So, this week we have had Youth Week of Prayer in Wellington. I took one look at my schedule and knew straight away that it would be impossible to make EVERY night but I made a resolve that I would not use that as an excuse to not go at all. I had to make at least one night and then attend the service on Sabbath.
As it so happens, I MADE IT! Let’s just say it was a a topic that I haven’t really given much thought on; Relationships. For myself, I always think “when do I even have the time to have a relationship?” and in the end, put it on the bottom of my priorities list. I have University, work, church, and family commitments that I need to worry about so adding on another thing to worry about does not sound appealing to me at all.
After hearing that the topic was Relationships and “How to married”, I sat there ready to shut off. I wasn’t even interested in dating let alone marriage so why would this message be interesting for me?
Pastor Clifton Glasgow, who was the guest speaker from Auckland, started sharing and the first thing he said was that God was The God of Relationships. He talked of how God did not intend for us to be alone and that when God created Adam, he gave him Eve as a helper. Now, this got my attention (trust me when I say that I will be looking more into this).
Let me share with you the 5 Principles that shared with us that we need to not only have but also look for when we are looking for someone.
Pray and pray 6 times a day (don’t get intertwined)
Look for a worker, someone who is productive
Of the same line. We need someone of the same line- someone who worships the same God)
Good to have attraction
When you are looking for someone to be in a relationship with or when someone is courting you, there are two different foundations your relationship will be built upon. The first one is the Worldly foundations which is built on progression. “How far can we go?” It’s all about moving to the next step. The second is the Christian Foundations. This is when we build a foundation on God’s way.
When you do it God’s way your relationship will be built upon love and respect. You both will value trust and honour. Who doesn’t want that in their relationships.
Then he started talking about boundaries. You need to set your boundaries. Don’t push your boundaries out just because the person that you’re with wants you to. He warned us that if you keep going close that line, you will end up crossing it. Don’t do something you will regret because you keep testing the waters.
Remember as a child how if you played too close to the fence sometimes the ball will go over? Well, this is the same thing. You KNOW you don’t want the ball to go over and that you should really not play too close to the fence but you do it anyways. Some neighbours would be nice enough and throw you the ball back but there are others where you just know that you will never see that ball ever again. God will open up boundaries when the time is right. Trust in His plans for you.
So here are some tips on honouring God:
-Remember who’s property you are touching!
-Renew your commitment daily
-Acknowledge Jesus’ presence in every date
-Agree in your standards
-Don’t go alone
-Put real love first
-Declare a new beginning
So ladies, don’t settle for less (you men too!). Find yourself a good man or woman! Do things together. In Ephesians 5:25 Paul urges husbands to love their wives “as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” but that doesn’t mean that it should be just the husband who loves their wives. Wives love your husband too! Christ loved the church so much he literally died for her. We need to learn how to love and value someone this much that it is worth paying with our life.
Give each other time. Make time! This is something that I struggle with and thankfully don’t have to worry about at the moment but for those who are in a relationship, whether it be marriage or dating, listen up! Pr Clifton gives some tips that may help you.
Never go to sleep with an argument unsettled. Don’t let that anger fester and grow! Don’t sin by letting anger gain control over you. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry. I mean, how uncomfortable is it to sleep in a bed next to someone who you know can easily hurt you while you’re sleeping? Which means you need to pick up a special skill. Listen! Such a simple thing that so many people struggle with. You need to listen to understand not to reply. Sometimes you do not even need to talk but by listening, you are showing that you care.
Now you need to be presentable. Be that person who made an effort at the beginning of the relationship. This also means that you need to work just as hard as you did when you were chasing her/him. Be romantic and actually work on your relationship. Don’t get into a space where you start not caring because then you start losing the romance. Be romantic and spontaneous! Just because you are now at a point in your relationship where you are comfortable with each other, doesn’t mean that you stop doing the things that you did when you first started being together. Go out for dinner, watch a movie, get to know each other again! In the bible it says that we should ask God to renew in us a new heart each day so why not do it also with you relationship with your significant other? Renew your heart for them each day also and remind yourself how you should be thankful to have someone in your life that loves you as much as this person does.
Last but not least, the key is to know Christ. When you know Him and put Him first in your relationship, nothing can ruin it. No other person can come between you, money no longer becomes a big argument and you start to reflect Him. To know Christ is to know love and once you know love, you will know how to treat one another.
I know that it may sound weird to you to hear all this dating/marriage/courting advice from someone who doesn’t seem all that interested in being in a relationship but it’s something that I thought I should share regardless of whether I have found love myself or not. It was a great message by Pr Clifton which I just wanted others to hear of. If there are prayer weeks or seminars being run by a Seventh Day Adventist Church near you, I highly recommend attending. You never know what you might learn.