Last night, my boyfriend and I were talking and he said something that I’d honestly never even thought before. He said “I don’t understand people who don’t want to be around healthy couples when they’re single. If you want to learn how to do something well, you surround yourself with people who can teach you how.” Now, when I was single, I was one of those people who kept couple hangs to a minimum, one reason was because I didn’t have a lot of friends who were in couples, but the other was because it kinda made me jealous, if I’m being honest. I thought it better to keep away from that rather than to face it head on.
Luckily for me, it was hard to escape amazing couples because my parents and my sister and her husband are phenomenal, as well as being around the staff at my church--I was lucky to have lots of examples.
However, when Taylor said that last night I thought to myself, “Holy freaking cow. YOU ARE SO RIGHT.” I had never thought of it that way before. So, I want to pose this question, what if you started surrounding yourself with healthy people that you want to emulate and learn from? Now, single people, I can feel your glares at me through the computer. I know you’re sitting over there thinking “Bull****, you’re one of those annoying people in love now, you don’t know how I feel. I don’t want to be around couples, it makes me more lonely.” Ok, here’s the thing, you might be right about half of that, I am a part of a couple in love, and sometimes we might be annoying, but hey, I earned that right. You are, however, wrong about me not knowing how you feel. I spent years single, and I’ve openly talked about all the feels I had during that time. Perspective does change when you enter a relationship, but it’s kinda the idea that everything you do in the present sets you up for your future.
I’ll use the example of saving money. If you put away $500/month into savings, then in a year you’ll have $6000. That money can take you on a trip, help you buy a car, get you 2 new computers and a phone, it can help you launch your business--any number of things. Saving that money sets you up for success in the future. If you spend every cent of your paycheck and your car breaks down, then you’re in for trouble. You’re gonna have to call your mom, bawling your eyes out, begging her to give you $50, then you’re gonna have to go do some signing on the street, with a hat, to scrounge up the extra cash. It’s a tough gig. You don’t want your romantic life to be that way, because it’s one of the more important relationships you’ll foster.
“Dear friend, pay close attention to this, my wisdom; listen very closely to the way I see it. Then you’ll acquire a taste for good sense; what I tell you will keep you out of trouble.”
This is it, straight up, you surround yourself with the people you want to be like, in business, in relationship, in friendship, in your health journey, all of it. It’s that whole thing of, “Show me your friends, I’ll show you your future.” If you’re single and you want to have a healthy relationship, spend time hanging out with people who have healthy dating relationships, if you’re dating spend time with people who have healthy marriages, and if you’re married spend time with people who’ve been hitched much longer than you have. There is wisdom in learning from someone who has gone before you.
“When you sit down to eat with someone important, keep in mind who he is.”
There’s another piece to this however, because I get it, you can listen to me tell you to hang out with these people, but some of you guys might still sit there and say “NOPE, NOPE, NOPE. Not doin’ it.” If that’s the case, and you’re just really not into it, spend some more time with Jesus. I mean, definitely do that either way, but when you spend time with Him, you begin to reflect him. People can see that in your life.
“But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.”
It’s here, when we’re in His presence, that even those feelings of jealousy start to fade away, and the desires of our hearts change. He changes us. This is it, really, but it’s definitely easier said than done, I get that. Heck, I’m still learning this. I’m learning that it is vital to surround my dating relationship with healthy marriages and to press deeper into the Father's presence. We’re always learning, always growing and that’s the beautiful thing.