WHEN TO HOLD ON & WHEN TO LET GO
We’ve all been there…..”It’s different when it’s just the two of us” “When things are good they’re really good” “I see the potential in him” “I really think it will be different this time” “We have such good chemistry though…” I’m sure that anyone reading this could share their story about the person who they held on to, when deep down, they knew they should’ve been letting go. We have all cried ourselves to sleep at one point or another over someone that said they loved us, but kept hurting us over and over again. Some of our Pinterest boards are filled with novelty quotes about “fighting for love” and knowing that “in the end it will all be worth it”. Others of us have a Pinterest that leans more towards self-empowerment, “Be your own ray of sunshine” and “A good woman doesn’t need a man”. So in the midst of this crazy phase of life, while we love the idea of love but also love being young and free, while we chase career dreams and dream of our future families, how do we know when someone is worth holding on to, or letting go.
This is definitely a pressing question in millennial relationships, and something that God has really been opening my eyes to over the past two months. I have always been firm in my past relationships. I have an extremely low tolerance for lying and zero tolerance for disrespect. One heated argument with expletives directed towards me was really all it took for me to say goodbye to someone. I don’t know if I’m getting soft in my old age, or if these southern accents that Tennessee boys have are just really throwing me off, but for ten months I wrestled with holding on to someone that I should have been letting go of. Unfortunately, life is not a Nicholas Sparks movie and there is no romantic spin that we can put on the mess of feelings plus sexual temptation in the real world. Fortunately, we have a God who knows that and actually makes dating pretty simple if we do it the way He tells us to.
So, when do we know if we should be holding on or letting go? Let’s start by asking this…
1) Does he love Jesus? I’m not talking about going to church on Sunday’s or having notes in his Bible, I mean does this man love people genuinely, serve people intentionally, and know Jesus intimately?
2) Does he respect you? That’s pretty simple, but incase there is any confusion, here are some examples of men that don’t respect you….
If the things he tells you he is also telling other girls….not respectful.
Does he push you to do things you know in your heart you shouldn’t be doing…not respectful.
Does he leave you feeling confused instead of confident when you aren’t together…not respectful.
3) Is he a man of his word? If he tells you that he is going to do something, does he actually do it?
4) Does he challenge you in a healthy way? Someone who negatively challenges you in the relationship, challenges you to compromise your standards, challenges you to trust because he isn’t acting trustworthy…unhealthy. Someone who challenges you to work hard on the days you feel like quitting, challenges you to grow spiritually and physically, challenges you to stay strong in your standards and doesn’t let you cave in when you feel like you will….healthy.
5) Do the people who care about you see the sides of him you don’t want to see? Are you being blind to the red flags, the false sense of friendship, and the manipulative tactics?
This is when you know it’s time to let go. And you know what? It is okay. There is no reason to feel guilty about letting someone go who is toxic to your life. My pastor always says that you can’t accept what God has for your future if you keep holding on to your past, so let it go girl. Don’t worry about the mutual friends, the church service that you both attend, the office you both spend your days at.
Don’t feel guilty for standing up for yourself and simply refusing to settle for someone who can’t appreciate the full value of you.
Don’t be sad about the laughs that you will miss or the nights together that you can’t get back. Be proud of yourself for recognizing that it’s time to let go! You are growing and changing, becoming more and more of the woman Jesus has created you to be, and you can’t become that person if you’re clinging to someone who doesn’t treat you that way. We have all held on for too long before. We hold on too long and too tight because sometimes, even someone who will hurt us in the morning is better than having no one in the morning at all. Don’t let yourself fall victim to that mentality. You can love someone with authenticity, pray for them with sincerity, and still let them go. Holding on is comfortable, but letting go is admirable. Don’t sell yourself short.