For the past few months, my social media news feeds were flooded with posts carrying the hashtag, #RelationshipGoals. Maybe, people who shared these posts share the same dream: to be in a good relationship someday. It’s good to be inspired with those relationships but I don't think we should solely base our standard of relationship in those goals. Focusing on these goals alone to the extent that we neglect our present relationships and responsibilities may not be the key in having a long-lasting relationship.
Here's what I think:
1. We should not base our “goals” on the standards set by people. Each of us was created uniquely by God (Psalm 139:13-14).
There is nothing wrong about aspiring a relationship or admiring couples. I myself know couples who inspire me. But I don't let these stories set the standard for my future relationship. Imagine if we do that --we will all face disappointment in the end or we’ll end up being tired and weary because we’re not satisfied with what we have.
If you’re in a relationship, be content and stop comparing your love story with others. If you’re single and waiting, ask God to work in your heart to show you what kind of relationship you should have. I also encourage you to make a checklist of traits that you would want to have as your partner. Pray fervently for God's best and believe that He will bring you to that person.
Not everything that is widely accepted in the society or is popular is right. #RelationshipGoals that encourage sex before marriage is one of them. Kahit hindi sex, kahit na cuddle, lying in bed together or kissing – all those things will just tempt and lead us to sin. Proverbs 4:23 states that “Above all else guard your heart." How should we do this? In his book, I Kissed Dating Goodbye, Joshua Harris shared that “First, picture guarding your heart as if your heart were a criminal tied in a chair who would like to break free and knock you over in the head. In other words, protect yourself from your heart's sinfulness. Keep a wary eye on your heart, knowing that it can do you damage if it isn’t carefully watched.”
Though we hear people say “follow your heart”, the bible warns us how deceitful our heart is (Jer. 17:9). Our hearts and emotions can lead us to wrongdoings and even deadly decisions if we don't align them with God's plans. Not everything that feels right is right; sometimes it can be completely wrong. And always remember in Romans 12:2, Jesus reminds us that we should “not copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (NLT)
2. There is more to life than having a relationship with the opposite sex.
I believe that whether we’re in a relationship or not, we have other relationships to take care of. We all take part in a relationship outside the romantic circle.
Growing up, I am filled with the Disney fantasy of “happily ever after.” I thought I can only be a princess if I’ll have my own prince charming with me. I kept on chasing and longing for my prince charming but always end up having a frog. One day, I realized that I don’t need any prince charming because I am already a princess; a daughter of the most high king. (Gal.3:26).
During those times of chasing and longing, I neglected my other roles and relationships. My friends became strangers to me, my relationship with my family was cold, and my relationship with God was drifting apart. I focused on that singles aspect of my life--my love life--and forgot that there are more to my life, this world.
Let’s not box ourselves into having a relationship with the opposite sex. Focus on your studies first, on your career and of course cherish and use your time for your family, friends and for the Lord. Joshua Harris added, “We cannot ignore our current responsibilities and magically gain strength of character and virtue that will make us good husband and wives (girlfriend or boyfriend). If we aren’t faithful and growing in the relationships we have now, we won’t be prepared to pursue faithfulness and growth in marriage (relationship) later.”
The single life should be our practice ground on what we want to be in the future. Being in a relationship won’t complete us; it's a reflection of what we already are. Let us use this time to become God’s best so that when our God’s best arrives; we won’t be God’s worst.
#RelationshipGoals isn’t a bad thing if we'll allow it to inspire and motivate us to bring our bodies holy and pure before God’s eyes. Let us always remind ourselves that our ultimate #RelationshipGoal should be our relationship with our one True Lover, Jesus Christ.
Patricia Santiago, TLW Volunteer
Patricia is an AB Comm graduate who's passionate in reaching out kids and youth to find true love in Christ. She usually detached herself from the world with her books, pen and paper where she write the words that she can't utter. You can check out her thoughts in thegirlnamedtrish.wordpress.com