“I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord”. Psalms 27:13-14 (NIV)
It takes time to build a strong relationship. God has given us the ability to be of free will. We encounter the daily challenges in making decisions and choices. Every choice we make when it comes to life long relationships should be with much prayer and thought.
Each person in the relationship has certain strengths and certain weaknesses. Do you know what they are? What spiritual gifts do they bring? Why am I attracted to him/her? Why do I have doubts about this person? Am I really in love? Take time to consider the kind of individual that will be a “forever” and not a “fantasy”.
Talk to God. Write down the qualities of the partner you are looking for in a spiritual journal. Does the person you are interested in add to your spiritual growth? Do they fit in with God’s plan for your life? Healthy and godly relationships enhance self-esteem and self-worth. When you think you have found “the one”, refer back to your spiritual journal for confirmation.
Get to know the person you are dating. Selecting a partner is a gradual process that begins with dating and moves on to a lengthy time of courtship. Longer courtships allow you to evaluate your compatibility and could possibly lead to greater expectancy of marriage.
As you continue to meet other new prospects, you will know which budding relationship will bloom into something beautiful and which ones will either wither or die on the vine. When a relationship is dead on the vine, don’t’ continue to water it, just let it go. Weed them out!
Establish common interests. Build upon a strong relationship by doing something you both enjoy. Focus on pleasurable outside activities. Connect with other couples. Be willing to share ideas and open up with each other. Find common ground that you can build upon. Do you have shared spiritual beliefs? Political views? Is there instant compatibility? Talk about these important issues. Effective communication is a crucial key to success in every relationship.
No sex before marriage. Most people don’t like this little advice, but it’s true. You’ve heard the saying: “why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free”. I guess this means, why get married when you can get all the good loving you want for free? Sex before marriage does not guarantee a ring. The consequences of premarital sex can lead to emotional baggage such as betrayal, mistrust, disappointments, diseases, and unwanted pregnancies.
“And that means killing off everything connected with that way of death: sexual promiscuity, impurity, lust, doing whatever you feel like whenever you feel like it, and grabbing whatever attracts your fancy. That’s a life shaped by things and feelings instead of by God. It’s because of this kind of thing that God is about to explode in anger. It wasn’t long ago that you were doing all that stuff and not knowing any better. But you know better now, so make sure it’s all gone for good: bad temper, irritability, meanness, profanity, dirty talk.” Colossians 3:5-8 (MSG)
Last, don’t be afraid to say “I’m not ready”. If you are still in a tailspin from a previous relationship, then you are definitely not ready for another relationship encounter. Understand what happened in the last relationship, learn from those mistakes, close the door, then proceed, but slowly. When you tell someone “I’m not ready”, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are afraid, but it means that you are strong; you are willing and determined to take your time, get it right and wait for your blooming season!