Tip #8: Are They Kind?
I’ve been married to my husband, Steve, for 39 years. I can honestly say he is the kindest person I’ve ever known. He is kind to me, to our kids, and to others. When I was young, I observed how honorably he treated his parents, his siblings, and pretty much anyone else he encountered. The one time I remember him losing his temper was when we were dating. I was waterskiing. He was in the boat with friends. When I went down a boat behind me nearly ran me over. (I literally pushed the boat’s bow away from me!) When I came up from underwater Steve was shouting at the boat’s driver. I completely understand the reason for his less-than-kind response, but it truly took me by surprise to see his angry response, because anger was not in his wheelhouse.
Over the years I’ve met many individuals who overlooked harshness or anger triggers in one they dated. They convinced themselves their harshness, or anger, would not be an issue once they wed. Sadly, most of these people later found themselves trapped in a marriage where they must walk on eggshells to keep their spouse from flying into an angry tirade. So, learn from their mistakes. Look ahead and choose wisely whom you date.
And you must learn to practice kindness. It’s not fair to hold someone you’re dating to the high standard of kindness if you’re an unkind person. So, if you deal with anger issues, before dating seek out godly counselors to help you learn to respond with Christlike kindness. It’s tempting to say, “That’s just how I am.” But if you are in Christ, God calls you to not sin in anger. And if God calls you to it, He is more than able to help you change–-if you’re willing to do the work. Angry people raise angry people. But by God’s grace none of us have to pass anger on to our children.
Tip #9: Know Your Worth
Whether you were raised by parents who celebrated all of your accomplishments, or you grew up in foster care with few accolades, it is tempting to think your worth lies in finding someone to love you. Every fairytale delivers this subtle message.
But if you fall into this trap, you’ll search for a dating partner who will validate your worth. Whether you expect them to celebrate you as your parents did, or offer you affirmation that you didn’t receive as a child, eventually they will let you down. Because we are all human and don’t have the capacity to carry the heavy weight of being the source of someone’s worth.
God created you to long for love and to find your worth in who cares for you. But that type of love can only be found in a relationship with your Creator. The Bible says, “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called the children of God…” And, He showed us that great love by sending Jesus to die for our sins and purchase us with His blood to become God’s treasures. (See: 1 John 3:1, John 3:16, Revelation 5:9.)
The more committed you are to finding your value in Christ’s love for you, the more ready you will be to date for the right reasons. And, when you are confident in your worth because of Christ, you’ll not be that needy person who sucks the life out of the one they’re dating, in an attempt to find affirmation. (For more information on knowing Christ contact Rhonda at NoRegretsWoman.com)
That doesn’t mean you don’t want to date a person who compliments and affirms you. Or that you shouldn’t lift others up with your words. But when you are wisely grounded in God’s love for you, their compliments will endear them to you and bless you for the right reasons.