"Always put God in the center of your relationship." This is a common advice for Christians who are dating or married. While we always try to nurture and embody our faith as individuals, doing that harmoniously with another person takes some more effort -- even if that person is your boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse. But it's definitely not impossible! In fact, once you and your partner get into the habit together, both of you can naturally maintain a devout relationship.
Here are some practical tips that you and your partner can do to always keep your relationship anchored on God.
1. Pray together.
We've heard countless times that "the family that prays together stays together." This applies to couples, too. Your partner can join you when you are praying, and vice versa. Pray for each other and pray with each other, advises popular Christian blog Immeasurably More. You can talk to God together about the blessings you are thankful for, the troubles you wish to ease, and the hopes you have for the future. Try to make this a habit -- perhaps a couple of minutes a day.
2. Read the Bible together.
Whether by joining a Bible group together or taking the time on your own as a couple, reading the Good Book can be a relationship-enriching activity. One good idea is to individually select verses, then discuss these with each other for a deeper understanding of the Word -- and of each other.
3. Talk about God.
Speaking of discussions, try to ground your everyday conversations on God. When you ask about how each other's day went, note the events and things that show God's work. When you talk about your problems and worries, remind each other to have faith.
And if you have questions about religion and spirituality, don't hesitate to ask for your partner's perspective. This way, you can both share your own experiences and reflections to enrich each other.
4. Worship together.
Attending church service and worship events is a great way to bond as a couple! There is a sublime feeling that floods into you when you feel yourself surrendering to God -- and sharing that with your loved one makes for an incredible spiritual experience. It's also an opportunity to connect with like-minded people, so as a couple, you can cultivate a social circle that supports your faith.
What if you and your partner go to different churches? According to the thought leaders at The Praying Woman, worshiping together at each venue is a good way for a couple to figure out which church they will eventually attend as one.
5. Spend time volunteering.
It's great for a couple to stay active together and participate in positive endeavors. Volunteer together at your local charity or church! Not only do you translate your faith into tangible action, you also get to know your partner better through a dynamic, bustling experience.
6. Set boundaries.
If you are still in the dating stage, a concrete Christian practice would be to set limitations to how much physical intimacy you can have. But aside from physical boundaries, it's also wise to discuss emotional lines that apply even in marriage. For example, what things and events do you consider important, especially in your faith? What words and actions do you consider hurtful? What expectations do you have regarding the other's role in the relationship?
Talk about these with each other to ensure that you are both on the same page as to the dos and don'ts in your relationship.
7. Pause in personal quietness.
It's only natural to spend a lot of time with your loved one. But in nourishing our faith, it's also important to pause in solitude and serenity. Take some time by yourself to reflect on how your relationship has been faring on the religious path. Free from distractions and romantic inclinations, you can find sound guidance that is true to the core of your faith.
8. Give thanks for each other.
Gratitude is a beautiful Christian value, and for a couple, it can be the secret ingredient in keeping the spark in the relationship.
Here's something to try with your partner: every day, express several things about each other that you are thankful for. They can be something grand, like that wonderful trip you had for your anniversary. Or they can be something common, like doing chores for each other. Vocalize your thankfulness for your partner, and dedicate your gratitude to God.
These couple tips are actually easy to do, so we at Christian Style are definitely trying them. Do you have a relationship tip to add? Share with us in the comments!