the art of Getting Along with Others

I have Romans 12:9-21 sectioned off in my Bible and labeled as “how to get along with others”.

People (including me) seem to have such difficulty with this. Getting along with others is something that adults and guardians drive into our brains as soon as we become functioning, social beings. Share your toys. Say “please” and “thank- you”. Wait your turn. If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. Treat others the way you want to be treated.

Somewhere between preschool and adulthood it seems like this art of “getting along with others” is either somewhat forgotten, or completely lost altogether. Why does it become harder to get along? Why does it get harder to treat others politely, and with kindness?

Maybe it’s because we grow up and realize that not everyone is as good as we thought. Maybe it’s because everyone begins to develop more diverse personalities, which makes it easier to clash with one another. Maybe as we age, the world seems to get colder and people seem to get harsher. We realize that not everyone can be a winner, and since we all want to be a winner, we do everything we can to beat down the competition.

Whatever the reason, it’s a shame (to put it in my dad’s words) that the simple art of “getting along” is such a hard concept for most of us to grasp.

So, for the world’s convenience, and built around scripture found in Romans 12:9-21, I have put together the Comprehensive, All-in-One, Complete Lesson and Guide to Getting Along with Others 🙂 if everyone would read this, the world’s problems would be solved right?

Right.

Lol.

getting along with others

Starting in verse 9,Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. (10) Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Seems fairly simple, right? You know, in the King James Version (my fave version, btw) love is replaced with charity. Charity is any action that may require sacrifice of yourself for the benefit of others.

Charity is goodwill towards others without worrying about what kind of sacrifice you have to make for yourself. So love others with sincerity. Place the happiness of others before the happiness of yourself, hate what is evil, and cling to what is good.

Don’t fall into the pressures of sin. If people around you are engaging in a particular sin, leave them, but continue to love them from a distance. Cling to the goodness. Cling to the good you see in others. Cling to the love, joy and peace of God, and then throw it around like sprinkles on everyone else’s ice cream.

Verses 11-13 are centered around your relationship with God. Which makes sense, because your relationship with God is the foundation for all other 3elationships. “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” I’ve noticed that my attitude towards others changes when I’m in a low period in my relationship with God. I’m more impatient, less forgiving, and less cheerful when I’m not focused on God. Human beings, despite how frustrating they can be at times, become much more lovable when you look at them through God’s love.

Verses 14-20 are pretty self-explanatory, “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord. On the contrary: ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.’”

Bless those who persecute you. I have this mindset that when others ridicule you or speak badly of your good deeds, it’s either because they see something in you that they are jealous of, or they something in themselves that they hate. This mindset gives should give you all the more reason to love on them. Whatever ugly things they have to say about you only show their true colors, and also just proves how much more love they really need.

Mourn with those who mourn– this one is easy. Rejoice with those who rejoice– this one is not. Don’t ask me why. I guess it’s just our human nature to automatically be jealous when good things happen to other people. The solution to this is to look at everyone around remembering that they are children of God, and precious in His sight. If they are precious to God, they should be precious to you. If their life is important to God, it should be important to you, and rejoicing with one another’s victories is the sweetest proof of love.

Do not take revenge when someone hurts you, instead, give help to them when they need it: “if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Or in other words, kill them with kindness. The focus of this point is, repaying good for evil is an awesome testimony of God’s love. It paints the perfect picture of mercy and forgiveness. Instead of hurting those who hurt you, be an example of a life lived in a better way. Give them a reason to wonder what you have that fills you with such grace.

There you have it! Betsy’s Comprehensive, All-in-One, Complete Lesson and Guide to Getting Along with Others. Seems pretty simple. Yeah? I just solved all the world’s problems, right?

I love, love, love these passages of scripture, and the lessons taught here can be found in so many other places in the Bible, specifically in Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew 5-7.

I am a huge believer that your day-to-day living is the greatest testimony you have. The way you live your daily life is proof of where your focus is and where your heart dwells. You can choose to show others that your heart dwells in the world, or that it dwells in Jesus.

 

 

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My Dear Single Girl: Lessons Learned from A Non – Single Girl

I wrote this post a little differently from my previous ones. This post started out as a ramble in the notes section of my phone, but I began to see some good lessons in my babbling and decided to make a blog post out of it :-). The words that are italicized are part of the original writing, and they are absolutely straight from my heart, so I decided to leave them in there.

