I thought it would be a lot of fun to put together a little relationship post. I realize that many of my readers are girls and young women, and most fall into one of the following categories…
- Single and not quite ready for a relationship
- Single and ready to start a relationship
- Already in a relationship
- Already engaged or married
Whichever category you fall into, I’ve written this post to help each and every one of you. If you are single and not ready for a relationship, you can benefit from this post (it will help you prepare for a great relationship in the future). If you are already married, you can put these principles and tips into practice now – it’s not too late.
Let me just say… I am certainly NOT a relationship expert. Far from it. And I still need to work on many of the things I am about to talk about! However, I must admit… my fiance’ (Adam) and I have an awesome relationship.
Thinking about our relationship from when it first began until now, we’ve definitely tried to put most of these principles to work in our relationship. We aren’t perfect, and we both continue to work at keeping our relationship strong and healthy. Throughout the friendship stage, courting, getting engaged and planning a wedding… we keep God, His Word, and prayer in our relationship, we try to stay on the same page, we communicate well, we have fun together and we try to stay focused on the well-being and happiness of the other person.
These tips are for you – and let me repeat… they can and WILL help you now and in the future. Don’t read these and shrug them off. Think about what you need to work on in your life and plan to DO it!
So…. What does it take to prepare for (and have) a godly relationship? Here’s what you need do know… and here’s what you need to do.
10 Ways to Prepare for an Godly Relationship
1. Become a Godly Young Woman
“…but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.” 1 Timothy 4:18
Whatever you do in life, will be made better by being a godly young woman. When you walk with God, you read His Word and understand God’s way of making life and relationships work . You will not find the best relationship tips in magazines, psychology books, or talk shows. The best relationship tips you will find are hidden in God’s Word.
Focus on your walk with God… become a godly young woman and you will be doing the BEST possible thing you can do for an awesome and godly relationship.
2. Choose God’s Will
“In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:6
Never settle for less than God’s will. Be surrendered to His plan and purpose for your life. Don’t focus on the life YOU want to have… Focus on the life God wants you to have, and be determined to follow it.
If you are surrendered to God’s will for your life, then you will be in the best possible place to begin an awesome, God-centered relationship.
If you are not focused on God’s will, you could very easily be swept into a relationship that was not meant for you. And take my word on this one… it will not be an awesome relationship.
Decide to follow God’s will (for everything) and then choose only God’s will for a future relationship. It will be awesome. 🙂
3. Pray About Your Future
“Be careful for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God.” Philippians 4:6
No matter how young, you can begin praying about your future now. It’s never too early. Praying about your future will help you make wise decisions concerning your future. Pray for wisdom, pray for guidance, pray for for clarity and direction.
If you make it a habit to pray about your future, God will be faithful in providing direction and clarity for big decisions – like a future relationship.
Prayer is such a vital key to preparing for a great future and a godly relationship.
(Hint: When God reveals that special someone, make it a habit to pray together!)
4. Understand the Biblical Roles of a Husband and Wife
“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.” Ephesians 5:22 and 25
No matter your relationship status, it’s extremely important to understand the biblical roles God has given to men and women. Study and learn the purpose God has given you as a woman. Become familiar with the passage in Ephesians 5 that speaks to husbands and wives, and their specific roles. Understand that men are to lead, and we as woman are supposed to follow their leadership in a submissive way, “as unto the Lord”.
Following God’s plan will produce the best kind of relationship. So make it a priority to study and understand your role as a woman (and future wife). This will prepare you for a great and godly relationship!
5. Understand the Concept of Love and Respect
“Nevertheless, let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.” Ephesians 5:33
When I first read about the concept of love and respect, I was blown away. Not surprisingly, this idea is nothing new. It comes from the very Word of God. God created both male and female and gave them each unique desires.
God placed in men a very strong desire for respect and admiration. As a result, men thrive when they receive lots of admiration and adoration. (Perhaps this is why many men have such a strong ego!) 🙂
On the other hand, God created women with a very strong desire for love. We thrive when we are treated with tender loving care, and even lots of affection.
Understanding this concept and actually putting it into practice, will help you prepare for a great relationship. And if you are already in a relationship…. putting love and respect into action will greatly improve your relationship. Love and respect was God’s idea – and it totally works!
6. Learn How to Communicate Well
“Let no corrupt communication, proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” Ephesians 4:29
Communication is key in life, and in relationships. Learning how to communicate well, isn’t as complicated as you might think. And you know what? The Bible has a LOT to say about communication! Just read the book of Proverbs 🙂
I’m going to share some quick (and simple) communication tips with you. Some of these came from our pre-marriage counseling, others are things that Adam and I have found that just “work” for us…
- Be Honest – talk about things that bother you. Don’t clam up… speak up. Don’t hide things from others. Be honest and truthful with other people. Learn to talk about problems and work through them. (Ephesians 4:25)
- Speak with Kindness – Be kind and loving when you talk to others. Don’t let unkind words come out of your mouth. Avoid raising your voice. Speak with love and kindness. (Ephesians 4:15 and 32)
- Work Together – if a problem comes up, work together (or with others) to find a solution. Learn teamwork. (Romans 12:18)
- Communicate Often – Don’t let too much time or distance come between you and other people – especially if you’re in a relationship. Communicate as needed to keep your relationships strong and healthy.
- Speak With Clarity and Use Details – Be very clear and use details when trying to explain yourself. Avoid talking about serious issues over text. Call and talk on the phone… or better yet, speak in person, face to face!
Learning good communication skills will go a looong way to help you have a great relationship. Be sure to study out God’s Word, and see for yourself what the Bible has to say about good communication.
