October 1, 2011

– – – Our hearts should be so lost  in or in such hot pursuit of God that others have to seek Him to find us – – –
I want to preface this blog by saying that I have practiced none of these principles I am going to describe within the context of a romantic relationship. However I am writing this to those who have been single and may be looking to enter into a relationship at some point. I have applied some of these principles to a lot of my friendships and the results have been good, God-centered, strong friendships. 
Almost six years ago now I made a decision to become single, I strayed once in High School but for the past four years, though I’ve gotten close, I’ve been pretty straight ahead in this area of my life. The purpose was to prepare myself for God’s plans of marriage and fatherhood for my life, to become “A Man after God’s own heart.” It has been a day by day thing since that day, learning and growing and now I’d like to share some of the wisdom God has granted me with you.
So here are some principles or concepts, that when applied to relationships of any kind allow God to work in his mysterious and wonderful ways. 
1. A Relationship must be God-Centered – As we know God has called us to let Him be the center of our lives, as Christians we are raised learning that “Jesus is Lord/brother/friend” and God is “Father” and that they should be the center or axis of everything we do. So it makes sense to apply this to our romantic relationships as well. If we, who are by nature selfish, step back and allow God to lead us in our relationships and make Him the center it’s much easier to listen to His direction. This might take the form of Bible-studies, praying together and separately about God’s direction for the relationship and attending church together. 
It’s not easy, applied to friendships it works better if it’s a mentor-mentee relationship. 
2. Keep Learning- There is a difference between “knowing someone” and really knowing them. Part of the problem I ran into in my last relationship was that I thought I knew the person. I had gone to church with them for two years and though we hadn’t spoken for two years when we decided to “date” we never actually got to know each other. As Christians we are called to live in Community, we need each other to lift up and encourage one another. If we don’t know the other person then we can’t really lift up and encourage them in things that are outside of the relationship. 
Also, people have a great deal of depth to them whether we, or ever they, realize it or not. Getting to know the other person takes time and requires a hiatus from a deep physical relationship, which can become distracting. 
Also, learning outside of the relationship is important too, spending time in the Scriptures by yourself and putting your education above the other person in the relationship (if you are in college or whatnot) is okay to do. The list should most likely go something like this; God, Education, Relationships. 
3. Isolation and infatuation are the quickest way to breakup – In my time working with young people and even in my own story I’ve seen it a hundred times. We cannot become infatuated with the other person, mostly because that leads to isolation which can lead to sin or breakup or breakup as a result of sin. Sexual Purity is on the top of the list of things God wants from us, but if we cannot control ourselves 1, we shouldn’t be in the relationship and 2. we are breaking God’s commands (thank God for grace right.) Joshua Harris gives this advice “Seek out other Christian couples, both the same age as you and older than you. Go on double dates and don’t put yourselves in situations where you might be tempted” 
which brings me to my last principle 
4. Set Boundaries – This is probably the second most important of these four. It goes right after making your relationship God centered. Boundaries are important to set from the beginning, saying “This is what I’m comfortable with” is a very good thing. God has set boundaries for us so now we should set boundaries within our relationship based on his standards for us. This is where God Centered relationships are so important because if you’re relationship is God focused instead of him/her focused it makes it easier to set boundaries based on your Christian convictions, which makes it easier to avoid sexual temptation and makes conversation and communication easier. It is boundaries that open the door for us to get to know each other, God Centeredness provides us with a lens to set those boundaries so that we can get to each other. 
I hope that this, in some way helped you in your quest to seek after God. I pray that God brings into your life the person He has been preparing for you. 
God Bless You
Jon Faulkner
10:31 Ministries