Been Rejected? How to Rise Above!
Before I continue our conversation on rejection, I’d really encourage you to read my previous posts on preventing first date fails, because if you follow the advice there you won’t have a first date fiasco like the one we referenced last week. (No. Really. You won’t.)
Rejection comes in many forms, but dating is such a delicate enterprise. People know you’re putting your heart out there. That’s why being treated with selfishness (“I’ve got to figure out what I’m doing after I get rid of this lame date.”) followed by downright insensitivity (“I’ll just go ahead and tell my date I want to be somewhere else.”) can be more painful than it would seem like it should be. After all, this is a first date. This person doesn’t even know you. What does their opinion of you matter?
Well it does. It does because as human beings we long for little things like acceptance, encouragement, affirmation, respect, and love. And God made us to experience both these needs and their fulfillment. Unfortunately, due to sin our natural tenancy is to seek to satisfy our relational needs either out of the desperation of our genuine brokenness or out of the pride of an imagined entitlement.
The result: one person sits down for a first date wondering, “Am I good enough?” across the table from someone thinking, “I could probably do better.” (Which person were you on your last date?)
So due to these legitimate longings, the opinion of other earthlings matters to you – even on a first date. But should it?
Is that where we should be looking to have critical relational needs met: on first dates with people we don’t know?
Here’s something I’ve learned over my 40+ years on this planet: not everyone likes me. Whew. That was painful to type. I don’t like it. I can hardly believe it at times, but that’s a true statement.
Want to hear something even more painful? (If you don’t, this is your cue to stop reading.)
Not everyone is going to like you either.
Was that painful to read?
It shouldn’t be, because there are far too many broken and puffed-up people in the world to worry about everyone liking you. The broken people don’t even like themselves and the puffed-up people can hardly like anyone, but themselves.
This is why I implore you to abandon the ill-conceived practice of going out with people you don’t know (and who don’t know you). And if you insist on doing so, you need to grow tougher skin.
I truly hope that doesn’t come across ungracious. I care about you. I mean – of course I don’t even necessarily know you, but for crying out loud I’m putting out this Date Night Advice every single weekend for some reason. Why do you think that is? Because…
My heart goes out to those looking for a life partner in this fallen world.
If that’s you, I sincerely want to help, but as much as I’d love for you to find “that special someone” (even today, or right now), much more I’m praying you’ll come to the point where you believe with all your heart that the God of the universe esteemed you worthy of sacrificing His one and only Son. (Go ahead, and read that statement again. Then read Romans 8.) If you let it, the implications of this one truth will set you free to endure the rejection of man (or woman).
So, relax! You don’t need to wow someone on a first date. (Not the right someone, anyone.)
You don’t even need to get a date. But even if you’re successful at both, the acceptance of a new love interest pales in comparison to the love of a God who died for you. Even the love of a precious life partner pales in comparison.
Take it from someone who married his “special someone,” almost 19 years ago. Her love is amazing. God’s love is sustaining. Her love is wonderful. His love is unbelievable. Her love is rich. His love is beyond all riches.
If you’re not abiding in God’s love your soul will be relentlessly driven to find that same kind of love in another fallen soul, and every first date rejection will mean you can’t have it. All the while, your God who actually knows rejection personally longs to comfort and fill you like only He can.
I pray that’s enough encouragement for you this week. Next week, we’ll continue with more help in dealing with rejection. Until then, I pray you will rest in the arms of the one who promises to never leave you nor forsake you.
DNA: It’s What’s For Dating
It’s NOT for couples, but for any wise individual who thinks they might want to get married sometime before they die. And would like to learn how to better build healthy relationships in the meantime.
Check out all three study guides in our store. You can walk through them on your own, but it’s more fun with friends (that and it kinda makes sense to grow in relational success in actual relationships with others), so consider putting together an FMU LoveEd small group study.
Even better? And ask a rock star married couple you respect to lead it!
[originally published: Sept 14, 2012]