Sometimes it can be hard to tell whether or not the person that we ladies spend all of our time thinking about, texting, and/or crushing on will actually be good for us in the long run. If a guy is handsome, charming, and smells nice… chances are we don’t mind his 300 other girlfriends, the questionable way that he never texts back, or his possible criminal record.
I mean, I understand that he has a gorgeous smile but there are more things to consider here. A nice smile doesn’t mean much when you want to have a heart to heart conversation about your faith or something that means a lot to you.
I was in adoration recently and I opened up my Bible to Ephesians 5:25 where St. Paul gives the women of the Church a fantastic guideline for making sure they are in a good relationship. He writes, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”
What criteria does this give us for when we are discerning a relationship?
Well first of all, is this person selfless? Christ “Gave himself up” for the church out of love for her, if Christ only thought about himself, he would not have been loving perfectly. Instead, he does not think about himself at all. St Paul reinforces this point in 1 Corinthians 13:5 when he says that “(love) is not selfish.” If your guy just wants to talk about himself all the time, it’s probably high time to move on. You’ve got more important things to do than listen to him brag about how many grapes he can fit in his mouth.
Next, does this person love you? Now I know that is a very serious question and most people over the age of twelve don’t say “I love you” in a relationship until they have been dating for 300+ years… but love in one of its many forms is the preference of another’s happiness over your own. If your guy is constantly canceling his plans with you to hang out with his other friends… That could be a red flag concerning how much he actually cares for you. I’m definitely not saying that you should be his only friend or that he can only hang out with you, but if your plans together get pushed aside or forgotten by him a lot, you may want to take a harder look at your relationship.
Finally, while this person will most likely not be asked to give himself up for you in a death like Christ’s, he will be asked to die to himself and his passions every single day in order to preserve your purity. Does he die to his impure passions for the good of your relationship? The struggle to remain pure in a relationship should be something that you can both unite to take on together. If he does not fight to defend your purity then he is not respecting you in the way that you deserve to be respected most. You are a priceless creation that deserves to be guarded and loved in the right way. If he does not see that, you most definitely should get him a new pair of glasses and promptly show him the way to the door.
Relationships are not easy, love is not easy, and discerning both of these things can be exhausting. Thankfully, we as a church have wonderful examples of love to follow and learn from.
I will pray for all of you as you pursue holy relationships.
God loves you so much and so do I.
1 Corinthians 13