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Dating as a Christian can be tough, because what society tells us our relationship should be like is quite different from what a successful Christian relationship actually is. Magazines, movies, and TV shows all showcase the “perfect” couple on par with a Shakespearean classic, but many times these relationships fail. They aren’t built on solid foundations and quickly crumble to the ground.

Christians, however, are blessed to already have the perfect dating guidebook – the Bible! The Bible and the Lord teach us exactly what it means to love another person, and how a successful relationship should work.

These ingredients can be mixed together to create a beautiful Christian relationship! Are you sticking to this recipe?

Put God First

For non-Christians it seems backwards to rank your partner as number two on your list of priorities. Most likely due to all those romantic comedies, society makes us believe that the person you date should worship the air you breathe. While it might sound romantic, it’s not the way God wants you to lead your relationship. The Christian perspective tells us to look at the bigger picture, and that means that we love Jesus above all else including our friends, family and romantic relationships. God is our be-all and end-all. He helps lead us through relationships to give glory to Him.

Seek Out the Lord

Being a Christian is more than just a one-time announcement to your family on Facebook. It means constantly seeking out the Lord, growing and learning in your faith, and giving all glory to Him. The closer you grow to God the more successful of a relationship you will have, because God teaches us about being patient, forgiving, kind and loving. These are all attributes you want in the person you are dating, so it’s important to grow into someone worth dating as well. The Lord will show you what grace and mercy means so when you get in a fight with your significant other you can do the same.

Share God as a Couple

One way you can grow as both a Christian and as a couple is by sharing your faith together. God wants your relationship to be focused on Him. You can do so through praying together, worshipping together, going to Bible studies together and the like. Spending time with God gives you opportunities to open up and have real, deep conversations with your partner. Through sharing your faith, you are given opportunities to talk about thoughts, feelings, joys, fears, hopes, disappointments, and so on. Healthy relationships exhibit strongly shared hopes and values. Be encouraging and supportive of your significant other on their faith journey as well.

Be Honest

From friendships to romantic relationships, we all understand the importance of honesty and the consequence of dishonesty. Being honest in a relationship is more than just not lying to your significant other though. It means being open and vulnerable with your feelings. Showing them all of who you are, including your unpleasant baggage from your past and everything you’re mortified to share with others. You have to be unafraid to be unapologetically you. God’s made you absolutely perfect despite your weaknesses (2 Corinthians 2:9) and a healthy relationship recognizes that.

Pray For a Healthy Christian Relationship

Are you ready to build this type of relationship? A great first step is praying to God and asking Him for guidence and support. God is our ultimate teacher, and He will give us the tools needed to build a successful relationship.

Father,

Thank you for being the ultimate example of how to show selfless love. Because of my relationship with you, I am beginning to learn how to love someone in a real, meaningful way. I know that I “love because (you) first loved” me (1 John 4:19). I ask for your help to “be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love” (Ephesians 4:2). Above all else, Lord, please let “the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord” (Psalm 19:14), and allow for my relationship to be a healthy testimony to your goodness, love, and mercy. Amen!

Having a successful, health relationship starts with these ingredients. When you create a foundation focused on God, your relationship will be stronger, more resilient and fulfilling. God wants you to glorify Him in everything that you do, including your dating life. Together you and your significant other can grow in your relationship through Christ more than you ever thought possible.