How will God reveal that you are in the right Christian relationship? What signs will be present if you have a future together with the person you are dating or interested in?
The first step you want to take is to make sure your relationship is biblical. What type of person does the Bible say all Christians should marry? If the Christian relationship does not meet these standards set forth in Scripture, it is not the right relationship for you.
Sometimes, however, a “biblical relationship” is not the right relationship. Just because it’s not a sin to be together does not mean you are meant to be married. Below are 5 signs that you are in the right Christian relationship.
1. You Are in the Right Relationship When It Is Helping Your Walk With God, Not Hurting It
When you read through 1 Corinthians 7, Paul is weighing out the pros and cons to marriage and singleness. To summarize, Paul does not say singleness is better than marriage for all people. He says that if you do not need marriage to serve the Lord to the best of your ability you will be better off single. However, he clarifies that we all have different gifts. Therefore if marriage would better assist you in serving God, you should seek to be married.
The main sign that you are in the right Christian relationship is that this relationship is helping your walk with God and not hurting it. Are you reading your Bible more as a result of being in this relationship or less? Is this person encouraging you to spend time in prayer or pressuring you to neglect personal devotional times with God so you can be with him or her more? Does this person help you attend church because you go together now or does this person pull you away from the pew because they always want to stay out late on Saturday?
When your relationship with God is enhanced by your connection to another person, this is a great relationship to be in.
2. When You Feel Closer to God, Not Further Away, You Are in the Right Relationship
I don’t mean you should count on anyone to be your mediator. I don’t mean you should feel holier based upon your connection to someone else that you perceive to be holier than you. I just mean that we can oftentimes feel God’s pleasure or displeasure towards a relationship we are in.
Usually we feel closer to God in a relationship when we know we are linked with someone who is also seeking Christ like us. When you are seeking Christ but you are linked to someone not seeking Christ at your same passion level, this can cause you to feel further from God when you are with this person. Proverbs 13:20, “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.”
3. You Are in the Right Relationship When You Feel Freer to Be Yourself, Not Pressured to Be Someone You Are Not
Another sign of a healthy Christian relationship is when you feel more like your true self around this person. When you feel less like the real you in a relationship, that is not a healthy relationship.
We usually enjoy people that make us feel comfortable to be ourselves. If you are introverted, you will usually enjoy someone who does not pressure you to be excited and talkative. If you are extroverted, you will enjoy people who help you express yourself. When you are free to share your opinions openly without getting judged, then you will enjoy this relationship.
Long-term relationships will be healthy when two people are free to be themselves when together. When you come home after dealing with the world, it is draining to have to dance around your spouse and act in a way that is not natural to you.
You know you are in the right relationship when you are free to just be you.
4. If It’s Stretching You in Healthy Ways, It’s Probably the Right Christian Relationship
A “hard relationship” is not necessary the “wrong relationship.” Jesus said we shall know them by their fruit. So what effect is this relationship having on your character development and spiritual growth?
If this relationship is forcing you to confront hard things in yourself that you have been avoiding, that is healthy. If you are being stretched as you learn to love another imperfect human and be loved by someone even when you mess up, this is good.
God always uses our relationships to mature us and heal us. This is never a painless process. So if a relationship is stretching you, challenging you, and causing you to grow in new ways, this is probably the right Christian relationship to be in.
5. It’s a Good Sign When You Can See a Fruitful Ministry Together in Your Future Marriage
You can often learn about your future by looking at the trends in your present. If you are in a relationship right now that does not seem ministry focused, it is unlikely that this relationship will result in an abundance of ministry in the future.
I don’t mean working in the church or getting paid to do some “Christian” activity. I just mean Christian service. Your partnership in marriage should enhance your ministry effectiveness. If you marry this person, will he or she slow you down in ministry? Do you have similar passions? Does she or he support your desires to serve God and love people?
When you can realistically imagine a fruitful ministry future with someone if you got married, this is a good sign you are in the right Christian relationship.
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