Did God Dump You?

by | Break ups. Love

on mountain alone

You take your significant other on a journey to visit a very wise man—the wisest man in the world. Not only is he wise, but he happens to know both your and your interest.

 

You traverse the mountain until you arrive at his door and tell your (boy/girl)friend to wait outside. They sit down and begin to anxiously bite their nails.

 

You go into the wise man and say, “I have come to ask a question.”

 

“Proceed,” comes his response.

 

“Well, I was wondering if this person and I should get married. I’ll do whatever you say.”

 

Now stop…and think.

 

What do you think this wise man would tell you? If he tells you yes or no, then you can blame him for the answer and everything that is a result of that would be his fault. You are off scot free. Wouldn’t that be nice?

 

But see, he is a wise man.

 

So instead he says, “What do you think?”

 

“Well…” you stammer, “they are nice and kind and super awesome, but I just don’t really want to marry them.”

 

“H’m. Interesting.” The wise man rubs his long beard. “That sounds about right.”

 

“Oh thank you so so so much!” You run out with a burst of relief.

 

Your boo is waiting with bated breath. “And…?!”

 

“I’m sorry, the wise man said that we can’t get married.”

 

*          *          *

 

I posted to Facebook asking your opinions and out of the 230 interactions from comments and likes, 91% of you agree with that story above.

 

211 interactions made mention that blaming God for a breakup is “bogus” a “copout” or “a crock of crazy Mormon horse [etc]” and “letting God do your dirty work.”

 

19 interactions said “in rare cases” “it can happen.”

 

Whatever you feel, I can say that this is a personal topic.

 

…especially for me.

 

God has dumped me through three girls.

 

Three.

 

And frankly, I’m a little tired of it.

 

I have heard many times the sentiment, ‘It is a big decision, so OF COURSE God cares so He will give revelation.”

 

That is assuming that if God cares, He will give direct answers.

 

  • When I wondered if I should go to BYU or not for my undergrad, I got nothing.
  • When I pondered about starting a company, I got nothing.
  • When I prayed about going to get my MBA or PhD, I got nothing.
  • When I plead for an answer about taking one internship or another, I got nothing.

 

I got nothing because God was trying to give me something more important than an answer—an opportunity to use my agency.

 

I thought it out, made a decision, prayed and then just went forward. And I made the right decision because I made my decision. Does not God care about the righteous desires of our heart?

 

So why do so many people blame God for break ups? Because revelation and obedience is engrained in us. And that is wonderful! But, when we focus so much on revelation that we forget about agency, then we are following some one else’s plan entirely.

 

Now, I do believe that God will intervene in some rare circumstances, but even in those cases, it is cowardly and cheap to blame it on Him. Take responsibility. It is not “God made me do this,” but rather, “I don’t feel good about this.”

 

I believe that God respects our agency and so should we.

 

What good does it do to tell someone that God broke up with them?

 

Nothing.

 

So yes, date, pray, decide and get an answer, but then, in the end, if the Lord has a contrary opinion, don’t make yourself a martyr and the other a sacrificial lamb. For in the end, aren’t we all commanded to “be wise” ourselves?

 

Now…a message to all those whom God “dumped”:

 

Don’t worry.

 

God is not talking bad about you behind your back.

 

If you are in good standing with Him, then don’t let another’s “revelation” dictate your relationship with Him.

 

No matter the excuse, if they don’t want to be with you, they don’t want to be with you and hence, you can do better. Be grateful they made the choice before you eventually had to.

 

 

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  • Okay, I agree with MOST of what this article is saying…. I think that when it comes to break-ups people often say that something was personal revelation when it was really just a personal decision. BUT, in defense of people making hard decisions, it can be hard to tell the difference. Also, (words are hard, so bear with me on this next part as I try to get my point across): Does saying “God told me to” always imply a lack of agency? I know there have been plenty of times in my life where Heavenly Father told me the right answer to something very clearly – He didn’t force me to choose that answer, but He did tell me the answer. Sometimes that answer was something that was completely illogical and wasn’t AT ALL the answer that I wanted. Those girls might have really WANTED to marry you until Heavenly Father told them that it wasn’t a good idea (for whatever reason – most likely NOT because He thinks you are a terrible person who is undeserving of their love), and they then used their agency to choose to follow his counsel instead of whatever their heart and head were telling them. I think saying that acknowledging revelation’s assistance in making a decision is equivalent to blaming God is kind of a negative way to look at it. I think that people can say “I’m doing this because it’s what Heavenly Father asked me to” and be using it as a way to blame God OR they can be using it as a way to be honest and acknowledge His hand in their life. Just like people can SAY this with different intentions, we can also INTERPRET it differently. It seems a little bitter and hateful to me to assume that someone you loved and knew well was just placing the blame on God because they were sick of spending time with you. I guess if there’s a time that I feel prompted to break up with someone I really don’t want to break up with I could say “I’m breaking up with you because Heavenly Father told me to…. and I would like to use my agency to follow his plan for me.”, but I would hope whoever I’m breaking up with would know me well enough to understand and assume the last part. (Sorry, that was a little bit of a word vomit comment, but I’m too tired to edit. Hope it made a little bit of sense… words are hard.)

