It’s a term that’s become popular amongst millennials. We’ve all heard of being thirsty, but the closer I get to my 30’s, the more I see it in church. Women and men love using the sanctuary as a playground and some only attend to find a playmate. Even our leaders love playing matchmaker as though being in a relationship causes us to be closer to God. But the thing is, being thirsty (or desperate for attention and affection) only lands Christians in a danger zone. This is something I learned the hard way, but it taught me a very important lesson about godly relationships.
My most recent trip through the Sahara Desert came a few years ago when I reconnected with an old friend. Straight out the gate, I was thirsty. I had already imagined him to be something he wasn’t and I wasn’t willing to budge off of that idea. Before I realized it, I’d opened a door that allowed him to see my vulnerability and take advantage of it. One week, he would seem interested. We’d talk on the phone for hours and go out from time to time. The next week, however, his demeanor would change. He’d start saying things like, “I think you’re moving too fast,” “you’re getting ahead of yourself,” “why can’t we just be friends first?” When I’d kindly slide him into the friendzone, he would begin to act interested again and would be bothered if I denied him time and attention. It became a pattern. As I began to wise up, I started to realize that even from the very beginning, I not only gave him the opportunity to play with my mind and emotions, but I failed to realize that I was only supposed to be a bridge for him, not a bae. Let me explain.
I began to recall our first few conversations, when he often danced around his struggle with certain sins and felt comfortable opening up to me because he knew I was a Christian. He made it clear to me that he didn’t feel comfortable with his current state of being: financially and spiritually. I heard him, but I wasn’t listening.
When we’re thirsty, we see these types of people as projects that we can upgrade if they would just let us in. Some of us even believe that it is God’s will for us to be in a relationship with these people in order to draw them closer to Christ, but it’s 100% false! The Holy Spirit can draw someone with or without you.
The fact is, we should only see these people as brothers & sisters in Christ. We should love them in a way that shows them Christ without attempting to manipulate them and connect them to ourselves. We should value their relationship with God, even if it means they will never have a relationship with us. Quite frankly, it’s not about us!
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4
My only role in his life may have been to connect him to godly men, pray for him and be a good friend, but my thirst blinded me. Regardless of his intentions, I know I put him in a position to either lead me on to keep me interested or forget the friendship altogether. Without his interest, I wouldn’t have allowed myself to get to know him and I would’ve never created an environment in which he felt comfortable talking about his relationship with God.
Looking back, I had all the signs, but I failed. I never put myself in a position to be who God intended for me to be for him because I only chose to see it as something else. Even worse, is that my thirst was a result of my own insecurities. This man was not the type of person I wanted or needed and he wasn’t ready for a relationship, but I didn’t trust God enough to believe that there was someone else better suited for me. Being thirsty makes us blind. It is the result of our dissatisfaction with where we are in life and our lack of faith in the God who knows what we desire.
“Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” -2 Timothy 2:22
If we begin to look at the opposite sex as brothers & sisters in Christ FIRST, we will save ourselves from wasted time, wasted energy, sinful bonds and broken hearts. We will view them with the eyes of Christ and not consider them with the lust of our flesh. We will be more likely to avoid sinful relationships and we will be able to clearly recognize when a man or woman is simply pretending to be a Christian in an attempt to gain our attention or our bodies. False prophets aren’t the only ones wreaking havoc in our churches. Men and women attend church all the time, looking for one or many people to lead astray.
“I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery, they deceive the minds of naïve people.” -Romans 16:17-18 (Also see: 2 Timothy 3:1-7)
Just remember that singleness is not a bad thing and your time will come. In the meantime, pray that God will mold you into the woman or man that He created you to be, apart from having a significant other. Pray that He will give you discernment regarding the people you seek a relationship with and remember that He put you on earth as an individual first. Choose to know and love yourself. Find community with other brothers & sisters in Christ and understand that it may not be the right time for any other titles yet.
Be wise and please, stay hydrated.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” -Proverbs 4:23