#write31days | October 12th

Last night as I was on my way home from class (at 10pm) my Mom asked if I had written my post for the day yet, which was a no. I have a list of topics I thought about leading up to this month of writing, but I don’t do calculated writing very well, and sometimes something happens during the day that I can’t shake and must write about.  And, I typically write every day, not ahead unless I’m going to be out of town. So, that’s meant some late nights these last couple of weeks.  I have one final paper due for my class, and  that is my goal tonight, so this is a re-post from a previously written article for a site I have contributed to, but I feel like it fits in this series. Also, it’s not been posted here on my blog in entirety and I’ve added little to it as well.

If you’re like me, you have a couple of social media accounts and probably follow a few people you consider your “friends” even though you don’t know them in real life. There’s a few of those people I wish my path would cross with in real life for a coffee shop chat, but that’s another story. #Goals. While scrolling you probably have seen comments on posts of your favorite athletes, writers, actors, celebrities and such that include “#RelationshipGoals”.

We look at a snapshot in time, often perfectly posed, and consider that split second view a goal. But what if we could zoom out of the borders, see the rest of the story, would we change our opinion? That “perfect” view may no longer be our goal.

So many things are going on outside the border…
One just got news that is going to change everything.
Something big is going on within extended family.
The house isn’t really that clean.
The dinner wasn’t really picture perfect.
It was the first date night in months due to schedules, work, school, and commitments.
One let the other down.
Their individual life goals don’t necessarily line up as a couple.
Religion causes major fights.
Somebody puts the toilet paper roll on the “wrong way”.
The trip is a last chance at trying to “reconnect”.
The family doesn’t necessarily “like” the other person.
 They are just two people trying to make it in life.
Just like you.
Just like me.

Life in relationship is hard. Family relationships, friend relationships, dating relationships in my own life and I’ve seen hard in engagements and marriages too in others. If we are honest with ourselves, we all long for the picture perfect relationship. We end up in a race trying to keep up, spending time comparing ourselves to others, working towards what isn’t really significant, forgetting what is most important, hiding the truth for the sake of saving face and overall posing in a life that appears to others as “perfect.”

There is one relationship that is most important above all others and that is relationship with Jesus. Before any relationship with another, Jesus. When we prioritize our time spent in scripture, prayer, community with other believers and studying the Word the circumstances that happen outside the lines of a photo are okay. The ups and downs of life are secure in foundation of Jesus, not in a filtered snapshot photo. This is the heart of my story, that Jesus is enough when you are S I N G L E.

Life on social media is a balancing act, sharing life, protecting what’s sacred, not comparing against others in the newsfeed, and not spending excess time online when it results in feelings of inadequacy, insignificance or insecurity.  This applies to our “online friends” (the people we really don’t know) and our real life friends, both can impact how we view our own relationships. We are also setting an example for those coming up behind us, the ones who will never know life without Internet and social media. They won’t grow up with the family phone in the kitchen where everyone is a part of any conversation you have or the single TV in a house that doesn’t include reality/celebrity life television giving a skewed view of reality.

There are so many teachers and preachers I respect who teach on relationships. One of my favorite who is also a friend is Matt Chandler; Matt (& Lauren) won’t do marriage counseling for anyone who’s been married longer than he and his wife. They haven’t lived those years, and don’t have the experience, but instead work to find someone who has more years of experience to connect couples with. Our #RelationshipGoals should be the same. Look for those who are doing it well, who are ahead of you in years, whether that’s through dating, engagements, or marriage.

What can we learn from them?

How can we come outside the lines, risk vulnerability and ask for help from those ahead of us in relationship experience?

If you are dating someone, how are you individually and together as a couple pursuing Jesus?

If He is the main goal, the picture to others and the picture that is reality will align, even when life is messy outside the lines. Then your dating or marriage relationship will show Jesus and someone will seek you out, because #RelationshipGoals.

Originally posted www.startmarriageright.com

If you’re just joining in from #write31days, I’m so glad you’re here!
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