By Michael Okyere Asante
How prepared you are will determine if you will end up with a successful Christian relationship. Below I will share with you some of the foundational elements that you need to be successful in any Christian relationship. It is always important that you prepare yourself to be the right person for your future spouse. Let’s begin with God.
I assume that you are already a Christian, but it doesn’t end there. The more closer you are to God, the more you’ll grow in love; it is thus important to grow in your Christian life if you’re going to be successful in your relationship. Growth is not spontaneous; it takes one to imbibe the essential nutrients before growth can occur. In our walk with God, these nutrients are fellowship, Bible study, prayer and obedience to the word of God.
As you grow in Christ, you’ll learn to be patient, forgiving, merciful, kind and loving. These attributes will be evident in the way you deal with your beloved or spouse. Your appreciation of God’s grace, mercy, loving kindness and patience on your life will produce in you an attitude of hope, faith, and dependence on God.
Know who you are
Who are you? What are your likes and dislikes? What kind of persons are you comfortable with? What are your weaknesses and strengths? It is important to know who you are, because if you do not know yourself you will not be able to know the kind of person you want. Knowing who you are will help you choose the right person.
What is your purpose in life? What do you want to do with yourself after school? Your single years give you opportunities to try options without messing up the life of your mate. “Don’t get too obsessed about finding someone until you’ve found your purpose and your passion.” (Hayley DiMarco, The Dirt on Dating, p.15)
Be friendly and socialize
Make friends (platonic/neutral) with a good number of people. Don’t only make friends with people whom you think could be suitable partners for marriage; you’ll be doing yourself a great disservice. Get involved in activities where you will meet other people who share similar interests. The possibility is that you may marry from among your friends. Come to think of it; you can only marry someone you have befriended. Will you marry a stranger?
Develop good character
Charisma and beauty without good character are no power-pulling sustaining forces. Of course they will pull, but bad character will repel their objects of attraction. You may be able to win someone’s love with your beauty and charisma, but your beloved will not stay for long because your bad character will ward him/her off. What are some of the areas to look out for?
1. Are you encouraging in speech?
2. Do you exhibit personal cleanliness?
3. Do you dress modestly?
4. Do you take responsibility for your actions?
5. How dependable are you? Can you be trusted?
6. Are you honest and sincere?
7. Do you show respect for the minority? Are you
8. How do you relate with others in speech? Are
you rude or polite?
9. Are you kind and generous? Do you give easily?
10. Are you hardworking and persevering?
These are some of the character traits you need to acquire to complement your beauty and charisma.
You have often heard it said, “Pray as if all depends on God.” The efforts that you put into making yourself rich in character will pay off when you pray. Remember that except God builds the house, you’ll labour in vain. (Ps. 127:1)
Be sure of the person you want
Do not enter into a relationship with someone except for the purpose of marrying that person. So, be sure of him/her before you propose or accept a proposal. However, if in the course of a relationship both of you realise that you have made a mistake by coming together, it is better to break the relationship than to enter into marriage. If you have learnt to have a healthy relationship, when it comes to breaking up, it won’t be painful as it would have been; you will have a healthy breakup.
Be independent in thought
Do not succumb to the pressure of your friends or relatives to marry a particular person or marry by a fixed period. Allow God to lead you to make the right decision at the right time. God’s delay is God’s right time. By being independent in thought, it doesn’t mean that you cannot seek the advice of your friends or relatives in matters of this nature. Just do not allow yourself to be pressured; depend on God’s leading.
Michael Okyere Asante is a writer and peer counsellor. He is the author of several publications including “Forgiving Yourself: A Necessary Step to Overcoming Guilt” in Unshackled and Free: True Stories of Forgiveness, eds. CJ & Shelley Hitz (2012) and The Dangers of Lukewarmness & Backsliding (2009).