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What should I be looking for in a significant other?


What should I be looking for in a significant other?óWonka Girl, 14, NY

Shayna Answers:

Dear Wonka Girl,

You already know that I don’t encourage you to start dating until you’re in college. When you get there, here are a few things to consider.

First, don’t choose someone that you’re only emotionally compatible with. Many people—myself included—have made the mistake of neglecting the importance of spiritual compatibility in their relationships. Choosing a significant other who shares your spiritual beliefs and your moral foundation is more important than choosing someone who makes you laugh or someone that you find physically attractive.

The reason this is so important is that our spirituality affects everything about us. Emotionally, how we feel about others and how we treat others is directly tied to how we relate to God spiritually. Similarly, what we find physically attractive in another person stems from our standards about how we should treat our bodies as temples of God.

With this in mind, look for someone who shares your love for Jesus, who understands the importance of worship, and who will support your lifestyle decisions. By the way, lifestyle decisions don’t just include things like eating veggie meat for dinner.

Lifestyle decisions also include things such as what movies you think are appropriate to watch, where you think it’s cool to hang out, and why you think purity is important before marriage. These issues can be huge sources of contention in a relationship.

It’s likely that you’re unwilling to compromise on some or all of these issues, and your significant other may also be unwilling to compromise on them as well. It’s just that choosing a significant other who can identify with the way you live your life for Jesus will make decisions in your relationship easier and less stressful.

Someone who shares your religious beliefs will likely also share your values. Values include things such as the importance of having devotions every day or spending time with your family. Having a significant other who understands these things will make balancing your time with him and with your family easier. It’ll also probably cause your parents to be more accepting of him.

This is important: your boyfriend should influence you in good ways rather than bad ways. First Corinthians 15:33 advises: “Do not be deceived: ‘Evil company corrupts good habits.’” To a degree we’re all influenced by those we spend time with. Also, when it comes to a significant other, we tend to place more importance on their opinion than on anyone else’s! This is why it’s important to be with a person who will serve as a voice of reason and will encourage you to be a better person instead of tempting you and challenging you to compromise anything.

Pray about who God wants you to date and when. Jeremiah 33:3 says God will answer you. When you do end up dating, praying together should also be an important part of your relationship. God’s not just in the business of bringing people together, He’s in the business of keeping them together, too!

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