s become clear there were some strong reactions to what I wrote, and I want to take the opportunity to address those who were affected in a negative way. It is difficult to know I have hurt or disappointed some who have been members of this community for a long while and faithfully commit to the Monday practice of prayer and fasting we share.
Since we’ve had some recent posts on shame, I wanted to stay with that theme. Shame is something I struggle with in my life around all sorts of issues, and right now it’s showing up in the context of my dating relationship. Because of this, part of my faith practice involves regularly returning to the truth of God’s unconditional, unchanging love. Otherwise I have difficulty hearing His voice in a way I can understand or make sense of.
Making sense of the Holy Spirit’s voice, hearing His leading, ultimately discerning whether the man I’m dating should be in my life or not is something I can only do if I feel safe and accepted. The voice of shame never feels safe, but God’s love always does. It encourages and invites me back into His arms where I can receive His holy wisdom and perfect truth.
In writing about God’s unchanging love related to my dating life I was hoping to illustrate a path that God and I regularly walk together – out of shame and into love. This is the way I hear His voice, not through harsh condemnation, but through gentle guidance and leading – the Shepherd’s rod if you will. It is entirely possible that God will walk me out of this relationship, but part of discovering if that will happen involves me getting close enough to God’s heart in loving relationship that I can hear and trust His voice.
I can see now how the tone of my piece might have implied a focus on God’s unconditional love at the expense of His ultimate authority. This was certainly not my intention. My goal now is to show how I see the two has intricately related: God’s unchanging love fosters an environment in which to hear and accept His will, whether that is to be in relationship or to be single.
I sincerely hope this helps bring some depth and clarity to what I wrote. I understand that this topic is a sensitive one and am grateful for your feedback. Those of us at fast.pray want to know your thoughts, concerns, and feelings, and encourage dialogue around whatever comes up in relation to our writing. Our desire is always for you to find hope and strength in the good God we serve, and to soak in His ever-present love and wisdom.
** Editors note ** After reading some of the initial comments below, I feel the need to clarify one more thing. In this post I’ve referred to the man I’m dating as non-believer, while in my first post I refer to him as someone with a faith foundation who is not actively pursuing God. The latter description is more accurate. I apologize for the discrepancy.