Relationships are hard. There’s often this stigma that once you find “the one,” you’ll automatically be more satisfied with life and with who you are, but I’m here to tell you that that’s not the case. Whatsoever. Which leads me to my first point:
1. If you’re not content single, you won’t be content in a relationship.
Contentment comes from Christ alone. Seek contentment in the Lord before you seek contentment in someone else because He is the only one who can give it. Fleshly content is fleeting. It’s shaky. It’s failing. If you seek contentment from the One who created it, you will never be without it. He’s oh so patiently waiting for you to come to Him to find it.
2. There is no “the one.”
Jesus is the one. The only one. My youth pastor once mentioned that wherever you are, that’s where the Lord will provide a significant other who is best suitable for you. If you live in Australia, He’s going to find you a significant other in Australia. If you live in England, He’s going to find you a significant other in England. There isn’t just one person for you. What there is, though, is God’s best and He will never withhold His best from you.
3. There is no one “perfect” for you other than Jesus.
Again, people will fail you. You’ll get hurt. You’ll disagree. You can be in the healthiest relationship and I promise you, these things will happen. Don’t go into a relationship thinking they’re perfect for you because you’ll soon be disappointed.
4. A relationship will not and can not satisfy you.
Don’t get me wrong, relationships are fun and can be extremely satisfying physically, mentally and emotionally at moments, but those moments are fleeting. If you cling to the fleeting satisfaction that is in a relationship, you’ll soon find yourself dangerously unsatisfied. This is why it’s crucial to cling to the satisfaction in Jesus that is eternal. Satisfaction is found in Him alone.
5. Relationships require you to die to self and constantly humble yourself.
This one’s a hard one for everyone and one that absolutely nobody likes. If you’re in a relationship, you must die to self constantly and put them first. A relationship that is centered around yourself will quickly (and messily) fail. You will need to humble yourself a painful amount–but it will be so worth it.
“Honor one another above yourselves.” / Romans 12:10b
6. There is no “soul mate” other than Jesus.
Jesus is your soul mate. Our souls belong to the Lord alone; not mere flesh. Our souls are eternal. They’re everlasting. Marriage is not, therefore soul mates within another human being cannot exist. Your significant other is not your soul mate; Jesus is.
7. We have to be careful with expectations.
A new study showed that the biggest relationship killer in 2018 was unmet expectations, mostly because all we see is the “picture perfect” relationship in media. Don’t go into a relationship expecting it to be a certain way because it will most likely be extremely different than what you were expecting. Be sure to have realistic expectations for both the relationship and for the person. Instead of asking “why can’t it be this way?” ask “how can I make the best out of what it is?” Your relationship won’t be “Instagram perfect” and that’s okay; it doesn’t need to be. No relationship is.
8. You will need to practice a lot of forgiveness (and asking for it).
When you’re doing life with another person, you’re going to get hurt. You’re going to be upset with them at times. It’s a given in any relationship. But remember, “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” / Colossians 3:13
Be slow to frustration and be quick to forgive, but also be quick to ask for forgiveness when needed. Remember: it’s okay to be wrong. Practice that humbleness.
Relationships are hard and they’re a ton of work but you will learn so much about yourself that you wouldn’t otherwise learn. As you learn more about yourself and learn to do life with another person in it, always make sure it’s mentally, emotionally, and spiritually healthy and make sure it’s God-led and not flesh-led. They’re not there to please you and fill a void. That is Christ’s job and His job alone. No one besides Christ can fill that void so don’t even try to let someone else fill it. It will fail. Quickly. And it will hurt. A lot. Let Him fill it before you try to let someone else fill it in His place.
Keep Christ at the center rather than yourself and everything will turn out just fine.
“In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success.” Proverbs 3:6 (TLB)