Does God choose your spouse?
Q: How does one resolve conflict in a relationship especially when you are right and the other person is truly at fault?
Good relationships thrive not because of an absence of conflict but because both parties involved have gained mastery of an agreeable way to resolve the conflict. The number one thing to make known to your partner in conflict resolution is to emphasize at the beginning and end that you care about them. This relaxes the other person and makes them know it is not a contest or competition. Be sure to point out what is right in each case and not who is right. Great relationships require a lot of compromise, if you seek to always emphasize how right you are and make the other feel bad, then you will have loads of issues in that relationship. My advice is, even when you know you are right be civil about it, a peaceful dialogue goes a mighty long way in conflict resolution. Key things to note:
– Don’t raise your voice or yell at your partner.
– Always start and end the conversation by affirming that you care about the other person.
– Be open to the idea that you made a mistake even if you are so sure you did not.
– Address direct examples and instances of action, don’t generalize actions as the other person’s behavior.
– In your conversation avoid the words “always” and “never.”
You can get more rules of conflict resolution in How to fight: 10 rules of relationship conflict resolution by Rory Vaden.
Q: I have heard people say God said this is your wife. Does God really do that, does He chose for us?
The myth that God chooses our spouse for us is totally unscriptural. God has given us the wisdom and freedom to choose, He left the decision entirely to us to make (Proverbs 18:22). However, He gave us only one condition and it is that every believer should marry a fellow believer (2 Corinthians 6:14). Denver Cheddie does justice to this in his article, Should we look for a spouse or wait for God to send us one? He wrote, “God’s will concerning marriage is what I call post-determined as opposed to pre-determined. God does not decide in advance who gets married to whom. Of course He knows what will happen, but let’s not confuse ourselves trying to figure out what God knows. Let’s go solely on what He reveals/ has revealed to us. It is after two people get married that God puts his stamp of approval on it and says “This is now my will. You are now one flesh, and whatever I join, let no one separate.” That’s how God works. Whoever you choose to marry becomes God’s will after you get married. Note that this is true even if a believer marries an unbeliever. It still becomes God’s will. I know persons who got married then later decided, “You know what? This was never God’s will, I’m getting out.” This is grossly unscriptural. It’s a product of this misguided view that God predetermines people for marriage.”
In searching for a spouse, find time to read the whole of Genesis 24. Three key steps should be taken:
1. Seek a mate.
2. Know what you want.
3. Trust God to guide you (Psalm 37:23)
And finally, be sure not to only focus on traits the person should have, you should also concern yourself with being the kind of person that individual would want. Everyone has flaws. Character development and self-improvement should be a way of life. There are some things we can control and some we cannot. We certainly cannot control other people, but we can control our own personal development.
Q: How do I know if I can cope with some of my partner’s shortcomings?
Honestly, you cannot know. This is why marriage is so beautiful. If you are not yet married, whatever shortcomings you have seen now is just the beginning. More will unfold when you both begin to live under the same roof. However, one thing you can do is to decide that you are in that relationship for the long haul and by that you are willing to do all it takes to make it work. Please note that you as an individual also have your own shortcomings but your union will become stronger by how well you navigate them. Specifics would have helped me give a better advice but with the principle I stated above, you can get through anything.
Q: How do I know someone loves me genuinely, especially if I’ve had many heart breaks and lost trust in guys?
To know if someone loves you genuinely, you need to ask yourself how they make you feel and in what way exactly you receive love. If you receive love in a certain way…according to Gary Chapman’s Five Love Languages…and your partner is dishing it out in a way that does not communicate love to you, then you will feel unloved. But generally speaking, someone who loves you will be interested in your well-being and growth, he will be willing to make sacrifices for you, he will not treat you in a degrading way or make you feel less of yourself.
If you get into any relationship with the consciousness of your many previous heart breaks, you will find it difficult to see the good in the new guy. You need an open and free mind for any relationship to thrive.
Q: How do we draw the line between respect and being free to express ourselves in a relationship?
What exactly do you mean by respect in a relationship? Because what is coming to my mind is that you for example would like your partner to kneel when greeting you or refer to you as ‘sir’. I respect my husband so much in that I give him his place as my head but I’m free enough to tap or slap his head and he won’t see it as disrespect. There really should not be any line between the two, but based on whatever is your interpretation of respect, you need to communicate that clearly to your partner. Let them know in clear terms the things they could do that would mean disrespect to you and if they agree then you both go along. What Mr. A calls disrespect might not mean anything to Mr. B. I know people who insist that their spouses greet them kneeling and refer to them as ‘sir’. I personally cannot be in that kind of relationship (because I see it as absurd since married couples are supposed to be a team) but some other lady wouldn’t mind, so at the end of the day, we should all be responsible for our choices. Like I said earlier, communicate what respect means to you and possibly draw the line yourself, if he/she decides they still want to be with you and your rules, then that’s their choice.
Q: Is there hope for long distance relationship?
Yes, there is hope but you will have to work harder than you would in a relationship where you are together in the same town or city. Make sure you guys communicate regularly, in fact every day. Thank God for different social media platforms and chats, it would help you remain in touch. If you guys are married, I suggest you work quickly towards living together.
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