Hey there all. So, my name’s Adam Anderson. I’m a campus minister in Erie, PA, and friends with some of the folks posting, and I was asked if I wanted to post something on here. And, seriously, who doesn’t like to see their words up on a screen for the world to see? Here I am.
Relationships in a Christian context can be one of the most frustrating, if not downright inexplicable things around. We’re called as Christians to love with every fiber of our being God and those around us. And yet, when we try to love someone a little more than the rest, we simply get ourselves caught up in hurt, frustration, and inevitably, we start to mistrust ourselves and ability to love in the first place.
And believe me, I’m no different. I had my serious ups and downs when it came to dating. I was blessed with some sweet and wonderful girls to spend time, and really had some rough spots. And from all this experience, I think I finally figured out a solution.
I really don’t give two rips about relationships.
Let me repeat myself: I don’t care.
At this point I should probably quit posting to a website devoted to determining these things right? Well, please keep reading, and hopefully it’ll make sense (girls, please don’t have a heart attack).
For many years, I thought of myself as a fairly devoted Christian, and realized a lot of that devotion to God involved being willing to give it fears to him. So, that’s what I did. My college life? Gave it to God. My major? Gave it to God. And as I gave these things up, I felt less frustration in them. When I stopped trying to fix them myself, the peace that came out of it was surreal – even if it wasn’t what I originally intented (this spoken from the english turned business management turned marketing major turned RD/Campus minister).
But I realized that the one places I wasn’t giving God the leadership was my relationships. And for awhile, through major screw-ups in physical and emotional boundaries, it was showing up in a major way. I was unhappy, and had no peace or joy. So I prayed to God, and told Him that I’d just allow Him to lead, and that I’ll respect his rules.
So I sat around.
…and nothing. For awhile I thought it was penance for the crimes of physical intimacy (which, unfortunately, our churches make many of us feel the more bases you run, the less of a chance you have to getting married, or worse, getting into Heaven. As if anyone deserved it before we made mistakes), or maybe, as we all hear (inevitably from our friends with good relationships) that “it’s just not the right time… oh, it’s all okay, plenty of fish in the sea!”
All that did was make me mad, and think there was something more to all of this garbage.
Then I remembered my purpose as a Christian again: to love God with all my body, soul, mind, and strength, and to love my neighbor as myself. A few words with a weight that transcends all of the categories I was trying to put God’s will into. Sure, I was gaining peace, but it wasn’t full, because ultimately it still concerned me. Loving God and people leaves little space for loving myself – and that is a concept we as Americans don’t tend to like to hear.
Time’s progressed, and I’m trying to put love into action. And as I do, the things I was worried about don’t matter anymore: my Master’s degree? Love God and people, and don’t worry. Doing good ministry at Gannon? Love God and people, and don’t worry.
Which brings me back to not caring about relationships. At this point (and, I suppose at any point in my life) I want to choose to love God and people, and not worry about what relationship I’m in. And, inevitably, I think that’s where the beauty comes in – when I’ve decided to just start loving, I stop caring about relationships and how they affect me, but how it affects the guys and girls around me. The relationships developed from giving up my desires and just loving are deeper, and more God-like.
So, in the end, I guess I still care about relationships – I probably care more. But, I care about God’s love the most.
I’d love to hear any insights or comments, and will do what I can to reply.
peace and love to all,