The Bridge Chicago is a way to offer the resources of Mission:USA to help people do good ministry.
What am I supposed to want in a relationship? How do I know if it’s right? How do I know I’m not settling? You know? I’ve always had secular relationships and for the first time in a longggg time, I’m single. A single Christian. I wasn’t a Christian until last April. I don’t want to jump into anything. I don’t really know what to expect from a Christian man. ???
This a fantastic question. You also make a great insight that a Christian relationship has a different goal, and therefore different ideals, than a secular one. Or, perhaps more accurately, there is another level beyond secular relationships.
There are some basics that you should expect from everyone in your life, but especially for someone whom you have a romantic relationship with. That includes respect, honesty, patience, and being nice to you (I find it very worrisome how many young ladies tend to be okay with leaving that last one off). These are standards that you should have for someone you have a conversation with, much less someone who gets snuggling privileges.
God knit you together and numbered the hairs on your head, Jesus shed His blood for you on the cross so He could have a relationship with you, you yourself are a temple of the Holy Spirit. You should expect that a guy A) knows this and B) acts like it. So any guy who says or does anything that has the unintended (or much worse intended) effect of making you feel like less than you are is an immediate red flag. In the case of unintentionally making you feel like that, there needs to be a frank and immediate discussion about what happened and how to make sure it never happens again. If he was trying to make you feel bad about yourself, then it is a one way ticket to Dumpsville, population: him.
Ephesians 4:29 says: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” That’s what you want, someone who is trying to build you up. There are plenty of people in the world who want to tear you down, you want someone who builds you up so that you feel like you could do anything.
The goal of a Christian marriage is for two people to serve God better than they could separately. If you are dating someone, it means you are trying to find out if they are a good partner for you to make that happen. So what that should mean, is that you want them to grow and succeed so that they challenge you, and just so you can celebrate their victories. You should be looking for someone who you want to build into and who wants to build into you.
So the one thing we absolutely won’t put up with is someone who makes you feel like less than you are. And what you are looking for is someone who builds you up so you can be more and do more than you ever thought you could.
One last tip: if you are in a relationship just for the sake of being in a relationship, you are almost certainly settling. Don’t be afraid to wait for something extraordinary.
-Matt from The Bridge