Do you care about your relationship and your significant other?
If the answer is yes, then what are you doing to take care of those things? If you answered no, then I must encourage you to follow along anyway.
What is something that almost all historical buildings that are still standing have in common? They are built on a good foundation, closely maintained, refurbished, and invested in. Maybe some more than others, and that usually depends on the historical, educational, or monetary value of the building. For all of you North Carolinians, a good example right in our home state is the Biltmore House, completed in 1895. At just over 120 years old, the mansion has over four acres of floor space, including 35 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms, and 65 fireplaces. Lavish, elegant, old, and outstanding; this mansion has a high dollar and historical value. The estate itself is staffed and maintained by around 2,400 people. Needless to say, a lot of time, effort, and resources are put into keeping the Biltmore House & Estate looking beautiful, staying clean, and repairing whatever wears down over the years.
This same method of upkeep can – and should – be applied to our relationships. Whether it is with friends, family, or your significant other, relationships are a treasure and a gift from the Lord. Hayden and I are focusing on our romantic relationship through Biblical, God-centered upkeep & maintenance for several reasons. Let’s examine them together!
A godly relationship is important because we make boundaries based on God’s standards, so no wild sexual interaction or over-the-top flirting, no comfy cursing (cursing in private or while messaging just because we’re comfortable with each other), and we try to exemplify basic honesty. There’s more to that list, but honestly, we very rarely talk about any of these things, except honesty.
The main attraction for us to have a godly relationship is what we get to open up to each other about. We can discuss whatever is on our mind that we might not even feel comfortable sharing with a close friend. We’ve talked about hardships, relationships, what we need prayer for, the future, the past, insights, spiritual experiences, etc. Having that one person who you can pour out your soul to is its own type of encouragement and relief. We’ve cried together, laughed together, cried laughing together, and we always look back on it wondering why we’re so lucky to have the other. This is all because of God’s timing and having a godly relationship can also be seen as a return of affection towards God. We truly believe that it is His will for us to be together, so why would we not want to center our relationship around Him– the one who set us up in the first place.
Our relationship, as mentioned in the previous post, has been an ongoing friendship for ten years. Though we’ve only been dating for 1 ½ of those years, our foundation has been built on trust, friendship, and familiarity. Since our relationship is diving deeper than a friendship, we are striving to maintain it and reinforce it. Polishing the old windows so that they’ll reflect God’s Love onto others, reinforcing walls that could crumble and fall without Scripture to hold them together, changing light bulbs so that darkness won’t cause stumbling. I’m also preparing to move to England in August for eleven months, which means that, together, we are preparing for the difficulties of a long-distance relationship. This goes back to reinforcement and investment. Learning proper communication is time and effort-consuming, but extremely important. Hayden said it best:
Having that one person who you can pour out your soul to is its own type of encouragement and relief. We’ve cried together, laughed together, cried laughing together, and we always look back on it wondering why we’re so lucky to have the other.
Focusing your relationship on God and the things of God, rather than on building yourself up, having sex, being successful together, or making sure the world knows you’re together, will help build that foundation of trust. And with a firm foundation in trust, communication comes easier. We can talk about this more in-depth later.
Over the last almost 19 months we have been able to see and experience how much the other has grown. With each month that passes I see Sarah becoming more personally responsible. She’s more outgoing and wants to share e v e r y t h i n g with me. I’ve noticed the balance of maturity and humor she shows when dealing with other people. And she’s emerged out of her shell when it comes to evangelizing to other people, which I’m not even near. The other day we went out for bubble tea and she asked the young lady behind the counter if she had a church and if she would be interested in coming to our sunrise service. That was amazing to me.
What a beautiful experience it has been to grow stronger in our walk with the Lord together! Hayden is slowly breaking through the many-layered shell that comes with introversion. He’s become much more determined to share the thoughts he has (which are many). When in a one-on-one conversation with me, he will have written things down that he thought of throughout the week, so as to remember. He puts more effort into budgeting, fitness, friendships, and getting in the word.
I am so excited to see where the Lord takes us as we follow Him. A warning: you’re not always going to be gung-ho about the effort you have to put in. It’s not always going to be immediately rewarding.
Treasures in Heaven, folks.
NOTE: For this series, any of Hayden’s writings will be in teal!