Is it enough that you go to church to claim that your relationship is God centered? Ano ba talaga yung God centered? It is so commonly used these days that we think merely saying a few bible verses to each other makes a relationship godly.
While going to church is important, it is only ONE of the few factors that contribute to a relationship’s godliness. Parang sa pizza, isang slice pa lang sya.Hehe! 😅
It still all boils down to our own (individual) relationship with the Lord, and our actions or response towards His love.
First, we have to know its definition. A God centered relationship is composed of two sinners humble of enough to admit they are lacking and they need God to hold them together. They do not trust in the definition of the world but focuses on bringing glory to the Lord… Even when they fail sometimes. They are willing to obey God’s word even when it would hurt.
You encourage each other without controlling each other
Mark wants the best for me and I want the best for him. It is our priority to always lead each other back to the Lord especially on days we are down. Though we are now married, God has still made it clear to us that we can only do so much for each other. That there are battles we are meant to face together but there are still individual battles we must face. It doesn’t mean leaving Mark out there. It means holding his hands while he contends with his own fights.
A common mistake we make is thinking we could make our partners change by just taking them to church. I have heard it too many time and even experienced it myself. I once said, “Yea, we’re working on our relationship so I bring him to church every Sunday” and yet, the relationship still didn’t work. My first mistake here is going to church without having my own eyes set on God. My ultimate purpose was “I have to bring him to church so he can change for me and make me happy”. On the other hand, when Mark and I were still just dating, I attended youth services and church without pressuring him into it. I made him feel most welcome to come with me and I told him how great it would be to be able to go to church with him but it was still also very clear to him that I was having a great time with the Lord even if he doesn’t come with me. Days and weeks have passed and Mark got curious on the changed that had happened to me, and on his own, he got active in church and got involved in its activities. He attends his own discipleship groups, too. You seek the best for your partner so much, you lead them to God. It’s not forcing them to go to church, you simply live a life that serves as a testimony, inspiring your partner to know more about your faith. No one can force faith and it’s something a person has to accept for him/herself. It’s possible to be able to take someone to church but he can still leave his heart somewhere else.
You pressure God to make him be the one, you pray that He finds the one… even if it’s not you
One of the best ways to define love is this: a relationship that seeks another person’s highest good which often requires SACRIFICE. If you are holding him so tightly in your fists so that he wouldn’t run off… What would you call that? Is that love or selfishness? The thought that once haunted me in my sleep were, what if one day he changes and I won’t be the girl who can have the pleasure to experience that? With this “positive” thought, I clung on that relationship for years. Months and many years has passed and guess what? There was no good change. Not because he was a bad person but because we simply just didn’t fit each other’s character and lives. That mindset also highlighted how much I wanted him for me. I wanted him to be good for me, to change for me, to be mine. All mine. It was when I finally cared enough for him that I developed a mindset of “I want you to be happy even without me” that doors started opening for the both of us. Though our relationship wasn’t a good one, by letting go of him, we were both able to experience the love we deserve. And that love didn’t come from each other. We both ended up with other people, but both happier apart.
Now that wasn’t an example of a God centered relationship, but it was my acceptance of letting go of him and being happy for him that opened a door for me to fall in love with my husband, Mark. When I was still single, I always prayed for my future husband
You respect each other’s decisions, insights, and body
I don’t like pressuring Mark into making decisions. If I manipulate him and make certain rules to make him behave the way I want him to, I wouldn’t be happy. It will be an action done out of pressure and not out of willingness. I also feel sincerely joyful and proud when he makes wise decisions for himself, our relationship, and our family. I give him my opinion but I do not impose my beliefs on him. My husband’s respect for me is also something I really appreciate. He respects my decisions, my insights, and my body. Though he is the head of the family, he hears out my feelings and opinion with an open heart. He also shows a lot of respect on my personal space, privacy, and convictions. He doesn’t look down on what I believe in even if it’s something he personally doesn’t agree in. For example, I am the type of person who likes getting things done first before relaxing, and he is the opposite. But he never made remarks of me being workaholic. Instead, he commends my hard work and is always ready any time I want to break from stress. He would either buy me a good meal, or just lay down and cuddle with me. He also didn’t look down on me when I told him that God has changed my heart and I want to abstain from sex even though I was already pregnant. He didn’t only respect this decision but also expressed how proud he was of me.
