A couple of months ago, two young girls came up to me and asked for prayer in regards to unhealthy relationships.
In all honesty, I did not want to pray for them. I mean, I did as that is what the time and place called for but that was how I truly wanted to react. I really, truly wanted to do one thing – shake them. I wanted to grab them by their little shoulders and shake ‘em real good (in love, of course) because that’s what I needed when I was in their spot some years before.
At my church, we have these prayer cards – you can write down a prayer request and the leaders in the church would pray over them every week. And almost every week I’d write down the same request: help to end an unhealthy relationship. I was them at one point in my life.
Thinking back – I’m not sure what part I wanted prayer about. The request was the literal answer: I had acknowledged that I was in an unhealthy situation and that it needed to end. Maybe I was asking for the strength to do so? The motivation? I’m not sure. Here’s the thing I finally found out though (get ready to clutch your pearls, super spiritual people) there are some things that you don’t need to pray about.
You simply need to decide.
There was some part of me that felt like as long as I was getting prayer about the relationship I could perpetuate it because, if it was really a problem, Jesus would just get me out of it and I wouldn’t have to do the scary, daunting work of changing my situation. That logic, as you can tell, is quite flawed.
What is a “toxic relationship?” It seems to be a trendy term at the moment, but how exactly do you know if you’re in one?
“By definition, a toxic relationship is a relationship characterized by behaviors on the part of the toxic partner that are emotionally and, not infrequently, physically damaging to their partner. While a healthy relationship contributes to our self-esteem and emotional energy, a toxic relationship damages self-esteem and drains energy.” – healthscopemag.com
If you find yourself in a constant state of worry, insecurity, walking on eggshells or fear.
If the person in your life is never happy for you or makes you feel bad for achieving.
If you feel like you cannot ever be yourself.
If they keep hurting you in the same manner which results in apology without changed behavior.
If they downplay your concerns or make you feel crazy or stupid for having them.
If everything is somehow your fault.
If people know your business when it’s been promised to be kept private between you two.
If you are always out time & money when this person is around.
If there is no reciprocity.
If you are in a relationship, friendship or otherwise, that you have acknowledged is unhealthy or toxic – you do not need to pray about it. Your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health will not be under attack by someone who God wants in your life. Let me help you out – if your soul ain’t prosperin it’s not your ministry, my friend. You have the power, right now, to decide the situation does not serve you and to do something about it. Right now.
If you find yourself here, weather it’s a boyfriend or a friend, here are 5 steps to keep in mind:
Trust that God will stick close to you through the pain and have something much greater for you on the other side. Let go of the familiar for the far better.
What advice would you give to someone in a toxic or unhealthy relationship?