When I was working at a Christian summer camp over the summer one of the issues we faced during high school weeks was that some of the campers would be in relationships with each other. And while that was ok, we didn’t want it being a distraction, to them or to others. And we definitely didn’t want any temptation for things to go too far. So at the start of the week the Director gave all the campers the instruction that if they were in a relationship they needed to make sure they left room for the Holy Spirit. (At which point one week a quick witted camper asked how big the Holy Spirit was. To which the even quicker witted Director brought up her large, well built husband as guidance on how much “Holy Spirit Room” needed to be left between a guy and a girl. Obviously that was for the campers and we counsellors could get away with leaving somewhat less than that…)
And I think that is a great principle for us as we seek to have mature, juicy God intended steak Christian relationships. We need to leave room for the Holy Spirit. We need to make sure that above all God is our priority. We should seek partners who will love God first and us second. And we should aim to ourselves to love God first and our partners second. Because if you don’t love Him above all then really, you don’t love Him at all.
Our walk with Christ should be the most important thing in our life. Being able to resist the temptation to go too far in a premarital relationship is all well and good, but the relationship can still interfere with our walk with God, causing us to compromise in other ways. And if you find a relationship is preventing you from spending the quality time you used to with God in prayer and the Word, you need to make changes. If you become more focused on loving your partner than loving Jesus you need to change things. Or end things.
We should try and avoid seeing our romantic relationships and our walk with God as two separate things. We should seek opportunities to grow in maturity together with our partner, praying together, studying God’s Word together, serving Him together, building a solid spiritual foundation to your relationship so that it is centred on Christ rather than physical pleasure.
A great way to start a relationship is by praying together. Right from the start it puts the focus onto God, and allows you to put things into His hands. It establishes “Holy Spirit Room” right from the start of the relationship. And it allows you to test out if God approves – if someone asks you out and you start praying together and you get a sense of peace from God you are probably safe to say yes to them! I’ve sat out at night in a church parking lot under the stars praying with a girl like that before, and it is the best way to start a relationship. But don’t take my word for it; try it next time you get a chance. (You don’t have to go to a church car park; we were just there because it was at the top of a hill and had the best view of the shooting stars in the night sky – no making do with airplanes for us! Yeah I just slipped in a B.o.B reference – deal with it!)
So make sure if you are in a relationship right now that you are leaving room for the Holy Spirit, that you are seeking together to grow closer to God and that above all Jesus is your priority