Have you ever noticed how much advice you get from others when you are facing one of the many challenges brought on as you attempt to figure out, survive or just live this thing called life. Take dating for example, the world is chalked up full of advice when it comes to dating and providing information on finding your “soul mate.” The internet is full of matchmaking websites; even television has become more involved with the so-called matchmaking reality shows. Let’s face it most people are either looking for or would enjoy a little romance in their lives.
Many people see dating as a time of discovery, experimentation, and an opportunity to become intimate with no strings attached, to be free, to just try things out without the commitment of marriage. However, following the advice of others particularly when it comes to relationships could land you in the field of brokenness where you end up lonely and alone.
When you’re dating someone new, it’s natural to put your best foot forward. We put a little extra thought into our appearance, and let’s admit it: we also do our best to curb bad behavior the fact is we say and do all the right things in order to impress. This makes romance very exciting, but it can also foster infatuation and illusion. Suppressing the less attractive side of your personality only works for so long. Hey, we’re human. We get angry, irritated, hungry and tired; and when that happens, a different side of us emerges. And usually, it’s not pretty.
In the 8th chapter and 4th verse of the Song of Solomon we read “Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.” In other words, don’t be quick to get involved intimately with anyone. If you want real romance, you must build your relationship on the foundation of friendship. The primary motivation for any successful friendship should that be both parties are seeking and willing to add value to the other through service. We should lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters because of the love that Christ showed toward us (1 John 3:16).
With that in mind, you should begin to see your relationships as an opportunity to model the agape kind of love, or love that is spiritual and selfless in nature. This means taking the time to learn a person’s likes, dislikes, needs and desires. It means looking for ways to edify that person. Instead of rushing into romance, make building a deeper friendship your first priority. Take your time getting to know and understand the person you’re interested in. Have fun together. Cherish the moments of friendship where you can laugh, joke, just sit and talk enjoying each other’s company. That’s what establishes a solid, healthy relationship and sustains you through the rough times.
“Greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends if ye do the things which I command you. No longer do I call you servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends: for all things that I heard from my Father I have made known unto you. … (John 15:13-16).
The friendship stage is also the time to find out where a person is in his or her walk with God. Does she smoke, drink and party, but have little time for church and the things of God? Is he constantly working on discipline and pursuing the will of God for his life? These are important things to consider. Friends help each other develop in the Word of God and maximize each other’s potential. Find out what makes that person feel the love of God—it could be a kind word, a nice gift, a thoughtful deed or simply spending quality time with him or her.
The only way to really get to know someone is by being a true friend.