I saw this post to make a “reaction paper” about your past relationship(s). Believe it or not, it is actually a wise advice. The truth is, I actually did that (long long long time ago). Yup, I wrote something that reflected who I am during the relationships. I scrutinized myself (I am harsh to me). I looked upon my own mistakes, reflected upon it and most importantly prayed to God. I contemplated on what should be changed, what should be learned and what should be enhanced.
Now, I was inspired to share my “reaction paper” in the form of a list. Not to brag more over not to offend someone but, hopefully, to help us not to make the same mistakes that costs us the relationship we worked hard to build. Without further ado, here’s the top 10 things I learned from my previous relationships:
- Do not be unequally yoked. Having the same belief towards the same God is highly important and it should not be negotiable. But so much so, I think being “equally yoked” also means having the same beliefs, values and outlook in life as well. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying find someone who is almost exactly like you. The truth is, no one is compatible, and no one will ever be. The key is learning to wisely compromise along the way.
- Do not ignore the red warning signs. The head is higher than the heart for a purpose. Be wise enough to know them – not to judge them, I’m not saying that. I’m saying to ask God for wisdom and for discernment.
- Tame your tongue and emotions. Be wise enough to know what to say at a certain situation, especially if this is boosted by your heightened emotions. Think twice before saying anything that comes to your mind. Know if your comment or suggestion would offend them. Do not let your emotions take control of you, especially anger. Proverbs 15:1 is a useful life verse if you are also having a hard time taming your tongue and emotions, like me.
- Have a life of your own. Do not revolve your world around this person. The title speaks for itself, have a life of your own. Go out with your own friends. But of course know the limitations especially if you’re in a relationship – you can’t always do anything you want, you have to consider the other person. Interdependency is the key.
- Do not make them the source of your happiness. Remember to always choose to be happy whatever the circumstance maybe. Never depend happiness to someone or even to something or even to a situation. Only God should hold the key to your own happiness.
- Say sorry, immediately. Do not be proud. Talk about the issue and try to resolve it, immediately. Believe me, not talking about it complicate things. Face your own insecurities and misgivings. Communicate your feelings properly without making the other person feel that they are being blamed for your negative reaction.
- Let them lead. It is good to let them look for a solution – just step aside and observe, but not condescendingly. I know how we, women, tend to be in control of things, but we really need to let them be the man in the relationship. Pray to God for self-control in being controlling (and bossy). I think, they’ll highly appreciate the support and love.
- Manage your expectations. Do not go after perfection – no one will ever be perfect. Love and accept their flaws instead. Don’t get so disappointed when things go on your way, just let go and choose happiness. Lay all your expectations at God’s feet.
- Copying their emotions. Be brave enough to comfort them when they are sad, to confront their disappointments towards you or to say sorry when they are mad at you. Remember, you cannot put out fire with fire.
- Trust. To build trust you both have to: Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.
Without God’s help, there is no way we can see our own issues all the more resolve them. I, honestly, am still working these out. But what should we do? How do we start? Start by admitting you need help. Then pray to God to help you see the issues you need to resolve, have a heart that is ready to be moved and transformed, lastly trust God in the process.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” – Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)