If you want to know how to put God at the center of your relationship, here are 17 ways that I hope can lead you both closer to Him and each other.
1. Strengthen your personal relationship with God.
You cannot direct your relationship unto the spiritual level if you have not reached it personally yet. Before imposing this goal into the relationship, strengthen your own faith and relationship with your Creator. He can only work in your relationship if you let Him work in your first.
2. Love God first before your partner.
You may find this ridiculous because we are in the 21st century and you think religion should just be 10% of your life. Well, let me assure you that God does not require you to be religious so you can be closer to Him. He wants a father-child relationship with you.
And let me remind you that He has every right to demand that He should be first in your life because He created you—and for Himself (Colossians 1:16).
3. Fear the Lord.
If you are familiar with the story of Joseph the Dreamer, you would notice that when he was tempted by the wife of Potiphar (his master) to sleep with her, he refused her not because he feared her husband but because he did not want to sin against God (Genesis 39).
If you love God, you would fear to do anything that displeases God—not because He gets terribly angry but because you don’t want to hurt Him—and that includes cheating on your partner.
4. Pray for each other.
They say that if you are praying for a person, you become spiritually attached to him/her. Well, I believe it is true because if you keep on blessing your partner in the spirit, you contribute to his/her well-being in the physical realm. Making this a habit between you is also one way of supporting and helping each other.
Surely, you are familiar with the saying: “A family that prays together stays together”. If you have a plan to be a family someday, then starting a prayer habit now is just healthy. Instead of bickering over problems, why don’t you kneel down together and pray about them?
6. Church time before date.
On Sundays, before you go on a date, make it a rule to go to church together first. Also, if the time is limited and you have to choose between God-time and babe-time, then I strongly encourage you to go for God-time. God honors those who honor Him, so if He sees that you put Him first before your relationship, then I believe He will bless you with more time for each other.
7. Study God’s Word together.
Personally, I find the Bible full of wisdom that can help us handle the different areas of life, including relationships. If you are a Christian and you believe the Bible as God-breathed scriptures, then I suggest that you take time to study it as a couple. I encourage you to be part of a small group that discusses how the Bible can be applied in life.
8. Ask God to help you change your bad attitudes.
A healthy relationship does not require you to change your personality—but it motivates you to change bad attitudes. Aside from cheating, many broken relationships are blamed on pride—one of the exes or both find it hard to admit mistakes and apologize first. However, only God can help us change for the better so ask Him to help you apply the Bible in your life.
9. Help each other grow in your relationship with God.
If only one of you gives importance to the spiritual condition of your relationship, then it will not be balanced and the ‘boat’ would sink on the side of the unbelieving. Make it a goal as a couple to help each other grow in faith especially when one of you is weak. Do not just remind each other to pray, read the Bible, or go to church—but do them together.
10. Be reminded that your partner is fearfully and wonderfully made by God.
At times when you are tempted to compare your partner to someone you think to be better, or you wish s/he were someone else, please remember that the same God who created you uniquely is the same God who created him/her as well. Appreciate your partner as who s/he is because like you, s/he is loved and special to the Lord.
11. Apply the 1 Corinthians 13 in your relationship.
If you want a guide of how love should be, then read 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. To give you a glimpse, this passage says that love is patient, kind, and not self-seeking. You can use these verses as a checklist to see if true love exists in your relationship.
12. Look for the counsel of spiritually-mature individuals.
Whenever your relationship is on the rocks, seek advice from God-fearing people. They won’t only pray for you, but you can also get wisdom from them on how you can maturely handle the situation. Avoid those whose primary solution to problems is alcohol—it won’t solve anything.
13. Wait until marriage.
I am not being a hypocrite, old-fashioned, or judgmental here—trust me I know what I am talking about. Doing that ‘thing’ which only married couples should do leads to a lot of negative consequences. Aside from emotional scars in case you break-up, unplanned pregnancies, and UTI (yes, s*x is one of the culprits of urinary tract infection, and you can confirm this with healthcare workers), this actually hinders God’s blessings in your relationship—because even if it is already the 21st century, it is still a sin in His eyes.
14. Get married.
If you want to start your own family, then start right by getting married. Living-in together may be the trend today, but if you acknowledge God, then you won’t do it because it is not right without marriage. Again, this hinders blessings into your relationship—or family.
If money is the problem, then please know that a wedding does not have to be expensive. In case you can’t afford church wedding in the meantime, then a civil wedding will do. It is still honored by God since the authorized personnel to conduct the ceremony has His anointing (Romans 13:1).
15. Serve God together.
Won’t it be fulfilling if you would serve God together? As an individual, God has given you each spiritual gifts and a specific calling. Support each other to pursue your call and use your God-given talents to glorify Him.
16. Make it a relationship goal to help others.
The best way to serve God is by serving others. Your relationship would be stronger if it has a purpose. Find out how you, as a couple, can bless others who are in need—like supporting a charity or donating school supplies to kids. Even though small things, you can already create a difference in the society, especially when you inspire other couples to do the same.
ALSO READ: 8 Ways to Truly Bless Your Relationship
17. Treat each other with grace—just like how Jesus treats you.
Putting God at the center of your relationship does not make you, your partner, or your relationship perfect. However, it teaches you how to treat imperfections with grace—which means not giving up on the relationship easily just because of challenges. If you are hurt, forgive just like how God forgives you and be willing to give second chances.
A Strong Foundation
Acknowledging God in your relationship does not guarantee a smooth and easy journey as a couple. However, it makes you stronger in trials and more patient with each other. It will also help you be wiser and braver in taking steps to the future together.