Why Our Relationships Fail: Feelings, Personality Traits or Godly Character?

We live in a culture, especially in America, that places a great value on feelings. The problem with feelings is that when we base our relationships on how we feel, we are destined for failure. A feeling is nothing more than a chemical reaction following a thought. Many wonder why their marriages and interpersonal relationships are in such shambles, yet approach them no different than a lunch menu. I know I can have 10 different "feelings" about what I will have for lunch depending on the menu.

Let's then not forget the personality traits we want in a friend & partner. We use words such as "fun-loving", "great sense of humor", "hardworking", "ambitious", "no drama", "punctual", "creative", beautiful", "handsome", "charming", "seductive", "sexy", "magnetic", "passionate", "goal oriented", etc.

In order to find a Godly & healthy friend & partner, you don't want to look for personality traits, you must look for character traits. Hear me out on this and carefully reflect on what I am about to say. I can't tell you my weaknesses and faults because you are fun-loving ... why?....because you might want to have fun one day with my faults - and the church has not taught much about character. Think about a statement that most of us have heard or experienced either first hand or out of a teen's mouth: "Well, I just get butterflies in my stomach whenever I'm around so and so ". Well, I promise you that butterflies will fly out the first time you have a disagreement and what will you do when that happens?

When you look for a best friend & partner you are in character assessment mode and what most people are looking for in a relationship has nothing to do with character. It has nothing to do with personality traits.

Now let's take a look at Matthew 7:16. Jesus is applying a principle to a certain kind of person (teachers) but the principles remain despite the application. "You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles?" You can never take a tree and be faked out by it's fruit. If it's an orange tree, it's going to bear oranges. If its an apple tree, it's going to bear apples. It's amazing what people want but where they go to get it. Let's go to the next verse: Matthew 7:19. Every tree that doesn't bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the lake of fire." The people that don't bear the fruit that God expects, you can not give yourself too in a confident relationship of any type.

Most of us have been taught that we must love everybody. That's absolutely true. Yes we do; but, I trust few. Because God tells me to love you, doesn't mean I have to trust you. My trust is earned as you meet qualifications. As your character is revealed, I can then feel safe sharing more things about myself without the fear of being judged. This also eliminates betrayal by someone before they have proven themselves to be trustworthy. Some of you have no qualifications for certain people to be in your life especially if you reevaluate a relationship with your significant "other". There ought to be all kinds of qualifications for someone to be in your life because relationships will directly affect your future as much as anything else you do.

If we are looking for fruit then let's take a look first at Galatians 5:22-23. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against these there is no law." "But oh...I love how his hair flows when he rides his motorcycle!" Give it a few weeks and you'll be ready to go Delilah on him in the middle of the night ( lol ...I truly hope I'm making my point!) Let's look at these character traits or fruits of the Spirit again: love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness...Another words...will you love me when my cracks start exposing themselves and the veneers are gone and I can no longer hide my flaws? That's long suffering for those who don't understand the Biblical term. If you have to constantly tell me what or who you are, then most likely that's not who you are. If you have to tell me you are a Christian then that means your tree has not shown me any fruit; therefore, you are trying to convince me with your words something your tree is not bearing. If you are a Christian, I should have seen love, kindness, gentleness leaking out of you and onto other people before you even told me you are a Christian. Perhaps so many are turned off by Christians and Christ because our behavior gives no indication of Whom we serve.

This is important topic and I welcome your comments. If you are contemplating a serious relationship with someone or plan on getting married...make sure you are spending more time planning your marriage than your wedding. For any type of couples counseling nationwide, conflict resolution, dating coaching, discipleship, and biblical counseling (including and not limited to mediation coaching, please call me, Dr. Baldwin at 1-417-731=8354 or fill out our contact form. If you are aren't local, appointments via video in the privacy of your home or office. (Please share your comments...your struggles, trails, experiences, etc...help others!)

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