Dating relationships involve a long list or things to do and things to avoid.
Do participate in a variety of activities together.
Do meet his parents, siblings, and even his dog.
Do take interest in his hobbies and achievements.
Avoid giving up your interests in order to always be together
Avoid limiting activities to “safe” outings that do not inspire deep conversation.
Avoid discussing previous relationships.
Among the things that should be most encouraged when dating, however, is to pray for him.
Do pray for him
If you value your heart and your time, entrust your relationship to God’s care. Pray for the man you are dating. A word of caution here: resist the temptation to pray that God will make him love you or that God will turn him into Mr. Right.
No, engage yourself in genuine, compassionate, selfless prayer. To understand the necessary approach, you may want to read Chelsea Walker’s article titled, “If You Love a Man, Pray for Him.”
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Effective prayer always centers on God. So, put God first. Thank God for bringing this person into your life. Ask how you can be Christ’s light in this relationship. Ask what God would have you learn from this relationship. Ask for clarity on which direction to take the relationship.
Remember, God is a loving father and desires good things for you. If you have done your best to practice Christian virtue, yet the relationship often leaves you feeling burdened, it might be time to detach yourself and move on.
Avoid relying on happiness
A genuinely good relationship is one that allows you to grow in holiness. Happiness is a fabulous byproduct of finding a great man, but the relationship should not be judged solely on how much happiness it brings you. In other words, if the relationship is not bringing happiness, that does not automatically mean it is time to end it.
When you run into a rough spot, step back and look at the situation objectively. Ask yourself if this situation is bringing out something you need to work on. Is the problem with the interaction between the two of you? Or is there a virtue you need to practice and develop in order to be a better person for anyone to date?
Certainly, no one is perfect. However, we must be mindful of our personal journey toward heaven. Do you feel that you are doing your part in seeking God’s for your life?
Are you frequenting the sacraments and continuing with a regular personal prayer life? Do you genuinely desire God’s will for the other person, even if that path does not include you?
Love means you pray for him, even if God asks you to ride out the rough patches and grow in virtue.
Love means you pray for him, even if God asks you to confront him with something he needs to work on. Love means you pray for him, even when God is telling you it’s time to release the relationship and let go.
A Prayer for Him
Dear Lord, I thank you for this man you have brought into my life. I thank You that when I am with him, I experience a portion of Your goodness and light. I pray that I may bring a similar portion of Your goodness and light to him as well.
Dear Lord, bless this relationship to be fruitful in bringing each of us closer to You. Guide us in the direction you would have us go, whether together or apart. I pray we will always be able to recognize and support the good in one another.
I pray for him, that he may see himself as You see him. And I pray for myself, that I too may see him with Your loving eyes. Amen.
Practice a marriage prayer
Once you have found the lifelong partner God has arranged for you, it is important to understand that the two of you have a job of getting each other to heaven.
The man must listen intently to God’s advice in order to properly guide his wife and children. And the wife must pray for him to have a clear understanding of what God’s advice is. She should also pray for a humble heart to trust and follow her husband’s lead.
Marriage requires much love and sacrifice. It is difficult to life with someone for a lifetime. Although the two of you may have begun your relationship with many things in common, it is still difficult to journey together on a similar mission.
This common missionary work strains under changing requirements and focus. The most common mission you will have together is to raise little ones for the Kingdom of God.
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Even though your marriage vows have required you to love each other “for better or worse” it is challenging at times to do the same for your children who have come to the marriage as blessings through the hand of God. Children demand much care from both parents when they are young and small. They also require guidance and discipline from both parents as they grow. It can be overwhelming at times to manage the growing family and also look after the daily household needs and support your spouse.
Truly, putting your husband’s needs foremost in your mind and prayerful heart can be difficult, especially when you are tempted to think that he should be able to take care of himself.
Yet, your husband is the leader of the family—the captain of the ship—he steers you in the direction the family will go. So, it is very important to pray for him to guide you all on a holy path.
When your heart is aching for your children to follow the narrow path of holiness, pray first that your husband will have the wisdom and courage to lead your children correctly toward God.
A Marriage Prayer
Dear Lord, I thank You for this marriage. I thank You for bringing my husband and me together in this sacred marriage covenant.
May we never tire of encouraging one another toward holiness. May we diligently work together in the service of Your people. May we cheerfully sacrifice together for the sake of raising little ones for Your Kingdom.
Bless us with the graces needed to fulfill our earthly duties. May we be ever trusting in You and submissive to Your will.
Dear Lord, I pray particularly that you would inspire my husband to seek Your holy will for our family. Speak clearly to his heart. Give him the courage necessary to follow Your commands and lead his family in the way we should go.
When we do not agree on how to approach a difficult situation, bless him to seek first Your Kingdom. Bless me also, Lord, with a softness of heart that allows me to trust in him as Your faithful servant. Amen.