Anonymous asked: What does it take to be in a committed Christ-centered relationship?
Disclaimer: Daniel and I have only been dating officially for almost 10 months (unofficially for a little over a year), so I’m not an expert at relationships, nor do I have the “perfect Christian” relationship. So, any sort of insight I provide is sort of… unfounded.
But if that doesn’t matter to you, then I can share a few things that have anchored my relationship with Daniel thus far:
1. Be Christ-centered on your own, and strive to glorify Christ together. Your life as an individual should be centered on Christ, because your relationship does not and will not do that for you. Your relationship will harvest what goes on in your own heart and spirit, and respectively for your significant other. If you, by yourself, are not rooted in an intimate relationship with Jesus first and foremost, it will be very difficult to have a “Christ-Centered” relationship. So first, be centered on Christ on your own, so when you find someone else who is centered on Christ too, the relationship will be an expression of worship, and focused on how to glorify God and enjoy Him together. (Instead of groping around and wobbling to try to find the center). I’ve tried that before and have utterly failed. This doesn’t mean that you have to be on fire for God 24/7, or that if you become rocky down the road, you have to break up… it just means, have a stable foundation of faith to build upon first. Don’t expect to be codependent on the other to meet the needs that Jesus should be meeting for you.
2. Live a life of prayer, separately and as one. Before Daniel and I stepped into a relationship, we prayed separately for a few months, to set the tone for our relationship. When we got the green light to come back together, we prayed that God would use our relationship to glorify Him, and love Him more. In the ebbs and flows of our relationship, I pray when I’m mad at Daniel, miss him, am insecure myself with him, when I’m head over heels for him, want him badly, want to judo chop him in the throat…etc. Prayer is a constant dialogue with Papa God, giving Him space to breathe and speak into our relationship. He is the ever-present Editor and Doctor. When you allow God a voice in your relationship, and incline your ears to actively listen, it’s amazing how much it affects your relationship. As a couple, you should be able to pray with one another on a regular basis, and not feel weird or ‘overly religious’ about it. Communication with God, is as vital as communication with one another.
3. Have grace for yourself, and for your other. The truth is, most people aren’t always super pumped to follow Jesus all the time, and go through seasons where they feel weak/unmotivated. It’s natural, and I believe God allows it and uses it for our good. If you’ve been a Christian for some time, it’s normal to venture into this ‘wilderness period’ or have a season of wrestling with faith. Once you’re in a relationship, even one that strives to pursue and love God, it doesn’t make you exempt from these seasons of life. When this happens, your initial response may be to hide it from the other person, because you want to appear as though you have everything together. But the beauty of being in a Christ-glorifying relationship, is the truth that you’re both still pretty messed up people, and God can use this relationship and one another as a medium of redemption and grace. Your significant other can minister and pray for you as you struggle in your faith, and vice versa. You learn to be more like Christ in the ways you begin to love the other, especially when they feel tired, weary, and broken. In general, relationships have a super convenient tendency to bring up fears, insecurities, brokenness from the past. You think you’re perfect and secure in yourself and Christ? Get into a relationship. Everyone has these remnants from the past, and healing is a slow process. So don’t get impatient with yourself, or towards your significant other. When past insecurities or lies started to bubble up, I freaked. But (now) I see that God uses even these difficult and humbling moments to sanctify and heal me. I’ve grown tremendously from my relationship, through these speed bumps and seasons of wrestling, and through Daniel’s steadfast prayers and constant support.
4. Purity. Daniel and I are waiting until marriage. I wrote a post about purity and pre-marital sex here:
I think this may be the most difficult temptation that couples face in the pursuit of holiness in a Christ-glorifying relationship. Sex is meant to be enjoyed within the safety and intimacy of covenant, but it’s a craving that seems so natural, it’s like being thirsty or hungry. Very hungry. But waiting can be even more satisfying than yielding to your carnal desires. Waiting bolsters trust and joy with God—among many other things. Trust tangibly reflects the self-control of each person, more than words ever can. I’m so happy to know that my relationship with Daniel is not contingent on satisfying his desires/our desires. It builds a genuine trust that he wants to protect me, cherish me, and love me for who I am, rather than exploiting my body. Purity allows God to walk freely in your relationship, and for you both to enjoy Him wholly. Anyone who’s been in a relationship where they’ve fallen into sexual sin knows, the moment it happens, guilt and shame brews, and they feel distant from God. It’s hard even to walk into church. (Of course this is from our own shame, God never rejects us despite our sins.) Even if you have fallen, there is always redemption in God, because His grace covers your sins completely. One of the most successful and God-fearing couples I know fell early in their relationship, and have now remained completely pure for the last couple years. But they tell me that it’s that much harder to stop and stay pure once you’ve started, because you’ve already developed an appetite for it.
So, these are just small snapshots of what I am learning about from my own relationship…Hope this answers your question! :)