Relationship Q&A: Part One

Hi!  I am so excited to begin this Q&A series on relationships. This goes beyond just dating. This series will range from singleness to marriage, and everywhere in between.
Disclaimer: I am in no way a counselor, pastor, or claiming to know everything. But- what I am is a friend, an encourager, and I want God to use me however He chooses.  
I sought out wisdom from loved ones, friends I trust, and ones that I know have a heart to minister to those who are in a place where they have been before.

To all the friends & loved ones that I asked to be apart of this, thank you. I know that God will use your stories to impact others and not only that, I am so thankful that you all are using your past, your current situation, and more to glorify Him.

Time for some Q&A…

Q1. How do you keep Christ the center of your relationship?

A1. This was probably the most asked question. I remember before Luke and I started dating, I truly prayed that God would position my heart after His. And I still consistently pray that God would guide me in a way where I would have discernment and peace. When I started dating Luke I made it very clear to him that I wanted to honor the Lord and if at any time I felt God was tugging my heart to end the relationship, I would. This almost sounded like a threat. I constantly asked Luke if he was feeling we should end our relationship, and to pray to God to ask Him to give us a peace or lack of peace when it came to us. I remember Luke was frustrated at one point because I continually was on edge to end it if it was God’s will. Luke then quietly said, “Tay, let’s trust that He will make it clear and stop trying to control it.” I realized that even though I wanted to keep Christ centered, I was focusing more on a “feeling.” So Luke and I prayed and continued to push the other in trusting God, and keeping our hearts and minds centered on Christ. We encouraged one another by sharing what God was teaching us individually during our quiet times. Also by setting boundaries, this helped a lot to help us to not fall into temptation. “It takes two to tango,” which is honestly true, HA. You really have to be pushing each other to glorify Christ and work on not doing anything for selfish gain or pleasure, but rather to be Christ honoring.

Q2. What would your advice be for high school sweet hearts who can’t get engaged yet but are longing for that season? Or even just any couple that wants to be engaged but has to wait?

A2. Wow. Waiting to get engaged felt like a decade for me, HA…which it almost was? Well, 6 years, but in math once its past five you can round up, right? But, I get it. Wanting to be engaged and having to wait can be so frustrating. But, God’s timing is so good. Engagement is such a great season, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes we almost idolize a time, or season, or goal. Our expectations are sometimes set so high that it is so important that we ground ourselves and focus on the now. Really pour into the season that you are in and focus on your relationship with Jesus and your dating relationship. The season you are in is special, and one that one day you will miss many aspects of it. So don’t be in such a rush for the next one. Truly strengthen your relationship with Jesus. Also, respect one another and encourage each other during that time of waiting.

Q3. How do you find contentment in Christ and not seek for it in a person?
Such a good question. Honestly, this is difficult. Whether you are single, dating, engaged, and I imagine when you’re married. But the truth is, no matter how wonderful your significant other is, they have flaws. They’re not perfect. We will be disappointed by others, and it’s just the truth. But…there is one person who is perfect, and who can fulfill the hole in our heart, and His name is Jesus. The best way to find your contentment in Christ is by realizing that this place is not our home. Set your mind on eternity and think, the one thing that lasts is your relationship with Christ, so truly pour into your time with Him. You won’t be left disappointed.

Q4. When do you personally think is a good time/age for a person to be married?

A4. I think every relationship is different and unique. For us, we are getting married young, but I don’t think that necessarily means it’s a good time for everyone. I think it has nothing to do with age as much as it has to do with God’s plan for your life and following Him/ glorifying Him.

Q5. How do you bring up setting boundaries with your boyfriend/girlfriend?
I am pretty blunt. If you know me, you probably know that. I just flat out said, “Luke, I am only comfortable with this, and if you don’t agree with that, then bye.” HA, YIKES. But, I would say to approach it lighter than that. Express your desires to keep Christ the focal point, and figure out a good place for you both to truly honor the Lord in your relationship. If you have to ask “How far is too far…” then maybe you need to change that to, “Is this strengthening our relationship in Christ? If one of you is feeling convicted, then both should respect that conviction. Be yourself and be comfortable to share your heart and if they are a good one, they will respect this, and want to hear you out. Read Can’t Touch This: Physical Boundaries for more on this.

Q6. When should we bring up important conversations/ hard topics?
Wow, this is such a hard subject. Luke and I sort of avoided big conversations because we either were afraid to bring it up, never thought it was an issue, or scared to hurt the other. Most people say they waited until they were engaged to bring up past issues or important topics. But Luke and I didn’t wait for then. We were actually reading some blog that was like “questions to ask your significant other before marriage.” Some of the questions triggered topics we had actually never spoken about. This led to very tough conversations. But, Luke said to me, “Tay, I don’t think I would be able to get down on one knee without first sharing with you a lot of my heart, and without first giving everything to God.” And wow. This was some of the most growth in our relationship. SO good but also SO hard. We both humbled ourselves and were able to share our hearts. We opened up because we had intentions to marry. I would say definitely protect yourself and your future spouse by not oversharing with everyone, because sometimes this is meant to be a strengthening thing between you and the Lord and your significant other.

