I recently encountered a great example of what it looks like to build a biblical perspective. To switch your mindset from the way you see things to the way God sees them.
Two friends of mine found themselves in predicaments involving relationships with guys they have strong feelings for. Both women are believers. One involved a Christian and the other involved a “sort-of” Christian (i.e., “I believe in God and call myself a Christian but I don’t want to talk about God or live like a Christian because then you’re getting too religious). In the one, (the “sort-of” Christian) the guy did not understand the value God places on women nor the man’s place in the relationship as God defines it. In the other, the guy intellectually understood these things but did not apply it to the relationship.
Both women found that their relationships with these men were emotionally damaging to them but had a hard time figuring out how to handle it because of their emotional investments into these guys. They clearly saw that the men were not living up to standards that were best for them. However, being the caring and compassionate Christian women that they are, they both felt that it would be selfish and cruel to hold that against the men just because they were not receiving what’s best for them. After all, doesn’t God call us not to be self-centered people and to consider others as more important than ourselves (Phil 2:3)?
Yes, He does. But remember, that building a biblical perspective takes everything that the Bible teaches from beginning to end and asks the question, “Now how does all that affect this?” In addition to teaching selflessness, the Bible also teaches us that God places a very high value on women. Eve was a very special gift to Adam meant to be cherished and nurtured by Adam. Not just in understanding but also in application. Therefore, when taking into account how God views women, and how God expects men to treat a woman, it does not make it selfish nor mean for a woman to refuse to be in a relationship with a man who does not see her as God does and does not treat her as Christ would. Granted, were these two women in a marital relationship with these men, that would bring another ingredient into the picture that would change the way they should approach their respective situations (Matt 5:31-32; 19:1-9; Mal 2:16).
However, they were not. Therefore, they have no moral obligation to keep themselves in relationships in which the man’s standards and actions are lower than God’s. In fact, it would be quite the opposite of self-centeredness to say, “I’m not going to continue to place myself in a position that God would not ask me to place myself in.” I pointed out to my friends that they were actually degrading themselves by lowering themselves to standards lower than God’s. First of all, they owed it to themselves as women to make up their mind that they were going to bring their lives in line with God’s standards. But more importantly, they owed it to God.
This is where the switch in perspective needed to take place. To decide, “I’m going to live my life from my God-given place and value as a woman and not place myself in relationships that don’t line up with that,” is actually the most God-centered perspective a woman can take when it comes to relationships. Their perspectives were being influenced by their emotions and by a non-biblical idea of selflessness. It is in no way a form of entitlement to bring your life in line with God’s standards and values for you. It would actually be a sin not to do so.
God says, “This is how much I value you. These are the standards I set for your life. This is the kind of life I want you to live.” Then we say, “That’s nice God and I understand that but applying that to this situation just doesn’t feel right to me.” In such a case the way we see it is not lining up with the way God sees it. When we do this our perspective has become unbiblical and less than honoring to God. In any situation, for us to switch our mindset from the way we see it to the way God sees it (and then live from that perspective), is the most God-honoring thing we can do and we owe it to Him to do so.
Copyright © Lawrence Joseph Sterling 2017. All rights reserved.