Many people are intentional about choosing the right partner. That’s a good thing and if you need help with that, you can read my post ‘How to choose a life partner.’ However, after getting the person of your dreams, there is much more work to do to keep you guys together.
1. No two relationships are the same
If your relationship is going to work out, you can’t afford to compare it with others. Even if the grass looks greener on the other side, you still have to mow it. Don’t be in a hurry to point out what someone else’s spouse is doing that yours isn’t. You also don’t know what your counterpart in that relationship is doing. Be content.
2. The principles are the same.
No two relationships are the same, but the principles are the same. At the core of every marriage should be the basic principles: Man, love. Woman, submit. Both of you submit to one another in love and submit to God.
3. Good Christianity
If you look closely, you’d realize that the fruits of the spirit that a Christian is supposed to exhibit are very similar to the ingredients necessary for a good relationship. Galatians 5:22, 23 list the fruit of the spirit as love, joy, peace, long suffering gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and self control. These are the same things that make a relationship work.
Meanwhile the first two fruits of the flesh mentioned in Galatians 5:19 are adultery and fornication. Anger and jealousy are also on that list. You get the point? The same things that can destroy a relationship are the fruit of the flesh.
We are encouraged to walk in the spirit if we will not fulfill the lust of the flesh. This goes to show that the more you’re led by God’s spirit, the more likely you are to have a good relationship. If you are truly growing spiritually, it must reflect in your relationship.
One may ask: So what if I am a strong Christian and I still have problems in my relationship?
There could be a variety of reasons, but one that I have found is that quite a number of Christians are not intentional about relationships. For your relationship to work, you also need to invest time, emotions and thoughtfulness. Good Christianity is a good foundation, but please don’t ignore the work involved.
Someone once said that marriage is two forgivers living together. I agree one hundred percent. It is unlikely that anyone will annoy as much as the person you love the most. You must forgive. However, there are two things I must note here. If you’re being physically abused however, you can forgive your spouse from afar. Don’t worry about what people will say, you have to be alive to hear that. Physical abuse should never be swept under the carpet because your life is at stake.
Another thing I will mention is that you have much more freedom in a dating relationship. Remember, courtship is the time to love intelligently, marriage is the time to love blindly. If there are things you think you can’t handle in marriage, courtship is the time to make a decision.
5. Commitment and faithfulness
Relationships are work. Successful relationships go beyond the mushy-mushy emotions portrayed in movies. They require commitment; choosing to be faithful to your special someone regardless to what’s going on around you. Supporting that person in their dreams, aspirations and their boring every day lives. It requires having your beloved’s back even when they aren’t all that lovable. It’s seeking to understand before fighting to be understood. Examine every successful relationship and you’d see a high level of commitment to making it work. Both parties may not be so romantic, but you’d see commitment, because you cannot define love independent of commitment.
Don’t just say that you are not emotional or romantic. If you are thoughtful, you’d be romantic. When you love someone, you should look forward doing things that makes him or her smile.
Thanks for reading. What other pointers would you suggest are important to making a relationship work? Let me know in the comments section.