For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Sarah. I’m 23, married, and a mother to our beautiful daughter, Rylie. Like anyone, there are many stories that make up who I am, but ultimately, I am a princess because my Daddy is the King of Kings.
My husband, Aaron, and I celebrated 3 years of marriage in June. It has been so fun being married to my best friend, and thankfully, we’ve had far more good days together than bad (notice I didn’t say “our life has been easy!”), and we fully believe it is because we started our relationship the right way.
It’s a popular question among young Christians today – how do you have a Godly dating relationship?
I’m not answering that from a place of perfection, but merely a place of knowledge and what Aaron and I believe.
For starters, Aaron and I met through a mutual friend when we were 18. We had both just graduated high school and were not looking for a relationship. So when we met, we immediately had the mentality of “let’s just be friends!”
Start out at friends!
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. – Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
Did you know that 40-50% of marriages today end in divorce? But that is with “worldly” marriages. Having a strong foundation of friendship and keeping Christ in the center, this percentage drops dramatically. I know there are a ton of contributing factors to that, and it’s another topic in itself, but I believe a good percentage of those divorces are because they married based off lust, impulse, or loneliness. Sadly, we have forgotten how important it is to marry someone who is your best friend.
Aaron and I were just friends for 3 months before we actually started dating. During that time, we got to know each other – we shared our likes, dislikes, funny facts about ourselves, our dreams for the future, plans we had (or didn’t have), etc.
Have the same boundaries!
Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character. -1 Corinthians 15:33
Some parents have rules when it comes to dating. If your parents have rules – follow them! Be respectful and trust that they have your best interest at heart. They may present it in a rough way, but try to see their heart and respect their rules.
I believe it’s also important for both of you to have your own personal boundaries, share them with each other and, most importantly, STICK TO THEM!
Aaron and I both had boundaries and we were very open about sharing them with each other. It was never a question what we would or would not do while we were dating because we respected each other. If you don’t respect each other, then you’re not in a healthy relationship and could be dating for the wrong reasons.
Talk, talk, talk!
Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift. –Ephesians 4:29
…and all the guys rolled their eyes 😛 But seriously – I cannot stress how important it is for you both to have open communication with each other. So many failed marriages are because they simply don’t talk. Or if they do, it’s small talk that ultimately doesn’t benefit the relationship. Be transparent. Talk about your day, your thoughts, your dreams, etc. Be open about money too. To be completely honest, I don’t get why it’s such a big secret. The topic of “money” is one of the most fought over things in marriage, so start your relationship off right by talking about your beliefs and plans with money.
Side note: Tithing shows that you understand where your money comes from (God) and that it belongs to Him. Now I’ll be honest, I was not a tither until a few months into mine and Aaron’s engagement, but I was not properly taught about tithing so it took me a while to really understand it and work on my own heart. I’d encourage you two to have a conversation about it!
Keep God #1!
Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. –Proverbs 3:6
But the big secret to having a godly relationship is simply keeping God in the center of it.
What does that look like?
Spend time with Him! Separately. And together.
Aaron and I went to the same church together. Served together. Worshiped together. We’d hear the same message and talk about it afterwards. We prayed for each other and over our relationship. When Aaron wanted to ask me to be his wife, he prayed about it and listened for God to tell him “yes” or “no.” I grew a lot in my spiritual walk with God during our dating relationship too. Aaron basically led me back to God when I was 19 after years of hurt and anger towards God. But God was so good during our dating relationship, so when it came time for us to plan a wedding, we both knew without a shadow of a doubt that God had put us together and we would have a successful marriage.
I realize that dating “the Godly way” may sound unappealing or the complete opposite of your current lifestyle (or your partners). However, I cannot tell you how extremely life-giving and how much I’ve changed for the better because of my relationship with Aaron. Because we were friends first, we had the same boundaries, we talked, and we kept God 1st, I can personally attest to how amazing our relationship is. Yes, we have our rough days, but our relationship is stable, fun, and happy.
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If you’re not dating – I encourage you to seek friendship first! Cultivate that relationship and put God in the center of it.
If you’re currently dating and feel like your relationship isn’t Godly – it’s never too late to start. On your next date, have a conversation with them. Talk about your likes, dislikes, dreams, plans, etc. Share your boundaries (even if you’ve already gone past them). Keep that open line of communication going and keep God in the center of your relationship.
At the end of the day, if they’re not the right one for you, that’s okay. It’s not a sin to breakup, but it is a sin to get divorced (unless they’ve committed adultery – Matthew 5:31-32, Luke 16:18, Ephesians 5:33). Lonely? Stay faithful in the process. Don’t date just because – be intentional. Don’t start dating someone unless you can see yourself marrying them. And trust that God has that one specific person for you and He will lead you to that person in His perfect timing.
Thank you for letting me share a little piece of my story! I cannot wait for us to know each other better!