Saturday, September 16, 2006

Letters: More on Relationships


Good to hear from you again. Hope your studies are going well. I see doubts are still playing on your mind. You mentioned the other girl who you have more in common with:
This worried me as I was scared I would fancy her. I don’t think I do, but its always a fear of mine that could happen.
That is something you can have control of - the devil will always find someone to tempt you with in a relationship, no matter who you marry. So you need to learn to fix your mind and your eyes on one person. The grass always looks greener elsewhere. It wont happen if you don't let it.
also xxxx seems to really really really really love me, and that scares me.
It's understandable that you're scared if you aren't sure about your feelings for her - you don't want to hurt her that much.
I love spending time with her, and love being with her, but when were apart I only rarely miss her
I'm exactly the same. I can go away for a conference and not miss Judith at all, until I phone her, or hear her voice. I think some of us are wired to focus on what we are doing at one moment, and we are so focused on it that other things don't get taken into account. I wouldn't worry too much about that issue. The fact that you love spending time with her is the key aspect.
these are her good points
1 loving
2 Looks out for the best for me
3 patient
4 Puts me first over her - a lot
These qualities above are ones that make her a good partner.
5 Great Christian striving to grow more with God
6 Encourages me to grow
These are the mark of a good Christian partner
7 attractive
8 her family are great
These are nice bonuses!

All-in-all that's more than most relationships have!
not so good points…
No-one is perfect, the issue is can you live with these imperfections? If this is all that's wrong, I would suggest you are on a winner!
find her humour irritating(not so a bad point, but I can’t seem to let it not annoy me at times)
Partners do annoy each other at times, the key is to deal with it Christianly. I can tell you that no matter who you marry you will always find something annoying about them. And the devil will magnify it and make it seem like the most annoying thing in the world. Its all about how you react. Pray about it. (not that she'll become funny, but that you'll be able to live graciously with the things that annoy you.)
don't share alot in common
Not so important as long as you have things you can talk about. If you have everything in common there isnt as much to talk about. Now you have twice as many areas. Learn to be interested in what interests her. Make every effort to understand her life and remember to ask about the things she's doing. Be genuinely interested and remember what she says and ask more the next time.
sometimes doesnt listen well, but she is striving to improve.
You can help her by talking about the problem openly.
she seems to see my bad points and move past them and want to marry me.
That's a mark of maturity. Again another good sign. It might be the case that you need to focus on maturing more as a Christian - ie growing as a man of God. In other words focus on growing closer to God and that will bring you closer to xxxx.

Focus on the Godward relationship and the relationship with xxxx will be helped.

To sum it all up:

- You wont find the perfect partner. And she seems first class.
- Ask yourself, "Is she someone I could come home to every night?"
- Don’t ask yourself, "Is she the right one for me?" but "Am I being the right one for her?" in other words, Do I put her 1st over me, and look out for what's best for her? (What areas are you praying that xxxx will grow in as a Christian? - that will be a good indicator of how to look out for her heart.)
- Dont make any decision yet. Wait a year and concentrate on your relationship with God.

You need to tell her:
- that you are waiting a year with no pressure to decide.
- that she's not on trial, she's nearly perfect!
- that you love her, but you want to make sure that you are right for her.
- that you're giving yourself time to grow as a Christian, not leaving time for her to prove she is perfect after all

- do all you can to grow as a Christian
- do all you can to show xxxx she's important to you
- talk about things openly - dont leave her guessing
- praise her good points, and dont draw attention to her bad points. (this will help you to keep from focusing on the things that annoy you.)

Hope this helps. From your brother in Christ.

Sorry its so long an email, but relationships are never simple!


Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Quote of the day

Walter Kaiser makes this comment regarding the death penalty:
"Such action is favoured in scripture, not because men are sovereign or because society and the bereaved are somehow benefited, but because man is so vastly important to God - he is made in the image of God. To kill another person is to kill God in effigy."
And we all know the fuss that is made whenever a effigy of some world leader is burnt.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Letters: More on Relationships - We don't have that much in common


Good to hear from you. I'll just go down through your email and make a few comments and then try to tie it all together at the end. Hopefully that will help.
The problem is that I don’t know exactly what I have doubts about. Sometimes I find that she really irritates me! And then that really troubles me - if we are like this now, what might it be like later.
It's 'ok' to find each other irritating 'sometimes', as long as its not too regularly! A relationship is between two sinful people, and a relationship between two Christians is one that the devil will especially seek to get each to rub each other up the wrong way. No relationship is perfect this side of Heaven. That doesn't give you licence to be irritating though!

There are things about me that irritate Judith, and vice versa. I am completely untidy and she is completely organised. She tidies up, and then I cant find the things that I had left lying about.

But the amazing thing is that God's grace has been like an oil that reduces the friction, as he makes us more Christlike.
also I don't have much in common in xxxx.
I have very little in common with Judith. I'm a rock climbing, rugby loving, football watching, fan of every sport imaginable who loves to read, and design stuff on the computer, and discuss theology. Judith doesn't have much time for sport at all, doesn't read books much, and doesn't discuss theology the same way other friends do. I enjoy it when a day takes unexpected turns, she likes to know exactly what's going to happen next.

If you tried to match Judith and I up using conventional dating methods we would never be put together. But God put us together. Thank you, God.

I think we can put too much emphasis on what the world puts its emphasis on. They know that there is something in being like-minded, but they don't realise that being like minded in Christ is the most important one. And if that is right, many other things will be covered by growing in grace.
After we started going out I met another girl with whom I have alot more in common. This worried me as I was scared I would fancy her.
There are plenty of other girls that I know and care a lot about that I have more in common with. Girls who are sporty, girls who love books, girls who discuss theology - but do I want to spend my life with them? No.

Also I have discovered more things about Judith since I married her that have made me see that God has us perfectly matched - but the point to note here is that it was after we married that I discovered them! God's plan for marriage isn't for two identical people to get together - Eve was made as an emotional, intellectual, physical, spiritual counterpart to Adam to complement him, not to match him.

(Of course having a few things in common helps a bit!)

All the best for now