That may take some work…Let’s face it. Not all relationships between men and women are good. Some are actually painful. Maybe they end badly or are abusive or frustrating. Some people bounce between relationships rapidly with increasing sadness and wounding.
Here’s the thing. Good relationships don’t just happen. They aren’t accidental. You won’t normally “fall” into a good relationship, or even in love. “Falling” in itself seems to have a negative connotation. Why not “climb” into love??
It is possible to make some sensible choices that will greatly remove the risks of a bad relationship. Here they are.
1. Be a healthy person emotionally and spiritually.
If you are full of hurt, anger, frustration, and self-image issues, you are looking at everyone with clouded glasses. Get some healing. Get counseling if necessary. Let your emotions settle. You’ll make better relationship choices.
2. Determine what your values are.
If you are a committed Christian, don’t waste your time and emotions on someone who is not serious about Jesus. Compatible values are the biggest factor in healthy relationships. If you are a half-hearted Christian, your values are likely compromised; you may be attracted to people who also have compromised values. Decide WHO you are going to serve before you look for human companionship. There is no other way!
Sexual relationships (outside of marriage) confuse your soul, mind, emotions, and body to the point that you can’t be objective. Good relationships don’t start with sex. Spiritual bonds are created with every person you have sex with. This fact alone complicates your ability to find a healthy partner. Much healing is needed from multiple sexual relationships. Sex is not what defines a relationship; it is just a physical act that ideally reinforces a total lifelong commitment to the other person. (They call that marriage.) I’m not old-fashioned—I’m a Christian teaching God’s standards.
It is possible to make some sensible choices that will greatly remove the risks of a bad relationship.
4. Look where people with healthy values like yours are.
If you are living by God’s standards, don’t expect to find a healthy like-minded person sitting in a bar waiting for you. The most significant issue of attraction is “availability.” Be aware that we as humans will be attracted to available people. Workplace romances might indicate that you’ve spent so much time together you are entwined emotionally. It doesn’t mean the relationship is right.
5. You need to give it time.
Make no emotional commitments before you know the other person well. Lots of time, lots of conversation, doing healthy things together that don’t involve physical passion of any kind. Best friends usually make happy couples. Marry your best friend. Friendship takes time. Friendship comes before partnership.
These 5 simple rules really are stronger than mere suggestions. If you ignore them, I don’t have much hope for your future healthy relationships.
Following these rules does not guarantee success, but it will greatly improve the chances. Commit your life to Christ. Desire to please Him. Follow Him with all your heart. Pray daily for God to bring you the right person for your life. It may happen quickly, or it may take a long time. But hear me on this: It is better to be alone than connected to a relationship that is not right. The pain of a bad relationship is much greater than loneliness. In the meantime, make good friends, be a part of a church fellowship, and ask God for His perfect will and timing.
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