Thursday, March 13, 2014
Guy/Girl: The truth about compatibility
This is the second installment in our Guy/Girl series. In this post, Krista discusses compatibility, the truth of it, and what really matters in relationships.
We live in a world where we have become used to things getting tailor fitted to us and to our satisfaction. We buy clothes and can easily get them altered. We can pick and choose ingredients or meal components when we eat out for dinner. We can easily pick and choose which music we want to listen to while we are at the gym or driving.
Compatibility is all around us and is fast becoming one of the priorities that people look at when finding friendships and guy/girl relationships. Culture has also started to highly value marriage compatibility, as various media sources suggest. It is common belief that meeting a person who measures up to certain requirements (similarities in personality and hobby) will mean that a marriage will turn out better. However, since Genesis 3, Romans says that because of Adam and Eve, the whole race fell (see Rom. 5). This means that since then, sin entered the world, making human relationships difficult and complicated. Therefore, an implication is that whenever there are two people dating, they are immediately incompatible and conflict can easily build up.
Before you lose all hope, though, there is good news! Jesus came and died for our sins on the cross and we can receive a new heart with a personal relationship with Him. The Gospel is what allows us to love others and help fix our friendships and relationships because Jesus becomes the rightful center and focus of it. Our God-given desires now allow us to focus on loving and serving others rather than loving and serving ourselves.
What does all this mean, then? This means that when we enter into a dating relationship, we do not seek to be served or satisfied by someone's list of qualifications or similarities that we share with them. Sure, we can always be grateful and rejoice in enjoying such relationships, but our perspective should be focused on glorifying the Lord.
This means that Biblically, compatibility can be defined simply as this: a Christ follower should date and marry a true Christian as well. It sounds simple, but it can be a command from Scripture that we can struggle to follow (see 2 Cor. 6). Charles Spurgeon was noted to have likened dating/associating with an unbeliever to be like one person on top of a table trying to pull another person up onto the table. It's more likely that the person on top of the table is pulled down, rather than someone getting pulled up. It may seem like a hard rule, but dating an unbeliever is never worth it.
Rather than focusing our efforts and time into finding someone who fits our self-imposed checklist, God commands us to marry only another Christian and love them (see 2 Cor. 6). This means that compatibility is not a given but rather something that you might have to work for. It is only possible through Christ's continuing work in our hearts.
Dating is a modern society's way of meeting people of the opposite sex and introduces a possibility of a committed relationship. While its practices are not necessarily rooted in Biblical tradition, I do believe that Christ can redeem a dating relationship. How? First, Christ-centered dating is focused on glorifying the Lord by pursuing a committed relationship with the possibility of marriage in mind. Second, a dating relationship can be redeemed when the girl and guy are wise during the process and open to God renewing and transforming their mind according to the Bible.
Join us again soon for part 3 of our Guy/Girl Relationships series!