How many secular songs have been written about broken hearts? Probably too many, right? I mean, we can't walk through a store without hearing a song about two star crossed lovers who called it all off and one party is whining and/or fussing about the other. I'm not belittling true broken hearts, as I understand they can be painful, especially when they are a result of an ended relationship that had moved into something like engagement and had to been called off for genuine reasons. But I think too many times, we set ourselves up for heartbreak by our own actions in little things. And we end up with a broken heart, a heart that's in pieces, that could have been intact for the right person by giving a little of our hearts away in different ways.
For instance, crushes and flirting.
A friend once told me not to get my hopes up when it comes to a guy, because it sets me up for heartbreak. You know what? She was right. Having been disappointed a few times over crushes (Yes, I'll admit I've had my share of them) that never went anywhere, I realized I had been setting myself up for heartbreak. I think that's the true danger behind crushes. We get ourselves convinced someone is perfect and the right one and we can't imagine a future with anyone else but them. We start planning our futures (in my case, I plan the dream wedding *rolls eyes*) and we even begin to push all reason, and even God at times, to the side in order to maintain the belief that we are right and things will be perfect.
This is really a sad and dangerous place to be, this wandering in 'crushland'. Because at the end of the road through this place, we end up at heartbreak and hurt. And can we be honest? We all know nothing is going to come of it. No matter what we convince ourselves of, deep down, we know.
The worst part is, we rob ourselves of the joy we would have if we guarded our hearts and truly waited for the right one to come along. We trade emotional ups and downs for the patience we should have had in waiting. We lose that focus on serving God wholly when we begin to focus on people.
Ladies, those of us who are waiting on God to send the right guy, do we realize that somewhere out there really is a guy who is waiting for us and praying for us? That's not just a bunch of quotes on Pinterest that we can save and go 'aww yeah he's out there somewhere!' when we're feeling desperate, lonely and like we will be old maids forever. He's really out there. Your future husband. Do you honestly believe he's going to want a girl who is carrying around the memories of a hundred and one crushes? If not for your own sake (And Your Own Sake is important, I'm not saying it isn't) then for his, don't you think these crushes are doing more harm than good?
I understand, we battle the flesh. Crushes are hard to avoid at times. But honestly, you could probably avoid 90% of them by reminding yourself that your future spouse is out there and until you are actually in a REAL relationship (aka, courting or engagement) and on the road to marriage with them, you have no use for feelings for someone who you might not (probably won't, even) marry.
And to be honest, for those of you who struggle with flirting, the same rules applies. What good is flirting with every person you come across going to do? That's just as bad as a crush, worse even, because you are encouraging someone who you may not marry. Learn to be friendly and a friend to someone Without flirting. It's not impossible.
I understand this post may sound a little harsh, but I'm reminding myself right alongside y'all. Melissa Holliday needs reminding just as much as anyone else that crushes are useless emotional phases that are based off feelings rather than facts. None of us are perfect, we all are still growing in the Lord and learning. We're still battling our flesh and that's a fight that won't end until we're in Heaven. But we can take precautions to guard our hearts and not allow things to come between us and the Lord as we wait on the right guy. We don't have to set ourselves up for heartbreak.
So, I've come up with a few tips to help y'all (and myself!) Here they are:
1. Stop with the celebrity crushes. I don't care what musician, what actor, what famous star they are. Stop it. Of course they are going to appear perfect- that's the image they want you to see! You're not going to marry that celebrity, odds are, and having a crush on them is going to do nothing to help you. It's only going to encourage you in letting yourself have an infatuation on every person you come across. And if I'm honest, and you are too, the celebrity probably Isn't a believer or leading a godly lifestyle, so why would you even allow yourself to become enamored with them?! As believers, we are called to be different from the world and separate from it, not in love with it!
2. Learn to see people as friends and not crushes. Don't even give in a little on this. If someone is genuinely interested in you, they will be honest and tell you. You don't have to have a crush on them and make yourself believe they like you. IF they do, they will tell you. Learn to be just a friend to people. And this works in reverse too. Be honest with the ones who show genuine interest in you, so that you don't accidentally encourage a crush.
3. Focus on God. Stay in His Word. Stay in prayer. The more time you spend with your Savior and thinking and meditating on the Scriptures, the less time your mind will have to focus on people and crushes. Don't give excuses why you can't be reading your Bible or praying when you can spend time on social media (or even reading this blog). Put your phone down, turn the computer or laptop off and open your Bible. Get out from in front of the TV and get on your knees in prayer.
4. Seek Godly friends and get encouragement from them. Truly godly friend will not encourage your crushes, but rather will encourage you to see the Lord and His Will. While all friends are happy for their friends when there's a new 'possibility', the best friends will encourage you to pray and truly seek God about someone before you start falling into the infatuation trap.
5. Instead of flirting and encouraging flirting, try being a genuine friend and just having conversations with the opposite gender. It's not impossible. You don't have to flirt.
6. Remember the One who created your heart knows what is in it. God sees and knows what we go through. He isn't blind. He wants what is best for us, but sometimes that means He has to teach us the hard way when we insist on going our own way in matters of our hearts. Remember my post on not following your heart? Our hearts CAN deceive us, and we need to rely on God rather that our feelings and emotions.
It really doesn't matter if you're a teenager, or (like me) in your 20's, or maybe even your 30s. It's important we learn to guard ourselves against heartbreaks like crushes and flirting for fun. They don't only hurt us, they can hurt others.
Be the one who considers your future spouse is waiting for you and determines not to let a little piece of your heart be given to everyone that comes along so that you don't have a broken heart before you ever find the right person.