My Dear Single Girl: Lessons Learned from a Non-Single Girl

My Dear Single Girl_

Maybe we agreed to trudge through life together because we thought we could fill all the cracks in each other’s hearts. We thought we could close in the gaps for each other. Maybe we thought that this arrangement between us would clean up all the mess inside us, we thought that it would wipe away the hurt and the heartache that others left behind for us.

But I’m learning that that’s not how love works. Love works in the mess and the heartache, it doesn’t erase it. Love sticks through it. Being in love with another person doesn’t put the chaos in your heart back in order, it chooses to stick with you through the chaos.

If you’re looking for someone to fix you, you’re looking in all the wrong places. If you need someone to clean up your mess, look up to Heaven, not around on this Earth.

When we signed up for this, we didn’t know that sometimes love would be the cause of the mess and the worry and the hurt. That sometimes, love would turn its back and refuse to speak. We didn’t know that love wouldn’t always cultivate happiness, or that some days or weeks or months, happiness would be nowhere to be found.

Maybe I thought that you would always love me well, and maybe you thought I could always love you well. Maybe that’s why we chose each other, we were hoping to be loved perfectly by another person. Maybe we thought that we could be the cure for each other’s loneliness. We didn’t know that affection and kindness wouldn’t always come easy. We didn’t understand that just because you love someone, it doesn’t mean you’ll always feel affection for them.

I’m learning now that no one can love me perfectly except The One. During seasons of singleness, we look for the one that we think is going to love us perfectly and deeply no matter what we do. We don’t realize that we’re actually just searching for Jesus. And even when you’re in a relationship, maybe you still expect him to love you perfectly, and so when he inevitably fails, you crumble. Maybe all the things you’re searching for in a relationship with a guy are really only things that you can find perfectly in a relationship with Jesus.

Maybe we checked “agree” without really reading all the conditions. The conditions that said in order for the relationship to last, sometimes a lot of times, you’ll have to lay down your happiness. The conditions that would’ve told us that by agreeing to this relationship, we will learn how to sacrifice like we’ve never had to before, that we would learn how much pride and selfishness we really have in our hearts. We would’ve been prepared for the difficult and heartbreaking moments, the days that feel empty even though the person you love is sitting right next to you.

The promise between two people in love doesn’t guarantee happiness or an easy life.

The promise between two people in love guarantees growth. We are guaranteed another person to struggle and hurt with. We’re making a promise to another soul to keep choosing each them every day no matter what.

I’ve said it before and I’ll probably keep saying it until the day God calls me home: the deeper I go into understanding God’s love, the more I realize how terribly I fail at showing His love. I’m learning more and more that a relationship is not for my own benefit, it’s for the other person’s. And ultimately, a relationship (with anyone) is for the glory of God. I’m learning that if I go into a relationship for the purpose of fulfilling something in my life that I believe to be missing, I’ll never be satisfied.

So, why then, do you choose someone to be in a relationship with? What’s the point? And how do you choose them?

You choose them because you see something special in their heart, something placed there by God. Choose the one that has a love that resembles the love of God.

Choose someone who loves you and others in a way that reminds you of the way God loves.

Choose the person who is going to protect your relationship with him, with others, and with God.

Choose them because you see godly characteristics in them- forgiveness, patience, kindness, and faith. And then you love them for who they are not for how they love you.

When you are looking for the one, choose them because you have a desire to add joy to their life, and you want to help them grow and you want to encourage their walk with Christ. Don’t be looking for someone if your only focus is to see how much they can do for you or how well they can love you.

Don’t check “yes” if you expect them to fulfill everything for you, or to be your sole source of happiness and purpose. That’s not what they are. They are a companion to help you grow and learn. They are someone to help you honor God. Part of the purpose of your relationship is to be a godly example and to be a picture of the love of God to others. They are simply someone to walk through life with, because God knew that it would be easier for us if we didn’t have to do this life alone.

“relationship goals”

A society obsessed with the image of love but unwilling to put real work into a crumbling marriage.

A young teenage girl pining over her first kiss.

