Substitution of Familiarity in Relationships

The practice of sacrificing one thing to obtain something else is commonly regarded to as substitution. Substitutions are typically made when someone doesn’t like what they currently have. They trade what they currently have for something else that they are familiar with. This is done in hopes that the familiar thing will step into the space where the original thing was and serve the same purpose or a better purpose. The risky part is that after going back to something old to fill a new space, you may later realize you made the substitution prematurely because a new space cannot be filled with the antagonist of its creation. You gave up someone you thought you only liked to substitute it with someone you’ve thought you always loved, only to realize that you no longer desire the same dysfunctional relationship. You substituted a partner that challenges you for a partner that doesn’t, only to later realize that your taste buds have changed and you no longer crave the ceasing progression of being with someone that doesn’t encourage you to be better. Be careful before substituting who God destined to be a complement to your life.

The easiest thing to do for a person in the unknown is to revert back to the familiar. The familiar doesn’t test you, the familiar doesn’t expose your fears, and the familiar doesn’t compliment you. The familiar is exactly that…familiar. The antithesis of God’s promise is familiarity because something can only be familiar if you are already used to it and God will never promise to give you something that you are already used to. He can’t promise you unconditional love, if you’re used to it. He can’t promise you a healthy relationship if you’re already used to being in one. The only time that God can promise you something better is when you are familiar with something worse, but you can only receive his promise when you make a commitment to not substituting the unfamiliar place where God is trying to take you for somewhere with someone that you’ve already been.

Vision of Love: Recognizing Your Value in Relationships

The eye’s ability at a range of 20 ft. to accurately perceive the same series of letters that the average eye can perceive at a range of 20 ft. is referred to as “normal vision.” That is where the industry-accepted vision standard of 20/20 is derived. A vision test is just a comparison of one’s vision to a set of standards using a variety of methods that draw a conclusion using the same simple question, “Can you see what I see?”

Sometimes in relationships, we have a tendency to treat our value as a test of someone else’s vision. We’ll open our hearts in attempts to place someone at a close range and hope that from this angle they will be able to see the same value that we see in ourselves. We’ll extend ourselves beyond measure, put up with behavior we wouldn’t normally put up with, and end up straining our own eyes in attempts to help someone see what God never intended their eyes to perceive, resulting in a relationship where two people are fighting blindly to obtain a vision of each other that will remain unclear.

I’ve learned from experience that God will blind the wrong pair of eyes from seeing your value on purpose and just because someone lacks a clear vision of you does not mean that you lack value. It just means they lack the right pair of eyes. God knows that if the magnitude of your value is revealed to the wrong person then they have the potential to latch on to you. He will remove those that couldn’t see you correctly because they were a barrier between you experiencing the moment when you look into the eyes of the person that God gave a clear vision of your love. They will be able to see you for who you are and give you everything you know you are worth. Believe that and don’t settle for anything less.