Posted by: JackRyan88 | December 11, 2010

Quality versus Quantity

Over the past week, strain has been placed on my relationship with my Girlfriend.  The strain caused by my depression, suicidal thoughts, and a long distance relationship.  I write about this today because of a couple of reasons.  This morning she brought up a concern she had about the amount of time we spend, talking on the phone, texting or emailing.   A few weeks ago I could sense that she was getting stressed or pressured into replying or talking to me on a timely basis.  As she put it, “I put such a stress on myself to always be texting with you from the second I get up to the second I go to bed.  Don’t get me wrong, I love that connection with you; I love every second of it.  My quiet time though [something that had been lost previously], has been healing and has allowed me uninterrupted time to rest and pray and relax.”  By placing an emphasis on trying to meet my perceived needs, she resulted in hurting her own.  Her quiet time suffered and she lost that time for personal reflection and growth.  In today’s society it’s easy for it to happen.  We all have busy lives, work long hours, and have families or pets to take care of, and having to maintain a loving relationship can be difficult.  I don’t want to sound that a relationship should be full of stresses; it shouldn’t be, but in having a relationship there are some difficulties in keeping it fruitful in today’s society.  Beware; we are constantly bombarded by outside insects attempting to spoil the fruit.

It’s about having boundaries, setting them and agreeing with your partner on them.  I told my Girlfriend what mattered most to me was not the amount of time we spent with each other, but the quality.  I think we can all agree when we are in a relationship, it’s wonderful to feel love and affection.  But the poison is when it is craved and overwhelming to either person in the relationship.   Also consider the Idols of the Heart post I had yesterday.  Placing that loved one and focusing on them so much leads to idolization.  Where is God in the relationship?

From my reading today about having a God centered relationship with your partner I find some things to focus on:

1.       Remember that God’s Love is the ultimate.  The love God has for you means you do not need to have fulfillment in how anyone makes you feel (the weakness of human love).  Realize the most perfect love comes from God.  God will do much more to fill the love-space than a person ever could.  Make God the most important relationship in your life.

2.       Seek the ideal match for you.  Choose a partner that has a similar desire for God, one that you can share your faith with.  Encourage your partner in difficult times to seek God and remain focused on him. 

3.       Pray.  Pray about your relationship and talk to God about it, seek God’s attention on problems that may arise.  Let God know you are asking for his guidance, remember its God’s will not yours.  Pray together as a couple and embrace each other in faith, but also never diminish your personal intimate relationship with God.

4.       Talk about God.  Bring God up in your conversations; this will bring God into your relationship.

5.       Read the Bible.  Keep God’s words in your heart, it will help you remember the love and promises he has for you.

6.       Get Involved in the Church.  Be active in the body of Christ and stay involved.  This does not mean you have to be active in the same things.

7.       Be careful with physical affection.  God created physical affection to be good for both of you.  Be careful in how much physical affection you give one another.  Talk about your physical affection with each other, remain open and truthful.  Make sure you are both comfortable with any physical affection.

8.       Show Christ’s love to each other.  Make sacrifices for each other, but don’t idolize.  Use the love God has shown you and share it with your partner.

9.       Pursue the Fruits of the Spirit.  Strive to maintain the traits of godliness.  Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, meekness, etc.  This will help relieve the relationship of worldly troubles.

10.   Enjoy and Praise and Glorify God.  Smile and enjoy the life that God has given you and your partner.  Praise God for whatever He has poured into your life.  Trust in God, he knows what is best for you and your partner.

11.   Cherish your own personal God time.  Make sure to spend time alone with God.  You need moments to reflect, pray, read the Bible, or journal just between you and God. 

12.   Keep in mind the reality that God is real.  God is real, his love is real and his work in your life is real.  His forgiveness and promises are all real.  Give the love God has given you to your partner.  God’s love is the only perfect love.  C.S. Lewis said, “Love that becomes a god, becomes a demon.  Submit all your love, therefore, to the one that is Love, and he, like a gardener, shall prune our loves which are so fickle and temporary by nature, into beautiful gardens which we may share with all our relationships.”

The quote from C.S. Lewis speaks a thousand words to how are relationship with God should be, and what comes out of that relationship with God, makes our worldly relationships much more beautiful.  We are human and we will make mistakes, and we may not always adhere to God’s will in relationships.  But in some way God will right those paths, and if it is God’s will, your relationship will be fruitful, just trust in him.

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