One of the things Toyfriend I share is Christianity and church. To be fair - he is a lot more grounded and traditional in his faith. I'm sort of... not a typical Christian. But, it is important to me and I am very grateful to be able to share it with him. We differ in some of our beliefs, but overall it's an important part of our relationship and I don't think we could be as strong as we are without faith.
That said.... currently, our Pastor is doing a series on relationships. We're three weeks in to a five-week series of messages that deal with different types of relationships, including marriage (but not romantic relationships outside of marriage... which ticks me off... but that's a different post).
Week one was a foundation for how relationships work, and the model for a relationship between two Christians. Before that message, I had always thought I knew what it meant to be committed. I mean, I know how to stay faithful and honest and how to share. I know how to look out for the other person's needs and wants.
But listening in church that day, I realized something I don't do that is just as important in acommitted relationship. I don't know how to trust.
Part of the take-away was that a Christian relationship* is "mutual submission" - each person setting aside their own needs and looking out for the needs of the other person. Without that foundation, a Christan relationship cannot work.
For the longest time, I have thought that was OK. That two people could build a relationship like that and it would work. I still think it could, as long as both people are on the same page. But I know that Toyfriend and I are looking to build a relationship with a Christian foundation. If that's what we want... our current model is not going anywhere. It may work fine, but it won't grow the way I'd like.
It is a little scary to learn I will have to give in and trust if I want more... I'm not real good at letting down that guard. But it was a huge relief to be able to finally see very clearly what needs to change - and what my part is in the change. It was also helpful to be reminded that I can only change myself... Toyfriend will need to make some changes on his end as well.
Here I thought this series was going to be about the worst thing to happen to our relationship. Turns out, it may be the best.
*It's important to note that it's church, so the ideas they are discussing revolve around how a relationship should look between two Christians. The ideas probably could apply to a relationship between non-Christians, but that's not their point.