It always amazes me how little time is dedicated to teaching on romantic relationships. Choosing a husband or wife is probably the second biggest decision you will make in life (choosing Jesus obviously being the biggest and best).
Marriage is supposed to reflect our relationship with God, so getting it right is a big deal. Getting ourselves right is the key to beginning this journey.
As leaders we are regularly asked for solid advice on how to date as Christians, and running the seminars in Established and Momentum is the most time-effective way of sharing some wisdom.
The modern practice of dating isn’t actually a biblical principle. However, the Bible clearly covers how we should treat other humans. In dating, more than anywhere, we should see two people demonstrating to the world a pure and selfless love.
“Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12 NLT
While preparing for the seminar we looked at what causes marriages to fail. The number one reason for divorce in the UK is unreasonable behaviour.
Essentially this covers any behaviour that would make a person difficult to live with; anger outbursts, financial recklessness, inappropriate relationships with others, social isolation… The reasons people give for ending a relationship are rarely the things that are considered at the beginning. Looking for a partner who is funny, good looking, tall and with a “gift of worship-leading” might not be the best criteria if the unreasonable behaviour is masked by the dating butterflies.
Even more insightful is the research on happily married couples. According to one study “What the Motivated Mind Sees” the results were unexpected. This study asked long-standing married couples to rate themselves on a list of virtues and faults, and then to rate their spouse against the same list. The discovery was that couples who described themselves as happily married all rated their partner more positively than their partner rated themselves. And vice versa.
“Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3 NLT
It seems that when “thinking of others as better than yourselves” is applied in a relationship, both parties are happy.
So if you’re a youth or a young adult come along to our seminars and learn some practical tips on how to do dating well. We’ll talk about how to prefer others, and also: how to be the person the person you’re looking for is looking for!
Family Church also run Marriage Enrichment and Marriage for Beginners courses. Contact the office for more information.