For those who have navigated through romantic relationships, the health of a relationship is key to going for the long term. It’s been said that romance (and ultimately marriage) is more of a marathon than a sprint: Distance is the goal, not short-lived passion and energy.
And just like in a marathon, health is key to building relationships for the long term. When a relationship is healthy we can be sure that the romance will last longer and hopefully for a lifetime. Most disposable relationships have no semblance of health.
Here are five signs that your romantic relationship—whether in the early stages of courtship or in the late stages of marriage—is a healthy one.
1. Christ Is the Centre
Just like any part of our life, Jesus is to be the centre of romantic relationships. His Honour and His love is to be our motivation and our goal. A relationship that draws each other closer to God and the things of God is one that is bound to remain healthy and to be built for the long term.
2. You Don’t Depend on Each Other for Ultimate Security
As wonderful and securing as relationships can be, relationships are not our ultimate source of security. When we depend too much on our relationships for our needs, we tend to suck people dry. But when we make our relationship with God the primary source of security, then our other relationships only become an overflow of the overwhelming security we find in Jesus Christ.
3. Authenticity, Not Perfection, Is the Goal
James 5:16 tells us, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”
When we try hard to present a fake facade just to appeal to each other’s expectations, we don’t build on strong foundation. A healthy relationship is one that can remain in the truth.
4. Bad Times and Good Times—You’re There in Both Seasons
Proverbs 17:17 says, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”
There’s no reason why a romantic relationship shouldn’t also be born for adversity. We know that romance will not always involve good times. There will be challenges, and healthy relationships are made for both good and bad times.
5. There Is a Mutual Desire to Respect and Love the Other Unconditionally
Yes, unconditional love is not in our nature, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make it our goal. Just as Jesus has mutually loved and respected us, romantic relationships are to be extensions of that unconditional and pure love and respect towards one another. John 13:34 says, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.”