Navigating dating and relationships can be a chore for Christian singles. Well, newsflash, the struggle doesn’t stop when you’re married either. We hear all the time, “Put God First” but what does that really look like in romantic relationships?
Like everything else amazing that has happened in my life, I needed to start with God, and so should you. Just this morning, I wrestled with my dissertation idea, looking at a floor covered in articles and books, and I found myself calling out…
“Good Lord, where do I start???” Then I heard a still small voice say “Start with ME!”
When I put Him first, literally everything else falls into place PERFECTLY. Does it seem perfect at the time, of course not. Oh, but when I look back on the goodness of the Lord…”perfect” is an understatement. With that said, I am going to start with every article that intersects religion and relationships. I am putting God FIRST while reviewing the literature for my dissertation topic. Problem solved.
Being that I am still your relationship coach, I wanted to take a moment and send you a few suggestions on how YOU can put God first in your single season, relationship and/or marriage! Here we go…
1) Start your day off with God. Read your bible and journal FIRST thing in the AM. Put your phone down, no peaking at social media, but open and read your bible FIRST. Finish with prayer and then start your daily routine.
2) Start every encounter (with a potential partner) with God. Upon meeting them (or shortly after), say a quick prayer. Ask God to remove any anxiety or haste, and pray for wisdom to discern the reason this person has entered your life. Every person is not your spouse (say that again so that it will resonate). You know the saying, “a reason, season or a lifetime”. A person may be sent just to remind you of what you’re looking for, and what you are not. Ask God to show you the difference, their purpose and to do so quickly!
3) Start every date off with GOD and end with God. Ultimately, He is your relationship coach. You want Him there. Remember, our goal is forever and we need God’s stamp of approval. For me, this meant, starting each date off in prayer, sometimes in the middle of the date like “this man is fine, God please control my loins!”, or at the end “thank you Lord, I had a great time, but please remind me that this was JUST a date”. Or “thank you Lord for the opportunity of male companionship, but most of all showing me this guy was NOT the one (whew chile) and that I made it home safely”.
4) Take God with you at all times. God is omnipresent (Proverbs 15:3). Therefore, pretend like he’s right there with you, during every act, decision or thought (considering that He is). This literally works wonders for me. The thought of God sitting right on my shoulder as I think of doing something ungodly. I find myself saying out loud sometimes “You right, Lord… I know I shouldn’t eat that 2nd brownie… or I know I shouldn’t spend that money that’s outside our budget”. 90% of the time, I listen. That other 10%, I regret that I didn’t. Let’s try to increase those odds and listen to God’s voice more often. If you “take Him with you”, this becomes easier.
5) During conflict and hard times (which will happen), pray to God asking for HIS advice on how to handle, before you go to your friends or family, or even yourself at times. God is all knowing (Daniel 2:20-22). Sure, outside forces can be helpful (even therapy) but there’s nothing like sitting still, and waiting on God to give us the answers. It’s OK to tell your loved one, “I need a little space to really take this to God before making a decision. Please give me that time.” If they agree, then take the time and get in His word and lay at God’s feet. You can’t worry about what that other person is doing during that time. Let God handle that. Get in your prayer closet until you come out with the answers and the confidence that you need to see this difficult time through.
As always, I hope this helps. As I pray for you, please keep me in your prayers as well through this difficult Ph.D. process. Meanwhile let’s stay connected on IG: @_emilymcknight and FB: @TakeitfromEm.
Future Dr. Em