We live in a world where hashtags are representation of an idea we are trying to make on social media. One that I see all too frequently, and maybe familiar to you, is #RelationshipGoals. Some are cute, some are mushy, and others a bit silly. No matter the representation, it is an idea that people have of how a successful relationship should look. Unfortunately, though, social media is a highlight reel, and those depictions are not the full story.
Of course, relationships are beautiful and rewarding when both sides put in the necessary effort. However, it’s not as easy as the highlight reels makes it seem. It takes WORK, and usually, the effort it takes to make a relationship flourish is not displayed in the highlights. Most people aren’t going to talk about the argument they had over dinner before posting a cute “date night” photo. They also won’t share a status regarding the disagreement they had about finances. Most people just won’t talk about the trying moments they encounter daily. I am guilty of this myself! I once posted a cute picture of my hubby and I at the gym on Instagram captioned “crushing it together at 6AM.” I got several comments saying: “GOALS” or “You guys are perfect!” Moments after, Anthony and I were arguing about something small and completely ridiculous, but did that go on Instagram, too? No.
Relationships aren’t PERFECT. When we set our standards to perfection, we create unrealistic measurements for our partnerships which can lead to disappointment when we fall short. When we compare our relationships, or set standards of “perfection,” we completely miss the opportunity to grow, flourish, and love our partners uniquely the way God intends us to.
The following is a list of 5 key #RelationshipGoals:
Sacrifice means giving up something you value in consideration of another. That means that in a real relationship, sometimes, you will have to do things you may not necessarily desire to do. That can look a couple different ways, such as: saying sorry first in an argument if you know you did something wrong or giving up a friend’s birthday party to take care of your sick partner. It can look like turning down the last slice of pizza because your partner is still hungry. Nonetheless, sacrifice is a true illustration of love.
This is something that I struggled with. My pride often got in the way of communicating simple things. I often held back emotions, concerns, or even questions that I had because I was either too embarrassed to mention them or too prideful about looking foolish or weak. Communication, however, is liberating. It is key when it’s done effectively and lovingly as opposed to aggressively and impulsively. Identify the key differences in the way you communicate. Choose to be intentional about how and what you communicate with someone you truly love.
We typically fall in love because of the romantic sparks we feel in the beginning stages of a relationship. Things like surprises, grand gestures, hand-written letters, and spoiling with gifts are all just a few examples of romanticism. Somewhere down the line, we become complacent/comfortable and don’t feel the need to do these things. Ant and I make sure to incorporate “date night” weekly. One night of quality time: catching up, no distractions, and intentional pursuit of each other. This can be as easy as take-out on the couch or a picnic at the park! What matters most, is the intentions behind the gestures.
“Forgiveness— is more than saying sorry.” If you’ve watched Just Friends as many times as I have, you just sang that statement in your head. (Haha!) But how true! Forgiveness is not just accepting a simple apology. It means being completely wrecked by something that hurt you and not allowing your pain to determine the way you love someone. It means letting go of the past and pushing forward, even when it’s tough. Grace is essential in real unconditional love. The idea of forgiveness can be the most trying, but the action is much more rewarding.
5.) God at the Center
I could just drop the mic here. We all know that God created us to love. We also know that God is love, and that we were created in His image. Therefore, we are created to love, by the source that is LOVE in the image of LOVE. How can a relationship be #GOALS if God is not the center of it? It can’t be. God’s love is unconditional, forgiving, and head-over-heels for us, and that is how He created us to love in our relationships as well. It is love that binds it all together. In the end, It is God who is love, and who we should model our love after.
These are only a select few that play a key role in flourishing a relationship. I pray that relationships, today, would forget the highlight reels, and would look to the perfect example that is God whose love for us is the ultimate #RelationshipGoals. Amen.
My name is Crystal Wojdyla (VOY-DEE-WAH). That’s a little difficult to say, so feel free to just say Wojo (WHOA-JOE)! I am a writer, fitness enthusiast, passionate speaker and dreamer always pointing to the name of Jesus.
Now, to be transparent, nothing in this world makes me happier than a book in hand and a cup of coffee that’s darker than night. I enjoy runs along Lake Michigan, traveling, and making people do burpees. Just kidding. I am, however, in the process of becoming an NASM Certified Personal Trainer, and love all things fitness.
I was born and raised in the city of Chicago; sometimes it’s beautiful, and other days it’s winter! But a Chicago gal, I shall always be. I am blessed to be married to a phenomenal, God-fearing man, who goes by the name of Anthony August. My home church is @peoplechurch in Chicago. We are always looking to connect Jesus to people and people to Jesus.
Above all, nothing screams Crystal more than my love for Jesus. Through all the challenges and changes I have encountered in this lifetime, I know one thing that remains consistent: my passion for articulating God’s heart to His people. I pray one day to speak globally and write countless books to show people the IMPOSSIBLE that God is capable of.
I’m a trailblazer because I speak boldly in my writing the truths that God has revealed to me in my relationship with Him, in hopes of guiding others into their own personal encounter with Him.
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