A freshman girl gawking over all these new cute guys all over campus.

Boys that can’t commit to a single girl.

Grown men that whistle at me and my sisters and friends.

Longing for a relationship just so you don’t have to be alone anymore.

Waking up to a different face in their bed every morning.

Dating for “fun”, not for marriage.

 

What has happened to the relationship between men and women? What has happened to love?

Love has turned into “relationship goals”

29bb4d11ed305ca0a0797a11115030fa

#relationship goalseating pizza together, buying a puppy together,

cheering on your favorite team together, having him take you shopping,

expensive dates, traveling together, dreamy vacations,

being silly, sweet good morning messages,

cooking, cleaning, singing, laughing together,

cuddling under blankets, dancing around the kitchen together,

singing and dancing in the rain,

These are the things I longed for as a young teenager. These are the only things that I thought made up a relationship. Things that turned a boy into a boyfriend and best friend all in one. Things that made all the other girls wish they had what I did. The cutesy, flirty texts. The butterflies that never go away. Things that bring joy and fun and laughter to two people in love.

A real relationship is not solely made up of cute dates and pictures, butterflies, and goofing off. All these “goals” paint a picture of a fun, smiley, cutesy relationship, but that’s not always the reality. This damages our perception of our own relationship or our expectations for a future relationship. Of course, these things that people label as “relationship goals” make life with another person fun. So maybe not relationship goals, maybe just… relationship perks, relationship extracurriculars, relationship luxuries, etc… 🙂

#relationship goals

Glorifying these “goals” all over social media gives us girls (and also guys) false expectations of a relationship. These things should not be our goals.

My goal is to learn to love someone who isn’t always lovable.

My goal is to become a godly woman worthy of a godly man, to learn how to serve my future husband in love and with respect.

To be able to swallow my pride and put someone else’s happiness above my own

To look into the eyes of someone who has wronged me and genuinely say “I forgive you”

To look into the eyes of someone I have wronged and admit “I’m sorry”

My goal is to love him like Christ loves me

My goal is to allow him to live and love freely, without trying to change him into who I *think* he should be

To be able to serve the Lord together, with no other motivation other than love

To learn to grow together, both as a couple and as individuals

My goal is to for both of us to point each other toward Christ and encourage our walks with Him.

To be able to use our relationship to spread the love of God toward others.

My goal is to be able to laugh together, cry together, argue, struggle, accuse, forgive, apologize, encourage, uplift, respect, and love each other.

My goal is build a lasting relationship with another human being founded securely on our relationship with God.

I know that a relationship is not easy. I’m learning that. I’m learning that you can’t have these expectations that everything is going to rainbows and sunshine all the time. When two people, with two different sets of DNA, two different upbringings, and separate strengths, weaknesses, and personalities, decide that they want to go through life together, there will inevitably be difficult times. There will be hours of tears and nights of regret. You will wrestle with confusion and struggle with doubts and fears. But despite all the differences, two people with a love for each other and a love for Christ will endure the hardships. Two people whose goals are to serve the Lord in their relationship will last.

If you are single, don’t allow these “goals” pictures force you into a relationship that you’re not ready for or that isn’t right for you. Wait for a guy that you can serve the Lord with. Wait for the guy that values your heart as well as your relationship with God. Pray that God turns you into the woman that you are meant to be before rushing into a relationship just because you’re tired of being alone. Don’t expect falling in love with someone to always be easy. Don’t give yourself false expectations because of all these “relationship goals”. Don’t expect perfection, because trust me, you won’t find it. You’ll have to learn to love his flaws and all the things that make him who he is. You’ll have to struggle at times. You’ll have to be able to put down your pride. You’ll have to learn what it truly means to put another person’s happiness above your own. But it’s beautiful. Despite the hardships, a relationship built around the love of God is truly beautiful. Wait for that kind of love.

Cling to the relationship goals that will bring you into a lasting, godly, relationship. Cling to the goals that will point each of you towards a godly marriage, and ultimately, a godly life.

 

the different ways practical grace changes your life

Grace.