7. Be “Others-Focused”
“Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” Philippians 2:4
No one wants to be in a relationship with a selfish or self-focused individual. Learn to focus on other people. Don’t always be thinking about yourself. Be genuinely interested in other people – Keep their best interest in mind.
When you find yourself in a relationship with a special someone… don’t focus on what they can do for you – make it your goal to serve and bless them.
I recently heard a quote that has been impacting the way I treat Adam.
The quote: “Never be afraid to be the one who loves the most.”
Relationships are not supposed to be a 50-50 proposition like most people seem to think. It’s not me giving 50% and Adam giving his own 50%. It’s supposed to be both of us giving 100%. But there is nothing wrong with being the one who gives or loves the most.
Learn to be selfless and others-focused in your relationships. Doing so will prepare you for a selfless and loving relationship that will bless your future spouse.
8. Don’t Set Your Expectations Too High (or too Low!)
“Better is little with the fear of the LORD, than great treasure and trouble therewith. Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.” Proverbs 15:16-17
Let me explain. I think we as young women should have high expectations for the young man who wants to win our heart. If expectations are too low… you may end up with someone who will not properly lead you in a godly, Christ-like way. In this way, you should set high standards of godly character, leadership, and integrity in any young man that “comes courting”.
However, on the flip side, having expectations that are too high can be very dangerous as well. Expecting a young man to always make you happy, bring you flowers every week, and romance you every single day of your life…. well that’s just setting an impossible and unreasonable standard.
Set high standards on things that really matter – like his walk with God, godly character, polite manners, family values, etc. But don’t set your standards too high in other areas – like romance, expensive gifts, fancy dates etc.
9. Choose to Be Joyful
“Rejoice in the Lord always; and again, Rejoice.” Philippians 4:4
It’s been awhile since I talked about joy. But choosing to be a joyful and happy woman will go a long way in preparing you for a great relationship. Sour moods, constant unhappiness, and wrong emotions will drag other people (especially him) down. However, a happy, joyful spirit will bring life and energy to any relationship.
It’s our job to choose joy and happiness. It is NOT the responsibility of other people or a special young man to make us a happy. That kind of expectation could ruin a relationship!
Choose today to…
- Look on the bright side – be positive (1 Thessalonians 16-18)
- Smile! 🙂 (Proverbs 15:13)
- Fight against wrong bad moods and wrong emotions – especially during that time of the month 😉 (Proverbs 16:32)
- Be joyful in the Lord (Philippians 4:4)
- Be content (Philippians 4:11)
- Choose to be lighthearted and merry (Proverbs 17:22)
- Fight against worry and fear – Learn to trust the Lord instead (Philippians 4:6)
- Avoid complaining (Philippians 2:14)
10. Change Yourself Instead of Others
“And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:3-5
So often, we try to change other people. But if we do this, we will just end up frustrated and disappointed because we can’t change other people! We need to learn to accept people as they are – without trying to change them. So, if you meet someone you would love to change – don’t even try.
You can pray for others, and hope for the best – you can even encourage and motivate them to do what is right… but you will never change them.
Instead, focus on yourself.
This is one area where it’s okay to be a little self-focused. 😉 What do you need to change about yourself? What are your weaknesses? What are your particular struggles? Pinpoint your own weakness and faults (not other people’s faults). Try to found out your blind spots (you know, those areas of weakness you can’t see as easily as other’s can?) Ask a close friend to point out things you need to work on. Make a self-improvement list. Set goals for yourself.
Be an encouraging cheerleader for others… but don’t try to change them. With God’s grace and help, work on changing the only person you can possibly change: yourself.
Learn to grow in the Lord. Grow in character, and grow as a person. Learn how to make changes in your own life -especially spiritual changes- and you will be preparing yourself for a great and godly relationship!
Preparing yourself for a godly relationship takes work. But so does a great relationship. If you can learn these things now, you will be more prepared for a successful, Christ-centered relationship later.
Remember, if you’re already in a relationship… these tips can help you improve the relationship you already have. There’s always room for improvement, and it’s not too late!
Once again, the absolute best way to prepare for an awesome relationship is to be a godly young woman. Nothing will prepare you better than having a solid foundation in God’s Word. Biblical principles are the best rules to follow in order to have a successful and awesome relationship!
What To Read While You Prepare
I love to learn by reading. In my opinion, it’s one of the best ways to learn. Over the years I’ve read a lot of books, and many of them helped to prepare me for the awesome relationship I now have with my fiance. Some were specifically about relationships, others were more about living the Christian life or knowing the will of God. Below is a list of some of the best books I read that helped prepare me for a godly (and awesome) relationship. I hope you will choose to put some of these on your reading list! Here they are…
Discover Your Destiny by Cary Schmidt – an excellent book on knowing God’s will for your life, and following that plan throughout the young adult years.
Lady in Waiting: Becoming God’s Best While Waiting for Mr. Right – An excellent book for any young woman, single or not (I first read this book when I was already in a relationship and still loved it!).
Love and Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs – This book really helped me understand a man’s need for respect. I may not be able to agree 100% with everything the authors say, but this book was an eye opener and a game-changer for me!
The 5 Love Langues – This book helped me identify my love language… and also gave me practical tips on how to “speak” Adam’s particular love language. It’s been incredibly helpful to know each other’s love languages! Even if you don’t read the book, I would encourage you to learn the 5 love languages, and focus on giving others the type of love they truly desire.
I Would Love To Hear From You
- Which step do you need to work on the most?
- What would you like to add to my list?
- What things are you doing (or have you done) to prepare for a godly relationship?
Please share your thoughts and answers in the comments below!