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Realizing that practical steps matter, most often they want tips or steps they can take to build their relationship in Christ. (Protip: this last one is definitely not a winning approach.) 4:5-20. This can actually become a problem, especially because you’re not actually married.
There are some rather obvious tips like praying for each other in your daily devotions, encouraging each other to read the Scriptures, setting appropriate boundaries (emotional, spiritual, and so on), and pursuing sexual holiness. These devotions together can develop into a couple-centered spirituality that begins to replace the church-centered relationship with God that the New Testament actually prescribes.
First the warning: If you enter the relationship and suddenly stop going to church, pray less, and read less, that’s probably a sign it’s not heading in a godly direction. Be as diligent about carving out time for corporate worship as you are in carving “alone time” (the benefits of which should probably also be up for debate).
Finally, we need to hear an outside word that we can’t quickly rationalize, twist, distort, or ignore. If your relationship becomes the center of their faith, the main and only encouragement they have in Christ, something has gone wrong. All four stand on their own as solid reasons to be committed to gathering (and being a member of) a local body.
Who is there to support and encourage when you’re having a bad day, or when your relationship needs a check because it’s gone off the rails into sin? Even the best married couples need other, godly voices speaking wisdom, conviction, comfort, and healing grace into their lives. Whether you’re a Baptist, Anglican, or Presbyterian, you want to be regularly reminded that Christ alone is the source of spiritual life—he died, rose again, and our union with him is the only true food for your soul. Yet all four play an important function with respect to your relationship to each other.
The system today’s young men and women have inherited for finding and marrying a future spouse leaves a lot to be desired.
We often hear complaints from readers about the confusion, hurt and sexual sin they’ve encountered despite their best intentions.