What comes to mind when you hear the word “grace”? I often hear things like living in grace, seeking grace, and showing grace, and I wonder if grace is just a word we use when we want to sound flowery and elegant, or if we really allow its meaning to take root in us and play out in our daily lives. Grace makes us think of elegance and refinement, of love, charm, and pretty things, but what does practical grace look like?

Grace: (n.) courteous goodwill, polite manner of behaving, unmerited favor, undeserved kindness

practical grace

What paints a picture of this definition of grace?

Speaking words of love instead of hate in the heat of an argument shows grace.

Forgiveness that precedes an apology, or forgiveness despite the absence of an apology shows grace.

A smile, “please”, “thank you”, or even just a friendly “hello” to strangers.

Keeping calm when people are rude

Letting go of wrongs instead of looking for revenge

Being present in someone’s life during their time of need shows grace.

Giving up your time, energy, or resources to help someone else.

You know what else shows grace?

A man hanging on a cross and giving His life for people who hated him.

We have the gift of unlimited grace. The most holy, righteous, perfect, and awesome being in existence has extended limitless and abounding grace to the lowest of creatures in existence. Yet it’s often so difficult for we poor creatures to show grace to each other.

When grace flows through your actions:

You forgive without expecting an apology. Forgiveness derives from your relationship with God, not other people’s actions. We are to forgive all things in others because God forgave all the worst things in us. That doesn’t depend on whether or not the person is “sorry”. (Matthew 6:14-15)

You serve others without expecting anything in return. The foundation of grace is undeserved kindness- showing love or making sacrifices for someone who can do nothing for you. Your service is driven by your love for others and your love for God, not by your interest in how others can repay you. You attend to the needs of others because God has given you the ability and opportunity to do so. (1 Peter 4:10-11)

Kind words will flow out of you. A person who lives out their life in grace has no use for harsh or unkind words. There is no place for hateful language in forgiveness, kindness, love, or anything grace influences. (Proverbs 16:24)

Coming at this from a slightly different angle- there is a lot of hate, sadness, anger, and division in this world, and particularly in our country at this moment. What if we chose grace instead, and everything that encompasses it- love, forgiveness, respect, and understanding? What difference would we see?

I love the idea of grace. I love the way it sounds and all the implications of it- elegance, kindness, charm, beauty. But real grace is more than just an idea. It’s daily actions played out in your life and mine that guide others towards love and towards Jesus. There are so many different ways we can show grace to those around us. Grace influences us in so many aspects of our lives. Grace is a beautiful concept, and it’s even more beautiful when you live by it.

real love is not for the faint of heart

Relationships are hard.

Loving someone more than yourself, being selfless and patient, and putting another person’s happiness above your own is no easy task to take on. Every guideline and standard that God has set for us in His Word to follow in a relationship are hard things to keep up with.

Lots of grace. Forgiveness. Patience. Lots of humility.

greater love has no one

I’m still a pretty good distance from marriage, but I desire a God-centered marriage more than anything else in life. So learning how to use God’s love that He has put inside me is so important to me. The unfortunate thing is, the deeper I go into learning about loving like God loves, the more clearly I begin to see my weaknesses; and the more I realize that sustaining a Godly relationship throughout changing circumstances- good days, bad days, distance, hurt feelings, disappointment- is not a chore *ahem* privilege for the faint of heart. I’m realizing more and more that the sincerity of God’s love towards us is far deeper than I could ever understand.

The strain that has been put on my relationship this past school year- with distance, conflicting schedules, and added stress that we haven’t had to deal with before, has revealed a lot to me about the humble, self-sacrificing nature of love. It has also revealed to me how short I fall in showing this unselfish love.

*side note: girls, when you find someone that shows you unconditional love despite your failures, keep him. I’m not talking about apathetically accepting your apologies or half-heartedly attempting to understand your weaknesses. I’m talking about the nights that you’re in tears because you have hurt the one you love, and he sits there and thanks God for you. I’m talking about when you give up and turn your back on him and he continues to choose you anyways. I’m talking about true, sincere, acceptance of your failures. When you find the one that understands your shortcomings rather than judges them, hold on to him. I think I’m learning that any failure can be overcome with the right amount of genuine, Godly, love.

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8

Learning to love like God loves is important, because ultimately, in a God-orchestrated marriage, our love reflects God’s love.

