Those who have watched us grow up in highschool know our story. And, if you were unlucky enough to be a very close friend of ours during this time you probably were very annoyed with a lot of our story. To quickly sum up the story, I liked her, so I went after her after just getting out of a relationship. She liked me and went after me, after getting out of a relationship! Well...we both weren't ready. So we went a whole school year acting like we were boyfrirend and girlfriend with out the title (I will blog about how much I hate when people do this one day!). We were on and off that whole school year 'til one night we were on the phone I was going to the doctor's office cause I had strep throat and a sinus infection at the same time and she said we should just DATE!
So we did. It lasted a month. She went on a missions trip came back, I guess Jesus didn't want us together, blah blah blah, heart-break heart-break, and then after 6 months or so we got back together!
I want to share with you all what have been some of the key factors to us growing up and finally understanding what it means to be in a relationship with one another. Carrie and I have gone through some rough times and have acted foolishly more times than I can count! But, our second time dating has been one of the most encouraging and rewarding experiences I have ever had in my life, by God's grace and his grace alone.
One night while Carrie and I were broken up we went to the movies together to get some "closure." We decided we should talk first then watch a movie cause if the talk went bad at least we'd have the movie to help cheer us up! The talk went great. When Carrie went on that missions trip she happened to start falling for a guy on that missions trip. It hurt like crap and I was angry for awhile. But, when we talked that night I shared with her that there is always going to be "someone better." There is always going to be someone who is better looking, stronger, hotter, funnier, "talented", and more! But, if you like someone you have to like that person for them. When someone asks me why do I like Carrie Eaton, my answer first and foremost should be, because she is Carrie Eaton! After that, then I can go on and explain the different and various reasons why I like her and what makes her, her!
I believe that one huge reason the divorce rate is getting higher and higher in today's society (there are number of reasons!) is because too many people when they were dating someone did not like that person for who they were! Completely and utterly for who they were! Instead they saw someone else walk by, who "looks better", and automatically attempted to be with them! So, when people get married they are so used to constantly switching and breaking up for someone else, that when they get married they feel like all they can do is divorce in order to get someone better. "For better or for worse." Are we going to start taking those words seriously or not? Scripture says "Love never fails" In 1 Corinthians 13 so why is it that I hear too many people saying, "I still love them, but I just had to be realistic and move on."
If you walk away you have never loved in the first place. Scriptural love, Biblical LOVE calls for people to love even when times and people seem unlovable.. And, if you are a Christian you MUST agree with this! Because your whole salvation rests upon the fact that you are the most unlovable and yet still loved through it all! That you have lied, cheated, disobeyed, hated, and mocked not only your Father, but your bridegroom (we are the bride of Christ as the Church Ephesians 5:22-33). The one you are married to, and yet you have pushed him away!
What I am getting at is that we must have a standard of beauty that is the person we are with. Christ's standard of beauty is not the perfect human! His standard of beauty at this moment is you. Once you are saved and are in his grace and mercy you have been accepted by him as righteousness and perfect, although we both know you are not! But, Christ says I will love you because I love you! No one else compares!
If God's standard of beauty is not the perfect human I do not think that us as humans should have a standard of beauty that is the "perfect girl/boy". I am not saying when you are dating someone you should act as if you were married. I am saying though that you should begin to put into practice the same attributes that you will begin to put into practice when you are married. Attributes like viewing your girlfriend or boyfriend as the most attractive person in the world! There are plenty of people in the world! Plenty of good-looking ones no doubt, but if the person you are with, in your eyes is ultimately beautiful everything else fades to black! I hear too many people telling Carrie and I to be "realistic." That we are in college and most likely will not make it. They just might be right! And, I am willing to try to humble and understand that we are not perfect and that God is ultimately in control of the direction of our relationship.
But, I believe that if me and Carrie truly see each other as beautiful...inside and out. Then at least that is one thing we don't have to worry about. We don't have to worry about seeing someone else and falling for them, because we can sincerely say I like you for you. That girl may have what most would say, "cooler" hair, but in my eyes I believe that Carries hair is all I need (just a lame example).
If you are single, I would encourage you have standards, but allow your standards to be Biblical. Allow your standards to be a woman or a man of God who is completely and totally sold out for Christ! And then...whoever meets that standard and whoever you are most attracted too...be with them. Do not narrow your standards by physical limitations.
I hope all of this made sense! All I am saying is to love like Christ has loved you in the end! Love your spouse, fiance, and boyfriend or girlfriend the way that Christ has loved you and in the end I believe that is what will truly help strengthen and encourage your relationship to go to places it never has before!