She was over fifty. So was he. They met at church and a short time later they started dating. Both had failed in previous marriages. Both found healing and happiness. I had the pleasure of marrying them several years ago. They are still going strong today. That was your classic boy meets girl, boy marries girl, boy beats girl up, girl leaves him, girl finds several other boys, girl has no luck finding the one, girl finally matures and heals with God’s help, girl falls in love and is happy, story.
One of the best (and most difficult) part of being in ministry is spending time listening to people that have relationship issues/questions. I enjoyed praying with and sharing some of my life experiences with singles. Here is some of the best advice I have learned over the years. Every case is different, but I have seen some common threads.
1. One is a complete number.
The line “you complete me” was great for a movie, but not for real life. When we put our expectations on others and want them to “complete us” what we are really saying is that there is something wrong with you. There isn’t. Being complete and confident in who God made you to be will allow to give and receive love more significantly.
2. Unequal effort yields unwelcome results.
I have seen this one so many times. One gives. The other receives. One puts out the effort, sacrifices, goes all out. The other? Not so much. For any relationship to work, both must give, sacrifice and go all in. If you are doing all the giving, ask yourself: Why do I allow my boyfriend/girlfriend to disrespect me by their response to my love. These type of molehills in dating become mountains in marriage (see #3)
3. Whatever issue you have now, gets bigger when you marry.
A possessive partner becomes more possessive. So with an addict. Ditto with a jealous or insecure partner. Marriage seldom fixes the issue, but compounds it. (see #2)
Why do you need a man? Or a woman? Why do you seem to jump so fast from one relationship to another that the ink from the Dear John letter is not even dry yet. I have seen people get into relationships for the wrong reason:
*I’m lonely- if you are lonely, get a dog.
*I feel my train is leaving- sometimes that is good. There is always another train. Always. And this one smells better.
*I hate my life- relationships are not escape hatches.
*I need sex- it’s deeper than that. Trying to maintain and grow a relationship that is spiritual/mental/physical on a purely physical level is setting yourself up for failure. Save sex for marriage. Then become really good at it for the rest of your life.
5. God factor.
#3 applies here too. Two things to do:
- Become passionate about God.
- Become passionate about finding someone who shares that passion.
What are some counsel you have heard that is beneficial? I would love your responses in the comments section.