Faith through Suffering

Dating advice from a young, unmarried, 19 year-old college student. 

He’s funny. He’s smart. He says he is a Christian. He’s attractive. He’s popular. He likes you. You’re practically in love with him. You begin dating him. He’s sarcastic. He doesn’t respect his parents. He’s rude. He’s cocky. He says things that are hurtful to your self-esteem. You see yourself going down a dark path while dating him. He believes you should change yourself for him. Your friends say that he is toxic for you. Your family begs you to be done with him. Deep down you know that they are all right. But, you think you love him. You think your life will be over without him, and he makes you think the same thing. You’ve lost your sense of purpose. You feel unimportant. You feel worthless. You’re farther from God than ever. Yet you still stay with him. It is going to take a lot of strength and faith in God in order to get away from this type of relationship. You begin the process of what seems to be the hardest thing you have ever done in your life. You finally break away from him, and you are heartbroken. He seems to hate you and you want to take him back again and again. Finally, you are able to move on with your life and begin a healthier, happier lifestyle that you were unable to have while dating him. Your relationship with God has strengthened. You are loved by the King, and you deserve a love that makes you feel like a queen.

Ladies, take it from me. It can be difficult to find a good, Christian guy to begin a relationship with, especially in high school and even in college. If you are in a toxic relationship, or you see yourself getting in one, please get out of it now. It saves so much hurt in the long run. Take care of you first. Some people will drag you down, and some will pull you upward. When a Christian young lady is looking for a potential boyfriend (or spouse), she should search for a man “after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:22). As Christians, the most important relationship we can have is our relationship with Christ. A prospective boyfriend should be a guy who has his concentration on walking in compliance with God’s Word and who strives to live so that his life conveys glory to God (1 Corinthians 10:31).

In 1 Timothy 3, Paul tells us the qualifications for a leader in the church body. These qualities should also represent any man who walks “after God’s heart.”  To keep it simple, a man should be patient and controlled in his behavior as well as his emotions, able to teach with patience, not prideful, focused upon God, not a violent person or a “hot head”, able to show others graciousness, and thankful for what God has given to him rather than jealous of what other have. These qualities describe a man who is on the journey of becoming a mature believer, which is the kind of man a woman should seek. Sure, physical attraction and similar interests are things to consider. These things must be less important than the spiritual assets a woman should look for in a man.

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. (Romans 12:9-10)

Every woman wants to find her “prince charming,” but the truth is that she will find a man that has just as many faults as she has. As we enter a relationship with someone, it has to always come second to our relationship with God, because our relationship with Him has to be the focus of our lives.

“When couples love God first, they love each other better.” (Brela Delahoussaye)

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Rachel Garrison is a sophomore at Freed-Hardeman University majoring in Special Education. She attends Atwood church of Christ. Rachel volunteers with the Special Olympics organizations in West Tennessee. She loves blogging, going home to see her dog (and family), and binge watching Netflix instead of doing her homework.

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Rachel Garrison

Rachel Garrison is a sophomore at Freed Hardeman University majoring in Special Education. She attends Atwood church of Christ. Rachel volunteers with the Special Olympics organizations in West Tennessee, and is an active member in her social club, Phi Kappa Alpha! She loves to blog about things that relate to teenagers and adults alike!