20. EQUATION FOR RELATIONSHIP SUCCESS
It dawned on me today that there are three (3) facets to a good foundation for starting off a marriage and that many times, people base their marriage, to their detriment, on just one of them.
They are all important in my view, perhaps one more than the others but nonetheless they are all necessary in my view to building a lasting and satisfying marriage relationship.
The first element is FRIENDSHIP.
When I say friendship, I mean this:
You find this person interesting to talk to, you enjoy spending time with them, you have fun moments together, you enjoy his company, you have similar likes and interests, he gets you, you get him, it is easy to communicate, you have good rapport, you feel relaxed and yourself in his company, you can be yourself, you care about him, he cares about you, you genuinely want the best for him and he wants the best for you too.
Now, I would not advise that you marry someone simply because you have a good friendship. I believe it is a bad idea because a marriage involves much more than just persons who love each other platonically. Babies are birthed from moments of passion and that calls for something more than just friendship. It calls for attraction. This leads me to my next point.
The second element is ATTRACTION.
When I say attraction, I mean this:
There is something you find powerfully appealing about the person. As a woman, something about that man makes you feel more feminine and vice versa. You feel more conscious of yourself around the person, more vulnerable and you find yourself wanting to be closer to this person and even experience weak knees and nervousness around them sometimes. You may find how they look to be particularly pleasing or so admire their ways that it makes you want to pull closer to them and to be better acquainted with them and to want more from them.
For the purpose of this Article, I will say that attraction comes in one of two dimensions, either the emotional or the physical. This means that you can be attracted to someone because you have developed an emotional connection with them through time or because you find them physically interesting, in that there is something so visually appealing to you about them, that you can see yourself one day being intimate with them.
Mind you, a person can be attractive, in that by society’s standards, he is good looking, carries himself well and so on but you are not attracted to him. You may acknowledge that he falls within the category of what the world would consider attractive but he does nothing to push your buttons so to speak. So attraction is a subjective thing and beauty is really in the eyes of the beholder.
Once again, no matter how much someone awakens in you a desire to be intimate, I would not recommend that you get married solely based on that. If you do, chances are the marriage will not last because all fires, hot as they may be, die a natural death at some point. And then what?
What is the sense in having someone warm your bed but be unable to connect with you on a friendship level? Does this person understand you, care about you, get you and enable you to be yourself around him? Outside of the bedroom you are racing towards, do you even enjoy and cherish each other’s company?
A marriage needs both friendship and attraction in my view but even with these two, it is not enough. The world may have friendship and attraction but for the Christian, the most important facet is still missing, which is the spiritual connection. Such a connection can actually produce a third type of attraction which is spiritual in nature but I’ll leave the details for my next point.
The third and most important element is a DIVINE CONNECTION.
When I say a divine connection, I mean this:
You have both accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour and have surrendered your lives to him to do as he pleases, you can sit and talk for hours about scripture and not get bored, you build up and edify each other effortlessly through God’s Word and when you each speak, you sometimes feel like God is using the person to talk to you. You respect and admire the person’s walk with God, the person prays for you and you for him and as things progress, you pray and fast for each other over issues affecting each other or both of you.
You feel connected to his God-given purpose and he feels the same way about yours, God has given each of you gifts and talents that you see complement the other’s gifts and talents, you can see where you can be a help meet to him and he can see where he can invest in bringing out the best in you.
Other Christians from whom you receive wise counsel approve of your union and you both feel that God has approved of a relationship between the two of you and has given both of you confirmation (maybe more than once) because he is faithful and has promised to direct your path if you acknowledge him, that you marrying is his perfect will.
You feel God’s hand upon your courtship and relationship, he us using this person to enable you to grow even more spiritually, so as to more closely resemble the Lord Jesus Christ and you find that this person motivates you to draw even closer to the Lord and vice versa.
This element is the most important of all in the relationship equation when it comes to the Christian but it is often underestimated or even completely ignored by many of those who profess to know Christ. Without this last element in your relationship, you may find that a friendship and attraction are not enough to keep your ‘ship’ from sinking.
However, a spiritual connection by itself is also not enough in my view. There needs to be an attraction (since the both of you will not be spending all of your time reading the Bible) and also friendship. However, if there is a spiritual connection and I mean one that God has orchestrated to bring about a relationship, he usually ensures that the other two elements of attraction and a friendship are present.
In closing, the equation for a sustainable relationship therefore (at least in my view) should be as follows:
DIVINE CONNECTION + ATTRACTION + FRIENDSHIP
Can you imagine how powerfully explosive a couple would be with all of the above three? Wow! They would truly have a strong foundation upon which to base their marriage.
This is exactly what I want, all three and I am not prepared to settle for anything less.
(Written on 21st August, 2016)