by Tatyana Breitkreuz

A flower without water is still beautiful, but only for a while…because when you take its prime source of sustenance, it’s water, it cannot survive. It thirsts, but there is nothing there for it.

The petals hold their vibrant color as long as they can, but soon enough, the color begins to fade, the petals shrivel and fall, and what’s left is the stem. A dried out, brittle, broken stem. This stem has little strength. It cannot withhold the weight of outside forces, and often breaks under pressure. It no longer looks like a flower.

As Christians, we are like flowers. We are nourished by God’s Word and living a life in desire of His will, to bring forth His kingdom. However, there are days in which we do not receive the nourishment we need. And sometimes it’s more than a few days. It can be a few weeks, a few months, a few years.

Just like we often do not receive the amount of nourishment we need through our food and water to give us energy to live out our day, likewise, we can lack spiritual nourishment in all aspects of daily life. Relationships are a prime focus of our lives on earth, though no relationship is perfect. A relationship in which one of the two people is a believer and the other is an unbeliever can especially create a lack of spiritual nourishment for the believer.

People are all the same when it comes to wiring. We all have personalities and unique characteristics, hopes and dreams. We all desire to be in friendships and relationships, and we crave intimacy.

Sometimes people do not realize how easy it is to become attached to another. Whether or not they are a believer, it isn’t hard to have an enjoyable friendship with a person simply based on frequent, positive interactions, similar passions and dreams, and complementary personalities. Yet becoming romantically involved with a person who is not rooted in truth, who is not grounded in the Word of God, can be detrimental to a person’s faith.

A disconnect becomes present. There’s a spiritual disconnect between the believer and the unbeliever because what the believer craves within the relationship, the unbeliever cannot provide. The believer wants to be encouraged and challenged in their faith, and the person who is closest to them, cannot be there for them in that way. Therefore, a disconnect begins to happen. If the believer wants to be fulfilled in this way, they pursue God alone or they go elsewhere. This sometimes is the first thing between two people in a relationship where they can’t share something or experience something together.

There’s a difference between being supportive and being challenging. An unbeliever can support a person in their faith by listening to them and not criticizing them or judging them for being who they are or what they stand for. However, an unbeliever cannot challenge an unbeliever nor grow with them as partners in Christ because challenging requires a sense of knowing where they truly are, and where their potential lies.

And this is where a relationship can be painful. A person should not feel so alone in a relationship. Got puts people in our lives to share love with, to provide wisdom and guidance, to challenge us in our faith, and to be a companion in all times. We are not meant to be alone, and while God is always with us, He desires us to be in community and relation with others. If we feel distant from God and the person we are in a relationship with, this is not God’s desire. And while this situation can be used by God to bring forth maturation, awakening of our souls, wisdom, and a new craving for God Himself, distance and loneliness is not what God wants within a relationship and later down the road.

This so-called love between a believer and unbeliever isn’t complete. Marriage in God’s eyes is a partnership in the gospel and a representation of His love for his people, the Church. When you remove God, who is love and demonstrates true love, you’re just left with two people loving each other and loving those around them. God is not present, and therefore, true love cannot be. Even an understanding of true love cannot be reached because both people are living life to two different songs.

It can be hard to accept that we cannot change other people; this can only be the work of God and that person’s choice to follow Him. It’s so confusing to us sometimes why an unbeliever wouldn’t want to live a life full of hope and experiencing true love, but the fact of the matter is that, at that point in their lives, they don’t have that desire. While we crave the light, they are content in the darkness. Lee Strobel, Christian writer and speaker, believes that they don’t give their lives to Christ because they love the darkness more than they love the light of Christ.

“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” – 2 Corinthians 6:14

I desire that every believer in Christ strive to reach their full potential, to blossom and thrive vibrant colors without being rid of the nourishment they need daily. God and His Word is what will stand at the end of the day, and therefore, we can rely upon Him to know what’s best for our lives.

“The grass withers, the flowers fade, but the word of the Lord will stand forever.” – Isaiah 40:8

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