When I worked in college ministry, our office had a pink Magic 8 Ball that sat in a basket on our windowsill as kind of a joke.
During intense conversations, or early-morning meetings we’d pick it up and shake it, gazing down at the answer absentmindedly.
The 8 Ball was great like that. With just a small shake, it produced an answer. It would even answer questions that you hadn’t even asked.
And the best part of all was that if you didn’t like the answer, you could shake it again. And the trusty Magic 8 Ball would often change its mind.
Don’t we wish God worked that way?
The biggest questions we ask in our lives, I’m convinced, have to do with our hearts.
Who am I going to marry?
Should we be together?
Is that man my husband?
Those questions keep us up at night. They’re the questions that have us polling our friends—hoping that one of them will have an answer that fits.
And they’re the answers we doubt most, going back and checking over and over again for that extra bit of reassurance.
I’ve asked every one of those questions in the last several years—wanting to make a good decision, protect myself, and ultimately be obedient to God.
Our relationships have an enormous impact on our lives, and I wanted to do it right.
But as we ask each other these questions, fill our journals with their cries, and seek wise council for an answer that seems to work, I want to suggest a tool that is often overlooked.
It’s a tool that we all possess, and that we rarely use—depending on our other senses for answers and guidance.
And that tool is our eyes.
So often we look for answers in the things that aren’t yet seen, or that we believe to be hidden out of view.
We believe in our hearts that it’s going to work out, despite the fact that all signs actually point to no.
But most of the time our eyes will tell us what we need to know—helping us make wise decisions if we decide to use them and believe what they see.
We want to know who we’re going to marry. But a friend of mine likes to say that she knew who she was going to marry because she stood next to him at the end of the aisle and said “I do.”
We want to know if we should be with a certain person or not. But our eyes reveal so much about this too.
Look at his life—look at the people who come in contact with him and the ways he impacts them. Look at the trail he leaves behind. Does he do what he says he’s going to do? Is he trustworthy? Is he responsible? Is he kind?
And now look at your relationship.
Does he treat you well? Do you trust him? Do you like being around him? Do you feel loved when he’s around?
We want to use our other senses—having people pray for a name, asking for confirmation, and often times receiving it. But it’s painful and confusing when the intangible signs seem to point to yes, but everything else seems to say no.
But I truly believe that God shows us much more with our eyes than we give him credit for.
If that man is your husband, a good indication will be your relationship. Does he know you? Does he like you? Is he pursuing you? Are you dating?
Yes, those things have to begin at some point. But if that man is going to be your husband—make no mistake—they will begin.
But the biggest key to relationships is not just your eyes, but trusting what they see.
So often we use selective vision—seeing what benefits the outcome we desire instead of what’s actually there. We think that this is the last train leaving the station—and we’d rather be with someone than end up alone.
We date people who aren’t kind to us and hold out for someone who doesn’t even know our name.
But the clues we most often want to ignore usually tell us the most about what we’re actually getting ourselves into.
And this is important. Because this is where our faith comes in.
By ending things we know aren’t good—or saying no when we don’t know if we’ll have a chance to say yes, we’re actually trusting God. We’re trusting that we serve a God that’s bigger than we could ever imagine.
We’re believing that God is capable of creating a person who is truly good, and kind, and loving—someone who we actually like instead of settling for something less.
And so as you’re trying to make a decision—whatever that decision may be—use your eyes. Be strong and courageous and look for the facts unfolding in front of you—you will be so glad that you did.
I know I am.
What are your eyes telling you? What do you see about your relationships right now?