Are you friends with your exes? How is that working for you?
I ask this question to people all the time, and the answers are as diverse as the personalities of their exes. Some say that they are not friends with any of their exes, some say the opposite. A “lucky” few don’t have any exes because they married their high school sweethearts.
Prior to the teaching I heard the other day, I’d say I’m friends with almost all of mine–but that’s about to change.
Last Saturday I attended a program at my church entitled “He Said, She Said.” Our pastor taught the men, while the ladies listened to Minister Patricia Gregory (“Min. Trish”).
The Suspect Friend Request
It’s an all-too-familiar scenario: Min. Trish joined Facebook, and before too long, started receiving friend requests from ex-boyfriends. Can you relate? For some of us, it’s a dilemma whether to add an ex into our “fb fam.” What do they want? Is there an ulterior motive? Before I got hip to configuring my privacy settings on fb, I had a few people tell me that they looked “all up and through” my photos before even sending a friend request (in my opinion, privacy settings may be prudent, but are not the solution).
Min. Trish noted that the word boyfriend is never mentioned in the Bible. Young women were betrothed to be married back in those days because their parents were friends or partners with a man’s parents, and voila. To my knowledge, there wasn’t much in the way of dating or courting. But now we have choices, and oh, what a variety of results those choices can bring.
Min. Trish said that the ex-boyfriend represents your world and your past (representing in this teaching as Egypt v. Goshen).
Be careful of sex, lies and emotions. Indulging in the former with an ex- or current boyfriend can lead to some heartbreaking consequences:
“Beloved, I implore you as aliens and strangers and exiles in this world] to abstain from the sensual urges (the evil desires and passions of the flesh, your lower nature) that wage war against your soul.” - 1 Peter 2:11 (AMP) (in context, 1 Peter 2:9-11).
Two Kinds of Women
Min. Trish said that there are two kinds of women: the weak-willed woman and the virtuous woman (Proverbs 31:10-29). (Since the Proverbs 31 woman is infamous, I’m only going to focus on the former here.)
2 Tim 3:1-7 (AMP) describes a portrait of weak-willed woman (who is a believer) and a self-centered man:
v. 5 For [although] they hold a true form of piety (true religion), they deny and reject and are strangers to the power of it [their conduct belies the genuineness of their profession]. Avoid [all] such people [turn away from them]. v. 6 For among them are those who worm their way into homes and captivate silly and weak-natured women and spiritually-dwarfed women, loaded down with [the burden of their] sins [and easily] swayed and led away by various evil desires and seductive impulses. v. 7 [These weak women will listen to anyone who will teach them]; they are forever inquiring and getting information, but are never able to arrive at a recognition and knowledge of the Truth. (emphasis mine)
A few thoughts:
I take verse 5 to mean that some people masquerade as good, godly men but it’s a setup. I’d say in 99% of these cases, you should RUN, not walk away.
Min. Trish says it’s one thing to sin and repent, and it’s another thing to accept the sin and continue repeating it (fornication–verse 6). When you obey God up front, not fornicating, and not following the ways of the world, the wealth and blessings will come.
And finally, don’t hunt for the answer you want–get the answer you need. Keeping close company with someone who is faking jacks could lead you to all kinds of ruin. If someone shows you who they are, believe it, accept it, and move on (verse 7)! It’s not that you can’t be friends with an unbeliever, but watch your proximity. Everyone shouldn’t be “behind the veil” with you.
Some of us tip-toe in proverbial Egypt, reliving old memories with an ex. But don’t get caught up! That person may be trying to woo you because with familiarity, and see if s/he’s still “got it.”
You may feel like you’ve got power when you spread your legs, but it doesn’t work that way. It comes with a price. You may think you’re in love, but don’t compromise. Make the decision and leave the exes alone! They’ll come back and try to tempt you. Change your number, stop worrying about hurting their feelings, and stop reliving and rehashing memories. When you make the decision to leave Egypt (the ex-boyfriend) behind, God will move heaven and earth.
We are all on that search for recognition, acceptance, and significance, but there’s only One who can love you raw, just the way you are. Everyone else will have a problem with you in some kind of way. Your past does not really have power over you– it only has the power that you give it. It’s up to you to renew your mind and present your body as a living sacrifice (Rom 12:1-2). You have not been given the spirit of fear, power, love and a sound mind (2 Tim 1:7). If you are under submission, you are not worried about control.
My conclusion is that there is a reason why your past relationships ended. The past is just that unless someone or something brings it up again, but it’s probably not wise to do so (especially if that person fits the criteria of 2 Tim 3:5, posted above). If you want to enjoy memories, reminisce and daydream on your own, by yourself–not in the presence of an ex. God has something so much better for you if you let it go.