I love the way Stephen and Alex Kendrick put it in, The Love Dare Day by Day: A Year of Devotions for Couples, “God masterfully orchestrated marriage to reveal the beauty of His glory… Our love is founded in the truth that God is love. And our love provides a living portrait of the gospel- Christ’s unconditional love for His people, His church, [and] His bride”.

If I don’t love my boyfriend/spouse/etc… selflessly, unconditionally, kindly, patiently, humbly, etc… what am I saying about God’s love for me? How we love others should reflect Christ’s love for us.

Looking back into past relationships, I used to place ALL the blame of the failure of those relationships on the other person. I used to believe that I knew what it meant to genuinely love unconditionally (can I get a resounding L O L), so obviously the reason it didn’t work out is because the other person was in the wrong. However, I didn’t know the first thing about truly putting another person’s happiness above my own, and even though I’ve grown A TON, I still don’t know how to do it that well.

Selfless loving is not simply going to Zaxby’s even though you really wanted Chick-Fil-A, nor is it going to see their movie instead of the one you wanted to see. I’m learning that loving humbly and unconditionally means encouraging their dreams even though those dreams might put distance between the two of you for a period of time and a burden on the relationship. I’m learning that selfless loving is giving up your time, comfort, energy, and sometimes happiness in order to support their growth and joy. Loving someone like God loves means showing patience and understanding rather than judgment when they fail.

True love looks a lot like laying down your pride and choosing to show forgiveness and understanding, even though you may never get recognition or thanks for it.

True love looks like putting down your wants and needs in order to fulfill the needs of someone else.

Sincere, honest to goodness, true love looks like consistently choosing the joy and comfort of another person in the easy moments and in the difficult moments.

True love looks a lot like Christ laying His life down for people who hated Him.

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” John 15:13

The depth of humility that true, Godly, love requires is deeper than I could have ever imagined. The love of God is so deep and so sincere that I could write until I draw my last breath and never do it justice. I want that love inside me. I want that deep, sincere, love of God to flow freely from my heart. For anyone in the position that I’m in- too young for marriage, but still looking seriously into a future husband- the best thing that you can do at this point is learn how to love like God loves. Use the time you have now to truly embrace the depth of God’s love, and learn how to show it towards others.

two ways complaining turns into a dangerous addiction

I’ve been around a certain young woman lately, who I don’t believe I’ve ever heard a positive word come out of her mouth. Every time I’m around her, she’s complaining about something. It could be anything– even stuff that has nothing to do with her. And it’s come to a point where I no longer look forward to being around her. I dread even having to be near her. Her constant complaining drains me.

dangerous addiction

But, you know, who am I to be talking? I’m this way sometimes. Some days, it seems like there’s nothing more than troubles and complaints in my heart. We all can be this way. And sometimes, we actually get excited over getting to chime in with other people’s complaints. Misery loves company.

We love to complain, to talk about our problems. It seems like so many of us have formed an addiction to talking about our troubles. We crave the attention from other people. We crave other’s sympathy. We feel as if everyone else needs to know how hard our life is and exactly everything we’re having to put up with, and we need others to give our poor souls pity for all our hardships.

And sometimes, it turns into a competition.

Oh, she’s going through that? Well, listen to what I have to put up with…

Complaining turns into a dangerous addiction, and here’s why:

The first reason is being a constant complainer makes you an extremely unpleasant person to be around. That sounds harsh, but think about this: who is the best, happiest, person you know? Who is the most pleasant person that lights up your day the moment you see them? Are they a complainer? Do they spread their sorrow, or their joy? My guess is that they spread joy instead of complaining.

We shouldn’t need to or want to share our sorrows. We should want to share our joys. Don’t we all want to be the girl that fills every room she enters with light and love? Don’t we all want to be the type of friend that has such a comforting and positive attitude, others are instantly at ease the moment they see us? I would love to be that girl. Everyone else on this Earth has enough of their own troubles without me going to them and complaining about all mine. They don’t need more sorrows compounded on top of theirs, they need happiness. That’s what this world needs from you: happiness, not bitterness.

Also, restraining yourself from constantly complaining shows others a glimpse of the joy of Christ. Even if people do know some of your trials- your constant joy will stand out to them. Your persistent contentment despite whatever you’re going through can be an example to others of how the presence of Christ in your life has changes you.

