V is for Values
Right at the beginning of this series we talked about the importance of finding out about someone’s character because, like the writing through a stick of rock, it is character that lasts – way beyond looks or other superficial traits. It is character that lasts. And we as we are almost at the end of our A – Z of Christian dating we come to V – and V stands for values.
When you are searching for and hoping to find someone special to share your life with, finding someone who shares your values is really important.
Like character, values are things that make people who they are. They affect so many areas of their life – for example how they behave towards others, how they spend their time, how they spend their money – how they live their life.
Values aren’t something generally advertised in a dating profiles and they don’t generally come up in a conversation. A lot of people may not even know what values they have in their own life – perhaps they’ve never thought about them. But spend any time with someone and, like character – you’ll get to ‘see’ and know their values in the way they behave.
It’s good to reflect on your own values first before you look at others and think what value you’d like a person to have.
A value is a principle or standard about what is important in one’s life.
As Christians our values are shaped by following Jesus Christ and doing as he did and as we are taught in the Bible. As such Christian values don’t change – they are the same for all generations and all people.
A word of warning here. Just because someone says they have Christian values doesn’t mean they are a Christian.
Some of the values that we hold dear as Christians are share by people of other faiths and none.
In the same way just because someone says they are a Christian doesn’t necessarily mean they are. And just because someone says they have Christian values doesn’t mean they actually do have those values. You find out about someone’s faith and their values by getting to know them and how they live their life over time.
So let us look at a few Christian values.
1st and foremost is LOVE. Jesus taught us to love God and love others.
Are you loving? Do you love others? Is this a value you aspire to? Is it something you’d like to see in a potential partner?
Then there’s generosity. This is a core Christian value of being kind and unselfish – especially with our time and money. How do you spend your time and money? It’s worth thinking about and it will say a lot about you. When you meet someone you may be interested in – look at how they spend their time? Are they generous towards others with it? Are they tight with their money?
Respect is another key Christian value. It comes from being conscious that God has created all things and all people in his image. In response we respect others and the world we live in.
Then there’s hope. We talked about hope earlier on in this series, but it’s a value that plays out in confident expectation and a firm assurance in God.
And then there’s peace. This comes over in so many different ways and forms in the bible. But ultimately it comes from a trust in God that leads to rest and tranquillity.
There are loads more Christian values and it’d be good for you to think what your values are and what values you’d like to share – i.e., your partner to have.
Understanding our Christian values and being able to look for them and recognise them in others, before you get into a romantic relationship with them is really important.
Imagine falling in love with a tall, dark, handsome man – or a glorious blonde attractive lady (to use the stereotypes of fairy tales), only to discover late on (perhaps when it’s too late) that they are incredibly selfish, mean and disrespecting of others. Is that really someone you want to spend the rest of your life with?
Unlike character which I’d maintain rarely changes, (and you just have to look at St. Paul to see that before and after his conversion), values can and do change. It’s what the transformation of our lives is all about as followers of Christ. However, it’s best to find a soul mate who has a number of the values you want – already in place in their lives.
Unlike character values can and do change
The sharing of mutual values with your soul mate is important because it will make your life so much easier and your relationship smoother. For example, perhaps one of your values is generosity. You like to give a percentage of your money to charity. If you marry someone who doesn’t share that value, you could well end up having serious disagreements bout how your joint money is spent.
It’s the same with time. Perhaps you are someone who is very generous with your time. You always have time for others. Would you want to be with someone who never has time for anyone else but themselves? The answer is probably not.
I guess like so many of our other A – Z Christian dating topics, this one of values is all about thinking things through before you get stuck in a situation or relationship that turns out not be what you want – or what is right for your life.
Doing the thinking in advance will reap great benefits as you then go onto find and choose the right person for you.