The success of a relationship obviously does not depend only on one person. What you need to do to have a beautiful marriage begins while you’re still single!
When God dictated His laws to Moses, it was not to impose an unnecessary burden. What God wanted (and still wants today) is to give us guidelines to be happy and completely fulfilled. “And the Lord commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that He might preserve us alive, as it is this day.” (Deut 6.24 NKJV). But these rules are impossible to follow perfectly, which is why Jesus perfectly fulfilled the law in our place, and his death allowed us access to salvation by grace.
Galatians 5.14 (NKJV) says, “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” Now obviously, if we love our neighbor, we won’t kill them, or steal from them, etc. All the law is then indeed summarized in this verse. Jesus did not abolish the ten commandments, He simplified them into only two: love God with all of our being and to love our neighbor. The key to success in all relationships, including romantic relationships, is to love God above all and to love each other.
Matthew adds an important nuance. “And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 22.37-40 RSV) Love each other … like yourself.
For some people, this means they won’t require their neighbor to do more than they do themselves. If you believe you are a princess, that’s fine, but know that your spouse is not a servant, a driver or an ATM. Rather a prince and a future king. This attitude of respect towards your partner begins long before entering into the relationship. It should be reflected in your relationships with your colleagues, family, friends, and strangers.
But for others, the verse of Matthew 22:39 forces them in another direction. Some people like to take care of people, serve them, praise them and make them happy. They are ready to give hours and hours to help others. So much so that they forget about themselves. If you do not take care of you, you can’t take the time to treat yourself, or develop your creativity, or invest in your health. So you won’t be able to take care of others for long. You have to love yourself as much as you love others.
When you are in a relationship, if your servant’s attitude is too developed, it will be easy to always find something to do to make your house cozy and to please everyone in your family. However you should also plan to take time for yourself, otherwise, you will lose yourself, and it’s not what Jesus wants. He died so that you may have life; so live it! He loves you with an unconditional love; so then love the same way.
This starts while you’re single. Are you scheduling an evening a week to pamper yourself, to play, to indulge your creativity? By doing so, you’ll be a more balanced person, with consistent energy. Follow Jesus’ advice: love God with every fiber of your being, love your neighbor, but also love yourself.