Relationship Goals: Christianity Edition

Relationship Goals: Christianity Edition

"Relationship goals" has taken over today's mainstream media, but as a Christian I began wondering if those "goals" were really what I should be striving for in my relationship. This is what I concluded....
2017
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In today's modern society, "relationship goals" have become very prominent and have taken center stage on many social media platforms. It is almost impossible to scroll through Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook without seeing something captioned "relationship goals." One of the biggest compliments you can receive on a picture of you and your significant other is, "omg you two are relationship goals!" They're so popular, but what even are relationship goals? I headed over to the one place every teenager knows to go when they have a question about something they've seen in main stream media: Urban Dictionary.

Urban Dictionary defines "relationship goals" as "when two people are in a relationship and girls envy them, usually a celebrity couple or popular couple in high school." When searching online for "relationship goals" many of the pictures that popped up were sexual or involving some form of PDA. There's nothing wrong with that and it wasn't hard to see why youth idolize those pictures.

As a Christian, these "relationship goals" pictures made me think, is this really what I strive for in a relationship? As a person who is trying to live my life for Jesus and bring His message into the world is my biggest concern in a relationship if my boyfriend send me a long text about how hot I am? As a Christian I felt like I had different "relationship goals" ideas than what I was seeing on the Internet.

That being said, here are the top 10 Christian relationship goals:

1. Pray for me, pray with me, pray.

Wherever you are, wherever we go, whatever life brings us to, pray. As Philippians 4:6 says, "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything." My boyfriend and I pray when we go out to eat and I'll admit, I've noticed people staring at us. Two college age students praying in public?! When did pigs start flying?! However honoring God and thanking Him for the food and our relationship is something that's important to both of us. When we pray together our relationship is stronger because we have a deeper bond. We pray for each other all the time, before tests, when we're fighting, and especially when we're happy and enjoying our time together. As 1 John 4:19 says, "We love because He first loved us" and if Jesus hadn't loved us, our relationship would not be what it is today and we would not be able to love each other on the deep, spiritual level we are able to because we know Jesus' love for us.

2. Go to church together


Loving Jesus means praising and worshipping Him in all we do, especially in church on Sunday. With busy schedules, college exams, and all our extracurriculars it can be hard to find that extra time for church, especially when it's early on Sunday morning when all you want to do is sleep in. However going to church together is one of the biggest Christian relationship goals. Not only is your morning starting off on a good note, praising the Lord, but your entire week is off to a great start getting to worship God with your significant other.

3. Read the Bible together

It's easy to scroll through scripture, but sitting down with someone and discussing it and applying it to your lives is a bit more challenging. Getting to spend time with Jesus and your significant other is an important step in building a strong, Christian relationship and reading the Bible together is a great way to do that. On the busy weeks when you just can't find any time to sit down together, it can offer comfort and peace to your significant other's soul just by sending them a Bible verse that made you think of them. Scripture is powerful.

4. Love Jesus more than you love me


When you're dating someone you expect to be their number one. They shouldn't put anyone above you and you are their entire world. Christians know that the secret to a faith driven relationship is when you both love Jesus more than you love each other. Seeking Jesus will bring you closer together and loving Him more than anything else is so important for your relationship as a couple but also for your individual relationships with Jesus.

5. Get involved with a religious activity together


Joining a youth group, small group, or Bible study is so much fun but getting to share that experience with your significant other is even better. Joining a religious activity together, whether it be volunteering at your church or going to weekly small groups, will not only give you something to talk about, sharing your thoughts on how it went, but will also give you something to connect on. Plus, these religious activities are actually really fun and there's different groups and ways to get involved for all different ages!

6. Be with someone who is 1 Corinthians 13:4-6


1 Corinthians 13:4-6 reads: "4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth." I once read an article about a mother giving her daughter advice to replace the word "love" with the name of the boy she had a crush on. In Christian relationships, this is goals; to be with someone who's name can replace the word "love" in this verse and it still applies. Being in a relationship you want to be 1 Corinthians 13:4-6 but you also want to be with someone who is 1 Corinthians 13:4-6 and you help each other become this verse everyday.

7. Grow together spiritually


Faith involves growth. You have to question what you know, come to new answers, discover things you've never realized before, and always be open to learning. Being in a relationship and growing together spiritually can be challenging because you're both in different parts of your spiritual journey. However, it can be incredibly beneficial and powerful to be able to go to your partner and explain to them what you're learning and trying to process and discover and letting them help you or offer their ideas. It allows you to make a new discovery and maybe you even offer them some new perspectives they've never considered before. Follow what Ephesians 4:2 says, "Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other's faults because of your love."

8. Serve the Lord together


Serve God in every way you possibly can, especially together. Serving God together is a relationship changing experience that will better you as individuals and as a couple for the rest of your lives. Whether it's teaching religious education to children or going on a mission trip to Africa, whatever way God is calling you to serve Him you and your significant other will greatly benefit from as will your relationship.

