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How does a good relationship work?


How does a good relationship work?—Open to Suggestions, 15, AR

Shayna Answers:

Dear Open to Suggestions,
Well, let me begin by saying that the editors of Insight encourage readers to wait to date until they’re at least in college.
With that in mind, a good relationship starts with the person you choose to have a relationship with. After all, no matter how much you bring to a future relationship, the success and strength of it depends on both people involved.
Proverbs 31:30 summarizes what characteristic you should look for in a person when you’re considering dating them. It says: “Charm is deceptive, and beauty fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Even though this verse focuses on women, it’s equally important for a guy to be of noble character.
When you’re in college or older, your relationships will be models for your future marriage. That means you should be focused on what kind of a person your boyfriend or girlfriend is, rather than on how they look, dress, or talk. Character is largely determined by spirituality. And it’s important to find a person who shares your values and religious beliefs.
In Luke 6:46-49 we are told that a wise man will build his house on “rock,” one of the most dramatic symbols for God. In other words, successful relationships have their foundation on God.
At some point you may mistakenly believe that you can “help” your significant other to find his or her way to God. Unfortunately, the cliché “what you see is what you get” is pretty much true. Each person has to bring their own spirituality into the relationship with them.
A spiritual foundation 
is not something you can find in another person. It’s something you create together as you both actively and sincerely seek God.
Another important aspect of a good relationship is open communication. 
It starts with praying together. As you do, you spiritually uplift each other, and you get in the habit of honestly communicating your feelings.
Here’s something important that you need to talk about: your physical boundaries. Even if your significant other is a Christian, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll share your beliefs about purity. You need to talk about self-control and respect for each other’s body—even when it’s awkward.
If you don’t, you may end up getting hurt by making compromises you didn’t intend to or losing trust in your significant other. It’s deceptive to think that because you’re a Christian, you’ll be shielded from temptation. In fact, Matthew 4:1-10 and James 1:14, 15 give evidence that the opposite is true.
Finally, good relationships work by accepting others’ guidance. Proverbs 12:15 says: “The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.” And Proverbs 12:1 says more bluntly: “He who hates correction is stupid.”
When you’re making relationship decisions, it’s important to listen to the opinions of your parents and other trusted adults. Often they see things you don’t, and they can give you better advice than your friends, acquaintances, or the Internet.

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