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Over the years, I’ve put together a list of what I consider to be the top relationship advice for dating Christians (or those interested in dating).The list has emerged through countless conversations and discussions, and offers some great ground-level wisdom on how the call of discipleship should steer our journey through romantic relationships.That’s just the way our relationship is.” No relationship is perfect.Each one has its fault lines and issues, but there comes a point when a challenging relationship becomes a destructive one, and when abusive patterns have emerged that line has been crossed. If we don’t identify and end the abusive relationship until it has run its course, we will be heartbroken and devastated.When Jesus is our first priority, our view of love, sex, and relationships is enhanced and enriched.But when Jesus is relegated to being our second, third, or fourth priority, our entire view of love, sex, and relationships becomes distorted.To enter into any relationship with the expectation that it will be the key to a happy life is to place an idolatrous, unhealthy, and unrealistic expectation on it.This expectation will only suffocate any potential for the relationship to grow in a healthy way.
If we’re not anchoring our heart’s deepest hopes and longings in Jesus, our romantic relationships will always end up disappointing and frustrating us.Maybe it’s a boyfriend who is physically abusive, or a girlfriend who is controlling and emotionally manipulative.Regardless, I often see the rationalizing of major dysfunction.The statement is clearly well-intended, but like many things within the church the attempt to simplify in order to communicate things clearly has created new problems.
For example, the overly simplistic categories of Christian and non-Christian can be an enormous stumbling block. non-Christians, we can quickly (and mistakenly) substitute “people who go to church” with “Christian” and unintentionally lower our standards to anyone who shows up to church on Sunday.
He needs to stay central for us regardless of whether we’re single, dating, or married.