Q and A

Matthew from Nashville, TN asks...

Not Good Enough

Dear Junebug: This past January my fiance called off our engagement. Throughout the year I've been praying and God has answered specific prayers to whether she is still the one. The problem is we were in constant battle with her parents throughout our relationship. Her parents didn't respect me and they looked down on me because I didn't have money. Please keep in mind I've worked my way through college and I'm currently in Grad school getting a degree in Occupational Therapy. So, full time work has not really been easy to come by. My fiance is scared of what her parents think and always pleases them. I tried to meet with them multiple times just to talk things out, but they would always cancel on me at the last minute. I wasn't going to ask for her hand in marriage, but after being put down and not respected and believing that my fiance was the one for me, I went ahead and proposed to her without asking her parents. I realize I was wrong. But now she is graduating this December and her Father doesn't want me there even though it is a public graduation at Belmont University; and he doesn't want to have anything to do with me, although he has never told me so directly or at any time throughout my relationship with his daughter. I have been my fiance's rock and support through her under grad and now graduate school years. even while we have been broken up. Even still, as I've prayed, I believed that I would be honoring God if I didn't go to the graduation so that her father could have a peaceful visit. Junebug, am I doing the right thing? Should I still keep being faithful? I'm sorry its so long, but there is so much more.

Posted in Broken Relationships on Fri, Dec 10th 2010

Priorities in Order?

Dear Matthew:

First, let me say how sorry I am that you are in this conflict, especially with someone you truly love and want to spend your life with. I can relate somewhat to your situation for initially my future in-laws did not accept me for religious reasons; it was a difficult thing to deal with and to accept. Thankfully, God was present throughout. HIS hand carefully orchestrated all aspects of our relationship, even amidst the challenging times. That being the case, I'd like to give you a few pointers to help you though this trying time.

First, stay on your knees before God. Ask Him for direction and forgiveness so that the root of bitterness will not drive a wedge between you and your future in-laws. You do not want the enemy to steal the joy from that potential relationship.

Second, remember that "this too shall pass." What is going on today will most likely be smoothed out tomorrow if you can offer unconditional love and forgiveness to your fiance's parents. God has always insisted that I be the one who forgives, loves and understands regardless of what has been "done" to me. Through this, I know He is teaching me to be humble; He is teaching me how to love even those who seem to hate me, and He is teaching me to be more and more like He is!!!  I have to admit that I am not a quick learner. Most of the time I put up a good fight to do what I want to do rather than what He commands me to do. Thankfully, I am still learning and He is not done with me yet!

And last, you need to have a heart to heart talk with your fiance to remind her of your place of priority in the marriage relationship. I would advise you to begin your discussions with the Scripture passages from Ephesians 5:22-31. Read them aloud to her, holding her hand and letting her know that your desire is to love, nourish and cherish her the way God intends for you to. That also means you will respect her parents even if they don't respect you. Matthew, when you are in God's family, He requires you to always do what is right regardless of the hurt others may be inflicting upon you. Ask your fiance if she can put God first, you second and her family in third place. It is very important that she understands the priority order of where her family will have to be once you two are married. If she doesn't grasp this concept ordained by God, then I suggest you step back and wait on marrying her.

It may be a little late on whether you should attend her graduation, but in my view, that decision is entirely up to you and your fiance. You could skip it if you think that would keep the peace, or on the other hand, you could go and stay away from her family watching the event from afar. Either way, I believe the final decision has to be made by both of you.

God's blessings on you Matthew. Keep doing what is right by HIM!