His and Her POV on Dating #M4MVoices
1.How do you stay intentional in your relationship?
Kim: Chris and I have been together for 3 years now, and have been best friends for almost 5, so it is natural for the dynamic in our relationship to cycle between super exciting to mellow every now and then. However, I've learned that in order to keep the relationship strong, it is important to put yourself second and appreciate every small thing about the other person. Chris and I often pause to re-tell each other what we appreciate about the other, and pray often that our relationship stays healthy and holy. We also make sure we put the other person above ourselves so that we can focus on giving love more than receiving it.
Chris: Kim and I stay intentional in our relationship through our actions. Since love is an action, not a feeling, it is important to do things for the other person because you love them, not do things because the other person makes you feel loved. Jesus showed us that serving others and putting others first is what love does. By making a consistent effort to show Kim love, I show her that she is valuable, and also allow God's love for her to be channelled through me. Simple things like listening to her, engaging in conversation with her daily, encouraging her, being there for her when she needs a friend, taking her out every week to spend time with her, taking time to tell her why I appreciate her. All these things make the love we share real and tangible, and creates those feelings of closeness and trust that are so important in our relationship. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 is the biblical description of what love is. By remembering that verse, we can remember what showing each other love looks like, and continue to live it every day.
Carla: We are both willing to try new experiences. I believe that "love only gets old if you let it", and it's easy to fall into a "comfortable routine" when sparks die down, so we go try new things and just genuinely enjoy each other's company. Also we set a time that is designated for us (haha he calls it "Marla time" or "Marla day"), so that amidst other responsibilities we have and not being able to see and talk to each other as much, with being in different schools, so we use that time to take time off other things and just genuinely enjoy each other's company.
Martin: We stay intentional by always trying something new (restaurants, activities, etc).
Anonymous: We focus on Jesus being the center of the relationship. He knows that he does not complete me and doesn't expect to. It's such a huge relief when you realize that you are not each other's saviour but are put in each other's lives to be a good helper, a friend who listens when you need it, a shoulder to cry on, laughing partner until your tummy hurts and someone who can lift you up in prayer. I don't expect him to fulfill all my dreams, instead we dream together the desires God puts on our hearts. We are honest with each other especially with the hard discussions. You need to know who you really are and what matters most. Don't delay those discussions... Communicate. Talk and do not be afraid...only then will you see each other's true character and grow together to see if you are meant to be together forever in this earthly lifetime we have been gifted.
2. How does your BF/GF make you a better person?
Kim: I attribute a large chunk of my recently strengthened faith to Chris, because ever since I met him, he has had a fervent love for Christ and His ways. Chris makes sure we remain chaste in our relationship, and often encourages me when I struggle with temptation. We consider each other accountability partners when it comes to journeying on the path toward heaven, and his consistent encouragement and love for Christ makes me want to be a better Christian, and a better woman overall.
Chris: Kim makes me a better person by keeping me accountable to God's expectations of me. She encourages me to read my bible every day, to pray, and to maintain a close relationship with God. She also encourages me to make good choices, whether it is how I use my time during the day, to how I treat my family, to what my priorities in life are. She also shows me that she has faith in me to make good choices by trusting me, and encourages me when I make mistakes. Kim always believes in me and is happy with me when I succeed. All of this helps me understand that while I'm in a relationship with her, the choices I make matter, and affect not only my life, but hers as well. With that in mind, I am motivated to be a better person, because I love her and want to make the best choices for the both of us.
Carla: Martin makes me a better person because of his courage- I've seen him have to go through some tough things, but he's always stepped up and been brave about it. it also encourages myself to be more courageous about things. personally I tend to get really apprehensive and anxious about things, but he encourages me to go for it and to focus on the positive outcomes. His motivation also inspires me. When he sets his mind to something, he's really hard-working and it inspires me to work harder too.
Martin: Carla makes me a better person by always keeping me accountable.
Anonymous: He accepts me for who I am. He makes sure to remind me not to put myself down by calling myself fat! He loves all parts of me even when I'm a bit selfish or get angry or frustrated. He is patient with me and shows me Jesus' love. This converts my heart daily to love him back with this beautiful love that should not have conditions and helps me repent when I fall short. It amazes me whenever I ask him what his favourite memories are together and he tells me: The hard times. Not necessarily the fights we have, but the process of how we work through our differences and how the love of Jesus comes in to heal our woundedness as we lay down our pride and put on the garments of forgiveness. Personally, my favourite moments are ones where we sit under the stars together and talk of future dreams...but I see his answer is a lot harder. More real. And it helps me strive to be a better person to see things through the lens of not only wanting what is comfortable...but what really matters most.
3. What is some advice you have to offer to couples?
Kim: Love is a choice, not just something you "fall into". You will never be able to find someone who will love you perfectly on earth, but its important to love your partner unconditionally and accept their imperfections, because love is a choice that we have to make. Its definitely not easy to put the other person first, especially when you crave for their love and attention, but if this person actively leads you to heaven and loves God, choosing to love them and be in a relationship with them will definitely be worth it. Finally, its important to pray together and remember that there are 3 people in your relationship: Christ included.
Chris: My first point of advice would be to stay intentional about showing the other person love. There are so many ways you can do this, but it is important to show love in a way that your significant other would appreciate. Know them. Know what makes them happy, or fulfilled, or what makes them feel valuable, and do those things. That includes making time to talk. When you're in a relationship, it's important to maintain a daily flow of communication. Even if it's not much, every bit counts. The effort is important, but the way you treat them is also important. For guys, it is important to show your girl love. For girls, it is important to show your guy respect. Guys and girls feel valued in different ways, and it's important to find out what makes the other other person feel valued. Talk talk talk! I can't stress how important talking about these things is, and don't just talk, do things! Anything! Tell them you love them randomly during the day. Be spontaneous! (unless the other person doesn't like spontaneity) Whatever it is, be intentional every day, and not just when the other person makes you feel like it.
Carla: Honesty and acceptance really is key. sometimes you will have to make sacrifices, and things may be tough. but if there's something bothering you, you should let your significant other know and definitely not keep it bottled up so you two can work it out together. If you're with someone that you feel you have to hide things from, even for fear that they won't accept you for how you feel, what you have to say, and just who you are, you shouldn't be with them. That being said, you should also be open to listen and accept them too. Also, understand and accept that you are not his top priority, and he isn't yours either, and that's okay. A significant other that truly loves you will do anything to help bring you closer to the things that matter, like God, school, job, your dreams, even that means if they have to take a bit of a step back.
I think it's also important to be with someone who genuinely desires to love God more than you. If your boyfriend is not as into his faith, be with someone who is at least willing and open to grow in his faith. I have a lot of friends who experienced that things didn't work out between them in their relationship, or they saw potential in dating a guy, but it didn't work out because the guy didn't love the girl the same way or the way they deserved.
Martin: Always seek new things to love about your significant other.
Anonymous: Be real with each other. Be patient. Don't expect the other person to fulfill all your desires. They can't. Only God can fill your heart with perfect love. Be honest!! Always take time out to talk to each other...learn together...have adventures together. Don't forget the reasons why you first started to love each other, rather than getting fixated on each others flaws. I highly recommend reading "The Five Love Languages" from Gary Chapman. It's life changing in terms of giving you a platform to talk to each other and knowing yourself. I also really recommend looking up Mark Gungor series on Laugh Your Way To a Better Marriage on YouTube! It's hilarious, honest and he talks about real things that couples face relating it back to the Word of God. Even for singles! It's awesome to see how men and women think differently. Real talk.