Go to Part One, Two, Four
One thing I have observed over the years has been the fear for two people to “define” their relationship. The excuse I hear is “once it has a label then there are expectations”, I am thinking, shouldn’t their be? Isn’t this person suppose to be your “significant other”, does not “significant” mean anything today? Is this person your boyfriend or girlfriend, or not? If you are “just friends” are you acting any different around this person than your other “friends”? These are serious questions, not just so others know and see something clear, but also for yourselves. Communicating a clear definition of a relationship will prevent many other questions in the future. If you are in any kind of leadership (and I believe we all are, Christians should at least lead by example of their lives) then defining your relationship will also stop any rumors, or questions, we should not be having relationships that raise questions. You may be thinking, “but it’s none of their business”, you can think that way if you wish, but I would rather tell people exactly what my relationship is than have rumors spread, because they will if people don’t know.
So… you have decided to start dating or courting, the term doesn’t really matter to me, but Alexis and I use courting, so people will hopefully ask what that means to us, what does that mean for you and her/him? Define your relationship with one another, in all areas of your courtship, such as boundaries, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Yes we are all adults, but that doesn’t mean we know how to treat each other in those areas, and if we want to glorify God with our relationship, we better agree on how that will happen. We all come from different backgrounds, therefore, we all have different areas of need and different expectations. This is just the beginning of defining the relationship, trust me, Alexis and I are still fine tuning just what we want, and I believe that is completely healthy. We discover things all the time, and give those thing to God, otherwise trying to do it on our own, without communicating, we would have been done with each other a long time ago. For many couples the only thing keeping them together is one area of connection, be it physically, emotionally, spiritually, or any other number of reasons. Love is not just a feeling, it is a feeling followed by action, and then repeated again, and again. God points out that Love is the highest priority of all things, therefore when it comes to our romantic Love, we must treat it as God’s crowning jewel.
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. [1 Cor. 13:4-7]