This addiction to complaining squashes your ability to spread the love, joy, and peace of God.

The second reason is constant complaining causes you to require others’ attention instead of God’s.

Talking about your problems can sometimes be an outlet, but instead of talking to people, you should be talking to God. When you complain to people, you’re subconsciously reaching out for help and comfort. You expect others to fulfill your need for sympathy, but people won’t always feel sorry for you. People sometimes won’t even care. And when they don’t give the sympathy we sometimes crave, our complaining becomes more persistent to even more people. And then you end up never finding peace or comfort.

You can find more comfort in Jesus than you can in anyone here on Earth, because Hebrews 4:15 says…

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.”

Jesus has been exactly where we are. He’s walked this Earth as one of us. He knows how it feels to be hurt or rejected or ignored. Any pain we feel, He’s familiar with in probably a much deeper way.

That’s why He is the Comforter.

That’s why we can go to Him, instead of people, with our sorrows and trials. He’s able to sympathize with us much better than anyone on Earth can.

You have sympathy from the Son of God, Jesus Christ. You don’t need anyone else’s sympathy here.

misery loves company

That thought alone kind of helps me break my habit of complaining. I don’t need anyone else to know my problems, because God knows. And He can comfort me far better than any person can.

Complaining is a dangerous addiction that keeps us from spreading joy and from living in joy. Misery may love other people’s misery, but misery needs other people’s joy.

love them through the heartbreak

You know what wears on my heart? The pain that so often follows love. The hurt that trails after compassion.

love them through the heartbreaj

 

This is the nature of love- if you care about something, you give that something the power to hurt you when things go wrong. When words are said and things are done and disappointment sets in, the thing that you held so dearly to your heart can so easily break you apart. It’s painful. It’s heartbreaking.

And after the hurt that so often follows after the love, comes the discouragement. The voice shouting this is too hard, it’s time to give up, it just hurts too much –  the lies telling you that your loving this person isn’t worth the pain or heartache.

Those lies present us with a choice. We can give up. We can revoke our love, pack up our heart, and move on out. We can quit trying.

Quit trying to fix that relationship with your sister, father, or old friend.

Give up on the one who stole your heart so long ago the moment they make their first mistake.

Give up on your relentlessly unruly child.

Or-

You can turn around, unpack your heart, move back in, and tell them, my love is not that fragile.

You can choose to stay and muddle through the dirt and the grime just to watch how God moves.

God didn’t place His never-failing, never-ending, love in your heart for you to give up on it the moment things get rough. Y’all, real love doesn’t run the moment feelings get hurt or mistakes get made. Real love is going to hurt. The disappointment, the rejection, the guilt- it hurts. And the hurt is going to discourage you. It’s going to convince you that it’s all just too much for you to bear. It’s not. You have God’s love inside you. His love doesn’t quit on you when you’re disobedient or you reject Him or you disappoint Him.

We’re not just called, we’re commanded to love with this same love- the love that bears all things and endures all things.

God can’t bless your relationships, and he can’t use you through those relationships, if you give up right when it’s about to get real, right when you’re getting to the good stuff. Relationships with anyone- significant other, sister, old friend, new friend, coworker- are going to get hard. You may grow tired, and your heart may get weary, and you’ll want to give up. But God uses you through those relationships. You have to fight through the hurt and the discomfort to get to the beauty.

Love sticks around. Love sticks around through the tear-filled arguments and the stubborn wills and the forced, guilt-ridden apologies. That’s when you find the beauty. When you stick around for the end, when you’ve made it through the heartache, you find the beauty of a real, Godly relationship rooted in real, Godly love.

But you have to quiet the shouts commanding you to throw in the towel and embrace the truth that real love endures, real love bears all things. You have to remind yourself that this person is worth the heartache. Remind yourself that this person is important enough to you for you to stay. You have to choose them. Choose to share the relentless love of God with them.

True love perseveres.

True love doesn’t wait for the other person, it just loves. And it doesn’t give up.

