Skip to main content

It’s tempting to believe we can have our cake and eat it too. And perhaps many times we give up on desires prematurely instead of thoughtfully figuring out how to integrate them. But, at other times, integration is not possible and we must decide to take one path or the other – no longer trying to straddle the fence between the two.

Of course, there are many aspects of life we can approach like an á la crate menu – simply picking and choosing our preferences. But life doesn’t always work this way, and often we must make decisions that leave other options behind.

For instance, a decision to marry means we can no longer live as a bachelor, and following Christ means we must divorce our heart from the ways of life in this world. Likewise, future relationships that jeopardize our primary allegiances must also be cut off. As Christ himself teaches, we cannot serve two masters.

And we ultimately bring much unnecessary suffering when we attempt to straddle the fence of our desires – trying to hold onto two worlds that are not compatible.

Certainly, discernment is called for, as it’s not always immediately clear that a particular desire will eventually force our hand to make a decision. And, to be sure, the desire is appealing for a reason – speaking to some basic goodness we were created to enjoy.

But, once it’s clear we cannot have both, then we must courageously make a decision. This is easier to do when the decision is between something good and something bad. But sometimes we also have to decide between good versus good. Either way, there’s often still grief when we must say goodbye to a particular desire, relationship, or experience that doesn’t serve us on our path forward.  

In the end, life comes with many decisions, some more difficult than others. And it hurts when we cannot have everything we want. But there’s even deeper pain when we attempt to straddle the fence of our desires.

Photo by Nathan Cowley on Pexels

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

Leave a Reply