A few months ago, my future father-in-law said to me, “Bubs, now that you’re engaged, what advice would you give the students you speak to on the subject of dating and relationships?”
Recently, I shared a message with our youth ministry about what I have learned about dating and relationships. I hope these will help you in your pursuit of your future spouse or help you in your current relationship with your spouse! If you’d like to listen to the message I spoke, listen here!
If this post, I’ll focus on what I’ve learned while being in a relationship! If you missed my post on what you should do before dating, read it here!
If You Are Dating:
Focus on Being Best Friends! – Before Laura and I started college, her dad told me, “Bubba, you and Laura should decide to be really great friends through college and then go from there. When he said that I thought, “You just don’t want me to be with your daughter!!!” That wasn’t true. He was looking out for me. I wish I would have listened.
The most important part of your relationship is your friendship. Work on being great friends! When you’re married, the amount of time you’ll spend working on your friendship will far outweigh the amount of time you spend making love. Any scripture that talks about friendship in the Bible can also relate to your relationship!
Commit to Purity – No ding until the ring! This is huge! Most people don’t think it matters. They are already setting themselves up for failure!
**Bonus: How far is to far? The best answer I’ve heard on this is from Andy Stanley’s Best Question Ever series. The best question ever is, “What is the wise thing to do?” What is the wise thing to do based on your future hopes and dreams? What is the wise thing to do physically in light of what you want to tell your future spouse one day (who may not be the one you’re dating). What is the wise thing to do physically in light of what you want to tell your kids you did?
Have Boundaries! – I didn’t have boundaries in my life til I was 23! Which was awesome when I was a teenager, but sucked when I started growing up! Here are some boundaries Laura and I set-up:
- Never be Alone! Ever! – If you’re alone, bad things happen! I don’t mean don’t be alone in public! I’m saying, don’t be alone in a house on a couch or a bed.
- Don’t go to parties that involve co-ed sleepovers or the ability to sneak out with girls or guys! This results in dumb decisions waiting to happen!
- Do not get drunk or high – People have made the worst decisions of their life under the influence. Nothing good will come of it!
- Talk to each others parents about what you’re doing – Be a man and talk to the girls parents! Get to know them! Tell them everything!
- Get an older couple to hold you accountable! – Who can tell you no that you’ll listen to? Who can you tell anything to and you know they’ll tell you the truth regardless of whether or not it hurts? If you don’t have these relationships, you’re missing out!
If It’s Bad, GET OUT! – Failure to do this has ruined an endless amount of lives! A pastor once told me, “Bubs, marry the right person, it’s Heaven on earth! Marry the wrong person, just slit your wrist now.”
If everyone around you that you trust says you shouldn’t be in the relationship . . . GET OUT!
If you have EVER thought you deserve better, GET OUT!
If you’re being abused emotionally, sexually, or physically, GET OUT!
If you’re not dating a Christian, GET OUT!
The second most important decision you ever make is who you’ll choose to marry! What you do with that decision matters a lot today! Don’t take it lightly!
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