Does the fear of being hurt cause us to miss out on deep, meaningful relationships? Do we steer clear of commitment to avoid being hurt? Could it go one step further than the fear of being hurt – the fear of loving and being loved? In order to experience love we really have to put ourselves at risk – the risk of being hurt.
We build walls around ourselves and push people away; consequently, missing out on God’s greatest blessings for us. My dear 91 year old mother-in-law and I just recently discussed this very subject. She shared with me how she knew of several instances where young women ended up with undesirable husbands out of the fear of committing to the young men, who had previously come along, who would have been right for them. They lost out on opportunities to be with the more desirable husband-material and ended up settling later for less-than-desirable husbands. God truly had His best for them and they pushed it away.
I really think that the phrase “if it’s meant to be it will happen” is overused. I know for a fact, that I’ve missed out on blessings, and/or opportunities that would have blessed me because I was afraid to make it happen. Either, I didn’t think I had the time, or I wasn’t willing to commit. Whatever my excuse was, wasn’t a result of “well it wasn’t meant to be”, but instead, a result of me searching so hard for something that if the obvious would have slapped me in my face I wouldn’t have known it.
I don’t want to be misunderstood here. I know that God provides, according to His will, all the time. But, I don’t believe that just because something doesn’t work out it automatically means that it wasn’t God’s will or plans for it to ever happen. We are not God’s puppets. He did not put us here to control us. Instead, He gave us the free-will to choose; unfortunately, we sometimes choose different than what He would have wanted for us. The good news is – He loves us in spite of ourselves.
In order to experience love we sometimes have to experience pain. It’s inevitable when the heart is involved. Do we strive to hard for that perfect friend, husband, or wife? It would be easy to love perfection – someone that would never mess up – never hurt us. God loves us in our imperfectness. I think of David and how he hurt God in so many ways. However, God continued to love him. In Acts 13:22, God says that David is “A man after my own heart.” God loves imperfect people. That’s good news for us. Otherwise, we’d all be in trouble.
The real challenge lies in finding that imperfect friend, husband, or wife and allowing that person to become a perfect fit for us. We can’t be afraid to love a friend or potential spouse for fear of being hurt. When we close ourselves off to love or new relationships in order to protect our hearts we can miss out on what was meant to come. Anything worth having, or anyone worth loving, is worth the risk of letting our hearts be open to hurt.
In my own marriage, the fact that we both give and put into it makes it all the more meaningful and valuable. If we had not been willing to make a commitment, or we had not been willing to risk being hurt, we wouldn’t have allowed ourselves to ever fall in love. I thank God every day that my husband and I were more than willing to run the risk and commit to a relationship that has now lasted more than 28 years. I encourage you to take a chance…you might be glad you did.