Relationships.

For longer than I’d like to admit, my wife and I have wanted to write a book about relationships. It’s not just been us that’s wanted to write one, but various people have asked us about doing it too. The thing is, there are already plenty of books out there about dating and relationships. Talking about the idea of how to lead a strong, Godly relationship, books about preparing for marriage, as well as books debating whether or not dating is a good idea at all!

Throughout the 6 years that Heather and I have been ‘going out’, we’ve been asked various questions about relationships from different people, as well as experiencing and helping people through various relationship situations. In no way do Heather and I think we are the best people to share advice about relationships, but we do love sharing our thoughts and advice when people ask for it.

So, in beginning to write some kind of book speaking into the huge world of relationships, dating, ‘going out’ (whatever you want to call it!), we thought we’d think about the questions, and issues that are common that we have experienced in our own relationship, and issues we have helped others through. Here are some of the more common things we come across:

  • How do I lead a God-centred relationship?
  • I’m a Christian and fancy somebody who isn’t. What do I do?
  • I’ve just been dumped. Help!
  • There are no decent Christian guys/girls around. Advice please!
  • How I stand against sexual temptation?
  • How far is ‘too far’?
  • Should I only ‘go out’ with someone if I know I will marry them?
  • My mate is going out with a psycho/weirdo/’interesting’ character. What can I do to help?
  • How does the guy/girl roles play out in real life? Who wears the trousers? Should anyone be ‘in charge’?

There are plenty more questions and scenarios that we’ve come across. I figured that for the meantime, I’ll use this blog to write some thoughts and advice about relationships, a lot of it coming from mine and Heather’s  experience through our relationship. We’ve done some things right, and some things wrong, and these blogs may well be the beginning of what could end up in some kind of dating book that we’ll write.

Any thoughts, ideas of subjects or questions are more than welcome!

‘Rules Rules Rules. Oh, and by the way, have a good life’

This is such a difficult concept to grasp as a (spiritually) ‘older’ Christian. Ask most people their thoughts on Christians and one of the first words that will come out of their mouth will be something to do with ‘rules’ or something they are ‘not allowed to do’.

How has God’s awesome story of His love for His creation become a book of rules and regulations? Too many Christians read the Bible as a whole set of rules and laws that need to be obeyed otherwise they are not ‘good Christians’. Sure, the Bible gives the greatest help and guidance to us, how we can get the most out of our lives, how we can truly ‘live life to the full’ and come into a real relationship with God. But, I feel the Bible is being used and distorted by so many in order to condemn others and elevate the self. The Bible is entirely inerrant, but unfortunately we are not! Too many of us use the Bible as a way to belittle others or a way to justify our judgemental attitudes towards others.

I don’t discount myself from this. I know in the past I have read the Bible as a ‘don’t do this, or that, or that or that. Oh and by the way, have a great life’ (yeah, sounds great). From this way of reading the Bible I have then found myself judging others because of their lifestyles because according to me they are ‘below par’ in comparison to my life. This is not helpful to myself, or them. However, daily I’m changing this attitude.

So in conclusion, a little message to us ‘older’ Christians. Let’s get off our high horses about everyone else, lets stop judging others, throwing Bible verses at people which makes them feel condemned, guilty and totally alienated from any possibility of ‘living life to the full’. Instead, let’s love people in the way Christ loved them, meet them where they are at. Our obedience to God needs to come from a love for him.

Thoughts on a postcard (or a comment to save 26p on a postage stamp).