Friday, February 7, 2014

How do I know if I’m Ready for a Relationship?

Heart-shaped decors are everywhere! I’ll start posting articles about the ever-popular topic of the love life.

One of the most common questions I receive from young people whenever I give talks about relationships is, “what is the proper age to be in a relationship?”.

I salute people who do not get in exclusive intimate relationships even up to their early and mid-twenties, because they get to use that time with their friends, establishing careers, and investing in their own personal growth. The fact is that we have the big tendency to change so much in our twenties, at hindi natin dapat ito pigilan at all cost! At habang nagbabago tayo, nag-iiba rin ang klase ng tao na gusto nating makasama habangbuhay, ang mga standards at mindset natin, maging ang mga goals at direksyon ng ating buhay.

So what is the right age? Well, in relationships, maturity matters more than age. Handa ka nang pumasok sa isang relationship kapag handa ka na ring ikasal within a reasonable amount of time. Remember that courtship and relationships are purposed to be preparation for marriage. Therefore, if you are not yet inclined to consider marriage seriously, you should not yet be involved in a romantic relationship with the opposite sex.

1. Maturity: Marriage and relationships are for people who are mature, who have developed their character through the years (no better way than to be submitted to Christ’s Lordship!). Though maturity is both crucial for both men and women, there is a great expectation especially for men since they will be the leaders, pastors, fathers of their own kin.
In terms of maturity, age is not the prime issue at hand since there are some people in their early 20’s who are more matured than those in their 30’s! But generally, with age comes the sharpening of character and gaining of wisdom --- wisdom to make the right decisions and actions, to do the right things at the right time, to give correct guidance and counsel when it is necessary. However, even the most mature teenager will be probably be wiser by the time he/she is in the mid-twenties.

2. Emotionally ready: From a biological perspective, the human brain experiences crucial maturity and changes up to the mid to late-twenties. Studies show that it is only by one’s late twenties that our brain is best able to process emotional and social information, as well as for planning. This however does not warrant that a person is most ready for a relationship when he reaches the age of 25, because again, maturity matters more.

Here are some questions to assess your emotional maturity:
  • Do you have enough self-control that you are no longer ruled by your human passions?
  • Have you outgrown your selfish ways? Are you able to prioritize others before yourself? 
  • Can you handle confrontations and discussions without fighting?
  • Do you still argue with your friends over unimportant things?
  • How to you respond when you don’t get your way?
  • Are you ready to share 100% of your life with someone?
  • Are you able to put up with your long-term commitments?
  • Do you easily get jealous?
  • Are you overly dramatic?
I am sure that all of us can still improve in all of these areas, but typically this is why teenagers are not yet ready for a lifetime commitment. Hindi rin dapat i-commit ang future to someone else while still in their teenage years (e.g., “tayo pa rin hanggang sa mag-mature na tayo”) because a lot of changing will still take place!

3. Financially ready: The Biblical blueprint of the family is that the man (father) will be the provider of the family. So men, please lang, don’t bother pursuing a romantic relationship with anyone unless you are financially ready to support a family. Women, be wise enough to not pledge yourself to someone who has not yet gained the integrity of a good provider. I know this sounds a little unromantic, even quite materialistic, but it’s a reality every person considering relationships should face. You don’t have to be extremely rich to consider a relationship, but you must at least be financially stable and financially disciplined.

4. Spiritually ready: Every relationship must be aimed to honor God. And you can honor God with your relationships when you get involved in one at the right time ---- when you are spiritually mature yourself. I always encourage our youth group to focus on their spiritual growth first before they focus on finding their mate! It is best to form strong foundations for your faith first, and not allow anyone to distract you from growing your roots deep. Practice faithfulness by being faithful in the ministry you’re involved at (bonus for this is the spirit of servanthood you get while ministering!), in your Biblical knowledge, in your love for God, in being a lover of the presence of God, and in your prayer life.
You don’t have to be some sort of a spiritual giant, but you just have to first mature in the faith.

Please know that I am not, and will never be an “anti-love”. (Promise!) :) I actually am thrilled myself just talking about relationships. Teehee! <3 However, it is my desire that we, as followers of Christ, would approach relationships and romance in a way that will be the best for us, and that would pleases Him, and that we would go against the lowering standards of this generation!


sera_dada said...

Sooo inspiring Ps Jez! I can attest to everything you have said in here! I am ready to be a testimony for the younger generation! :) I will keep reading your blogs. God bless you woman of God! ♥

Unknown said...

Wow. Thanks for this. :) Thank you for inspiring us with the word of God. I'm grateful to God for your life. God bless you :) SUMMIT. POWER :))

Jez said...

Thank you ate Da! Please be my guest blogger minsan ate :) I know you write well, and have a lot of valuable insights to admonish this generation with. Love you ate da!

Jez said...

Hello, Fatima. Thank you for taking time to check my blog. I wish to bring this message to as many young people as I can --- it's the need of the hour! Hope to see you often here on my blog. Please bookmark it -- new articles every week :) See you soon. Blessed ako sayo!