KAREN AND PAUL SHARE ON RELATIONSHIPS November 25, 2014
What did we do to build a strong relationship?
1. We consulted with mature people during our relationship, with our mentors, our parents, and the elders. We wanted people to speak into our lives. Many couples feel that their relationship is their private matter. Not true—not wise. People who loved us prayed for us and with us. It helped us build a strong foundation.
2. We talked about how we would express the physical side of our relationship. We didn’t let the physical take over the relationship and derail it. It had a place, but that place was not prominent. We walked in accountability with people we respected and trusted. We did not arouse love until its time—marriage. In that way we built trust that continues to this day. Trust is factored into every component of the relationship and it is worth building during the dating period.
3. We did not spend a lot of time together. We limited ourselves to two or three times a week. We were looking to our future in which we would be together almost every day of our lives. We didn’t need to be together five times a week to prove our love.
4. We did not spend any time together late at night. We did not put ourselves in situations where it would be easy to compromise our guidelines. When we kissed, our feet didn’t leave the floor and our hands didn’t wander.
5. One month of our short engagement (two months and two weeks) was spent away from each other. It is a good way to develop creativity in love’s expression. Couples who must be apart don’t need to panic.
6. We prayed for each other and with each other, but not until we knew we were in love and were heading to the altar. People who get overly spiritual too soon can also get physical too soon. We were careful not to to put ourselves in a circumstance where the emotions could override our commitment to purity.
7. Neither Karen nor I put all our marbles as single people in the marriage basket. Of course, we wanted to get married. But we managed as single people to find our joy in God. We knew that He was the center. Try not to make marriage the answer to your misery. May you find your life in Christ more than sufficient. As St. Paul said, “For me to live is Christ.”