In order to stand at a wedding altar and say, “I do,” with confidence, individuals must first understand who “I” is. Genuine intimacy in marriage can only occur between two people who are sufficiently in touch with who God created them to be as individuals that they can give to the marriage as much as they receive.
A thriving marriages doesn’t erase individuality. It celebrates it and puts it to work in service of the relationship, molding two whole individuals into one, while keeping their individual flames burning bright.
Debra Fileta, an author and a licensed professional counselor who specializes in dating, marriage, and relationship issues, reminds her clients that God has each of us on our own journey, a journey that intertwines with others while we individually run “the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1).
To help her clients more deeply understand themselves, Debra encourages them to commit to three stages of dating before involving themselves in a significant relationship:
- Look Inward. Understand your identity before you date a person.
- Look Outward. Learn how to truly love your future mate.
- Look Upward. In order to understand how to fully exchange love with another human being, first experience it in your relationship with God.
Debra is with us on our Focus on the Family Broadcast “Inviting God into Your Dating Relationship” to help Christian young adults recognize what’s important in dating relationships and develop healthy dating standards that are rooted in biblical principles. Hear our conversation on your local radio station, online, on iTunes, via Podcast, or on our free phone app.
If Focus on the Family has blessed you in some way, I’d like to extend an invitation for you to become a special partner with us through our monthly “Friends of Focus on the Family” program. When you do, I’ll send you a copy of Debra Fileta’s book Love Dates: Your Indispensable Guide to Finding the Love of Your Life as a way of saying thank you for touching others with the love of Christ. You’ll also receive member-exclusive benefits. To make your pledge, or for more information, click here or call 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459).
And while you’re online, check out Boundless, Focus on the Family’s community for singles. Boundless encourages and equips 20- and 30-something singles in their personal relationships and in their journeys with God through podcasts and a thriving online community. They tackle everyday issues young adults face – including dating and relationships, career decisions, finances, culture, and more – all from a Christian perspective.