{1 Corinthians 13:7 // Ephesians 4:2 // 1 Peter 4:8 // Proverbs 10:12}

what the perfect Godly man looks like- according to a 13 year old girl (part 2)

Welcome to part 2 of Knowing What to Look for in a Godly Man (adapted from an unknown source by my junior high self)!! It would probably be really beneficial to stop by part 1 first before continuing with part 2 and you can find that here. The second part of this post focuses on kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

godly man

 

Kindness: if a man follows God’s example, he will be kind to ungrateful people and he will be merciful and loving

“But love your enemies, and do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything in back.” Luke 6:35a

Does he treat people more kindly than they deserve?

 

Goodness: this is when he has the tendency to make decisions that are in line with God’s commandments

Look for the man that is devoted to doing good, that wants to teach and be the example of what is good, and that engages in actions that are good.

Does he take time to pray before he makes a decision?

Does he ignore what God says if it’s not what he wants to hear?

Does he do good things for others when he has the opportunity?

 

Faithfulness: remaining true to the commitments he makes

A Godly man will consistently be faithful to his wife and to God. He will support you during tough times. He would never do anything in secret or behind your back.

Would you want your children to act like he does?

Would you be able to trust his reliability during hard times?

 

Gentleness: he should be free from bitterness or harsh words

“Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.” Colossians 3:19

Do not marry a man who treats other people in a way you would not want to be treated, because eventually it will be you.

 

Self-Control: he does not give into lust or any other worldly desire that would go against God’s words

Proverbs 29:11- self- control with temper

Proverbs 18:13- listening before speaking

Proverbs 23:4- self-control with money

Proverbs 6:23-24- self- control with women

Do not make excuses for a guy that pressures you into doing anything that you do not want to do. Self-control is a characteristic that doesn’t come easy, and it should be something that an honest Christian strives to be better at.

 

Extra Questions:

Does his lifestyle reflect God’s word?

Is his speech pure?

Is he envious?

Can he admit his wrongdoing?

Does he love you for who you are, not for what you can do for him?

I realize that this list sets incredibly high standards. I also realize that you will not find a guy on this Earth that is going to fit all this criteria perfectly, but you should find a guy that strives for it

I’m incredibly blessed to have someone that chases after God alongside me, and I’ll forever be thankful that God has given me someone as compassionate and strong as Ridge is. It wasn’t until our relationship that I realized how important it is to me to have someone with a strong commitment to doing the right thing and standing up for what they believe in. Ridge isn’t perfect, but he has a desire to grow and to learn more and to be better and I see the desire for God inside him. No one you are going to meet will be perfect. Everyone is going to have their flaws, but the important thing to see in a man is recognition that he is not perfect, and his never-ending desire for Christ and His perfection.

So, yeah this list has really high standards. You know what though? You are the daughter of the King of the universe- your standards should be high. Do not settle for anyone who is complacent. Do not settle for anyone who doesn’t strive to better constantly. Do not settle for anyone who doesn’t put following Christ their very first priority. He should love God more than he loves you, and his relationship with God should be more important than his relationship with you.

One of the most important decisions you’ll make in life is the person you are going to marry, and you should never let yourself settle for anyone who doesn’t run relentlessly after God and has a burning desire for His righteousness.

what the perfect Godly man looks like- according to a 13 year old

I have recently been digging through some boxes of stuff that my junior high/ high school self stored away in case future Betsy may need it someday. I have pictures, programs from different school functions, prom tickets, and a TON of notes passed between my friends and I. I also have about a thousand and ten notebooks that I used as journals.

perfect godly man

Most of the stuff written in those notebooks would reduce me to a puddle of embarrassment if anyone else besides me read them, because junior high and high school Betsy had a really close relationship with her journals and had some really strange thoughts. But I did find something that I had written that brought me to tears because it truly showed up at just the right moment. There’s absolutely no way that my 13 year old self knew how much I would need what I had written at age 19.

Finding someone you’re compatible with is really hard. And in today’s world, finding a truly Godly man is incredibly difficult. And 13 year old Betsy found a plan for how to find this Godly man, and I’m really thankful I found it 6 years later. (this post is part 1 and I will be posting part 2 soon)

*I’m not taking credit for myself because I’m pretty sure I found this in a book or a magazine, but I didn’t write down where it’s from so I have no source for y’all

Knowing What to Look for in A Godly Man (adapted from an unknown source by my junior high self)

The character of a man that you’re seeking to marry should include the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control {Galatians 5:22-23}

Love: a woman needs to hear a man’s love expressed to her by his words and by his actions

The words of a truly loving man will build you up instead of tear you down, both in private and in public. A man who constantly tears you down does not truly love you. The tone your future husband sets in the home with his words to you will greatly influence your children.

