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  • Anje Van Dalen

The reality of relationship

Searching for the “realationship” beyond the Social media Highlights reel...

Relationship vs "realationship".

The first portrays the highlights reel on Social media and the latter works through the raw hard reality that there are two imperfect people who are merging their problems and ideas, hopes and dreams under one roof and make it look magical.

God didn’t want man to be alone so He created for him his equal. She was taken from his ribcage and formed into being to be, not above or below, but to stand equally in relation with him. And as many of you have experienced in your lifetime, this can either be a recipe for bliss or disaster. Two opinions, 2 ideas (or more for that matter) 2 worlds of hopes and dreams, burdens, baggage , etc. It makes me think of the phrase “double trouble”, yet God created it to be the most beautiful institution because He saw that man was lonely.

I love my husband. With all my heart. But he can get under my skin at times - just as I know that I get under his skin at times too. Fact is neither of us are perfect. We have flaws that make us very human and at times we really get into uncomfortable abrasive situations where we really chafe and shape our lives to be a life of unity. It’s times like these where it’s so easy and equally dangerous to look at other relationships and envy their portrayal of perfection because you don’t see the whole story.

I honestly believe it is unfair to compare ones relationship with others. No two people are the same and therefore no relationship can be the same. Thus it’s so important to focus on the assets of your relationship and growing that together in love rather than focussing on your shortcomings.

A few things I’ve learned along the way

I am in no way a relationship expert. I have been through one failed marriage and was very fortunate to have received a second chance at love. Although that heartbreak was tragic, I think the true tragedy would be if I didn’t share what God taught me along the way (and what I am still learning every day).

Ladies, it is so vital to know who you are and to love yourself first before allowing a man to love you. There will be times where he doesn’t compliment you or where he will be dealing with his own issues and then you can’t fall apart as you then need to be strong and there for him too.

Guys, you have to always remember to be the head of the house (and women should allow that, it’s how God intended it to be). By that I’m not implying that you sit on your wife’s head (or she on yours for that matter) but that you lead her, protect her and love her with the love of Christ. There will be times where she might be down or upset, don’t be harsh and thinks she is “just emotional”. Reach out and just love her. And ladies and fellas, there is never a place in a relationship for harsh sarcasm. Harsh words break down and causes destruction - just don’t!

As I’ve mentioned we all have sin, that makes us human. I can’t expect my husband to be perfect all the time, nor can he hang that burden over my head. And there will be times where the one will disappoint the other. This is where the amazing gift of grace steps in. God poured out His grace over our lives. Sweet, gentle, mighty and undeserving grace. And we should allow that grace of God flow over into our relationships. There is no worse space to be in than when you are expected to be perfect and that there is no room for error. When you love each other with the love of Christ and have grace for each other, you will have the strength to work through anything, together in His perfect love. And guys and girls, allow God to shape you and mould you like coal, and through tests and the pressure of trials transform your relationship to portray the strength of a diamond.

And always be thankful in everything and under all circumstances. There will be times when the going gets tough. On days like these count your blessings twice and keep your chin up. Be thankful for your partner. God put you together for a reason. Two imperfect people in the presence of perfect love, while portraying His amazing and undeserving grace.

Chris and I don’t have a relationship. We have a realationship.

And I am thankful for that.

Special thanks to Vintage Coffee for allowing me to do a couple session at your coffee shop.