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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

What You Should Look for in a Relationship

Now that I've mentioned what you shouldn't look for, I want to move on to what you should look for. As a Christian, these three should be top priority on your list.

1.) A Christian- If he or she doesn't profess to be a Christian, then don't even take a second glance. The Bible tells us not to be unequally yoked. We must obey that command first and foremost.

2.) A Strong Christian - So he or she lines up with #1. Great! But what's their spiritual status? Is it weak? Is it strong? Is he or she making an effort in their walk with God? There are many people who call themselves Christians, but they don't even live it, or they do half-heartedly. Stay away from those people. Maybe you have a girl/guy who claims to be a Christian, goes to church, does what he/she is supposed to but never reads the Bible or prays, or even makes an effort. There's no interest in spiritual things. Stay away from that person. Pray for them though. It's important to find someone who is at least willing to live a Godly lifestyle, even if they're struggling in the moment. I would recommend waiting awhile if you find someone struggling spiritually. It's never a good thing to delve into a relationship when a person is struggling spiritually. For all you know this could be a turning point in their decision to reject Christ. Seeing how someone reacts to spiritual struggles is a good test of knowing how this person will act their entire life as a Christian.

3.) A Strong Christian Who Shares Your Beliefs- You're an Arminian, but he's Calvinist; those two don't mesh! You have to be like-minded in your denominational beliefs. If you don't believe in baptism for salvation, then don't be with someone from the Church of Christ church. That's a huge Theological difference that should be important enough for you to step aside from this person. Think about the differences in your beliefs. What's unimportant and what's not? Maybe you have the same beliefs, but his church is liturgical. Is that a big deal? Probably not. Think about how it will affect a long-term relationship, such as marriage and future children. How will you raise your kids if you both believe in two opposing opinions on a very important matter? That should be a defining guideline in gauging what's important and what isn't.

There are a lot of other important qualities, like being good with finances, has a job (if the provider), maturity level, etc., but the three aforementioned should be on your top priority list.

If you liked this post and want me to delve deeper and go into specifics that I didn't have time to get into in this post, shoot me an email in the comment submission form, or follow-up with comment and I'll follow-up with another post.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

What You Shouldn't Look for in a Relationship

I've heard lots of opinions on this topic, and I've come up with a list of what is important in a relationship and what isn't. I want to start off though with what is NOT important in a relationship, as Christians. I will explain why, as some of these ideas are very counter-culture to the world's idea of what is important in a relationship.

1.) As Christians, it is not important to find someone who is "compatible" "clicks" or "ignites a spark within us"- I've found this to be an issue for guys more so than girls. I've asked some guys what they find most important in a relationship, and this is their number one. The three terms I used are relative terms. Feelings change, and one day that spark you initially had at the beginning might be gone. What do you do then? Is it really important that you and Laura like to play bingo, go to baseball games, and love sushi? Nope. It doesn't matter one bit, especially because Laura can easily fall out of liking those things. I'm not exactly sure how having the same interests, unimportant ones, equate to a successful relationship or marriage. There are plenty of couples out there who are polar opposites and work just fine without being "compatible."

2.) As Christians, we should not nitpick about frivolous matters- This includes: nitpicking about the type of clothing he or she wears (it's tacky/gaudy/ugly/dated/etc.), nitpicking about the type of music he or she listens to (unless it's vulgar or inappropriate), nitpicking about how his or her hobbies are something you have no interest in, etc. Get the picture? You cannot say no to someone just because you dislike a very tiny aspect of their life that has no bearing on their spiritual life. If it does, then that's different, but most of the time I hear people nitpicking about small things that are not as important as what's inside.

3.) As Christians, we need to stop looking at the outside and instead examine the inside- This can be a tough one to swallow for many females, but it's important not to say no to someone just because you think they "aren't cute." Obviously looks are not an important factor as someday that cute guy walking down the street will be an aged 70 yr. old non-cute man. Appearance is relative. It's fleeting, and it's fading. And it's not just age that can change a face. Take into consideration that perhaps you might end up with someone who eventually becomes a burn victim, an acid victim, or in some other tragic accident that might horribly disfigure them. It's in those times that you cannot base your relationship on outward appearances.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Spiritual Goals for 2016 & Update

I love the beginning of a new year. It reminds me of a fresh start, of a blank slate, of the hope for change, especially spiritually.

I've come to realize that although the world bombards us with bucket lists and materialistic goals, there's something far greater that we should strive for- that of spiritual goals. Going to Europe or climbing Mount Everest are nice things to do, but in the big scheme of things, as Christians, they're not important. God's concerned about what we did for Him, how we lived our life out, and that's why I enjoy creating spiritual goals each year. Spiritual growth is extremely important.

This year's goal is to read the Bible several times over, not because I want to appear super spiritual, rather to spend more time in the Word. It's a funny thing when you start off spending more time in prayer and in The Word, because once you begin doing it, you realize how little an amount of time it feels and really pales in comparison to the amount of time you have left to do whatever for rest of the day. It gradually gets easier to spend time with God, at least when the expected happens in life. Because of this, I've also slowed down my reading to take it all in, and I have learned so much from slowing down in my reading time. For now I am working on consistency in the Word and in prayer time, and once I can maintain both of those things, I will move on to other areas of my life to work on.

I would really encourage you to create a list of spiritual goals for the year and to work on them. It's so rewarding and exciting to work towards a goal! So tell me, what are your spiritual goals for this year?

P.S.- I mentioned how I would put God first in the mornings instead of my phone. I did it for 30 days, and I did mess up several times, but for the most part I stuck to it. It was extremely difficult for me not to look at my phone first thing in the morning, and that difficulty never ceased. It just showed how bad a habit I had. I'm doing much better in Bible reading and prayer though, and I think it is a good thing to continue working on putting God first instead of the phone. I also plan on installing an app to limit my phone usage, which will help me out a lot! Let me know if you tried this challenge out as well and how it impacted you!