Before I began writing about how awesome my relationship is, I should make sure that you know that I am a FIRM believer in having a relationship with God before having a relationship with anyone else. I should also be clear in stating that my relationship with Matthew is by no means perfect and I'll never claim it to be. But I do know that no matter what happens, he was an answered prayer.
1. Dating to Marry.
One of the sweetest things that attracted me to Matthew is that he had never been a relationship. He is quite the cutie so he had plenty of offers, but I was the only one he pursued. That is such an honor to me. I, however, wish I had been so smart. I had boyfriends all throughout high school because I felt that I needed to be validated, but the only one that needs to approve of me did so a LONG time ago. Luckily, he has the same values as me and isn't dating me just to have a girlfriend. We're dating with the intentions of spending the rest of our lives being disciples of Christ together.
2. No Pressure!
From the beginning, boundaries were set and agreed upon. If one of us doesn't like what's going on, we have no problem saying, WOAH! I'm not okay with this, and here's why. That, to me, is one of the most comforting things about any relationship. I know that I am always respected and I will always respect him.
3. Forgiveness Comes With Compassion.
When we fight, we fight GOOD. I'd be scared if we didn't fight. Since we both know that Jesus came to Earth knowing He had to die on the cross to forgive us, how could we not forgive each other for mistakes and misunderstandings? I'll be the first to admit that Matthew is much quicker to forgive than I am. However, he has accepted that and loves me unconditionally still. (Sound like another guy you know?)
"To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you." - C.S. Lewis
4. Understanding and Acceptance.
Matthew and I have been together for over three years now, from high school to the first few years of college: two different colleges. I'd be lying if I said a long distance relationship isn't hard. It's way harder than I ever imagined and there are plenty of days that I want to give up. But, when we decided to attend different schools, three hours away from each other, we set some more boundaries. We agreed that if either one of us felt that our relationship was getting in the way of our school work or our relationship with God, we'd talk about it and if the problem didn't get better, we'd step back from each other. I honestly believe that because we made this promise to each other, understanding our priorities and accepting one another's goals, we're growing stronger as a couple.
5. Motivation for Self-improvement.
We're both always looking for ways to not only enhance our walk with Christ but our journey to continue to find ourselves. There's a mutual respect and support for each other, and we both try to motivate and compliment each other as often as possible. We are constantly trying to find things to do that make us better Christians.
6. Couples That Pray Together Stay Together!
I heard this statement a lot growing up. But now that I have actually grown up, I'll be passing it on. Neither one of us prayed out loud often, especially around someone else. It wasn't until this past year that we began praying with each other. The first time we decided to pray out loud to each other, he prayed first, and began with me. That is hands-down the sweetest thing he does for me and I can't think of anything more attractive.
7. Always Have Someone to Grow in Faith With.This is Matthew's favorite perk. As I began writing this post, I asked him for his favorite thing about being in a relationship with me. His exact words were, "Just knowing I have some one to talk to about God if I ever needed it." I love knowing that if we have questions, we can find the answer together. I also love knowing that he knows he can come to me with anything.
There are many more positive things that come with dating a good ole southern Christian boy, but those are my top seven. I've been blessed with a relationship that helps me grow in every part of my life. Thanks Matthew for always being there and for inspiring this post. I love you!