The Relationship Test: A Valentine's post for those in a relationship

9:30 AM


So, you're in a relationship, or perhaps you just want to be in one. Either way, there's obviously a lot of advice out there for couples. I had random strangers and ladies whom I hadn't had more than exchanged names with giving me advice when Scott and I were courting/dating. But how can you know if you're in a healthy, godly relationship? Obviously, there aren't any easy answers as some things differ from couple to couple. However, here is my test for what it is worth:

Are both passionate about Jesus? By passionate, I mean it is of first importance to both of you. Ladies, it's especially easy to think that we, as women, will be able to excite our guy's faith. Bad news, that almost is never the case when a guy has little to no passion for Jesus in the first place. Both parties in the relationship should be passionate about Jesus and living a life for Him. If your relationship doesn't pass this test, all the others don't really matter.

Does this person bring out the best in you? Friends, this is the person you are signing up for life with. You want someone who pushes you closer to Jesus, brings out your joy, and makes you a better person towards other people. You want someone who will build you up, not tear you down. You want to be better, godlier people because of each other. I know it is hard, but ask supportive friends/family members (make sure you ask more than one) if you are a couple that brings out the best in each other.

Are humility and gentleness present in your relationship? I've talked before about how important humility and gentleness are in relationships. These are qualities that are so key. Unhealthy relationships, when confronted with obstacles or objections, respond with harsh, prideful responses. Whereas, in a healthy one, humility and gentleness are present. Of course, even in a healthy relationship, we still struggle to do what is right and respond well when someone says something unkind or wrong. Yet, if you are unwilling to listen to advice/concerns from trusted sources (not just anyone) or are feeling irritated and snapping, it is a red flag. However, if you are under fire (because sometimes even those we love don't have a godly perspective) and you can humbly yet boldly give a gentle answer, that is a good sign.

Do we have the same goals both short-term and long-term? What do you want to result from your relationship? What are your life-long plans? If one of you wants to just have a good time during the dating stage and the other wants to have only serious conversations, obviously, your short-term goals are at odds. If one of you wants to be a missionary to India and one of you wants to own a coffee shop in a small town in America, you have incompatible long-term goals. While you can compromise in some areas, tred with care and prayer. If you don't resolve those things now, they will become battlegrounds in the future.

Do those who love and know you best think this is a good idea? I have known friends who have married over the objections of their parents and counselors because those people had unbiblical or ludicrous objections. It is a sad fact that sometimes those who we have been close to will object without good reason. However, ask those who know and love you best if they think this relationship is good and if it passes the other tests I've mentioned. I cannot say this clearly enough: If the people who love and know you best don't get along with the person you are in a relationship or think it is a bad idea, it is a giant red flag. Of course, there can be bad advisors, but don't ignore this red flag. Seek counsel from good, biblically grounded sources.

Did your relationship pass the test? Congratulations. It sounds like you're off to a good start

Did your relationship not measure up? Spend some time in prayer and with wise counselors. If needed be willing to trust God enough to walk away. It is better not to be in a relationship then to end up in a bad marriage.

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