I would like to think that all my life, I wanted to be in a relationship where God was there. As a teenager, I went to youth groups, attended church just about every Sunday, and read my Bible pretty regularly. And once I entered into a relationship, I always made it known that I had put God first.
Yet, somewhere down the line, my time with God would dwindle, my dependence on my boyfriend would grow, and the things we ended up doing within the relationship were not so biblical.
In a world where love and relationships impact so many of us women, how can one be confident in putting God first while their partner is also in total agreement?
First, I’ll share some of my “kisstory” and then I’ll give you a few love-life lessons that I’ve learned along the way.
To be honest, while I was quite active in my faith towards the Lord from an early age, my personal relationship with God was basically nonexistent. As in, I believed in what He had done for me, and I knew that because of that faith, I would someday be entering heaven.
I also knew that God did some pretty amazing things to people and that was worth acknowledging. But I truly never felt a real connection with Him. I never (to that point in my life) experienced one of His glorious miracles for myself.
In comes my dating “kisstory”. Because I had no real relationship with Jesus, my faith was a mere practice that was brought into my relationships. Much like a workout plan or having a work schedule. It was something I did and that took some time out of my schedule. I didn’t really trust in God when it came to my future husband nor my love-life.
But once I started to really like a guy, and began to picture what my future would look like with him, my focus on God could start to resurface.
I always pictured marrying a man who would be excited to go to church on Sunday morning with me and our kids. I dreamed of a man who would spend time in prayer, seek God and lead our family with an extreme sense of faith.
Once I relayed this dream to my past boyfriends, and they were not about that life (or at least nowhere near thinking about that life yet!) our relationship would begin to drift apart.
Soon after, our “religious talks” would prove just how different we were in our beliefs, despite us both claiming to be Christians.
And to top that all off, serving a life of Christ would be to sacrifice some of our preexisting worldly ways, such as drinking (beyond the buzz), premarital sex, living together prior to marriage, and a dozen other things.
Once I began to finally put God first in my relationship, I began to also lose that relationship.
Let’s fast forward to my better days.
The days when I actually wanted to live a life of Christ and that meant no longer dating anyone who would question putting God first.
I thought that if I met this value head-on before a connection with someone grew too serious, then I would save myself some time and energy on guys who weren’t for me.
Even though I expressed to potential Mr. Rights that I wanted to put God first in my relationships, they still didn’t take it serious enough.
Some guys would claim that they too, were trying to go in that direction… only to approve of bending God’s rules when it came to sex or moving in together.
Other guys agreed that God was very important to have as the center of your life… but they also believed in other forms of God and thought it was ok for us to just agree that God is God, no matter how we look at Him.
And the worst guys would listen with a sincere heart, only to dismiss the thought altogether because “what’s that got to do with me… or us??”
I’ve been down these paths before.
And this time I knew exactly what I wanted. And I knew the woman I was.
I believe that finding love in Mr. Right doesn’t have to take away from the love that you have for Jesus!
And for once in my life, I finally have a personal relationship with Jesus that is not worth tossing to the curb simply because there’s a guy in the picture!
So here’s how it works:
Once you meet a guy, you don’t have to treat it as though you have two, separate relationships.
Actually, what you wanna do is place God in the CENTER so that both you and your Mr. Right are drawing closer to Him! And in doing so, you both are growing closer to each other.
But… how exactly does that work? As in, given all the relationship scenarios…
How can you set a relationship foundation where you’re certain that both you and your boyfriend will put God first?
Here are a few tips to help you make that happen.
1. Develop a personal relationship with God.
If it’s not there, it’s going to be very easy to toss it aside once your relationship with bae demands more of your attention, time, and energy.
2. Embrace your identity in Christ.
If a guy notices you and sees nothing about your style, values, the way you carry yourself, or how your reputation speaks about putting God first, then he has no idea that this is a value of yours. Therefore, once you bring it up, it’s going to come off as a surprise and one of two things will happen: 1) he’ll leave and lose interest in you or, 2) he still try to start a relationship with you and won’t take this part of you too seriously (since it seems like you don’t either). #ouch
3. Set your expectations of the relationship BEFORE you get exclusive.
During the “talking” phase is when you set your relationship boundaries, not once it’s official! What do I mean by this? Well, if you’re looking to put God first, then chances are, you’ll want to have a pure relationship. So, set your curfews, establish whether you’re going to kiss/not kiss, get accountability partners, etc. If the guy is serious about you, then he’ll go with the flow and make it work. If he’s not so serious, then he may test out the waters for a hot second, but he won’t last long. Either way, your heart isn’t getting broken AND you aren’t bending the rules against Jesus. Remember, obedience is greater than sacrifice!!
4. Pray with Mr. Almost.
Yeah, I said it. This may freak you out a bit… perhaps because you never thought of doing it before. But it is a guaranteed deal maker or deal breaker!! You want to put God first, right? What better way than to meet Him in the middle, literally.
Yes, I know, prayer can be such a personal thing. But you ARE trying to find your Mr. Right… which is pretty personal also, too, don’t you think? And I’m not saying that you have to share every confession with this guy on your first date.
But praying with your potential Mr. Right will show you exactly how serious he is when it comes to putting God first, and it will definitely reveal some truths as to where God stands when it comes to your potential relationship!
If you’re not very comfortable with praying by yourself, let alone praying with someone else, then perhaps you should check out my latest book! The Single Woman’s Prayer Book will help you overcome the fears of praying, and will help you prepare your heart and soul for love, romance, and Mr. Right!
So there you have it!!
Follow these steps and you’ll not only get closer to finding the relationship worth holding onto, but you’ll also be able to single out those Mr. Wrongs without having to waste precious time!