Your relationship inspires others to follow God
Does your relationship promote sex, addiction, insecurity? Does it normalize stalking, possessiveness, and public shaming? Are you losing friends, career and self confidence because of this relationship? Or does it help others get a glimpse of what they deserve in life? Does it give them hope that true love is still out there?
If I look back on how my relationship was with my husband, it didn’t point others to the Lord. It promoted fast paced dating, sex before marriage, and disobedience. But now, with God’s gracious love, we are able to touch lives of young adults and even married couples and remind them that there is hope. I don’t want this part to lead into boasting but to make it short, God turned things around for us.
You feel peace
How do you know if its God given? You feel peace, it feels right. You don’t spend so much time thinking if you made the right decision. You don’t sleep with discomfort. You don’t live your life with fear that he might not be the one, he might be cheating, or that he might not love you as much. If you are feeling like there’s something wrong, there must be something wrong. Where are these things coming from? Evaluate your heart.
The relationship challenges you to be better
I used the word “challenge” because it’s not easy. Hahaha. Although it feels nice to say that Mark inspires me to be better, another side of the coin is when he challenges me to be better by telling me the bitter truth. I think we both do that to each other. There were times when he would tell me that I am being too prideful, that I am being selfish, or that I am being inconsiderate. I think anyone who hears anything negative about themselves from others wouldn’t take it so smoothly, and it was personally hard for me to swallow. But seeing his intent in calling me out, and the way he does this with so much respect and gentleness, I just couldn’t help but realize he was right. Sometimes, people do not love each other enough to rebuke each other. And I’m glad he loves me enough to want the best for me, even if it would hurt for a short while.
It is intentional
Going to church, reading the bible, or attending discipleship groups doesn’t happen based on emotions. Leading each other doesn’t happy only when it feels right. A relationship with God at the center will live above the circumstances of a busy schedule and a sad emotion (and so on). When Mark and I were married for only about a year, pursuing a relationship with the Lord was secondary. We had to be in a good mood and we needed to have a flexible schedule so we could go to church and talk to God. Although we were starting to get in the right path, it wasn’t enough and it was more of calling God only in the times of need.
It’s been around 2 and a half years now since we’ve been married and in a short while, a lot of beautiful changes has happened. As we both individually grew in a relationship with the Lord, our marriage did too. It doesn’t matter what school work we have or what our mood is, we always go to church on Sundays. We also commit our Wednesdays to our couple discipleship group so we can learn from others how we can be better as individuals and as a husband and wife. When time doesn’t permit, we still do our own worship time at home. We enjoy dimming the light, playing mellow worship songs, and reading christian books on marriage and parenting. We’ve also developed a healthy habit of evaluating how we can be better Christians, better spouses, and better models of Christ for our daughter. Our relationship has indeed taken a big turn, and on contrary to a few years ago, I can now confidently and sincerely say that God is at the center of our marriage. He always has been, but we didn’t bear fruits that showed this. Because of God’s love for us, He has allowed trials and triumphs in our lives so we can grow more in love and dependent on Him everyday.
But more than these habits we have developed over time, we are intentional in portraying the love of Christ towards each other. It mattered that others see God in our marriage but it’s even more important that we see God’s love in each other first.
Guys, if God is not in the center of your own lives then you cannot expect that you can make God the center of any relationship. You cannot give what you do not have. If you want a God centered relationship then you have to live a God centered life as an individual first. The same way, if your partner does not have God in the center of their life, He cannot share a God centered relationship with you. It can’t be just one out of the two. Tendencies are, one of you will be pulled down. That’s why I encourage you to work on yourself first.
Does this mean you have to be perfect? NO! Even couples who have been married for almost 20 years and are actively seeking God still have struggles. No one is exempted from this.
Hindi baduy si Lord. I know that because He gave me such a gorgeous husband with an equally gorgeous heart. Hahaha. But seriously, God cares about your love life. He cares so much that he takes away people from your life that drags you down. He cares so much that He wants to give you someone who would remind you of Him and would inspire you to be a better person everyday. He cares so much He wants you to be with someone who makes you genuinely happy.
You cannot have what God has in store for you if you are not ready to let go of what the world is offering you. You cannot have the same thing at the same time. You cannot force a relationship to be God centered if it was not given by God in the first place.
** Hi! This was an old post I made last year. I’m slowly re uploading my old posts from facebook and compiling it here for anyone who wants easier access and navigation in my posts. It’s also revised and a lot changes were made.