I was listening to a podcast by Andy Stanley the other week about choices.
One statement he shared that stood out the most was, “Pay Attention to the Tension.”
He talked about how sometimes we need to take the time to pause…. And ask ourselves questions…. About what we are really thinking, and feeling… and why we are doing what we are doing.
I thought this was incredibly applicable to relationships. He was speaking on choices. And relationships are choices. So yes, I’d say it is applicable.
There are two extremes we can make with tension. One is to bail. One is to suppress. I have erred on both sides before.
The answer to the problem is simple but not always what we would want. It’s to simply let the tension grow. And grow. And grow. Allow it to grow as big as its gonna be before making your decision.
Sometimes our tension comes from fear and we need to ask ourselves questions and line up what we are feeling with what God’s Word says. Sometimes our tension comes from our consciences telling us something is amiss and in that case we should take the same approach of asking ourselves questions and lining up what we feel with what God’s Word says.
Is there a tension that needs my attention? If there’s a tension, pause ……….. …… …., refuse to suppress or ignore it.
You know those awkward pauses when you are talking to someone? Yes, try one of those on yourself. Make it really awkward. Look deeply into yourself. Why are you in this relationship? Why are you staying in it? Why are you trying to get out? What are you looking for? Why are you looking for that? Where are you headed physically? Why are you headed there?
Ask yourself questions. And listen. And when there’s a tension….
Pay attention to the tension, don’t try to hide it.
I’ve been in the relationship that didn’t feel right but I didn’t want it to end so I stayed there. I buried the tension. I didn’t listen to it. And eventually I was forced to make a decision I should have made sooner. I’ve been in a relationship where the physical aspect began to enter and I felt a tension and I had to tell the girl immediately about the tension or I risked burying the tension and doing whatever I wanted.
Guys, if you are leading a relationship, and you are not comfortable in it. It’s ok to ask yourself honest questions and to pay attention to the tension. Guys, when you are leading a relationship and you are going somewhere physically and you feel a tension, it is not only right, but you better, pause, and listen to the tension.
Gals, when you are in a relationship, and you are not sure if it is what God has for you, it is ok to listen to the tension and seek wise counsel. Gals, when a guy is leading you somewhere physically, and you are not comfortable with it, please, listen to that tension.
The tension doesn’t always mean there is something wrong. Sometimes our feelings can deceive us. But sometimes that tension might be giving us a clue as well. That is why we must pause …….. awkwardly pause……. And ask ourselves questions. Read God’s Word. And seek wise counsel.
The tension is there to make us better. Tension causes us to search and seek for what is right and what is best. That’s why it is best for us to listen to it and let it grow. Sometimes we like to stuff that tension and uneasiness down so we don’t hear it and we simply go on doing what we want to do. And eventually as we suppress it, it will come out in other ways and will eventually deaden your souls… If we are suppressing what we truly feel and aren’t being honest with ourselves and the choices we are making, our souls won’t be able to breathe.
So if you feel a tension, listen to it and let it grow. And if it keeps grows… keep listening.