(sidenote: he should love God more than he loves you and his relationship with God should be more important than his relationship with you!!) 

 

Joy: a man who is in a proper relationship with God will experience a sense of well-being and delight in his God.

“May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in your young wife” Proverbs 5:18

Ask yourself:

Does he find joy in me?

Does he live a righteous life that God will bless?

Does he complain, or find things to be happy about?

Is being with him good for your emotional health?

 

Peace: a man who is at peace with God is also a peace-maker; this includes keeping peace in his own relationships and sustaining peace with others

“We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” Romans 5:1

Does he make quarrels worse or better?

Does he enjoy/start drama?

 

Patience: he should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger

Is he defensive or easily angered?

Is he a good listener?

Does he use patient, gentle words, or demanding, manipulative words?

As kind of a pointless sidenote, I also wanted a guy who accepts all my “cute” quirks (I don’t know why I thought I was cute ??), gives me butterflies, and likes turtles. But anyways…

If you’re single, these questions might be awesome standards for you to set for a future potential husband. If you’re not single, these question are awesome to keep your current relationship in check.

Fruits of the Spirit are considered evidence that someone is actively pursuing a life after God. If the man you’re with/ hoping to be with some day doesn’t have these qualities, you may want to rethink the relationship. It should be clearly evident in him that he is actively chasing after God and desires a deeper relationship with Him.

Look out for part 2 (kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control) coming soon!!

choose love // choose people

I don’t like this fad that our generation has fallen into. It’s cool to be heartless. It’s cool not to care. Do what’s good for you and forget everyone else. Take care of you and only you. Be cold-hearted.

And you know what? No.

Why is it appealing to be heartless? Since when did it become a good thing not to care about others? Why is sensitivity something to be embarrassed of? That’s why there’s so much hurt in the world- people are selfish and cold and they don’t take care of the people they love.

choose love (2)

Every morning that your eyes open, you have a choice. You have a choice to show your heart. You could close yourself off- because that’s the easy thing to do, to be selfish. But that’s not how God has called us to live.

You can choose to show love. Choose to unpack your heart for those you love. Sometimes there’s nothing more comforting than knowing that someone else struggles with the same things you do. That you share the same fears, the same worries and anxieties. Choose to be vulnerable. Be transparent. Let others in. Choose to share your weaknesses over your pride. Others need to see that in you. We all need to know that we’re not muddling through life alone.

Stop acting like you don’t care. Stop pretending to be heartless. Choose transparency. Be real. The people I have met that are truly genuine are some of the best people I know. There’s a lot of value in sincerity.

Choose to be love. Show up for your friends. Check in on people that you know are struggling. Hug your parents in public. Kiss your baby brother on the nose. Tell people you love them. Let people know you’re there for them. Stop being afraid of sensitivity and showing love.

And you know, sometimes it hurts. Some days you won’t be happy. You won’t feel like loving. You won’t feel like holding the door or saying “have a good day” or “I’m here for you.” You’ll want to push people away. You’ll be tired. But the world needs you. There’s enough hurt, there’s enough broken hearts and there’s enough weary souls. The world needs your love even on the days that you don’t feel like giving it.

And you know, I’m beginning to think that my happiness isn’t that important. Maybe God isn’t as concerned with my happiness as He is with the difference I make in others’ lives. (But you know what else, how can you genuinely share love and not draw some amount of joy out of it?)

Being heartless doesn’t save you from experiencing pain. Shutting people out doesn’t make you happier. It just causes you to face the pain alone.

Sometimes it hurts, but the world needs your vulnerability. It needs your genuine heart. Your compassion. Your love. The world needs to see where you draw your joy from in the midst of your struggles. The world needs you– genuine, transparent, and vulnerable. Because through your love, through your sincere soul, they’ll get a glimpse of Jesus.