It seems that life can sometimes be suffering, and what I have found as a Christian is that suffering brings out questions in me, one way or the other. No one likes to suffer, no one, but it’s a reality that some time or other we will all succumb to some kind of suffering or emotional pain or heartache. Life is often big themes too; love, lust, success, failure, war, peace, happiness, sadness, hatred, harmony and so much else that makes human life so complex and so interesting but of course what often goes beyond them all is when we suffer for some reason; probably one thing all humans have in common is that we have all experienced suffering in some way for some reason or other. Our common human experience today as well as historically is that people have suffered, do suffer and will undoubtedly suffer at some point in their lives. I’m not trying to be miserable here, just basically honest.
I have a lot of emotional baggage, in fact I think most people do, but much of my negative feelings come from past experiences of meeting flaky and not very nice women in pubs and clubs and trying in my own way to be nice and to get to know them only to usually meet with some unpleasant or generally negative response. I know I have issues with this and am asking God into this each day. What’s rather curious though is that I have a number of women friends, a good few of them dotted around the world who except in one case I haven’t personally met but who I at the same time consider really good friends who I love as sisters, and one female friend who I see regularly every week and have a good natter with and share all kinds of DVDs with, especially my growing collection of Film Noir movies. So my negative feelings are already healthily balanced out with this fact. But, and not to digress, I have felt at times in my life that I was mistreated by women even though most of these women I never knew at all, just in passing. At times, though only occasionally I feel a bit down about this and I pray Lord that you give me inner peace instead of the inner turmoil I have now. But God is merciful and He sends me all kinds of decent people, both male and female, who I love and who love and care about me too. Perhaps my problem is that I am too sensitive, but I just don’t know really. ‘Unhappy creature, storm-tossed, unpitied, look, I shall lay your stones on agates and your foundations on sapphires. I shall make your battlements rubies, your gateways firestone and your entire wall precious stones. All your children will be taught by Yahweh and great will be your children's prosperity.’ (Isaiah 54:11-13 NJB) I think that most single men, and single women too, desiring genuinely to meet someone to love, be their best mate, marry and have kids with can take solace in that piece of scripture and I know that all scripture is worth reading because it has value and God does not make idle promises, not now or not ever.
What I have come to understand about love, romance, finding someone to love and all that is that it is not an easy thing at all, and it isn’t all about being fantastic looking or having lots of wealth and a big house with a swimming pool with a £100,000 car in the drive and a few businesses and a holiday home; when people confuse security of some kind or because someone looks great with love I think in the end they make a mistake. Of course no one wants to be involved with someone who sits around drinking beer all day watching the TV or someone who has no drive or ambition, or would be with someone they didn’t find at all attractive, but there is more to life than perfect looks and a bulging bank account. And although I am a Christian and try to be modest in the way I approach women, there is an aspect of lust in the purest romance! If you love someone, you might say in the understated English way ‘she’s alright’ but you might also add in that saucy English way ‘she’s a bit of alright!’ too, which basically means that she looks attractive and sexy! Whichever way you look at it then, physical attraction has to be part of love, indeed how could it not? If God created men and women, He created something in us, certainly men at any rate, to find women attractive, to find femininity and sweetness and long hair something that we men can’t really do without. And perhaps women find us men attractive too; sometimes!
We all have struggles with the flesh, in one way or another. I hasten to add I’m not running around with wild wanton women, getting drunk and running off into the night; more’s the pity! Seriously, we all struggle with our feelings, all kinds of feelings, and our feelings often affect the way we are physically to a point. If we are happy, then generally we feel physically good, and if we are unhappy then this can make us feel run down, or give us headaches or stomach aches or generally make us feel out of sorts. And many Christians, both men and women, struggle with feelings that God wants us to control, and perhaps many Christians, if they are honest, feel a twinge of jealousy when they see people doing what they want and living lifestyles that perhaps in the end don’t really bring any peace or meaning into their lives. Before I was a Christian, I was a bit wild, I partied, looked for women and drank a lot of beer! But, doesn’t everyone get a bit wild sometimes? Now I drink moderately or often not at all, I rarely go out on the town; and as for women? Well, I’m working on it!
Now I see the value of not living in the past, not living in the future, just trying to live day by day. If I worry about something in the future, I’ll get all stressed out about it and then when it finally happens, as is usual, I’ll be thinking what did I have to worry about anyway. I suspect we all do this from time to time. I am firmly trying to put my life in God’s capable hands and just let Him deal with everything. And letting go and just letting God work in our lives is the easiest thing to say, and perhaps the hardest thing for Christians to do. Oh, we’re very good at preaching aren’t we, but not so good at listening to biblical advice and wisdom ourselves?! ‘So do not worry about tomorrow: tomorrow will take care of itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.’ (Matthew 6:34 NJB)