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A heart that doesn't submit to listening to the law will be hardened against any call to repentance—that’s the death-knell of any godly relationship. Unless regularly reminded of the grace of Christ, the heart will begin to sink into sin, go into hiding, and find its deepest affirmation in things other than Christ—like an idolatrous focus on your relationship, for instance. ) into an idol, you want them weekly pouring out their hearts in praise to their true Redeemer and Savior.
Third, the Word of God truly preached brings us by the power of the Spirit into the presence of Christ. You also want your significant other to have communion with the body of Christ outside of your own relationship. Did you note the developing trend in the four points above?
In fact, I'll go out on a limb and say that if your relationship is a serious drag on your commitment to obeying Christ's commands to gather with the body, this is actually killing your relationship with Jesus, and is therefore, by definition, not a “Christian” relationship. Women, you want a man who has solid, healthy relationships with other men in the body of Christ.
Be as jealous for his time with body as you are about his time with you.
To cap off my dating advice, I'd like to offer a warning and an encouragement. It does mean you have grounds for thinking it through with care. Finally, the encouragement: Men, make it your aim to be the first to encourage your sweetheart to be involved in fellowship with other believers, and the last to feed any desire to cut off from corporate worship.
First the warning: If you enter the relationship and suddenly stop going to church, pray less, and read less, that's probably a sign it's not heading in a godly direction. Be as diligent about carving out time for corporate worship as you are in carving “alone time” (the benefits of which should probably also be up for debate).
Indeed, I don't know a single godly couple who would tell you otherwise. We need to feast on this truth regularly, or we will be tempted to draw strength from other, lesser sources, like your own relationship. First, they do the negative work of preventing the greatest danger in any “Christian” dating relationship—no, not sexual sin, but the human tendency to make an idol out of the beloved.
Usually this idolatry justifies sexual sin and so many other relational pathologies.
A couple of youngins' get to dating, and they want to “do it right.” They realize that God is concerned with every aspect of our lives, including our romantic involvements, so they've resolved to have a “Christian” dating relationship and sought guidance. Should we buy a devotional and go through it together? ” If the young man's of a theological bent, he shows up with a potential 10-week preaching series already outlined. As I already mentioned, couples often get this idea that to be truly “spiritual” they should start interweaving their spiritual lives into one.I really respect that and I see the good in studying the Bible together, but, to be honest, it’s not a relationship goal of mine. I recently read Timothy Keller’s book on marriage (The Meaning of Marriage) and that profoundly shapes my view on marriage.Keller says, eloquently than I’m about to sum up, marriage is about two people coming together to help each other get ready for heaven.Realizing that practical steps matter, most often they want tips or steps they can take to build their relationship in Christ. (Protip: this last one is definitely not a winning approach.) 4:5-20. This can actually become a problem, especially because you're not actually married.There are some rather obvious tips like praying for each other in your daily devotions, encouraging each other to read the Scriptures, setting appropriate boundaries (emotional, spiritual, and so on), and pursuing sexual holiness. These devotions together can develop into a couple-centered spirituality that begins to replace the church-centered relationship with God that the New Testament actually prescribes.
Finally, we need to hear an outside word that we can't quickly rationalize, twist, distort, or ignore. If your relationship becomes the center of their faith, the main and only encouragement they have in Christ, something has gone wrong. All four stand on their own as solid reasons to be committed to gathering (and being a member of) a local body.