Sunday, October 19, 2014

8 Steps To Becoming A Gracious Girlfriend

When Jacob and I first began dating, it was easy for me to show him by "best side". Why, after all, he was perfect in my eyes-so I must stay perfect too! However, as the months went by, it was difficult to keep up the facade. I'm not saying I was tricking him, pretending to be someone I am not. But I was avoiding confrontation, which led us to encounter difficulties in communication. 

This led me to the question: How can I share my concerns with Jacob and be a gracious girlfriend at the same time?

After speaking with mentors, friends, reading online, and purposeful prayer, I have created a list of eight key points on how I can be a gracious girlfriend (and someday a gracious wife!). Adapted from 8 Habits of a Gracious Wife-I read this blog online and decided to put my own twist on it!

1. Be consistent in reading the word of God and remain abiding in Christ, the source of grace.
What's the best way to remind myself of God's grace? By reading His Holy Word! The Bible is His love letter. It is filled with pages of His pursuit of us, His blessings to us, and His ultimate gift of grace-His Son Jesus Christ! 

2. Rely on the power of the Holy Spirit to move in my heart while I pursue grace.
I cannot transform my heart by myself! Allowing the Holy Spirit to guide me is the only way I can truly change.

3. Keep my eyes focused on my sins rather than on my boyfriend's sins.
John 8:7, "When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her." Who am I to judge? I am not perfect. I am a sinner too!

4. Go to God with my concerns and frustrations first. Ask for peace and clarity.
God is my Father! He is the Maker of all things. My problems are so small compared to His greater plan-and speaking with Him will help me realize this!

5. Don't stuff my feelings! After spending time with the Lord, then I can respectfully express my concerns with my boyfriend in a soft-spoken tone.
With a clear head-everything is easier! Rather than constantly complain to my boyfriend (which will only foster bitterness and create more problems), I can approach him when necessary and in a gracious manner.

6. When I feel like my boyfriend fails or disappoints me, I will let things go and let God move in his heart.
As the book of Corinthians would say about love: 
"It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs."

7. Focus on my boyfriend's strengths rather than on his weaknesses. Remind myself of the gifts that God has given him.
His "pros" numerously outweigh his "cons". So why would I focus on the negative? That is something the devil would want me to do! If I love him for his strengths AND weaknesses our relationship can only flourish and mature. 

8. Surround myself with other women who desire to be gracious towards their boyfriend/husband.
By having Christian women in my life, I can learn how they love by their example. I need support from Godly women to guide me in the right direction. 

Love is an endless act of forgiveness. If I do my best to be a gracious girlfriend, my boyfriend will be stress free and our relationship will bring him happiness! What more could a girl ask for? :)

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