Above all, relationship goals have to be realistic. If you’re active on social media, you’re probably inundated with pictures of perfect-looking couples. We’ve all seen them – images of happy pairs posing in clubs, kissing on the beach, or cuddled up in bed next to a caption reading #relationshipgoals.
These images represent modern relationship ideals. But here’s the problem: these images are only snapshots of relationships. They emphasize all the good things and exclude all the bad. They don’t represent reality. Therefore, they’re not realistic relationship goals.
The issue isn’t just social media. Magazines, newspapers, and TV shows sell us an illusion of “perfect” relationships that we all buy into. As a result, we have unrealistic expectations about what kind of partners we should be looking for.
Setting Relationship Goals with your partner needs to be realistic.
Often, our ideas about what makes a perfect partner are based on superficial things like looks, career, or a person’s financial situation. They reflect what we want and desire from a partner, rather than what we actually need.
This was the case for Sarah, a member of the congregation at Transformation Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where the author is a pastor. Long past the age by which she’d thought she’d be married, Sarah was still single. This concerned her, and she’d often chat with the author about her relationship problems.
On one occasion, the author asked Sarah whether she had a clear idea about what kind of man she wanted to meet. She replied with a long, long list of requirements.
Sarah saw herself marrying a successful business owner, one who was also a preacher and funny and athletic. On top of all that, he had to come from a two-parent home – a requirement that eliminates about a third of the population!
As the requirements piled up, the author struggled to keep a straight face. Then he was honest with Sarah. Her relationship goals, he said, set the bar way too high. In fact, they had led her to reject great potential partners for years!
The thing is, relationship goals can be great — if they help you aim for what you really want and need from a partner. But to do that, they have to be realistic.
In the blinks that follow, we’ll look at creating the right relationship goals, ones that help you fulfill your life’s purpose and keep you in line with God’s eternal truths.
The most effective relationship goals align with God’s teachings.
Imagine you’re an archer. You’ve got your bow and arrow, and a single clear goal: hit the center of your target.
But what if, when you step up to aim, you realize that there’s no bull’s-eye in front of you? Well, technically, you can shoot wherever you want, but your arrow won’t hit anything meaningful.
Sounds pointless, doesn’t it? Yet many of us handle relationships in exactly this way. Without knowing what exactly we’re aiming for, we take whatever comes and do whatever’s comfortable. We don’t really know where we’re going, or why.
The key message here is: The most effective relationship goals align with God’s teachings.
Our aimlessness when it comes to relationships plays out in a number of different scenarios. For example, some of us date pretty much anyone who shows interest, without ever stopping to think whether that person might be right for us.
Married people can be just as aimless. All too often, they let the passion drain from their relationship as things like raising children and managing finances seem to become more important.
No matter what your marital status is, creating and maintaining a strong relationship comes down to having the right relationship goals. Luckily, we can turn to God to help us figure out what those are,
According to the Bible, the most crucial goals for those in a godly relationship are being able to show kindness and integrity and forgiving one another. That isn’t all, though – relationships are also about helping partners achieve their life purpose.
It’s common for couples in the ministry to be led by the man, with the woman in a support role. Not the author’s parents, though. His mom took on a leadership role and sang, preached, and prayed for people all over the world, while his dad worked in the background, carrying the bags and managing his wife’s itinerary. His support allowed her to achieve her God-given purpose and have a huge influence on many people’s lives.
This just goes to show that the right partner can really help you move farther along the path God lays out for you.
So when it comes to setting relationship goals, think back to what the Bible says: the person you’re meant to be with will love and support you, help you fulfill your purpose, and, ultimately, bring you closer to God.
To have healthy relationships with other people, you first need one with God.
Did you know that relationships existed before there were humans?
Before there was a single person on earth, a relationship already existed among God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. In the Bible, this relationship is called the Holy Trinity. It represents the idea that God is three entities in one.
How exactly this works is far beyond human comprehension. But all of humanity was created from this everlasting relationship. The Trinity basically clubbed together to create human beings. Therefore, it’s only natural that we humans desire a relationship with God.
The key message here is: To have healthy relationships with other people, you first need one with God.
We were born from God’s love – which is why our relationship with Him should come first. That gives us a strong foundation for our other relationships, including those with our brothers and sisters, our parents, and our lovers. And if we stray too far from our relationship with God, then naturally our other relationships start to suffer.
This is what happened to the author’s old friend Doug. Doug had a loving wife and children, a thriving business, and a strong connection with God. But unfortunately, something happened that shook Doug’s faith. After that, he became pessimistic, judgmental, selfish, and less devoted to things like praying, reading the Bible, and helping his community.
Eventually, Doug stopped believing in God and as soon as he did that, everything changed. His business partnerships failed, his marriage ended in divorce, and his children were damaged in the process.
This proved to the author that no one is exempt from needing a relationship with God. In fact, we should all be seeking to cultivate a closer relationship with Him every day.
How? Well, it’s important to have a daily devotional practice. That means reading the Bible every day, in order to stay in touch with God’s Word. It’s also about talking to God on a daily basis – about anything and everything. You could ask Him to grant you patience when you’re stuck in a traffic jam, or give you comfort when you’re uncertain about your next career move.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter how you connect with God; the most important thing is to be close to Him. If you are, He’ll teach you how to create, maintain, and progress in your relationships, all while keeping you encircled with love.