Jackie Francois-Angel’s wildly popular article, “The Devil Wants You to Settle in Your Relationship,” sets forth several gut-check questions to help you determine if your relationship is “heaven-sent.” Jackie’s observations are spot on for pure Catholic singles, as well as for those who find significant others who hinder their purity. I strongly believe that the devil’s Plan A is to get you settle for less, but for those of you who aren’t about to fall for this trick: He has an alternative strategy.
In my own journey, I wanted to believe I could find a man that would propel me toward holiness but I was jaded by brokenness. I had said yes to chastity, and refused to settle, yet I didn’t believe that happy endings really existed. Each year, I receive many raw, heartbreaking e-mails from people who relate.
If you aren’t about to settle, the devil will try to rob your hope. Below are the top 3 anxieties I hear most often:
#1. I am afraid that one day the romance will fizzle out:
My husband, Mark, and I have been married for a decade. I can tell you with honesty that yes, things are different then they were ten years ago. For example, I don’t usually get butterflies unless he is changing a diaper. Generally, I wouldn’t say our daily life is overly romantic. However, we both agree that this life is even better. Although my love for Mark doesn’t feel as much like a fairy tale as it once did, it does feel like Happily Ever After—which happens to be the best part of the story.
“Intimacy” has often been defined as: “into-me-see.” I feel like my husband is a part of me—almost like we have one heart. In the same way that I am not always conscience of my own heart beating, it still keeps me alive. I might not always be daydreaming about Mark, but his heart, united with mine, is a driving factor of my everyday life.
#2. How do I know he/she will be faithful?
Dating and marrying with the right intentions while maintaining a Christ-centered relationship gives you a really fantastic chance of thriving in this category. Of course we all have the choice to sin. Yes, it sometimes happens, but in general, couples who live in chastity before and after marriage, have the benefit of some serious fidelity insurance. Chastity breeds virtue and self-control in every area of life.
I personally come from a home broken by infidelity. When it came down to deciding whether to give Mark a chance, I had a decision to make. I finally realized that I didn’t want to live life without Mark. Suddenly it wasn’t about trusting a man, it was about trusting Mark. It wasn’t about being afraid that someone would hurt me, it was about being confident that Mark wouldn’t. Mark changed everything. A hypothetical man couldn’t do that, but Mark did. Your vocation is out there, and your vocation has a name. God is faithful and you never have to fear His plan.
#3. Everywhere I look I see miserable marriages and broken hearts. Is it possible to find someone to love me like I want to be loved?
Happy, holy marriages are everywhere, but you probably won’t see many on television. There are many loud, verbal, unhealthy relationships in the world, but it doesn’t have to be yours! Personally, I have known hundreds of couples in amazing, fruitful relationships. On top of this, each year, I encounter holy, single men and women seeking God, purity and His plan. They are out there. While you wait, avoid the temptation of feeling like your story hasn’t started. Live it now as you become the person God wants deliver to your vocation!
Ultimately, keep your eyes on the prize, and try not to worry about things that haven’t happened. When I look back on all of my fears, I wish I’d have spent my energy on something else. My anxiety simply kept me from being the person I wanted to be. Trust in Jesus—He won’t disappoint.
Katie Hartfiel is the author of Woman In Love, which chronicles how developing a relationship with the Lord as her First Love allowed Him to mold her for her Second Love (vocation). Katie received her Theology degree from Franciscan University of Steubenville. She served as a youth minister for seven years in Houston, where she now resides with her husband, Mark, and two daughters. For more on Katie and her books, visit www.womaninlove.org.