Every (married) couple has a beginning. One day you met and you decided to start a relationship together. Maybe you knew right away it was him. I’m not that quick, -with me coming later- but I knew I had met someone special. He is not ideal, he is not perfect, but he is a good man and I am deeply grateful that we belong together! My sister and I talked a lot about men and relationships a while ago. She was at the beginning of a relationship and asked me the question: what is a good man and how do I know that I choose the right man? Of course, you never know for sure, but we can look at what the Bible says about relationships and men, and from that we can make our choices as we pray.
First, I want to say that relationships are very beautiful, but also very difficult. There is no such thing as the ideal man or the ideal woman. My husband and I have been married for 13 years, we’ve been through many ups and downs, and we probably have many more. Every relationship is different because every person is different, some couples will have to fight harder for a good relationship than others. There is no format for the ideal man or woman and certainly not for the perfect relationship. However, we can look at what the Bible says and look for a good foundation for a relationship. How should you position yourself in a relationship, what is a good basic attitude and what are the good qualities of a possible future partner?
What does the Bible say about relationships?
In the Song of Songs we find all beautiful texts about the relationship between man and woman. It is very valuable for yourself to read it once. You will find a beautiful pure passion for each other there. Now let’s go to another book of the Bible to read some very familiar texts about marriage.
Also, be humble toward one another, out of reverence for God. Wives, serve your husbands modestly and lovingly, as you serve the Lord. For the husband is the head of his wife, just as Christ is the head of his church. He takes care of his body. Just as the church serves Christ in all things, the wife must serve her husband in all things.
Husbands, love your wives as Christ loves his church. He sacrificed himself for the church! … Likewise, every husband should love his wife. He must love her as much as he loves himself. After all, man and woman have become one. A man who loves his wife loves himself. No one hates their own body. Everyone takes care of it and feeds it. Christ does the same for his church. For we are body parts of his Body. It is written in the Books that a man and his wife are one: “Therefore a man must leave his father and mother and love his wife and be faithful to her. From that moment they are one whole.” It has a hidden meaning. I tell you this is about the unity of Christ and His Church. So the husbands should love their wives as much as they love themselves, and the wives should respect their husbands.
This piece is specifically about married couples, but if we get to the heart of it, we see that it can also apply to starting relationships. Paul here sets an important foundation for a relationship. We can use this foundation as a guideline when we are at the beginning of a relationship. We can even make a small list of characteristics from these verses to determine the type ‘well’ man to describe:
- He must be in awe of God
- He must love himself
- He must be able to love his partner
Good qualities of a man
The three points above can be taken from Paul’s words. We go a little deeper into it:
- He must be in awe of God;
If you are looking for a partner who believes in God, if he believes that God is the creator of heaven and earth, that everything comes from him and everything in him has its purpose (Romans 11:36), then you are building the same . cut. You share the most important thing in your life together.
- He must love himself;
This is not to say that he should not be insecure about himself, it will be impossible to find a partner! It means, I think, that he takes care of himself and takes responsibility for himself.
- He must be able to love his partner.
It is not just love, it is a sacrificial love that Paul describes here. A love that Christ sacrificed himself for the church.
At the beginning of a relationship, this is a love that you can hardly distinguish. Love must grow. You can recognize this kind of love by the priorities the other person sets: is he vulnerable, can he share, does he allow you into his life, is he interested in your thoughts and feelings?
Good qualities of a woman
What we often have to realize in relationships is that the relationship consists of two people: him and you. With the women, Paul writes that we must be modest and loving, and that we must have respect for our partner. Pay attention to this! We often want to change our partner, make him the ideal, perfect man we dreamed of before we could speak, but beware! Be humble and loving in this. Respect who he is at that moment, learn to accept the person in front of you as he is. This is the worship that Paul writes about.
Are you longing for a love affair?
We read in Ephesus that marriage has a hidden meaning. It speaks of the unity of Christ and the church. The desire you have for a relationship is the same desire Christ has for His church. Tell him your wish, he understands you!
I want to thank you for the sacrificial love you have for your church. I want to thank and praise you for loving me so much. You who are so great and so full of love and so full of longing for Your Bride, the Church.
You also know my longing, my longing for a partner. To someone as described in Ephesus, to someone who loves you, loves himself and wants to love me. Will you lead me to this partner?
Until then (and after that, of course) you will be the center of my desire. You who have so much love, You who give so much love. Will you fulfill my wish.
Dorine’s meditation previously appeared on www.zijlacht.nl, a platform for young Christian women, where a short biblical reflection is published every day.’