We didn’t have time to answer all of the questions during the experience on Sunday, but to make sure nobody gets left our we decided to follow up and answer the rest of the questions here.
“How much attention is too much attention, for your significant other? (i.e. can you make an idol out of your partner?)”
We briefly talked about this on Sunday. Every relationship is different and every person has different quotas to satisfy their need for quality time. However, the line we have to avoid is when the relationships shifts to NEED. When you need the other person to feel worth or value or contentment with yourself then it’s gotten to a point where it is unhealthy.
“What is the best way to say “no” to a toxic person?”
Saying no is hard for a lot of us. It’s never easy to feel like you are disappointing people or letting them down. BUT, that doesn’t mean you don’t need to have those hard conversations with people at times. If you’re not heading in the same direction or have the same values you will inevitably have to say no. You don’t have to make it personal or about them. Always find a way to be gracious, but firm.
“If you’ve had sex can you go back to living a pure life in your next relationship and follow what God wants or is it too late?”
Purity isn’t just about sex. Purity is as much or more inward as it is outward. You can always learn from your mistakes and use that as fuel to be better and have better relationships moving forward. Your past doesn’t have to dictate your future. So the short answer is, “YES!”
“Even if you have you restrain yourself outwardly, how bad is it if you’re lusting internally?”
It’s equally as important to strive to have lust in check internally as it is externally. Jesus talked about this when He said the law says not to commit adultery, but I say you shouldn’t look lustfully. It’s great that you’re restraining outwardly, but if you don’t control what’s happening internally it will eventually lead to sin outwardly. This is extremely difficult, but it can be done with filters, boundaries and accountability.
“What if you come from totally different religions?”
Relationships are hard enough without compounding the situation with different beliefs and values. Paul talks about being equally yoked, which is a simple analogy for making sure our relationships are heading in the same direction at the same pace. It’s vitally important to have a shared faith- “missionary dating” rarely works.
“Is it ok to be in a relationship with someone who is a single parent?”
Yes. Again, we put a great deal of emphasis on not where you’ve been but where you are going. Just because someone has a previous failed relationship doesn’t mean there isn’t potential for a great future. But to be fair, this may take a great deal more effort. You aren’t just a dating a person, but a family. Their priorities are likely much different than someone without children.
“Are ideologies potential dealbreakers? Views on same-sex marriage, abortion, etc.”
Potential deal breakers? Yes. It really all depends on the level of dogmatism involved. If it’s something their extremely passionate about and you strongly disagree then you’ll likely end up a constant state of “heated discussion”. We are all different and have different upbringings that form our beliefs, but you shouldn’t have to change what you believe to make a relationship work. It really comes back to the idea of being equally yoked. Relationships work better when they’re headed the same direction.