Learning to let go was one of the lessons I incorporated into my minimalist lifestyle. I’m not talking about letting go of material things. I’m talking about letting go of specific areas in our lives. Throughout my journey, I realized that simplifying my life entailed letting go of things that hindered my view of my true goals. This is the fourth installment of my Letting Go series. The first three are: Letting go of yourself, Letting Go of your Ambition, and Letting Go of your Past. This time, I will share with you letting go of wrong relationships.
Television shows and films have romanticized the idea of “finding the one.” Imagine, out of the billions of people out there, one person is made for you. Countless dating apps, friendly meet-ups, and matchmaking activities prove how desperate people are at finding love. It’s no wonder that when they find them, they will never let go. After all, who in the right mind would break up a “perfect” relationship?
What if that one true love of yours may not be the right one after all?
Not All Relationships are RIGHT
According to the world’s standards, as long as you find someone who loves you and you reciprocate their feelings, you have every right to be with them forever. They say that LOVE ALWAYS WINS.
But what does the Bible say?
You say, “I am allowed to do anything”–but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything” — but not everything is beneficial. 1 Corinthians 10:23, NLT
We are allowed to do anything as we please, but not all our decisions will be beneficial to us.
Consider a teenager who is eager to find a girlfriend or boyfriend. There is nothing wrong with younger people looking and finding love unless their parents asked them not to. Parents always have their child’s best interest at heart. Some of them discourage relationships at an early age because their child is not ready and they want to spare them from heartbreak.
Unfortunately, some children disobey their parents and choose to pursue the relationship because, “Mom, I love him or her!” They do not take heed of what the Bible tells them:
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother’ — which is the first commandment with a promise — ‘so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.’” Ephesians 6:1-3
In the end, most, if not all, experience unnecessary heartbreak or unplanned pregnancies. Having a baby is always a blessing. But teen parents rarely experience the joys that come with being a teenager due to their unplanned responsibilities.
I was a rebellious teenager too. Growing up from a broken family, I sought the love and attention I didn’t receive at home. So, I got into a serious relationship. I found security in my then boyfriend. I thought I knew how to handle the relationship even though I was immature and incapable of handling emotions.
I didn’t realize that the relationship was keeping me away from things that mattered most. I was so focused on keeping us together and pleasing my boyfriend. I had pre-marital sex and an unfortunate abortion — both affecting my life afterward.
This is what teenagers don’t see. They’re too focused on the emotions. They do not see the consequences of disobeying their parents. This did not happen to me. Even my children had teenage relationships. What started as a happy relationship with our partners ended in pain.
Consider a man who is in love with another man or a woman in a relationship with the same sex. We live in a culture where LOVE WINS — anyone has the liberty to love any person. The world believes nothing should stop two people from falling in love, not even the Bible’s view on it. Paul said so clearly in Romans 1:18-32: homosexuality is a sin.
But people still choose to be in same-sex relationships because “LOVE IS LOVE.”
I understand that we have different views on relationships. I am not condemning anyone and I love close friends and relatives who are in the same relationship. I respect them, but I believe in the truth of the Bible. Because I care for them, I pray that they too will see what God’s real view of love is.
Consider an individual who found “true love” in a married person. It’s the classic story of “You and Me Against the World.” An unhappy spouse finds comfort in the arms of someone who understands them better. They finally feel that fire they’ve been missing for a long time.
They found love at the wrong time, but they think it shouldn’t stop them from following their heart. They will beat the odds even if it breaks the family.
“Toni, aren’t you being too legalistic?” you might ask.
I was in a wrong relationship before.
I did not find the affection I needed from my husband. I found it in someone else. I ended up in the arms of another man who promised me the world. I thought that this was what I had been missing all along. I did not care if I was still married or that I had children who needed me.
I’m no stranger to the concept of “following your heart.” I thought my relationship with this man was the answer to all of my prayers: affection, financial stability, etc. On the contrary, they were not.
Why Letting Go Is the Answer
Why couldn’t we just let people in love stay in love?
Simple, it’s not the best for us. The world often sees what is best for them are the things that bring them happiness or pleasure. If a relationship makes them happy, it is the best for them, right?
On the contrary, the real definition of “the best” is God’s standard.
Sadly, the world thinks of the Lord as a killjoy who pours cold water over our plans. But God is not a killjoy. If anything, He is our Father and as a father, he wants what is best for His children. All of His plans for your life are aligned to His word. A relationship is wrong if it goes against His word. Just take a look at what the Bible says on the following:
Relationships that practice pre-marital sex and other immoral acts.
“It is God’s will that you should be sanctified; that you should avoid sexual immorality.” 1 Thessalonians 4:3
“You shall not commit adultery.” Exodus 20:14
Divorcing the Spouse to Purse Another Relationship
“Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” Luke 16:18
“Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men…will inherit the kingdom of God. “1 Corinthians 6:9-10
God wants you to live a straightforward life and He wants you to live it with the person He made for you. If you keep holding on to the wrong person, even though you think they are the love of your life, you will miss out on the true love of your life.
You might think, “But I’m happy with this person now! What could possibly go wrong?”
When you hold on to the wrong person, everything can go wrong — not all at once, of course. In most cases, it takes time before we reap the consequences of our decisions.
In my case, my affair led to unnecessary stress. I was always worried about how people would view me or if I was ever enough for my partner. It also resulted in the deterioration of my relationship with my husband. He did not know at that time, but our relationship was definitely on the rocks. I missed out on a lot of quality time with my children, too. I was always tired and worried. I thought I was happy, but deep inside there was a lack that my relationship could not fill.
There Is Freedom in Obedience
Instead of holding on to the wrong “right one,” it’s best to let go. It won’t be easy, though.
It’s hard to let go when you’re in love. It is, in fact, harder when you live outside the will of your Heavenly Father.
When the Lord revealed to me that it was time to break off my extramarital affair, I had a difficult time. There was no reason for me to stay, but the consequences of my action made it hard for me to leave. He would not let go, but I knew our relationship no longer glorified the Lord and it was affecting my family. It was a struggle. I wanted to obey the Lord but the lust of the world kept calling me. By God’s grace, He comes to the aid of those who want to obey Him.
“But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it — not forgetting what they heard, but doing it — they will be blessed in what they do.” James 1:25
It took months before I broke free from my chains. And now, I couldn’t be happier.
When you let God control your relationships, His peace will rest in your heart. The journey of letting go might be difficult, but trust that He will hold your hand as He did mine. Just follow Him and He shall set your path straight. Eventually, all areas of your life will fall into their proper places.
“But I’m already used to this relationship,” you might say.
Don’t miss out on the Lord’s blessings because you chose to stay in your comfort zone. God has so much in store for your life. Remember: He wants the best for you. When you obey His word and heed His voice, He will help you live peacefully.
I have no regrets with my decision to let go. It was a tough journey, but the Lord has been faithful. When I cut ties with this man, God restored my relationship with my husband and has made it more fruitful. He also opened new opportunities for me to make up the lost time with my kids. Today, we are closer than ever. I am also having a blast serving at our church by helping other women like me.
Finding true love begins with trusting the epitome of Love, who is Christ Himself. When you follow Him by letting go, He will lead you to His everlasting love. Then, he will lead you to the one he has set for you.
Letting go of a relationship is just one step towards a minimalist lifestyle. It can be painful, but the journey is worth going through. I can say so myself because I’ve gone through it and I gained the freedom to enjoy a slightly stress-free life!
You can have this too. All you need is to make the big leap of faith. Remember, you deserve to be joyful. Take this step and enjoy a peaceful life.