3 Reasons You Don’t Have to Force Relationships
One of the biggest lessons in my personal life was to not force relationships. I had a few best friends in my life and at some point they moved away due to circumstances beyond their control. That can be hard on a kid growing up and at the time the small seeds of fear and abandonment were planted in my heart. It got to the point that I don’t even like to use the term “best friend” anymore because I’d fear something may happen or they’d move away, out of my life, and things won’t be the same.
One time I was discouraged when another bestie moved to join the armed forces. I wanted her to stay in Illinois with me and not leave me like the others did. It was in that season that I had to let her go pursue her personal goals and what she felt led to do rather than have my selfish needs met.
We hear often that people come into our lives for a reason or for a season, and as someone who faced rejection, loneliness, betrayal and abandonment, I didn’t understand these three things until later on in my twenties:
The signs are usually there.
You should not have to force any relationship to work. If the other person wants to put in the effort to meet yours, then you have something to build with. But if you’re constantly the one reaching out, if their interest has waned, or you sense that your season together may be up, then don’t be in denial about those things. A lot of times people break away from relationships because they are dealing with their own issues and that may require them to do things on their own terms. Don’t ignore those signs and just submit it to God.
Seasons are meant to change and for change.
Change is good, and if that means you have to give someone space then so be it. God in His sovereignty removed some of my best friends out of my life because they weren’t meant to go into the next season with me. Other friendships changed because the season for that relationship was up, and now I realize that it’s okay to let that go.
When God saw it fit to bring new friendships into my life He did. He brought me friends who respect and honor me, who are purposed and who inspire me to be who God called me to be. God will heal and restore you with godly connections that will serve your purpose in due season. Even if their season is up, I can’t accept thoughts of rejection or abandonment anymore; I accept that seasons consistently change and pray for the best for the both of us.
We are given free will by God to make choices.
We are given renewed mercy to choose Him or the world each day. Even when we mess up and make the wrong choices, God doesn’t force Himself on us; He loves us and is with us wherever we go. God is patient beyond our human capabilities for us to come back to Him, repent, and get our relationship back on track.
One of the misunderstandings about God is that He is some tyrant in the sky judging us every day, when that’s not the case at all. He is Immanuel, God with us, who walked among man and experienced many of the things we face throughout our lives and relationships. Jesus went through so we would know that He understands and so that we can triumph as He did. And even in all that the Lord went through to save our lives, He doesn’t force His relationship on us—its’ only when we allow Him into our lives will we experience His love without restriction.
Recently one of my sisters attended a church on her own and when she told me I was overjoyed. When I told her that I didn’t want to force attending church on her she thanked me for that. We can’t force anyone to do anything they don’t want to do; all we can do most times is pray and speak life into that person, even if it’s not direct.
I’m thankful for God continuing to heal those areas in my life that have affected my outlook on relationships and providing me a few long term and new friendships that I cherish. Above all I respect and honor God for being a consistent, patient and loving friend to me all of my life and not forcing our connection, but drawing me closer with His grace and love.
How do you handle change in friendships or relationships? Has this changed your perspective? Let us know in the comments!