Whether you are single, dating, or married, you always have the choice in any relationship to believe the best of every person. We can put this into practice by choosing kind and loving responses to people in every situation. Read over 1 Corinthians 13:7 and weave the name of the person you are dating/married to/a co-worker/family member into the verse. Pray that God will help you remember to believe the best about that person and help you to react towards them in a kind and compassionate way.
Happy couples know that you have to make a choice to trust each other. For most, trust can be a difficult thing to embrace. It’s more difficult to trust if you’ve ever been in a failed relationship, a toxic friendship, or endured a painful life circumstance. Still, we can rest in the truth that God is trustworthy and can help us develop or rebuild trust in others. Take a moment to read Psalm 9:10 and highlight the word TRUST. As you pray, surrender your romantic or close-knit relationships and ask the Lord to help you put your full trust in Him as you begin to develop or rebuild trust in those people.
As we make our choice to believe the best about each other, we must also be willing to pair that with affirming actions. It requires listening and forgiveness to see actual positive change come out on the other end. Colossians 3:13 in The New Living translation tells us to forgive anyone who offends us. Has anyone offended you lately? What does it look like for you to believe the best about them, ask them what their motives were behind their words or behavior, and decide to forgive them and move on? As you think on that relationship, seek God for patience and compassion to navigate those difficult encounters.
One of the best ways to grow in a 1 Corinthians 13 kind of love is to invite someone else—that you are not romantically connected to—to be a voice of wisdom and reason as you take next steps to pursue a dating or marriage relationship. Proverbs 15:22 reminds us that if we don’t ask for advice, our plans will fail, but with many advisors, they will succeed. If possible, set up a coffee chat with someone older who is in a healthy marriage relationship and ask them what makes their relationship so healthy. Ask them how they handle stress and conflict. Then take those sage words to God in prayer and ask Him to help you apply those things to your relationships. Be sure to pray for the happy couple you sought advice from, too!
Relationships can be hard to navigate—even on our best days. Sometimes we can feel that the other person doesn’t care about us, doesn’t want to know how we feel, or doesn’t want to meet us halfway. Or if you’re single, you may think that you’ll never find that person to be in a loving relationship with. Jesus sees us in this and gives us some truth in Paul’s words to lean into through 1 Corinthians 13:7. Have you begun to give up on pursuing a healthy loving relationship with someone? Have you lost hope that you can make it through this season of love? Pause and pray that God would help that verse come to life for you!
TALK IT OVER
- How do you typically celebrate Valentine’s Day?
- Who is the happiest couple you know?
- What do you think makes a couple a “happy couple?”
- If you’re in a romantic relationship right now, what are some ways you’ve seen your relationship grow through trusting the other person?
- If you’re in a romantic relationship right now, what are some ways you’ve seen your relationship grow through believing the best about the other person?
- If you’re single, how could learning to trust and believe the best about others benefit you in a romantic relationship?
- How does this choice to trust in love tie into your relationship with Jesus?
- How does this choice to believe the best tie into your relationship with Jesus?
- Whether you are in a romantic relationship or not, what’s one thing you could do differently when it comes to placing more trust in others that are close to you?
- Whether you are in a romantic relationship or not, what’s one thing you could do differently when it comes to believing the best about others that are close to you?