Godly Relationships With Sopha Rush (@LiveDeeplyRooted)
Godly Relationships With Sopha Rush (@LiveDeeplyRooted)
By: Timoshanae Wellmaker
As a twenty something after Christ’s heart, I can say it’s definitely been a journey through the dating world. I remember when I first felt the desire to have a boyfriend. I’d begged my parents to allow me to date because everyone around me seemed to have a boyfriend. At the time, it was on trend to have a bae. I was exposed to the concept of a boyfriend at such an early age, way back in elementary. Needless to say, I didn’t have any clue what I desired to get myself into. Fast forward to my twenties and I can’t say the notion of a relationship has gotten any simpler. As I began to desire God’s will more wholeheartedly in my life, I quickly began to see things so much differently as they pertain to romantic relationships.
When I first came cross Sopha’s @livedeeplyrooted I remember being in awe of her. She was a young woman who had truly devoted her life to God and was fearlessly living by that commitment in her relationship. I wanted to know more.
Today, Sopha is married to her husband, Anthony Rush. Read below for all she has to say about her journey to having a Godly relationship.
Was there ever a season for you that involved dating without specifically listening to God? How did this look? And if so, what changed this for you?
For me, going into the dating world, I was intentional. I didn't just date around because I was lonely or bored. I wanted my relationships to be more than just Netflix and chilling. My mindset, I would like to think, was mature for my age. I told myself I wasn't going to date in high school because I knew that boys were immature and I needed a man who was going to lead me closer to Christ, not to the bedroom.
Of course, I had my share of feeling left out because I didn't date, nor did I mess around. I was saving myself for marriage, so being the only one protecting my purity in high school made me feel like a loner even though I made the choice to wait. What changed for me, wasn't the way I did or didn't listen to God, but rather the way I learned to protect myself from today's societal lies in telling us that if we don't "have" someone we aren't loved or that you are behind because you aren't bae-d up. Trust me, I've been there and have dealt with such expectations.
Many women of God don't want to come across as what might seem demanding or like a "church girl." Was there ever a time you found yourself dealing with these sorts of thoughts?
I think when I was in high school I struggled with what people thought of me, so I shielded myself and my faith with others. I was still known as the girl who loved Jesus regardless. When I got to college, I was in the season of knowing who I truly was, so being known as someone who was on fire for the Lord didn't offend me or make me want to keep quiet about my faith. Imagine, if God was to do the same to us if we were able to be face to face.
How do you balance being married, work, other relationships, and your faith? Especially in your relationship, do you have a schedule to make sure you're keeping God at the center, does it come naturally?
Lots of prayer, patience, forgiveness, and grace. In marriage, we are both on this journey together, we are both new to it all. So, we take one step at a time, embrace in each other’s strengths and learn from our weaknesses. When it comes to working, I try to remind myself that whatever I am doing serves a purpose and that it is temporary.
When it comes to relationships, I am selective with who I allow in my space. I don't just allow anyone and everyone to surround me because not everyone who follows me is a fan. I've experienced such betrayal.
When it comes to my faith, I remain a servant of God by living my life according to His will, not mine. When it comes to spending time with God, I don't have a schedule. I spend time with Him all day by talking, praying and listening to Him throughout my day. I love quiet mornings. I have them often where I spend time feeding my spirit and listening for God's voice. I'm a morning person, so it works best for me. There's really no formula when it comes to spending time with God. You just do it if He is your source and top priority.
Many have advised others to not give their boyfriend “husband rights”, do you have anything you'd like to add to this? Is there a clear line between the two or can it vary?
I would completely agree with this statement. I have seen from friends and observation of some relationships where girls have given their boyfriends “husband rights” too soon. The rights that are designed for a husband turns into rights for someone who isn't your spouse. It's dangerous, in a sense, that men who get all they can get from you will not feel the necessity to make you a wife. Their thinking may be, "What more does she has to offer? She's given me everything I need." The woman gives her man the ability to play with her emotions when he makes her wait for years to propose, then another few years to make her his wife, if she is fortunate. The clear line is what is for a boyfriend, should be for a boyfriend. What's for a husband, should only be given to a husband. The woman playing wifey need to guard her heart and understand the importance of not compromising her values for a man who isn't willing to wife her up.
Is there anything you'd say to the young woman striving to follow God in every way?
For me, I have to keep my eyes fixed on Him and not all the things happening around me. When I was in track and participated in races, the number one rule was to keep your eyes fixed forward. Same goes for this journey we are all on. We as godly women, must not become distracted by comparing our lives to someone who may or may not even know us. The comparison game will strip you away from the joy you once had. You must be cautious not to become so discontent in your journey that you stop thanking God for the small blessing right in front of you.
Whatever season you are in, keep praising God through the storms and the sunny days. As for living in this world, you must understand that we are held to a higher standard. What we say and do should reflect God because, believe it or not, people are watching. You want to be a reflection of Christ, not of your bad habits and flesh. My encouragement to all my sisters would be, stay focused and never lose sight of God as you walk through this life. He will protect you and guide your every step if you allow him to have full control over your life.
I know you've been asked this probably too many times, but how did you know Anthony was the one?
I have, but I don't mind sharing! For me, I knew Anthony was the one when I observed his character. I watched my husband's interactions with his friends, family, and basketball team. His fruit that he produced matched up with the way he loved Jesus. He wasn't one way with me and one way with others. And his prayer life. One night, I remember journaling and praying to God, asking him to take away the desires I had for Anthony. I was like, listen God, if this man isn't for me, please remove him from me. My desires for him became stronger, our friendship flourished, and the way he began to love me grew immensely. I journaled, I will marry this man, I don't know when or what that process would look like, but I know without a doubt he's the one for me. I got the confirmation I needed. He pursued me, and we started dating. And now we have a marriage 5 years later.
Here are a few books Sopha recommends:
Jesus Calling by Sarah Young
Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth by Richard Foster
Life Interrupted by Priscilla Shirer
Fervent: A Woman’s Battle Plan to Serious, Specific, and Strategic Prayer by Priscilla Shirer
The Wait by Megan Good and Devon Franklin