Q7. How do you tell your significant other something that is difficult from your past?
Pray. Seek wisdom from either a counselor, loved one, or Pastor, or all the above. Every relationship experiences difficult conversations at some point. Although you may have to risk a lot to bring it up, God can use it to bring greater depth and love to your relationship. But you have to be willing to humble yourself, allow God to use your past to bring beauty.

Q8. How did you know that Luke was the one?
Luke and I both agree that we don’t really believe in “soul mates.” I think that we both could have pursued other relationships and made it work, and still think that we could have had our relationships glorify the Lord. However, I have no doubt that the Lord led our paths to be aligned and gave us both the same dreams and goals. God gives us discernment through His word, through our prayer time, and through wisdom from our loved ones/pastor. I think that there are so many qualities within Luke that compliment me so well. He really encourages me. But beyond all of that I am so attracted to how much He wants to honor the Lord in his decisions. I have no doubt in my mind that God gave me a gift within Luke, and I am so excited that he is the one that I am marrying.

Q9. What boundaries did you all have and how have you stayed pure?
This is a big question that I get asked a lot. We have been dating for 6 years so sometimes even strangers will say to me, “How have you not had sex or gone further?” But beyond all of that, purity is more than just not having sex. It’s about glorifying the Lord in your words, actions, and thoughts. It’s hard work. It takes respect, communication, boundaries, and accountability. Be cautious asking people what their boundaries are because some people do not have the same convictions, and you do not want to be tempted or pressured into something you wouldn’t naturally do, just because a friend’s boundaries are what they are. I wrote more about this in Can’t Touch This: Physical Boundaries.

Q10. Is it normal to love someone a lot but question whether they are the one for you? What if there is someone out there that is better?

A10. I think that a lot of times we can get caught up in the world’s mentality of relationships. The world tries to convince us that a person can fulfill us, or that a relationship should complete us. But that’s such a dangerous place to be, because we will find ourselves feeling empty and disappointed. So, the “what if” questions can cause us to spiral. Trust God, read His word, love Him, love others, glorify Him, and TRULY be prayerful about your relationships and ask God to give you discernment and wisdom. Allow God to be the one who completes you. The truth is, you can ask “What If” in any season. You can stay with the person you’re with and ask “what if there was someone better?” Or you can break up and question, “what if we stayed together?” You can be married for 25 years and ask, “What if I made different decisions.” It’s dangerous. Instead of asking “What If” ask “How?” How can I make this work? How can I glorify the Lord in my decision?

Q11. Do you have any advice for singleness or any lessons you learned during singleness in hopes to one day be married?
I have been dating Luke for all of my adulthood, so I sought out some wisdom from one of our best men in our wedding, who loves the Lord and honors Him in his season of singleness, with the goal to one day be married.

Andrew said, “The life of a Christian is one of waiting and expectation. We have a promise of future glory that we can’t see yet, but we’re called to expect it and prepare ourselves for it. Singleness is a microcosm of this. Waiting for the blessing of marriage is made much easier when placed in the context of waiting for the return of our Savior. The days of loneliness are only momentary whether God has a partner for you down the road or not.”

I love what he said here because, not only does it give us perspective, it also helps us see how God can use our days of waiting for something to really strengthen our relationship with Him. Eternally our relationship with the Father is the most important.

Q12. Do you think it is wrong for someone to want to remain single for the rest of their life?

A12. Absolutely not. Singleness is not a curse, nor an illness, nor something that should be desperately avoided just because of what others may think or say peoples relationship “status” should be. God can use a single man or woman for so much and teach them in such unique ways that a married person may not learn during their life time. Scripture actually speaks of singleness. I believe that marriage and singleness is a calling. God can use singleness in such a sweet way to really draw you to be closer to Him in so many ways. If you feel called to being single, trust God and let Him guide you. You can read 1 Corinthians 7:25-39 to read more about Paul’s view on this topic in his letter to the church of Corinth, read in context. This is an argument that won’t necessarily be clarified on this side of heaven, and many people have differing views. But, I do not believe that it is wrong to want to remain single. Many would validate their own life being fulfilled through God in singleness and marriage.

Q13. Do you think you will regret only dating one person your whole life?
No not at all, because that one person is Luke Welgoss. Love is not just based on feelings. It’s hard work, and I want nothing more than to work on this for the rest of my life. I have been with him for 6 years, and I know that it takes work. But it’s 100% worth it. I’ve learned so much and I love him A LOT.

Well, there is so much more to come, and including special guests in blogs to come.

Luke & Andrew, thank you for your encouragement and words for this Relationship Q&A: part one.

Thanks for reading,
Tay Ruth

* Photos taken by: Mary Kate 

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