The Requirements for a Relationship

Jul
2011
24

posted by on Relationship Encouragement

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I am often surprised in my conversations with single Christians, that there are those who do not have a list of preset requirements which they’ve determined must be in place before they would consider a romantic relationship with someone. I know we don’t want to seem judgmental, so we’re often tempted to leave these things in the hands of God, perhaps to leave His options open to bring His perfect one to us.
I believe we should have in place, some established ideas regarding the nature of a quality Christian relationship, because we simply cannot continue to invest our lives in troubled or disastrous relationships and marriages. With that in mind, I’ve created a short list of requirements for us to consider in deciding whether to pursue a relationship opportunity if it were to present itself in the future…
1. A mutual sense of attraction and a shared level of interest in pursuing the relationship…
Many of us have learned that we simply cannot maintain the momentum of a relationship without the earnest participation of the other person in the process. A courtship should be relatively easy to maintain in a forward direction and it should be the most fun you’ve ever had with all your clothes on. If your courtship is fraught with worry or concern over the commitment, dedication or communication level of the other person in the relationship; or if the appearance or habits of your individual continue to create a problem; I hope you’ll see those conditions as a major red flag in continuing the relationship…

2. A shared commitment to sexual purity…
I tend to speak on this subject a lot, but I believe it’s that important. Many Christians have some hidden opinions of flexibility on the subject of pre-marital sex. You really must choose a person who shares your commitment to sexual purity for the duration of a long courtship. If you find yourself in a relationship with someone who is less committed to physical purity than you are, you will probably be unsuccessful in resisting his or her sexual advances for the duration of a long courtship, and that will create respect and bonding issues in your marriage. A sexually pure courtship really requires a strong, decisive commitment from both halves of a couple. A person who is immature in their physical appetites will likely have some hidden maturity issues in other areas of life as well…

3. A long-term, verifiable history of quality, and a lengthy commitment to Biblical obedience and growth…
This doesn’t mean you should run a criminal history or a credit check before you agree to meet someone for coffee, but does mean you should be judicious in the giving of your heart to someone, because it is so very hard to extricate yourself from a relationship with a broken, or less-than-committed individual. I know that, in Christ, even the most troubled person can be transformed into a new creation, but a genuine transformation will bear itself out in a verifiable, long-term history of loving and serving both God and people. If a person has a long, devoted history of godly serving, they won’t be concerned that you want to know about it. But someone who has made that investment in his or her life, would probably want to see the same evidence of a long-term godly commitment in your life as well. And that’s okay, in this Christian life, you will generally become the person before you will find the person you are looking for…

4. A mutual history of freedom from anger, hurtful sarcasm and jealousy…
You really want to be someone who is relatively easy to get along with, even at your worst moments, and you really want to insist that your prospective love interest shares that same ability and commitment to maturity in this area. That doesn’t mean either of you are overly mushy or devoid of an opinion, it simply means you are mutually capable of loving, trusting and serving one-another in a committed, healthy relationship to last a lifetime. Continued bursts of anger, mistrust, jealousy or sarcasm are signs of deeper trouble in a person’s makeup, and they are relationship killers. I know it’s possible for someone to grow out of these broken and insecure tendencies, and he or she might do that, but you must remember that you did not cause the dysfunction and brokenness in another person, and you must not take on the project of trying to fix them. I hope you know that you simply won’t be successful in changing someone’s behavior, no matter how much you might love them…

5. A mutual history of being somewhat careful and goal-oriented with money and possessions…
A marriage is a lot like a business relationship. Each of us brings a certain amount of money and stuff into a combined family. We know it’s never good to place too much emphasis upon material things, but nearly everyone carries within them a certain goal to achieve or maintain a certain level of material comfort. There are individuals who simply aren’t careful with the maintenance of possessions, and there are those who have a history of simply spending money they do not have. These folks often do not correlate that lack of care and diligence with the ongoing financial failure in their lives. Again, you must understand that you didn’t cause this brokenness within this person, and you will very likely not be able to fix it…

I hope that list of requirements didn’t sound too businesslike or harsh. I didn’t write this to berate anyone, I wrote this to help you. There are more requirements you could come up with, and I encourage you to share those in the comments section below. The point I was trying to make, is that you are totally free to marry anyone you want, and you are totally free to remain single. So please don’t fall for, or marry an overly broken or problematic individual. You should create your list of relationship requirements before you make yourself available for romance, or you might talk yourself into another life-changing disaster…

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