9. Trusting in God's plan for each other

Matthew 1:18-20 talks about when Joseph found out Mary was pregnant even though she was a virgin. He planned to send her away but an angel appeared to him and said that Mary was carrying the Son of God and Joseph was to stay with her. Now there's a very low probability than anything of this extreme would happen but it's still important to trust in God's plan. Joseph did not understand what God was doing and he felt betrayed by Mary but God told him not to feel betrayed because Mary hadn't done anything wrong. God asked Joseph to trust Him and he did. God's plan for us is greater than any plan we may have for ourselves or for our significant others. It is important to recognize that and understand that if God interferes with your plans it's only because He has something much better planned for you two and it's okay to trust in Him and what He is doing in your lives.

10. Love each other the way Jesus taught you

The two biggest lessons Jesus taught us about love were “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ and ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” Being with someone who loves the way Jesus loved shows the compassion they have for all living things and the understanding they have of what the Bible says about the purpose of Jesus's life. Jesus lived and died so we could be forgiven of our sins but He loved us so much He was willing to die for people He didn't even know. If you are with someone who loves the way Jesus loved you are with someone who is definitely "goals."


It's important to remember that nobody is perfect and as long as our significant other is focused on God and bettering themselves as a Christian there isn't much else we could possibly ask for. At the end of the day everyone has a choice on what they view as relationship goals. Personally I'm going to choose a relationship where I fall more in love with my significant other as we fall deeper in love with Jesus Christ together, as opposed to the other relationship goals where we get matching t-shirts saying "He's Mine" and "She's Mine." I'm very thankful for my relationship and our strong faith both as individuals and as a couple. Regardless of whether or not media defines us as "relationship goals" I'm thankful for the work God does in my life and in my relationship and we will always continue to serve the Lord and to love and praise our Savior, Jesus Christ.

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Conquered.

Project Israel: Part Two
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Conquered.

I am conquered.

My mind, heart, and soul are incense before you.

Placed on the altar, are all my actions.

There my head hits the floor, knees press the ground,

Do I dare look up at You?

So, I stare behind, shadow below.

O’ Light above,

Weighing down upon me.

I am conquered.

Battle in the Heavens!

I am servant to both armies!

I am a general for Lucifer, I am a prince of Christ!

Does this please you: fallen below?

Father Above?

Such a lost thought, back & forth, between Death and Life.

I am conquered.

Weaned, bent, twisted by my own hand?

O’ Sin, are you my master?

By God’s Grace, no!

Yet it was I who stripped You, we struck You!

Strip me, strike me!

You gave me keys to the kingdom.

I threw my heart to the fire.

O’ Sin,

I am yours—all of me.

All my wretchedness is yours.

I am con—No!

O’ Jesus!

I am yours—all of me.

All my wretchedness is yours!

Mercy Maker, Death Defiler, Grace Giver!

Cover me with all!

It is all far more than enough!

Victory is at hand!

I am conquered.

—Drew Seitz

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What We Can Take Away From Lent, Christian Or Not

Even if Jesus isn't a part of your life, the message is the same.
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If you weren't raised in a Christian home, Lent is the season before Easter. It lasts for 40 days and starts with Ash Wednesday, where Christians of all denominations go to their churches and get marked with ash in the shape of a cross on their forehead.

When I was at mass this past Ash Wednesday, the priest described Lent in a way I hadn't thought of before. Lent is typically viewed as a solemn time. There is no joyful hallelujah, and we don't sing at the beginning or end of liturgies. The 40 days can sometimes feel like an eternity. But, last week my perspective was dramatically changed.

The priest invited us to enter into this Lenten Season with the perspective that we're all just working on it. Everyone has some struggle they want to overcome, or some mountain they need to climb, and Lent is the perfect time to do so. While the Christian tradition comes at this with the belief that Christ is the One who helps us conquer these struggles, I think this message of progress and continual struggle can be applied to everyone, regardless of faith.

Our society is so focused on keeping up appearances and only showing the highlights of our lives, it's easy to get lost in expectations. We look through our feeds on social media and see how great our friends look or how much fun they're having at school. If you're having a bad day and all you see is the filtered version of other people's lives, it's easy to feel like you're somehow not good enough.

I know when I'm having a bad day and all that pops up on my Instagram feed is pictures of my friends going out or looking amazing I feel like crap. I forget that other people have bad days too, they just don't post it for the world to see. This is an extremely isolating system, and we need to constantly remind ourselves that no one looks that great all the time. We filter our lives so no one sees the mountains we're climbing, no one sees what we're working on.

We want everyone to think we have it all together, all the time. But this simply isn't true, no one is perfect. Lent reminds us that this is okay. No one should feel like they need to be perfect every second of every day.

In the Gospels we hear about people who were falling apart, on the inside and out. Jesus didn't pass them over because they weren't perfect. He saw them for who they were and gave them the opportunity to become great. Even if Jesus isn't a part of your life, the message is the same. No matter what your struggles are, remember that we're all just doing our best in life, and we're all working on something.

Cover Image Credit: Life Teen

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