My daughter is finishing up her freshman year of high school. For her, the experience was a virtually new beginning, as she was zoned for a school apart from her cohort of friends.
Navigating this year has brought new friendships and observing friends enter into ‘romantic’ relationships.
While she has not yet expressed interest in dating, we have had conversations about what love is and how it is expressed in both friendship and boyfriend/girlfriend context.
Here are three foundational principles that I have tried to impress upon her, and I thought they would have benefit to all of us who long for friendship and intimacy.
1. Realize you are worth loving.
Someone ought to love you not for what you provide or because of your performance. You are worth loving simply because of your humanity.
God created you with care and loved you so much that Jesus humbled Himself to did on your behalf.
Another person, friend or spouse, should love you for no less.
2. The person you are in relationship with should be willing to admit weakness and grow.
Relationship that do more than scratch the surface will reveal your flaws and the imperfections of the other person.
How both people respond to this brokenness reveals where their hearts lay.
Blaming another or building walls of protection indicates an identity that is focused on self.
Love always considers the other’s needs.
3. Never stop being centered in Christ.
Do not fall for the cultural lie that a relationship, approval, or sex are needed for wholeness. In Christ – believing the truth about who you are in Him – you are complete.
Anxiety, disappointments, jealousy, and even anger are symptoms of an identity that is potentially misplaced. Rather than grabbing onto another person tighter, develop awareness of how you are trying to quench your thirst with the relationship.
Another person was not meant to bear the weight of your identity.
Regardless of the state or longevity of your relationship, it is never too late to begin to apply these three principles.
Which of these principles seems hardest to pursue?
What principle would you add to the list?
I work with followers of Christ to energize discipleship, improve relationships, decrease anxiety and facilitate leadership development. I am a certified coach specializing in pastoral leadership, relationships, discipleship, life transitions, and Christian identity. Also, I am the author of the forthcoming book Tree of Lies: Transforming Decisions, Behaviors, and Relationships By Gaining Perspective On Your Identity in Christ.
Services I offer are one-on-one coaching, group coaching, speaking at organizations/churches, workshops on marriage/discipleship/leadership, and church retreats. For more info, click here to contact me.