    • An We

      Dude, Zach. I’m sorry. I agree wholeheartedly. The likelihood of Heavenly Father nixing a happy relationship that you are feeling good about completely out of the blue seems…well, I was going to say absolutely ridiculous, maybe even asinine, but I suppose that is too strong. I’m sure it’s happened. How about “highly unlikely”. Now, perhaps He might bring some things to your attention that were previously overlooked at earlier stages in the relationship…sure. But even then, are you going to say “God was concerned about this for me.”? Yikes. No. You have a brain and like you said, agency, and it is your responsibility to process your concerns and use that good agency to work them out. Preferably with the other party. And a lot of the time, the answer is to move forward in faith. Good grief, not everything in a relationship is going to be spelled out for life. And if you’re looking for someone flawless that draws no concerns in any areas…buen suerte mi amigo. That’s why people make commitments and then walk in faith with each other.

      • Zack Oates

        GREAT comment! I love that point that He can bring things to our attention that we didn’t notice. Really good point.

    • Zack Oates

      Great points here. I agree that it is a little hard hearted to say that they just were sick of spending time with me os they blamed God, but I feel it is not a discussion if you say “God said no” and it closes the door to a possible misinterpretation of revelation that may have been “things aren’t right they way they are right now.” Also, I think that acknowledging the decision to break up with someone because something doesn’t feel right is wonderful, blaming it on God is a cop out.

  • Ryan Peterson

    I can’t emphasize President Monson’s advice enough:
    “Choose your love, love your choice.” Doubts and concerns are two completely different things. Doubts are a lack of faith on your own part. Concerns are legitimate reasons to not move forward. If you have doubts, man up. If you have concerns, God will stop things if they aren’t “right”. If you take a faithful leap past your doubts, you’ll be blessed with an amazing companion. If there are concerns that will impede your potential, He will remove them for you in His own time. Either way, love is a choice; your choice, that He allows you to make, and hold to

    • Zack Oates

      perfectly said. You should write this blog, Ryan.

  • Tara

    I think you have to be very careful when you are talking about how people receive revelation. It is so very different for everyone! You might get NOTHING when you pray about school or a company because God trusts you to move forward or either decision would be fine. But maybe these girls were praying about it and truly felt that God was telling them the relationship wasn’t right. If there is NO ANSWER, then God would probably trust them to move forward and it would be fine. But if God has a different path for this person and they couldn’t get there being married to you, or they won’t reach their highest potential, then God can say that it would be better to break this relationship off and try to marry someone else.

    • Zack Oates

      Tara, agree 100%. i’m not saying that they didn’t or shouldn’t receive revelation, but saying that if they do, sharing it is not needed and even offensive. Make your decision and own up to your agency.

  • Hailey

    i believe firmly in the principles of personal revelation, agency, and all those other doctrines us mormons are on board with, but i think we also sometimes cook up this messy melange of gospel principles and social culture. i think the ‘God is dumping you’ approach is way way too commonplace in the mormon dating culture, to the point that it feels pedestrian, as though God must be standing on a street corner somewhere (bulldog and university?) handing out free relationship advice. a classic example, my sister was a foreign freshman at byu and dating this 20-something guy. it was not serious, not going anywhere, no future. the outcome was a no-brainer. the guy dumped her after awhile with the ‘God said so’ excuse, and it seemed so inappropriate – divine intervention was not required to decipher the future of this relationship. even a collaboration between a small group of partially-functional neurons would have sufficed. actually, he could’ve just asked her where she felt they were at. a year or so later he still sends her the occasional flirtatious text. what did the spirit actually whisper to this guy? “ditch her quick… but remain slightly creepy”?

  • Hugh H Tanner

    I will say having been “dumped by God” twice it is a sharp cut to the heart.